Alexandria, VA) January 25, 2021 – United Way Worldwide today released its 2021 Policy Agenda for the 117th Congress. The Agenda, developed with input from local United Ways across the country, details the policy priorities the United Way U.S. network will advocate for with their Members of Congress in 2021.
The challenges of 2020 continue into 2021, including the ongoing social and economic fallout from the pandemic, and the long-standing inequities it has highlighted and are impacting communities across the country. Local United Ways are on the front lines providing relief. United Way’s Policy Agenda reflects the federal supports that these communities desperately need.
“As we look to the first year of the 117th Congress and the new Administration, our focus at United Way continues to be on responding, recovering, reimagining and rebuilding systems that help communities address the inequities in access to healthcare, education and economic opportunities,” said Suzanne McCormick, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “Together, as we advocate for the policy priorities in our 2021 Policy Agenda, we can bring the change needed to bring our nation together in a way that works for every person in every community.”
United Ways around the country continue the relentless COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, adapting in real time to ensure the most critical needs are addressed. Priorities include:
- Healthcare: United Way believes all Americans must have healthcare coverage that is accessible and affordable and will continue to advocate for racial equity in healthcare, expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid and mental health supports.
- Fighting Hunger: Many low-income households continue to struggle to afford food. Protecting, strengthening, and increasing access to the Child Nutrition Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) will continue to be a priority.
- Child Care: Now more than ever, affordable access to childcare is critical to the financial recovery of communities across the U.S. United Way will advocate for investments for providers to stay open or re-open during the pandemic and continuing to work towards providing training, certification and equitable compensation for childhood education workers.
- Digital Equity: COVID-19 has highlighted inequities in access to broadband and internet and the impact this has on education and other activities. United Way will support legislation to increase access to and affordability of broadband to bridge the digital divide.
- Financial stability: United Way will continue to advocate for expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), making the Child Tax Credit (CTC) fully available to the lowest income workers and families with children, funding Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at $30 million and investing in the nation’s workforce development system.
- Housing Stability: COVID-19 and the economic recession has increased the threat of displacement and homelessness. United Way will support extending eviction protections, providing emergency rental assistance, and increasing investments in the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
- Strengthening nonprofits: Because nonprofits play a crucial role in COVID-19 recovery and because we employ millions of Americans, Congress must include nonprofits in any legislation to provide COVID-19 relief. United Way will continue to advocate for additional funding for nonprofits to maintain their workforce and for expanding and extending charitable giving incentives as well as legislation that would impact key issues for the nonprofit sector overall, such as payroll tax credits, unemployment insurance, and relief for nonprofits with over 500 employees.
For more information on United Way’s 2021 Policy Agenda for the 117th Congress, please visit here.