Last month President and CEO of Goodwill of Greater Nebraska (Grand Island, NE) Tammy Slater testified before a Congressional subcommittee on the geography of poverty. Her testimony highlighted both the barriers faced by rural communities and the challenges of identifying solutions for rural poverty.
This week I had the opportunity to work with Tammy Slater, CEO of Goodwill of Greater Nebraska (Grand Island, NE), as she testified before a Congressional subcommittee. Slater joined one other service provider and two researchers at a hearing on the geography of poverty. They provided committee members and the public with insights into the common themes and varying solutions to addressing poverty in urban, suburban and rural areas of the country.
On Tuesday, President Obama put forth his final budget, for FY 2017, in which he proposed increases in several workforce programs. Overall, the budget tops the four trillion dollar mark at $4.15 trillion, higher than his last budget but most of the increase is allocated toward Social Security and Medicare.
This week’s Iowa Caucus and the upcoming New Hampshire primary on February 9 bookend the biggest sports spectacle in history - the NFL Super Bowl. On February 7, 190 million people are expected to watch this year’s game. Even people who don’t like football, or sports in general, usually find themselves drawn to the phenomenon that is pro football’s showcase event.
President Obama delivered his final State of the Union (SOTU) address this week and as expected, he did not put forth an aggressive policy agenda for his last year of office. However, the President did touch upon a number of specific areas of interest to Goodwill® and the people we serve.
For policy wonks like me, 2016 is off to an exciting start. Congress wrapped up 2015 without shutting down the government, a threat of falling off a “fiscal cliff” is no longer looming, and there is a new speaker of the House. Of course this year there is a presidential election and a number of lawmakers have announced their retirements at the end of this congressional session, providing an opportunity for Goodwill® advocates to make new connections with policymakers.
Last week, as Hollywood celebrated the much-anticipated film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, people in Washington, DC (or as I like to call it, “Hollywood for Geeks”), celebrated the end of the year’s Congressional session with the passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill along with a tax extenders bill. Having just purchased my tickets for The Force Awakens, the DC geek in me can’t help but feel as though the credits are rolling on the second part of a three-part Congressional trilogy.
Oh no, here we go again…maybe. Congress has once again brought our government to the verge of shutdown, not because there are wide differences over the spending levels, but rather over a host of unrelated policy issues best handled as stand-alone legislation than attached to annual spending bills.
With the 2016 presidential election dominating national media coverage, it was almost easy to forget that there was an election this week. The polls had been open for three hours when I received my “I Voted” sticker, and I was voter number 127. I’m not sure how many registered voters are in my precinct, but there are more than 150,000 in my county. An estimated 25 percent came out to cast their vote – the fewest since 2007.