Building support for our participants at the state Capitol

A note from the President.

What makes fighter jets fly?

In the 1983 movie “The Right Stuff,” about test pilots and the early days of the U.S. space program, a man from the government asks a group of test pilots that question: “What makes your jets fly?”

The test pilots start talking aerodynamics, but he interrupts.

“Funding.” he tells them. “No bucks, no Buck Rogers” became one of the movie’s themes. Whoever got the funding would then have the resources needed to succeed.

Deanna Smiley Gulliford

It’s a story that helps explain why we work so hard at the state capitol every year. Here at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, we have many great programs and a lot of smart, hard-working people. But without financial support, even the best program will struggle to succeed. We work to secure funding from government sources because it’s another important way to help our programs survive and thrive – another way to ensure we have the resources we need to reach and support as many participants as possible.

Deanna Smiley Gulliford is Goodwill-Easter Seals Director of Public Affairs. Much of her work this time of year is planning for Minnesota’s 2016 session of the state legislature, which begins in March. Last year her efforts helped us engage a total of 110 elected officials and members of the administration in direct conversations about Goodwill-Easter Seals and our public policy priorities.

But not only does her work help us to connect with policymakers in our state government, it also does a great job of giving our participants a chance to take part in government and the process of advocacy. In fact, we were able to involve 189 of our participants in advocacy activities last year, including 46 visits with legislators during events at the state capitol.

Thank you for helping us prepare people for work, and for supporting our efforts at the state Capitol.

Read our 3-part series on Why we advocate:

part I: Goodwill-Easter Seals’ efforts at the state Capitol.

part II: How we Involve our participants in the advocacy process.

part III: Our 2016 advocacy objectives.

Learn more/get involved:

Sign up for our 2016 Second chance Day on the Hill on March 15

Read about a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) that will help us provide job training for Minnesotans with mental illnesses.

Read more stories about Goodwill-Easter Seals Advocacy efforts

Follow Goodwill-Easter Seals Public Policy news and events