United Way’s Advocacy Roles and Initiatives

At United Way, when we say “advocate,” we mean… lend us your voice to influence policy and help uplift the services that are indeed working and changing lives. We do this through writing letters, sending emails, hosting meetings with elected officials and sharing what issues matter to our partners and those we help serve. Our golden rule is: Politics do not equal policy. Our advocacy work is nonpartisan and issue-focused.

2019-20 Public Policy & Advocacy Objectives

Our public policy goals are to play leadership, support and partnership roles in the following initiatives:

Volunteer & Donor Education

United Way strives to offer ongoing informational sessions for health and human service advocates, which include our Affinity Group members, volunteers and various donors. To ensure transparency on our public policy work, United Way shares up-to-date information with our policy advocates, via a monthly emailed public policy and advocacy newsletter.

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United Way 2-1-1:

United Way of Greater Toledo seeks to leverage local, county, and when applicable, statewide support to strengthen 2-1-1 services in Lucas, Wood and Ottawa County. We continuously leverage 2-1-1 as a support system for our emergency management entities and local 9-1-1 services. Additionally, we actively advocate for 2-1-1 services to help eliminate duplicative informational systems and improve local digital infrastructure and connectivity to health and human services.

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Schools as Community Hubs

United Way of Greater Toledo continuously advocates strengthening services around our Schools as Community Hubs strategy by engaging local, state and federal elected officials in facility tours. When applicable, we also advocate for this strategy through letter writing and email campaigns to elected officials. Additionally, we monitor legislation and policies in relation to the Schools as Community Hubs national model.

Pre-Kindergarten Education for All

As a means of strengthening local educational services in our community, United Way of Greater Toledo will advocate for quality pre-kindergarten education for all Toledo children.

Responding to Local Issues

United Way of Greater Toledo actively monitors and responds to community requests on issues aligned with our mission. We participate in grassroots advocacy efforts, engage in conversations with elected officials and provide relevant, actionable information to our advocacy network.

2020 Census

United Way of Greater Toledo engages in ongoing conversations with government entities and local institutions to ensure every citizen in Lucas, Wood and Ottawa County has the opportunity to participate in the upcoming 2020 Census.

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United Way Worldwide / Ohio United Way Platform

United Way of Greater Toledo will offer ongoing support to our state-wide and national United Way systems on topics such as Charitable Tax, SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program), healthcare, and other topics, when applicable.

United Way of Greater Toledo, Collaborative Impact Model

As United Way of Greater Toledo moves to a collaborative partnership model with our funded programs, staff will support and help advocate for the policies imperative to the health, education, financial stability and basic needs to ensure the collaboratives’ success.

Race, Equity & Inclusion

United Way of Greater Toledo supports Toledo City Council’s proposed “Pay Equity Act,” which would create legal repercussions for employers who inquire about previous salary rates to job applicants. This specifically protects women and minority women, who have been historically underpaid in comparison to their male counterparts.