After a polarizing election season, contacting your newly-elected or returning legislator is probably the last thing you want to think about right now. However, cultivating champions for the arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences requires persistence year-round. Now—before the busy start to state and federal legislative sessions—is actually a great time for you to welcome new legislators and educate them about issues that matter to you.
What types of arts and sciences asks are appropriate for new and returning legislators? At the federal level, consider encouraging your Senators to join the Cultural Caucus and your Representatives to join the Congressional Humanities Caucus. These bipartisan groups consider policies to support the arts and sciences at the federal level. Your state legislature also may have an arts and culture caucus. Similarly, you can encourage policymakers to make federal investments in science a national priority and encourage the use of evidence-based policymaking. Our “Arts & Sciences Are Key” toolkit provides some sample language that can make this easy for you at www.toolkit.pbk.org.
We are also pleased to announce another key advocacy resource for you in the new year. Nora Eigenbrodt recently joined Phi Beta Kappa as the National Arts & Sciences Initiative Associate. Eigenbrodt is a recent graduate of Vassar College with a degree in political science and a background in advocacy, congressional relations, and nonprofit communications. She previously interned with the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In this role, Eigenbrodt hopes to energize members around the fundamental value of a liberal arts and sciences education on our campuses, and in our workplaces and communities. She recently helped plan and execute this year’s Keys to Action week. This year’s theme focused on showing the important role the liberal arts and sciences can play in cultivating a meaningful, productive, and engaged life.
In the spring, Eigenbrodt will work to engage young professional members in pursuing campus-to-career transitions. You can reach her and the National Arts & Sciences Initiative team at firstname.lastname@example.org.