“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The United Way Worldwide Public Policy team invited United Way staff from across the country to gather in Washington, DC for a day-long advocacy training and Capitol Hill Day.
A key highlight of the policy training included a panel and discussion on how to respond to budget cuts in state and local communities. The training included sessions on how to build relationships with policymakers, engage business leaders in advocacy efforts and use online tools to recruit, educate and mobilize advocates.
The following day, nearly 50 United Way staffers flocked to the U.S. Capitol for meetings with their congressional representatives advocating for our priorities in the areas of Education, Income and Health. In particular, United Way staffers urged congressional leaders to support funding for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), which provides supplemental funding for charitable food, utility and housing assistance programs across the U.S. They also pushed for the preservation of the Charitable Deduction, which provides an incentive for people to give money away to benefit others and ensures that families and individuals receive critical services provided by charities.
As our nation continues to face daunting challenges, United Way, as the nation’s largest privately funded charity and the largest non-government funder of human services, stands ready to advocate for policies and programs that provide assistance to millions of Americans to help see them through the current economic crisis.