Public Policy and Advocacy Blogs
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United Way’s COVID-19 Advocacy Response
United Way Worldwide has been advocating for comprehensive support for the nonprofit sector and the communities across the U.S. in federal coronavirus relief legislation. Thousands of United Way advocates raised their voices through e-mails, calls, and tweets at the end of March in support of nonprofits on the frontlines of the pandemic and children, workers, and families. Congress listened!
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act each included major wins for United Way’s priorities. This legislation supports millions of families and communities through nutrition supports, paid sick leave, health care coverage for necessary COVID-19 testing, expanded unemployment benefits, increased funding for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, relief to small businesses, incentives to encourage charitable giving to local solutions, and much more. Read our blog for more details.
But the fight is not finished.
United Way Worldwide and individuals across the country are continuing to advocate to shore up programs-- like 211, increased Medicaid funding for states, an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, increased monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and much more -- that enable access to services and build financial stability.
460 United Way CEOs from all 50 states and the District of Columbia sent a letter to Congress urging them to prioritize investments in policies and community supports that help unemployed workers manage financially, provide a safety net for our most vulnerable populations, ease the financial burden of employers, and help families unable to maintain proper childcare as schools shut down. Read the letter here.
Affordable Housing in Rhode Island
In 2012, United Way of Rhode Island stepped up its work to support better and more affordable housing. United Way and community organizations led grass roots and government-level activism to successfully pass a bond that provides $25 million in affordable housing improvements for the people of Rhode Island.
Improving Reading and Writing in Colombia
Dividendo por Colombia (United Way Colombia) partnered with local secretaries of education in 23 municipalities, local organizations and education experts to develop a reading and writing program, first implemented in 2004. Today, the program benefits 96,100 students and 2,404 teachers in 192 educational institutions.
Pre-K for Low-Income Families in Indiana
United Way joined with community organizations to secure over $435,000 for early learning providers in Indiana, adding 586 new seats for low-income four year olds in the state’s “on My Way Pre-K” program.
Tackling Poverty in Canada
Almost 120,000 Calgarians live in poverty in Calgary, struggling to meet their basic needs let alone save for the future. The City of Calgary has played a major leadership role in co-sponsoring with United Way the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative (CPRI). Following significant community consultation, a strategy was developed and adopted by both organizations on May 27, 2013.
An Innovative Approach to Early Education in Utah
United Way joined with community organizations in 2014 to pass a state bill to fund preschool for low-income students through private investments, adding 750 new seats for four year olds in public and private programs. The law paved the way for a “pay for success” model for early education – the first of its kind – in which private investors make a loan to proven programs, and the state pays them back only after the program demonstrates positive results.