Lead From the Front and Utilize Advocacy and Lobbying
Mike believes that philanthropy has an important role to play in spurring progress on tough challenges — particularly issues that government has been unwilling or unable to address, but that cannot be ignored. That means meeting controversy head on and offering support to people and organizations who are fighting for change. Often that can mean using advocacy and rallying grassroots support.
Some challenges, like the epidemic of gun violence in America, are too important to ignore. Mike’s support for Everytown for Gun Safety has ensured continued progress and the enactment of common-sense gun safety laws in states across the country. The organization’s successes have not come easily. In Missoula, Montana, the state attorney general blocked the enforcement of a city ordinance requiring background checks for gun sales. In Seattle, Washington, the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation sued the city for passing responsible gun storage laws. In both instances, Everytown took up the cases in court and won favorable rulings.
Everytown embodies Bloomberg Philanthropies’ approach of leading from the front and using advocacy to make progress. As a result, despite the opposition, an entire grassroots movement of volunteers, survivors, and activists has driven more states to enact life-saving policies.