Why we advocate, part II: Getting our participants involved in advocacy

Find out more about our “Days on the Hill” and giving our participants the chance to have their voices heard

In 2015 our advocacy efforts efforts helped us get 189 of our program participants involved in advocacy activities.

On a chilly day in late January we took our Director of Public Affairs, Deanna Smiley Gulliford, to the state Capitol (still under construction) and asked her why it was important to involve our participants in the advocacy process. Watch her explain in the video, and read her remarks below.

One of the most amazing parts of this work is actually taking program participants to the state Capitol to meet with their legislators. We participate in several “Days on the Hill” events and have found time and again that there is significant impact on both the individual and the elected official in the telling and hearing of personal stories.

Often, a program participant will express amazement that their voice matters and that it is actually heard. Not only does this empower program participants, but it also provides policy makers with the valuable resource of first-hand information for making informed policy and budget decisions.

So whether we are hosting a town hall forum at one of our locations, having a staff person testify at a committee hearing, or listening to a program participant tell a personal story to a legislator – we know that there is power in our presence and in our participation. It’s the power to influence better decisions and to get more people working.

Read the rest of our 3-part series on Why we advocate:

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

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