Each Congressional session, United Way Worldwide releases a set of federal policy priorities to guide our public policy and advocacy efforts. These priorities are informed by the work of local United Ways around the country, and shaped by conversations with the United Way Network about the key public policy issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the communities we serve. They are rooted in the fundamental principles that continue to be at the core of the work we do: advancing racial and economic equity and opportunity, fostering cross-sector collaboration and problem-solving, promoting civic engagement and democracy, and growing our potential for impact.
For the 118th Congress, our priorities fall into four primary categories:
• Health and nutrition
• Education and childcare
• Economic mobility and workforce development
• Community resilience and sustainability
Within each category is a summarized list of specific issues we will champion, including protecting and strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a key part of the Farm Bill; support for the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and Community Schools; housing access and equity issues; nonprofit sector tax relief; increasing childcare support; equitable climate resource access; disaster prevention and response resources; support for the Human-services Emergency Logistic Program (HELP) Act, which provides capacity-building funding for 211 and 988; and more.
Network input is and will continue to be an essential part of our policy and advocacy work, and that is reflected heavily in these policy priorities, which were developed using information gathered through listening sessions with more than 150 local United Ways, conversations with the Council of States and the National Advisory Council, and input from hundreds of United Ways through the Community Impact Survey.
These priorities also provide a blueprint for policy work at the national, state, and local levels, and can be utilized by local United Ways to:
• Set policy and advocacy goals
• Engage with elected officials and Administration officials
• Create a state/local policy agenda
• Collaborate with community and corporate partners on shared advocacy campaigns
• Develop broader strategic policy initiatives and tools for use at the state/local level
• Expand community impact work in resource development, campaign, and marketing efforts
As we expand our work with both the Legislative and Executive Branches, these priorities will serve as a guide for our engagement with the Federal Government and capture the ways we will pursue our mission in the policy arena of improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities to advance the common good.
Download United Way Worldwide's public policy priorities here.