Obviously, 2020 has been a year like no other. As a nation, we have had to manage through a pandemic, impact caused by natural disasters and climate change, and racial injustices. Our services continue to be of great importance to communities, and your support has never mattered more.
Inside the Capital Beltway, there has been a lot of focus in recent days on the year ahead, and understandably so. Newly elected members of the House are in town for orientation, President-elect Biden announced members of his transition team, and attention is being placed on the January 5 election in Georgia that will decide the control of the Senate. However, there is still work to be done this year.
At the time of this writing, the results of the elections have not been finalized. While the specific impact the elections will have for the interests of Goodwill®, the people we serve, and the charitable sector as whole is unknown, we can say that there will be an abundance of opportunity to forge new relationships, leverage our expertise and successes in the workforce development arena, and bridge the divide in our country.
I was able to cast my vote last week, as Virginia is one of the 42 states along with the District of Columbia that offers in-person early voting. My polling place was fresh out of “I Voted Early” stickers, so I took a “Future Voter” sticker instead. Probably meant for children, technically I’m a “Future Voter” as well since I’ll surely be voting again in another election.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual opportunity to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. This year's theme — "Increasing Access and Opportunity" — is especially important as the nation’s economy begins to recover from a global pandemic, which caused unique challenges for people with disabilities.
Congress has a number of pressing issues before them. One issue that appears to have overwhelming agreement from both sides of the aisle and the Administration is that additional COVID-19 relief is needed. Yet, how much relief and when to provide it continue to be sticking points in negotiations — which appear to be at a standstill.
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is excited once again be part of a national effort to strengthen our democracy by promoting National Voter Registration Day on September 22. As a nonpartisan holiday celebrated by a diverse coalition of organizations and individuals across sectors and across the country, National Voter Registration Day is the perfect opportunity to get involved.
There’s a “pool committee” in my community comprised of a group of volunteers who conduct rigorous cleanings of the pool and patio furniture so residents can enjoy it over the summer. The chair of the committee makes a loud declaration whenever new people enter the gates and reminds them of the pool rules regarding limited capacity, etc. He begins every announcement by stating, “There’s still a pandemic going on.” As Congress continues to engage in partisan politics, they could benefit from this reminder.
For many students, this back-to-school season brings with it a host of new and unprecedented challenges to achieving educational goals. Across the country, local Goodwill organizations have partnered with community colleges to support low-income and non-traditional students in accessing and completing programs that lead to in-demand credentials.
At the time of this writing, the Republican National Convention (RNC) is wrapping up. The RNC came on the heels of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), which convened last week. Thomas Jefferson once wrote that a well-informed electorate is a prerequisite to democracy, and we encourage you to read through the priorities and platforms that were unveiled during the conventions.
The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote. Just over 55 years ago, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. I've always enjoyed the process of voting, reflecting on the sacrifices people have made so I can exercise my right, chatting with neighbors from my community, thanking poll workers and campaign staff, and of course receiving my "I voted" sticker.