Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Everything Is Political

Today, I attended the annual all-staff meeting at work. It's always a nice event, most of our staff is made up of part-time, seasonal workers, so the meeting is a really sweet reunion. After working nights and weekends all winter without seeing too many people, catching up is a lot of fun. I also had a good long talk with my new supervisor (my old supervisor retired on April 14th). I let him know about a couple of things that I am concerned about, and we made arrangements for him to stop by at night and see what my typical work experience is. We get along well, and he is 'on the same page' about certain projects I suggested.

There was an undercurrent of uncertainty, though... we are an educational not-for-profit and we have $960,000 in grant money from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. With a regime hostile to the NEH and the NEA, this funding may disappear, putting us in the hurtbox.

I don't mention my employer by name on the blog, but I love to bring visitors to our sites when they come to the NY metro area. For instance, I have taken Major Kong to visit while he was on a delivery run. The mission of the organization is important, the values the organization espouses align with my values. Our President noted the challenges we may be facing, and told us that we weren't alone in the fight, then he urged us to call our congressional reps. He noted that Kirsten Gillibrand and Louise Slaughter are very supportive on the arts and the humanities. It was the first time that he has ever been explicitly political, but the political has become personal, and we, like many others, are fighting for our lives.


Harry Hamid said...

I work for a non-profit partially funded by federal grants, too. Specifically, $200,000 from Legal Services Corporation and $150,000 of Community Development Block Grant funds, both of which the President's budget eliminates entirely.

I've spent my entire career trying to help people,earning (without complaint) about 1/3 of what I'd be making if I was representing the rich and the powerful.

So yeah, it hits home. It's personal.

I'm happy to say I wasn't fooled by the crap this guy said during the campaign. He's just as Randian as the rest of his party.

mikey said...

Well, the good news is that he can't 'slash' shit until the end of the FY in September. Any Continuing Resolution is going to fund the same stuff it's funding now - that's how CRs work.

And I'm not sure what the Republican Party under the bizarre ADHD chaos of President Trump can actually do. They've gotta work around some truly bark-at-the-moon crazy assholes in the House, then they have to deal with a razor-slim majority in the Senate, the Filibuster, Budget Reconciliation rules and electorally vulnerable Republican Senators.

It's always kind of interesting to watch them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again...