When the answers are “yes,” advocacy can be a powerful way for the Foundationtoexercisemoralleadershipandexpenditsreputationalcapital. In recent years, the Foundation took on the issue of gerrymandering as part of its program agenda to encourage more vibrant democracy in the region.Thatworkincludedcommissioningextensiveresearch,conveninga rangeofpublicinterestgroups,andeventuallysubmittingafriendofthecourt briefinalawsuitfiledbycivicandgood-governmentorganizations.The state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and used university-based experts to draw a new map of the voting district. Later, in the aftermath of President Trump’s comments about certain African countries during a meeting on immigration policy — comments that were widely condemned across the political spectrum as racist — the PittsburghPost-Gazettedefendedtheremarksinaneditorialpublishedonthe nationalMartinLutherKingholiday.Inresponse,KingjoinedGrantOliphant, presidentofTheHeinzEndowments,inwritingacounter-editorialthatwent viralandledtootherprotests.“Communityfoundationsreallyonlyhavevalue totheextentthattheyexercisecommunityleadership,”saysOliphantofthe decisiontopartnerwiththeFoundation.“Thatistheirmostimportantrole.” Kingagrees.WhethertheFoundationisdispatchingAlitoHarrisburg orcallingonlawmakerstoprotectcrucialhuman-servicesfunding,“atthe end of the day, summoning some courage and advocating for the people whoneedusmost — that’sreallyourjob,”hesays.“That’swhywegooutinto neighborhoodsandtrytounderstandtheneedsofthepeopleourgrantees serve. Ultimately, they’re the people we serve, too.” ▪ The Foundation is about more than giving money — it’s also about supporting the work of our grantees. And sometimes that means overcoming policy barriers that prevent them from achieving their goals. KHALIF ALI Director of Public Policy and Advocacy PHOTO: KEITH SRAKOCIC / AP PHOTO 31 RE PO RT TO TH E CO MMU N ITY THE PITTSBURGH FOUNDATION