Statements on Issues of Concern

ACLS presents below statements issued by ACLS President Joy Connolly and/or the ACLS Board of Directors on issues of concern to our community.


ACLS Urges White House to Include Tax-Exempt Associations in COVID-19 Federal Assistance Package

March 11, 2020

Mr. Lawrence A. Kudlow 
Director, National Economic Council 
1650 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Room 235
Washington, DC 20502
 
Dear Mr. Kudlow,
 
In considering federal assistance for the airline, travel, and cruise industries to mitigate economic damage from the COVID-19 epidemic, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) urges to you to include small tax-exempt associations being impacted by event cancellations in any federal assistance package. 
 
ACLS represents 75 of our nation’s leading humanities and social sciences scholarly organizations, including the American Economic Association, the American Political Science Association, and the Association of American Law Schools. In total, we speak for hundreds of thousands of professionals, thought leaders, and university and independent scholars who rely on these convenings to share new developments in and support the advancement of humanistic studies in a variety of fields that contribute to the betterment of society. 
 
The health and well-being of our societies’ members is always our primary concern. However, the devastating economic impact resulting from the coronavirus epidemic cannot be ignored. More and more universities have recommended against and are declining to fund “non-essential” travel for faculty, and many individuals are choosing not to travel to annual meetings. This leaves small associations forced to cancel their conferences, losing significant revenue streams that will impact their ability to operate or, in some cases, even exist. 
 
ACLS is doing all it can to support its member societies as they work quickly to navigate this developing situation. But, like any small business disrupted by a natural disaster, some of these organizations may not be able to recover fiscally without tax credits or other federal assistance. To ensure these historic organizations can continue their work in developing and sharing essential scholarship and knowledge in their fields, we urge you to include these tax-exempt organizations in the relief plan being considered. 
 
I would be happy to meet with you, virtually or in person, to provide additional insight and information on how the COVID-19 epidemic will impact these vital organizations and help ensure that any federal assistance measures include these vulnerable groups. 
 
Thank you for your consideration. If you have questions or would like to arrange a meeting, please contact me at 212-697-1505 ext. 121 or jc@acls.org.
 
Sincerely,
Joy Connolly, President, ACLS

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