Public Policy: Become an Advocate

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Accomplishing Goodwill Industries of Northern New England’s mission of enabling all people to achieve personal stability and community engagement requires engagement with public policy on local, state, and federal levels.

GoodwillNNE works collaboratively with decision-makers to offer a clear voice on behalf of those we serve.

The GoodwillNNE Public Policy Team and Committee play an important role in communicating with policy leaders but to achieve true community engagement, we need to hear from you.  We want to hear your ideas, your stories, and your concerns.

We also hope you will take the time to reach out to your representatives (click on the state and federal links below to find out how!) and share your thoughts with them.

When we work together, our voice becomes stronger.

Public Policy Team

Rich Cantz, Vice President, Strategic Development and Public Policy
Anne Nadzo, Public Policy Coordinator

Follow all of our Public Policy Updates.

Please contact Rich or Anne (207.774.6323) to share an idea, a concern or learn how you can get involved.

Public Policy Committee

The Public Policy Committee engages policy leaders in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont by providing objective information on relevant issues and educating them on GoodwillNNE’s mission.  The Committee also ensures that policy issues and concerns are regularly brought to the attention of GoodwillNNE’s organizational leadership.   The members of the Committee represent a diverse background in local and state policy from all 3 states. Members of the Public Policy Committee are:

Jane Amero, Maine
Kate Brayton, Vermont
Chris Goucher, Maine
Edgar J. Helms, Jr. New Hampshire
Steven Hurd, Maine
Charlie Kennedy, Maine
James MacKay, New Hampshire
Ed McKersie, Maine
Peter Mills, Maine

Local

Part of GoodwillNNE’s mission is that every person should have the opportunity to be fully engaged in their community.  To achieve this, GoodwillNNE is committed to creating safe, vibrant, and welcoming communities in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

GoodwillNNE works with local agencies and organizations to offer holistic supports for our clients.  A strong coalition of social services can more effectively and efficiently support thriving communities and personal and family stability for those living in our communities.

Bayside Neighborhood, Portland, ME

GoodwillNNE headquarters are located in the Bayside neighborhood of Portland, Maine.  This diverse neighborhood is the home for many social service organizations that work in parallel to support neighborhood residents.  To encourage communication and the opportunity to problem solve together, GoodwillNNE hosts a monthly Bayside Providers Lunch for social service providers to come together in a casual atmosphere to discuss common issues and concerns.

If you would like to join the meeting, please contact Anne.

 

State

GoodwillNNE works in partnership with the state to provide many social services.  We work collaboratively with state government officials to develop efficient and effective programs.  We also offer our perspective on issues by testifying at public hearings and submitting letters on issues of importance to GoodwillNNE and our clients. Whenever we can, GoodwillNNE works with other agencies to advocate for a policy.

We hope you will get involved with state issues as well.  Your state representatives may be your neighbor or someone you pass at the grocery store, but they are also your voice at the state capitol.  Take a moment to share your thoughts about an issue you care about with your state legislators.  If you don’t know who they are, you can easily find out:

Below are links to testimony and letters GoodwillNNE has submitted to the Maine State Legislature.

Testimony

On February 5, 2013 Goodwill testified before the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services in support of LD29: An Act to Provide Support Services to Adults with Intellectual Disabilities or Autistic Disorders and LD30: An Act to Provide Home and Community Services for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism.  Both bills were incorporated into the 2013-14 Maine State Budget.

 

On April 1, 2013 Goodwill submitted testimony to the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation in opposition to LD562: An Act Related to Service Charges in Lieu of Property Taxes on Tax-exempt Property and LD936: An Act To Authorize Municipalities To Impose Service Charges on Tax-exempt Property Owned by Certain Nonprofit Organizations.  Neither bill was approved but the issue continues to be considered by the legislature.

 

On May 3, 2013 Goodwill submitted testimony to the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development in support of LD1352: An Act To Provide Integrated Community-based Employment and Customized Employment for Persons with Disabilities.  The bill was approved and enacted into law.

Letters

In partnership with The Opportunity Alliance and Preble Street, Goodwill sent a letter of support to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services regarding LD276: To Improve Access to Oral Health Care for MaineCare Recipients

 

Federal

As a member of Goodwill Industries International, GoodwillNNE is mindful of their advocacy efforts.  As an autonomous organization, we monitor and advocate national policies that best meet the needs of the communities we serve in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

A variety of federal policies have an impact the work of GoodwillNNE.  Our workforce development programs are supported through the federal Workforce Investment Act.  The human services we provide are directly impacted by any changes in federal health care laws.  Environmental, tax, and community development policy are just a few other issues that impact GoodwillNNE’s day to day operations.  We ensure our federal delegation is aware of and well-informed on issues of importance.  We also engage them in local initiatives whenever possible.

As a nationally recognized organization, GoodwillNNE understands we also have a responsibility to advocate for individuals who face barriers to opportunity.  We take great pride in our founder’s motto, “Not charity, but a chance” and incorporate that into each policy for which we advocate or develop.

Recently, we have worked closely with our federal delegation on:

  • Elimination of the sub-minimum wage for individuals with disabilities

Since 1996, it has been GoodwillNNE’s policy and practice to always meet or exceed the minimum wage for all our employees (click here to read our board resolution).  We support repealing Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act which allows employers to pay individuals with disabilities less than the minimum wage (click here to read policy brief).

We support and strive for integrated, community employment for all people by supporting national initiatives such as Employment First.  We believe it is the best policy for individuals as well as businesses (click here to learn more).

 

If you would like to share your thoughts about these or other issues with your federal delegation, find out how to contact them here:

Representatives
Senators

 

Goodwill Clients & Families

We want to hear from you. Whether it’s through our lunch and learn education series, public policy task force efforts or parent support groups, we want to learn more about what we can do to remove barriers to independence.

Please contact us to share your thoughts and concerns.