On Thursday, April 19, more than 100 representatives from local Goodwill® organizations across the United States — including executives, board members, program participants, and other advocates — met with Members of Congress and staff for Goodwill’s annual Advocacy Day. Advocates discussed three key topics including: protecting federal funding for job-training and workforce development programs; expanding the charitable giving deduction to all taxpayers; and opportunities for Goodwills involved in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training program.
A Virtual Advocacy Day was also held to allow those who couldn’t join us on Capitol Hill in person, to help amplify our message. There were over 200 unique tweets using #GoodwillOnHill and more than 300 letters sent to lawmakers via the GII Legislative Action Center. View the infographics shared demonstrating Goodwill’s impact on Twitter @GoodwillCapHill.
Prior to hitting the Hill, advocates attended a breakfast rally where nine members of Congress were named GII Policymaker Leaders, along with Deanna Gulliford the director of public affairs at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota (GESMN) (St. Paul), who received the GII Advocacy Leader Award. The recipients were selected for their work and support toward advancing Goodwill’s mission.
The six U.S. Senators and three members of the House of Representatives joining the list of 46 Goodwill champions who have received the award since 2010, include:
- Senator Michael Bennett (D-Colo) for his widespread efforts on job placement and training for people with challenges to finding employment
- Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) for her efforts to fight the opioid epidemic in her home state
- Representative Andre Carson (D-Ind.) for his commitment to the AbilityOne program and providing employment to people with disadvantaging conditions
- Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) for his support of Goodwill’s various mission-related programs
- Senator Angus King (I-Maine) for his thoughtful approach to lawmaking
- Senator Joseph Manchin (D-W.Va.) for his commitment to advocating for veterans, senior citizens and those struggling with addiction in his home state
- Senator Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) for his service toward education and workforce development
- Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) for his longstanding advocacy to help support families with lower and middle incomes, veterans with disabilities and natives of his home state
- Representative Glenn Thompson (R-Penn.) for acting as a champion for people with disabilities
The annual advocacy event provides a great opportunity for the Goodwill network to come together with one voice to educate lawmakers and staff about Goodwill, equipping them with the information they need to make informed decisions when drafting legislation, and influencing their votes on policies that affect Goodwill and the people and communities they serve.