Advocacy Corner

Amy R. Beck, PhD

2-minute video version of the below article

A grant is to research as a Political Action Committee (PAC) is to advocacy.  They are both the financial drivers needed for the activity to happen.  Just like it is challenging to sustain a quality research program without grant funding, it is challenging for the American Psychological Association to sustain advocacy on behalf of psychology without a funded Psychology PAC.

The Psychology PAC's mission is to strengthen psychology's voice by financially supporting the federal campaigns of pro-psychology congressional candidates.  The Psychology PAC is nonpartisan/bipartisan, and supports legislators from both political parties who champion APA’s positions and priorities.  In recent years, many of these positions have been kid-focused, such as the Youth Mental Health Research Act, the Kids Online Safety Act, and funding for various school-based mental health programs.  You can read about all of APA’s 2024 advocacy priorities here, as well as how they choose which candidates to support here (to access this link, sign in with your MyAPA/ password).  Division 54 is fortunate to have our own Sharon Berry, PhD, ABPP on the Psychology PAC Advisory Committee!

The Psychology PAC is funded by APA members, psychologists, learners, and APA staff.  Any psychologist or learner can contribute, and your contributions are desperately needed.  Last year, the Psychology PAC raised only $89,047, significantly lower than similar professional associations, such as the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Nurses Association.  Though we work in coalition with these groups, with less money to spend, we have less capacity for the political influence needed to meet the goals and interests of the psychology profession, psychologists, and the patients we serve.  Therefore, annual contributions are needed.

Fortunately, contributing to the Psychology PAC comes with perks!  The Psychology PAC organizes many events that are interesting and educational.  In January, there is often a political journalist who provides an informative overview of the political landscape for the year.  There are typically other opportunities to log on with different federal legislators throughout the year who have been supported by the Psychology PAC.  And in December, there is usually a more relaxed event of a past or current APA President’s choosing.  Last year, Dr. Thema Bryant hosted a poetry reading.  You can purchase access to each event individually, or secure access to all events in a calendar year by purchasing the All-Access Pass for $600, which can be paid in a lump sum or automatically divided and deducted into monthly payments of $50.  For learners and early career psychologists, the monthly donation amount for the All-Access Pass is only $8, with a lump sum of $99.  I have personally done the monthly payments for years, and it’s extremely easy to complete hereHowever, any amount that you can contribute at any time is needed and beneficial.

Of course, the most important part of the Psychology PAC is the opportunity to contribute to the nuts and bolts of keeping our profession and impact moving forward at the policy and legislative level.

Lastly, to contribute, federal law dictates that you must be a U.S. citizen or a green card holder. Contributions to the Psychology PAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

Please contribute to the Psychology PAC!