Public Policy and Advocacy

To be a focused leader and effective partner, we prioritize our policy issues into three categories:

United Way as an advocate

Dedicate significant time and energy to proactively lead and bring visibility to critical health equity policies
  1. Promote city, county and, state policies to help address the social determinants of health, including greater access to healthy food, safe housing stability, affordable health care, and financial stability. This includes advocating for policies and strengthening funding streams for basic needs to assist children, seniors, and working adults, such as Ohio Biennial Budget safety net funding.
  2. Proactively support development and implementation of action plans to support City of Cleveland’s declaration of Racism as a Public Health Crisis and advocate for passage of statewide declaration.
  3. Support the Accountable Health Communities policy platform to improve coordination between health and human service providers and systems to better provide holistic care and improve health outcomes in our community.
  4. Seek government resources to maintain and expand United Way 211’s ability to provide this safety net service to people in need and explore opportunities to expand its role to support state and local governments’ public health and emergency preparedness goals.

United Way as a convener

Engage with nonprofit partners to collaborate and collectively advocate on common policy priorities
  1. Healthy food access with Greater Cleveland Foodbank and Hunger Network
  2. Eviction and homelessness prevention with Right to Counsel – Cleveland and Seimer Institute stakeholders
  3. Childhood lead poisoning prevention with the Cleveland Lead Safe Coalition
  4. Effective Medicaid program with the Center for Community Solutions and Ohio Medicaid Coalition
  5. Expand trauma-informed addiction and mental health care with Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition
  6. Partner with social justice organizations to inform our community of police reform measures in the City of Cleveland and State of Ohio

United Way as a supporter

Monitor and lend our support on issues that align with our policy priorities by signing joint letters, communicating with public officials, and/or our advocacy network
  1. Access to utility assistance
  2. Access to public transit
  3. Eliminate digital divide
  4. Bail reform to create a system based in fairness and equity
  5. Cuyahoga County Workforce Connect to provide vulnerable populations with training to access in-demand jobs in manufacturing, IT and health care sectors
  6. United Way Worldwide federal policy priorities with Congressional delegation
  7. Get Out the Vote and oppose voter suppression
  8. Other health/poverty-related advocacy opportunities

Interested in Learning More?

Read our 2021-22 Anti-Poverty Agenda 

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