We all want something to change in our community. But how do we make change happen? We’re not talking small, incremental, one drop in the ocean type change — we’re talking substantial, move the needle, community-wide change. It all begins with you. When you raise your voice and advocate for change in our community, it starts a chain reaction as other voices begin to rise with yours. There’s power in advocacy; power to change our community for the better, forever.
But what does advocacy mean?
According to Merriam Webster, advocacy means the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal. United Way of Central Indiana wants you to take that definition a bit further — think of advocacy as the way to raise awareness, generate conversations and promote solutions that create lasting, positive change in Central Indiana. What change do you want to see in Central Indiana?
And how does advocacy work?
By voicing your concerns about our community to an audience — whether it be to government, an organization or even to your friends and family — you are helping educate and inform those around you about pressing community issues. When many voices unite to further positive change, the rallying call is more likely to be heard, understood and acted upon. Each voice is important and plays a role in reaching the overall goal; just like when United Way brought together a coalition of educators, corporate partners, civic organizations, donors, volunteers, and hundreds of pre-k champions to pass the pre-k expansion bill.
Yet we can’t make major change without you.
Championing for Central Indiana
The problems that plague our community can’t be solved by one person, one supporter, one agency or one piece of legislation. It takes leaders, an innovative approach, a network of partners and the best resources available to tackle the toughest issues in our community. It takes a diverse team to accomplish major change in our community, especially change that brings people out of poverty and into self-sufficiency.
United Way is a champion for the people of Central Indiana and advocates for policy changes that help eliminate many barriers to education, financial stability, health and basic needs for those in our community. Here’s a look at some of the policies we advocate for to help fellow Hoosiers get on a path to self-sufficiency:
- Support teacher development to build on evidence-based models, including social-emotional learning.
- Credentialed pre-k teachers should receive pay in parity with credentialed K-12 teachers.
- Provide High Schools with resources to encourage on-time graduation, such as credit restoration opportunities, graduation coaches and career pathways.
- Focus on evidence-based re-entry policies and reduce recidivism.
- Maintain the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit to promote work and support families.
- Support educational bridge programs (adult basic education and occupational skills training) that results in a credential leading to employment for low-skilled adults.
- Increase the cigarette tax, with a portion of the increase dedicated to Indiana’s 2-1-1 Resource and Referral Network; increase resources for tobacco cessation and prevention.
- Improve and expand access to mental health and addiction services.
- Update and modernize public mass transportation.
- Increase access to supportive and long-term housing to combat homelessness.
- Continue supporting Indiana’s 2-1-1 Resource and Referral Network through state funding.
These are just some of the public policy changes United Way advocates for to help improve the quality of life for all residents of Central Indiana. To see all the ways United Way advocates at the local and state level, read our 2018 Public Policy Agenda.
Be a Game Changer for Our Community
Positive, impactful, transformational change is made possible when people unite to fight for our community. Your voice matters! You can make substantial change in our community by advocating for Central Indiana. How?
- Call/e-mail/Tweet your representatives about the causes and policies you support
- Sign petitions and share important issues on social media
- Show up on Statehouse days or rallies
- VOTE! And remind people to register and vote!
Join us as we fight for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of every person in Central Indiana. By uniting our voices, we can create change that makes Central Indiana a community where children, individuals and families thrive. Ready to join the fight? Sign up to be a part of our Advocate Army to get timely updates on what’s happening in public policy at United Way and throughout Central Indiana. Our new online advocacy platform will keep you informed and poised for action on the issues that matter to you.