Placing a Spotlight on Issues through Advocacy:
The Louisiana Association of United Ways (LAUW) fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community across Louisiana. In doing so, we advocate by placing a spotlight on issues affecting the economic vitality of hard-working families, the success of Louisiana’s children, and common challenges in local communities that are bigger than any one region.
Below you will find a list of LAUW’s advocacy priorities:
Education - Helping children and youth achieve their potential
- Increase access to high quality early care and education opportunities, especially for low-income children and their families
Financial Stability - Promoting financial stability and independence
- Strengthen workforce development programs and expand job training and work-based learning
- Protect and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and increase access to the tax credits through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance grant program
- Strengthen SNAP, child nutrition programs, and other nutrition-related income supports
Health - Improving people’s health
- Increase resources for behavioral health services for children and adults
Community Strengthening - Building community capacity to advance the common good
- Provide a voice and identity for ALICE by providing research-based data on the economic vitality of Louisiana households-
used as a tool for policy makers and community planning
- Strengthen, leverage the functionality and increase funding supports of Louisiana 211
- Strengthen programs that prevent human trafficking and support survivors
- Advocate for policies and regulations that support non-profits
- Advocate for policies that support disaster recovery
LAUW takes the lead in representing member United Ways before state policymakers, including the legislative and executive branches. LAUW also supports federal level advocacy coordinated by United Way Worldwide.
LAUW's advocacy focal points are informed by the needs and priorities of our eight member United Ways acting on behalf of their communities - serving 52 parishes throughout our great state. LAUW’s involvement in advocacy is strictly nonpartisan, and we do not endorse candidates for office.
Learn more about our Advocacy Efforts:
LAUW supports measures that increase access to high quality early care and education opportunities, especially for low-income children and their families. LAUW also supports the maintenance of the Child Care Tax Credit (CTC) and the School Readiness Tax Credit.
LAUW is a founding member of the Ready Louisiana Coalition and proudly helped advocate for the $44 million in new state funding for early care and education for Louisiana children.
Ninety percent of brain development happens between birth and age four — that means the very foundation of a child’s capacity to learn, grow and succeed is established before kindergarten. In fact, 60 percent of Louisiana children begin kindergarten behind their peers and children who begin school behind generally remain behind. As you can see, early childhood experiences and learning have a lifelong impact on every human being – yet too many working parents cannot afford to send their children to a quality early care facility.
A lack of affordability presents hard choices for ALICE households, which can lead to risky compromises in the standards of care, health, and learning. According to the ALICE Report for Louisiana, childcare is the largest household expenditure for young families. Two in three parents with young children are in the workforce and unable to access child care due to cost. Early child care and education in our state costs almost as much as public in-state college tuition, making it unaffordable for many families.
Sustainable investments in our youngest learners help to ensure that more children will enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed in life. For each dollar invested to help children gain access to consistent, high quality, and affordable childcare and early learning, our state can save up to $17 over the long-term.
Join the conversation on social media: #ReadyLouisiana #CTC @launitedways
LAUW supports measures that:
Strengthen workforce development programs and expand job training and work-based learning
Protect and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and increase access to the tax credits through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance grant program
EITC is an effective economic tool for ALICE households and other families working hard to make ends meet. According to the ALICE Report for Louisiana, 51 percent of households struggle to make ends meet.
LAUW supports the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. An increase in the state EITC match would partially offset the increased state tax for low-to-moderate income workers.
These working tax credits are designed to help Louisiana farm workers, home health aides, teaching assistants, janitors, cashiers, and more continue to work and provide for their families. Research finds that during the 1990s, EITC expansions actually did more to raise employment among single mothers than welfare reform.
EITC helps low-to-moderate income workers living in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Access to EITC translates into immediate spending, by qualified workers, often due to urgent and looming financial needs. This economic activity also invests money back into local economies throughout Louisiana.
Join the conversation on social media: #WorkingFamilyCredits #EITC
Strengthen SNAP, child nutrition programs, and other nutrition-related income supports
LAUW supports measures that increase resources for behavioral health services for children and adults.
LAUW supports measures that:
Provide a voice and identity for ALICE by providing research-based data on the economic vitality of Louisiana households
ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, gives a name to a large population of hard-working residents who work at low-paying jobs, have little or no savings, and are one emergency from falling into poverty.
The ALICE Report for Louisiana is a comprehensive research-based tool designed to help policymakers navigate decisions impacting the economic vitality of hard-working Louisiana families. This groundbreaking study features statewide and hyperlocal data, including district level information on poverty levels, housing affordability, and number of ALICE households.
LAUW leads the ALICE Project for Louisiana. To access the full report, state interactive parish map and parish resources, click here.
Strengthen, leverage the functionality and increase funding supports of Louisiana 211
Investments to build the capacity for Louisiana 211 create a win-win for our state, our communities, and our citizens. Public investments could equate into cost-savings for the state by reducing the number of Information and Referral contracts with various vendors and leveraging the grass-roots capabilities of regional 211 providers.
Louisiana 211 acts as a front-line servant to Louisiana citizens seeking information and resources to meet needs. Every day, someone somewhere in Louisiana dials 211 looking for resources like clothing, food, or programs for their families. Louisiana 211 listens to their needs and provides available resources. Citizens can easily access 211 – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even during disasters. Over the past three years, Louisiana 211 has served more than 600,000 Louisiana help seekers with over 850,000 referrals to meet their immediate needs.
LAUW provides backbone support to the Louisiana 211 statewide network and is eager to work with the State of Louisiana to build the capacity of Louisiana 211 and ensure all have access to high-quality 211 services.
LAUW proudly supports the Human-Services Emergency Logistics Program (HELP) Act aimed to connect people in communities with human-services and mental health resources they need, while reducing the call and response burden on local and state law enforcement agencies.
To support Louisiana 211, Louisiana tax payers can provide check-off box donations using their Louisiana Tax Returns. LAUW receives these donations to benefit Louisiana 211.
For more information about Louisiana 211, click here.
Strengthen programs that prevent human trafficking and support survivors
Advocate for policies and regulations that support non-profits
Advocate for policies that support disaster recover