At Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, our advocacy and public policy work is an integral piece of helping the organization fulfill its mission of eliminating barriers to employment and independence, particularly at a systems change level. To that end, we must prioritize our advocacy and policy efforts for the greatest impact. As an organization, we serve such a wide and diverse array of people that nearly all human service and workforce policies have some impact on program participants. We believe that a larger framework is needed to better define our annual priorities and provide focus for limited time and resources. We have identified the following key strategic areas as having the greatest importance for defining our advocacy and policy work. These goal areas will help to shape and define our specific advocacy and policy priorities for the coming years.
Goal #1: Help move individuals and families out of poverty and to economic self-reliance.
Expand career pathways for low-income adults (federal and state)
Fatherhood policy and program funding (federal and state)
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization (federal)
Prosperity for All campaign– reducing barriers to education and training (state)
Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits – Employment & Training (federal and state)
Goal #2: Reduce racial disparities especially as they relate to employment in Minnesota
Voting restoration (state)
Reduce severity of drug-sentencing laws (state)
Target resources to make progress toward racial equity in MN employment rates
Goal #3: Increase access to services and independence for individuals with disabilities.
Increase funding for Extended Employment (state)
Expand access to Individual Placement and Support (IPS) supported employment (state)
Repeal fee increase for MA-EPD (work incentive for people with disabilities) (state)
Increase Medical Assistance income standard for people with disabilities (state)