By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Advocacy & Legislative Affairs, Goodwill Industries International
We’re giving thanks this year for our supporters and Congressional champions who have advocated on behalf of the Goodwill® mission, advanced our public policy priorities, and strengthened our influence with policymakers. Regardless of your connection to Goodwill, as an advocate, you volunteer your voice to speak up on behalf of those who face challenges to employment. You educate policymakers about the mission of Goodwill and the impact of their decisions. This year, hundreds of you have taken action via Goodwill Industries International’s (GII) Legislative Action Center, shared blogs like this, and thousands of advocates interacted with us on social media. You shared your stories about the importance of federal job-training programs and how you have been impacted by the mission of Goodwill. You joined us in Washington, DC to meet with Congress, and you amplified our efforts via our Virtual Advocacy Day. You make a difference.
By weighing in on issues that matter, legislation has been introduced to provide back-pay to federal contractors (including Goodwill employees) who were impacted by the government shutdown earlier this year; to repeal an unfair tax on nonprofits, which hampers their ability to fulfill their missions; to incentivize charitable giving by making the charitable tax deduction available to everyone; to increase investments in workforce development and job training programs; and much more.
Our advocates have also helped us identify members of Congress who have witnessed the Goodwill mission in action and introduced favorable legislation that align with our public policy agenda. We began to formally recognize these federal lawmakers via the GII Policymaker Leader Awards. Since its inception in 2010, there have been 67 lawmakers who have been recognized with this award.
Despite this great level of support, there is still more work to be done. There are a number of policy issues that remain areas of concern for the Goodwill network and the individuals and families they serve. Our services continue to be of great importance to communities, and your support has never mattered more. Thank you.