Advocacy

 

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
    - 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

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 nine member United Ways acting on behalf of their communities - serving 53 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

During the first three years of a child’s life, the foundation of cognitive, emotional, social, and physical human development is built – and the brain is 80 percent developed. Early childhood experiences and learning have a lifelong impact on every human being – yet too many working parents cannot to 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. With 66 percent of Louisiana children under 6 with both parents in the workforce, affordable cost in childcare is a barrier to high quality.

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.  

Sadly, only 46 percent of Louisiana children enter school with the skills needed to succeed, such as the ability to recognize letters, count to 20, express needs, and respond to stories. Young children without these skills, often from minority and low-income households, enter school with a disadvantage and are less likely to stay on track academically in the years to come.

LAUW proudly partnered with the Louisiana Department of Education to administer the third annual Early Childhood Family Satisfaction Survey to hear directly from families about their experiences with early childhood enrollment and program quality in their community. Click here to access the survey results, click here to learn more about how the Louisiana Department of Education defines Kindergarten readiness or click here to search for schools or centers based on what matters most to you.

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 seeking help. Callers are 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 2 years, more than 375,000 people throughout Louisiana called 211 to seek assistance.

    LAUW is eager to work with the State of Louisiana to build the capacity of the Louisiana 211 Statewide Network and ensure all have access to high-quality 2-1-1 services.

    LAUW provides backbone support to the Louisiana 211 state network and leadership to the Louisiana 211 Coordinating Council.

    For more information about Louisiana 211, click here

    Louisiana tax payers can provide check-off box donations using the Louisiana Tax Returns.  LAUW receives these donations to benefit Louisiana 211.

  • Strengthen programs that prevent human trafficking and support survivors

  • Advocate for policies and regulations that support non-profits