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Congressional Spotlight: Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)

Each month The Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA) introduces you to a member of Congress who is a leader on legislative matters important to our TNPA community, with representation from both parties.

Official Portrait of U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI).

Q&A with Senator Gary Peters

The Nonprofit Alliance has worked closely with Senator Gary Peters of Michigan. TNPA had the opportunity to ask the Senator a few questions, and share them here:

What is your favorite sports team?

As a lifelong Michigander, I’ll always root for the Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings – but no one can hold a candle to the Michigan State Spartans. This week, I’m also pulling for my Alma Scots – who are competing in the national playoffs for the second time in their history.

What was the most recent sporting event you attended?

I had the chance to attend the Michigan – Ohio State football game last weekend. Even though I’m a Michigan State fan through and through, I was thrilled to see the Wolverines bring home a victory.

Which American political figure has most inspired you?

Teddy Roosevelt. As president, he advocated for policies that helped our workers, protected our environment, and improved our standing across the world. But he was a fascinating person outside of politics as well. He was an explorer, writer, and historian – a committed public servant with a range of other interests and pursuits.

When was the moment you realized you were serious about getting into public service?

When I was a student at Alma College, I spent a semester as an intern for Congressman Don Albosta. On the last day of my internship, I sat on the steps of the Lincoln memorial and told myself that I hoped to come back later in my career as a member of Congress. Many years later, on the day before I was sworn into the House of Representatives, I took my family to that very spot, and reflected on the journey that had led me to public service.

More About Senator Peters

The Nonprofit Alliance has worked closely with U.S. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan. Senator Peters began his public service career as a Rochester Hills, Michigan City Councilman in 1991. In 1994, he was elected to the Michigan State Senate where he served two terms. During his eight years in the Michigan State Senate, he authored and passed more bills signed into law than any other member of his party. Then in 2008, Senator Peters was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. While in his first term in the House, he was appointed by the Speaker to serve on the conference committee that wrote and finalized the sweeping Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

In 2014, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and was re-elected in 2020. During his service in the Senate, Senator Peters has been a leader on a number of issues, including increasing protections for the Great Lakes and securing historic funding for restoration efforts. Having volunteered for the U.S. Naval Reserve at age 34 where he earned a Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist designation, the Senator is acutely aware of the challenges veterans face and has been a tireless advocate for veterans by expanding apprenticeships and improving the VA Caregivers Program.

We at The Nonprofit Alliance know Senator Peters best for his work on two important issues. First, for his co-sponsorship of legislation expanding the IRA Charitable Rollover, which was signed into law last December by President Biden as part of the Securing a Strong Retirement Act (SECURE Act 2.0). This law raises the current maximum annual contribution (currently $100,000) to an IRA Charitable Rollover by increasing the maximum limit each year based on the annual rate of inflation (the Consumer Price Index or CPI). The law also allows seniors to use their IRA to fund a gift annuity, enabling middle-income seniors to make charitable contributions while maintaining retirement income.

Second, the Senator is a cosponsor of the Charitable Act (S. 566), the bipartisan bill that enables all taxpayers who take the standard deduction to receive a tax benefit when supporting charitable causes. S. 566 has a total of 20 cosponsors – 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans – and is a top priority of The Nonprofit Alliance. Most recently, we have been working with Senator Peters on the issue of Artificial Intelligence policy. In his capacity as Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Senator has been a leader in the effort to craft legislation which will harness the advantages of AI, while protecting consumers’ welfare.

Mark Micali
Author: Mark Micali

Mark Micali is Vice President, Government Affairs for The Nonprofit Alliance and has spent his career on Capitol Hill.  You can reach him at

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