Thanks in large part to your support and engagement in our calls to action, 2013 was an unbelievable year of advocacy for the policies and programs that strengthen families and communities across the country.
Despite the intense political gridlock and budgetary challenges of 2013, we had a successful year influencing legislation related to education, income and health issues, raising public awareness about causes, supporting administrative policy change, and fighting on behalf of vulnerable children and families.
As we reflect on 2013, we thank you for all that you did to raise your voice for issues that are critical to our nation’s growth. With your help, we look forward to continued success in 2014.
- Generated An Unprecedented Number of Letters to Capitol Hill: United Way drove grassroots calls to action on key issues, such as early childhood, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the budget, generating more than 4,000 letters from individual advocates to Capitol Hill. Thanks to all who participated in our calls to action!
- United Way CEO Week Hill Day: 80 local United Way CEOs visited congressional offices to influence social and tax policy issues. Overall, United Way leaders collectively engaged in about 400 meetings on Capitol Hill this year.
- Charitable Deduction Hearing: 14 United Way CEOs testified as witnesses before the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee in defense of the charitable deduction and delivered United Way’s charitable giving letter with 400 United Way CEO signatures at Hill meetings.
- Urged Congress to End the Government Shutdown: 50 United Way CEOs and staff went to Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress in the midst of the government shut down – urging congressional members and the President to come together and resolve our nation’s fiscal crises. Their call to action garnered significant media coverage, including a lead story in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
- Hosted Campaign to Invest in Children: United Way launched a Valentine’s Day advocacy campaign in support of investments for children that generated 2,100 Valentine’s e-cards sent to members of Congress about the need for policymakers to fund programs benefiting children and youth.
- Cultivated Business Champions as Early Childhood Advocates: Helped coordinate an effort for business leaders to sign onto a letter to Congress in support of early childhood education. Local United Ways helped to secure the 350 business leader signatures. The letter played a critical role in shaping the debate about our nation’s early childhood development policies.
- Advocated for the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act: In partnership with national children’s organizations, we sent a letter to Congress advocating for the reauthorization of the nation’s major education bill, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The letter was featured in major education publications Education Week and Education Daily. We also secured over 700 signatures on an online petition calling on members of Congress to pass the bill.
- Led First-Ever United Way Education Action Week: Coordinated a week-long campaign, United Way Education Action Week, in late August to rally congressional and public support for education nationwide. The back-to-school campaign resulted in 30 local education advocacy events across the country, over 330 signatures on a petition to Congress, a successful Twitter rally, 30 opeds and blogs, and more than 15 local news stories.
- Strengthened the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Program: Organized multi-pronged advocacy effort to build support for the EITC refundable credits in tax reform, which included nearly 1,000 emails from individual advocates calling on their Members of Congress to support working families in tax reform by protecting the EITC and generated written comments to House Ways and Means tax reform working groups on the refundable credits.
- Full Funding for Medicaid: Through advocacy and in partnership with hospitals, providers, and other advocates, pushed several states to accept full funding for Medicaid for low-income children and families. Now over half of the states, red and blue, have accepted full funding for Medicaid.