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Business For Good San Diego

Introducing the New BFG Advocacy Committee

Business For Good is a different kind of business owners group, where we drive public policy with impact. Since our start in 2017, BFG has helped lead San Diego County in shaping local policy that works for everyone, not just a few. 

Now, BFG is streamlining the way we advocate for policy change here in our region. Introducing our new BFG Advocacy Committee—our central hub for driving policy that makes a lasting difference in San Diego County.

The history of our policy work 

What issues keep you up at night as a San Diego business owner? What regional challenges must be addressed so that your business, families, and communities in San Diego can thrive long-term?

The answers we got to these questions were the impetus that created our original four BFG policy action areas:

  • Environmental health 
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Immigration 
  • Equitable business resources  

It was decided. Business For Good formed the above 4 policy committees to focus on driving sustainable, equitable policy in the areas local business owners told us would help improve San Diego the most. 

BFG members could join one (or more) of the committees that resonated with them. Each committee had a Chair, held its own monthly meeting, and worked in a number of ways to get important local legislation passed. 

Why the Advocacy Committee

The BFG policy committees and advocacy work flourished. Then: COVID-19 hit. 

Our business-owner members spent the following several years in crisis mode. Their time and energy understandably shifted from BFG policy work to simply keeping their doors open, attending to family needs, and staying healthy.  

Although BFG continued to grow its membership base 20% each year during the pandemic, the momentum of policy work at Business For Good slowed dramatically. 

The new Advocacy Committee is an easy way to pick up where we left off with our robust policy work.

Instead of having four separate committees focused on specific areas, we’ve combined them all into one powerful committee that will decide which regional policies we want to put our energy behind.  

How the Advocacy Committee works

Mikey Knab, BFG co-founder and Board Chair, will initially lead our new Advocacy Committee.

In addition to his strong knowledge of public policy, Mikey has years of expertise in coalition building, advocacy training, and public engagement with all levels of government. 

His longstanding relationships with key public sector organizations and government officials has helped define BFG as a local leader in policy work. 

Here is how the Advocacy Committee will operate: 

  • Meets monthly on the 1st Thursday from 5:00-6:00pm on Zoom (to best accommodate all BFG members, regardless of location)
  • Our former BFG policy committee chairs will now serve as the Lead Advocates for their respective area of focus on the Advocacy Committee:
    • Environmental Health—Cindy Lin
    • Housing & Homelessness—Alexis Piotrowski
    • Immigration—Juan Pablo Sanchez
    • Note: Business Resources will be housed with our internal Member Engagement Committee to focus on best supporting the needs of our BFG members in growing and maintaining their purpose-driven brands. More details on that coming soon!)
  • Lead Advocates will give short updates and calls to action for their respective policy action area in every meeting
  • Monthly Advocacy meetings will feature a rotating, educational deep-dive of a single policy area so that members can understand the history and impact of advocacy efforts in each area:
    • Environmental Health—July, October, January
    • Housing & Homelessness—September, December, March
    • Immigration—August, November, February

Actions and outcomes to expect when joining the Advocacy Committee

Advocacy is at the heart of the work we do at Business For Good. That said, we recognize that most of our members are business owners and local professionals—not policy experts. 

It’s on us to offer clear, digestible guidance to BFG members on how to become an advocate, understand the complexities of public policy, and know what actions to take. Plus, we need to show how advocacy can be fun (we promise it really can be!). 

The Advocacy Committee is designed to do exactly that. In addition to our monthly meetings, Mikey and the Lead Advocates will provide opportunities for hands-on, informative outings such as: 

  • Giving public comment as a group at a City Council meeting or County Board of Supervisors meeting, followed by a debrief over food and drinks 
  • A lobbying visit with an elected(s) office 
  • An introductory tour of elected bodies (a City Council or County Board of Supervisors)
  • Workshops/presentations at BFG coalition partners’ offices on advocacy topics like power mapping, community organizing, mobilization, effective messaging, and more 
  • Holding press conferences to uplift particular policy needs
  • Engaging with local media to shift the narrative of “the voice of business” in our region

As a result, BFG members who join the Advocacy Committee can expect to: 

  • Be involved in BFG advocacy efforts as little or as much as they’d like
  • Develop basic advocacy skills
  • Understand how most local initiatives get passed into law, and the role they can play in that process
  • Feel confident in approaching local policy work
  • Understand the connection between public policy and successful business ownership in San Diego County
  • Learn why business owners are the single most effective vehicle of policy change
  • Gain an understanding of the landscape of decision makers—both elected and appointed—in our region

With 2024 being an election year, there is no better time for BFG members to join the Advocacy Committee. Join us to be a part of an evolving, rejuvenated movement of policy action that allows everyone in our region the opportunity to thrive. 

Register now for our monthly BFG Advocacy Committee meetings through the rest of 2024!  


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