To further its mission and goals outlined in the Impact Agenda, United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties will be a catalyst of systems change through public policy advocacy on targeted issues. We will work collaboratively with many community and network partners to achieve impact through advocacy.
Take actions that seek change, promote social justice, systematically inform decision-making and educate the public and decision-makers about the importance of issues limiting the community’s ability to thrive.
Voices traditionally left out of advocacy efforts are amplified and play a leading role in bringing transformation within and for the community.
HOW WE ADVOCATE
Authentic voices have been left out of the efforts to bring about change in our community. Key to understanding the needs/gaps is the genuine engagement of people with lived experience.
Our advocacy efforts are informed by our work in the community and the Michigan ALICE Report, which shows us that nearly 35 percent of households in Ottawa County and 43 percent in Allegan County do not earn enough to cover the cost of a basic household budget.
Our agenda focuses on policies that remove systemic barriers to financial stability, education, and health. Data shows Black, Hispanic and other non-white Michigan households are more likely to live below the ALICE survivability threshold. We advocate for policies that address the realities of racial inequality in our region.
2022 POLICY PRIORITIES
- Strengthen the State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) so ALICE families can keep working and put money back into the local economy.
- Remove the childcare barrier for ALICE, ensuring access through increased childcare provider payments and affordability by raising the subsidy cap to include ALICE families.
- Support safe and affordable housing options.
- Give ALICE an effective, non-bureaucratic connection to faith-based, nonprofit, and public resources before their needs become costly emergencies by supporting CALL 211.
- Feature efforts across the county to promote healthy environments for all youth.
CLICK ON THE LINK FOR YOUR COUNTY FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHAT YOU CAN DO TO ADVOCATE FOR THE EITC.