You can speak up about these issues by contacting your legislators or help spread the word on social media about the importance of advancing Education, Income, and Health. United Way engages in public policy advocacy because we recognize that it is our civic obligation to use our experience and knowledge to help inform policymakers' decisions regarding policy and funding of government human services programs. 


United Ways of the Pacific Northwest (UWPNW) is the regional trade association for 39 local United Ways in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.  United Ways in Washington State are committed to improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities to advance the common good in the areas of education, income, and health.  United Ways of the Pacific Northwest and local United Ways believe that to keep our communities strong, we need to prioritize services to help vulnerable populations, notably children and seniors. 

The following is the 2016 Legislative Agenda:

211 in Washington and Oregon:

Vulnerable people need an easy, non-bureaucratic mechanism to connect with faith-based, nonprofit and public resources to address basic needs before they become costly emergencies. The 2-1-1 website and hotline connect people with a comprehensive database of available health and human services needed during difficult times.

  • Preserve & enhance 211 funding

Financial Stability:

Strategies designed to protect and grow living wage jobs, establish savings and provide training & education for career advancement along with earned income and childcare tax credits will build on the Pacific Northwest's traditional economic strengths.

  • Support policies and programs that provide low-income people access to affordable financial products
  • Expand Tax Credits for working families by funding a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit match

Housing, Food & Basic Needs:

Access to safe and affordable housing connected to other services such as transit and child care will expand access to jobs and education for working families. An increased supply of affordable housing with state investment, incentives to encourage private development and streamlining the permitting process are necessary to achieve this.

  • Restore Housing Trust Fund & HEN to pre-recession levels
  • Increase access of children and families to a safe, secure and affordable food supply
  • Ensure that all Northwesterners have access to a safe roof over their head, every single night

Early Learning:

When our children lack access to high-quality, affordable care and education before they go to kindergarten, they can fall behind, and some children who fall behind early never catch up. Early investment can help prevent future burden on the education system and other social service systems.

  • Establish a comprehensive definition of basic education that includes the early years
  • Preserve, enhance and implement the early start act
  • Expand availability of ECEAP slots 


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