FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 5 Driven to Victory Driver’slicense suspension penaltiesthat disproportionately affect low-income people andthose looking to rebuildtheirlives afterincarceration have been repealed,thanksto a bipartisan effort supportedby The Pittsburgh Foundation.The legislation, which wasinitially sponsoredby Rep.Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) andsignedinto law by Gov.TomWolf on Oct.24,endsdriver’s license suspensionsformost nonviolent,nondriving offenses,while preserving suspensionsforDUIsandotherdriving offenses. According to Steve Shelton,founderandexecutive directorof the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh,the legislation isa majorvictory. The Trade Institute’s10-week programtransformsstudents — 85 percent of whomwere recently incarcerated — into highly employable construction workersmaking at least $15 an hour. But that earning potentialgreatly increaseswhen workershave a driver’slicense,a requirement formany union andnonunion contractorandconstruction jobs,which often include health insurance andbenefits packages. According to the House AppropriationsCommittee,PennDOT suspendedabout 40,000licensesin 2017 fornonviolent,nondriving offensessuch asminordrug offenses,purchase ortransport of tobacco andalcohol,carrying a false ID card,ordriving under the age of16. Pennsylvanianowjoins15states,including Virginia,Washingtonand California,that have made significant changesto driver’slicense suspension programsthat trapvulnerable people in cyclesof debt andpoverty.A2017 study by the NationalCenterforState Courts foundthat “the financialandfamilialconsequencesof license suspension are so severe that 75 percent of driverscontinue to drive aftera suspension,which exposesthemto criminalprosecutionand additionalfinancialpenalties.” In otherwords,thislegislation not only reducesthe burden on state andlocalgovernmentsof enforcing suspensions,but also improves life prospects for those attempting to regain a sense of both self-sufficiency andself-worth. Making Wishes Come True The 2018Wish Books have made theirwayto Pittsburgh Foundation donormailboxes.Based on the generosity donors demonstratedin 2017, there’severy reasonto believe that thisyear’scampaign willexceedexpectations.In 2017, every wish in the book wasfulfilledat least once,with 19 percent overfundedfora totalof $170,722,which was$8,408more than grantee organizationshadrequested.Acommittee of donorsand staff reviewed more than 200 submissions this year to select 75 wishes of $2,500 or less, all for much-needed specific items, that donorsandtheirfamiliescan fulfillwith giftsfromtheirfunds. If you haven’t reviewedyourbook yet,sit down with yourfamilyand friendsandtake a look.It’sa great way to make dreamscome true thisholidayseason. RHLS Executive Director Mark Schwartz has known and worked with Downing for more than 20 years and says she is an amazing connector. “Jane can get lots of different people into a room, people from different sectors, people with different views. If she holds a meeting on the eviction crisis, people don’t have to show up, but they do; people who might not otherwise work together gather to address the issues at hand, and that’s because of Jane,” he says. Downing is currently involved with a broad research project of the Foundation, looking at the eviction process in Allegheny County, who is most affected and how evictions affect communities. Chief Investment Officers’ Top 30 List J ONATHAN BRELSFORD, senior vice president of Finance and Investments, was named one of the 2018 Top 30 foundation chief invest- ment officers by Trusted Insight, a network of investors at endowments, foundations, insur- ance companies, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, corporations and health care systems. Brelsford has worked in finance for nearly 20 years, and he is responsible for the financial stewardship of donated assets, as well as accounting and investments. He develops investment strategy with Pavilion Management Co., the Foundation’s consulting group; the Foundation’s President and CEO Maxwell King; and the Investment Committee of the Foundation’s Board. Asked what he enjoys most about his work, Brelsford says he thrives on facing different challenges each day. “It is a position that requires continuous learning. I love the work.” by Deanna Garcia | communications officer FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 5 Jonathan Brelsford andhisinvestmentteam managenearly$1.2billion in assets from 2,200 charitable funds thatare investedin60 portfolios.