Advocate

SINCE 1913, UNITED WAY OF GREATER CLEVELAND DONORS HAVE PROVIDED MORE THAN $2 BILLION TO HELP PEOPLE IN NEED.

We’ve made progress, but the hard fact is poverty in our community has not changed enough. The root causes of poverty are deeply interconnected and complex; for example, people who can’t read, can’t find jobs. As a result, they may lose their homes, so their children miss school and fall behind – trapping the next generation in the toxic cycle of poverty.

It takes a community to create lasting, generational change. And that’s what United Way’s mission is all about: Harnessing the power of our community– people, nonprofits, academia, business and government – to work together to right poverty and bigotry, deliver smart solutions and create lasting change. More than fundraisers, we’re working to bring changemakers together to break the cycle of poverty.

PUBLIC POLICY ENGAGEMENT

Advocacy goes beyond volunteering and giving to drive long-term policy changes. We engage in public policy because we recognize that our experience, knowledge, partnerships and influence can help inform policymakers’ decisions regarding the policies that impact our community. We provide a unique, nonpartisan platform to take meaningful action that makes a difference.

WE ACHIEVE RESULTS BY:

• Partnering with local, state and federal governments to address community needs.
• Educating and mobilizing people in our community.
• Engaging community partners in policy and funding opportunities.
• Partnering with stakeholders to encourage diversity and inclusion in Greater Cleveland.

TO BE A FOCUSED LEADER AND EFFECTIVE PARTNER, WE
PRIORITIZE OUR POLICY ISSUES INTO THREE CATEGORIES:

LEADERSHIP ROLE

Dedicate significant time and energy to critical issues. Proactively bring visibility and a voice by convening stakeholders, lobbying, supporting research, drafting policies, providing testimony and mobilizing grassroots advocacy.

211 HELPLINK

Seek local, county and state public support to strengthen 211 services in our service area.

RACE, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Convene community stakeholders to create solutions to address systemic disparities in our community by developing a race, equity and inclusion taskforce to address bigotry and racism and be intentional in the development of practical training. Partner on statewide efforts to modify
Ohio’s anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation, general identity and gender expression as protected classes.

COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE ON POVERTY

Convene a group of local public policy and government relations professionals to collaborate on poverty-related advocacy by building collective knowledge, enhancing professional learning, strengthening networks and implementing communication strategies.

SUPPORT ROLE

Monitor and respond to requests for support on issues aligned with our mission, such as signing joint letters, communicating with public officials and our advocacy network.

• Support United Way Worldwide federal policy priorities that align with our community needs.
• Seek additional state budget funding for the Ohio Housing Trust Fund and Community Development Block Grant program to address growing food insecurity for seniors and housing instability.
• Support and promote the passage of the Cuyahoga County and Medina
County Health and Human Services levy.
• Support Get Out the Vote initiatives.

PARTNERSHIP ROLE

Serve as a coalition partner with other thought leaders. We will dedicate significant time and energy by advocating, supporting visibility and generating grassroots engagement.

REDUCE CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING

Proactively engage with the City of Cleveland’s public-private partnership to create effective solutions to this complex, public health crisis with a housing solution.

EARLY CHILD CARE AND EDUCATION

• Collaborate with statewide advocates in support of Governor DeWine’s Children’s Initiative to help more families access child care.
• Expand professional development systems and incentives to assist child care providers to achieve/maintain/improve their Ohio Step Up to Quality ratings by 2025.
• Maintain the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and 3rd grade reading guarantee to ensure consistent measurement of school success investments.

FINANCIAL STABILITY

• Support Cuyahoga County’s Workforce Connect to create focused career pathways that lead to career advancement and a sustainable wage, while addressing the skills gap for in-demand jobs in manufacturing, healthcare and IT.
• Get help to those that need it most; minimize the benefit cliff effect to avoid being worse off when benefits are reduced with a modest increase in household income, and direct unspent TANF dollars to families living in deep poverty.

HEALTH

Partner with the Center for Community Solutions to support an effective Medicaid program; oppose eligibility reductions, increase focus on children with expanded access to trauma-informed behavioral health services in schools, and participation in Medicare premium assistance programs.

2020 U.S. CENSUS

Partner with civic and community leadership to promote a fair and accurate count to ensure our community isn’t shortchanged on the $21 billion of federal funding Ohio receives.