Why Do We Advocate?

By Anne Valentine

The answer, for me, is simple. At United Way, we know we make a big impact in our community thanks to the generosity of our thousands of donors and volunteers. We make an even bigger impact when we can advocate for better public policies that could potentially affect not just our six-county service area, but millions of lives across our state.

Right now, I’m in the Indiana Statehouse almost every day, advocating on behalf of United Way for legislation that will:

(1) Sustain progress for access to pre-k for low-income children.

Why do we believe pre-k is important? Simply put, a quality education – especially at an early age – should be accessible to everyone.

(2) Grow the workforce to help families and Indiana’s economy thrive.

Why is workforce development important? Because more adults need access to training and certification programs that lead to high-wage, high-demand jobs.

(3) Improve the health of young Hoosiers through tobacco cessation legislation.

Why is this effort essential? More than 151,000 Indiana teens ultimately die prematurely from tobacco products. It’s time to raise the minimum purchase age of tobacco and enact a cigarette tax, with a portion of those dollars going to public health programs.

(4) Support moving 2-1-1 human services referral program to FSSA.

Why is this a priority for this legislative session? Because we support Governor Holcomb’s legislative agenda which includes this change of function for 2-1-1, a statewide program for struggling individuals who need simply need to pick up the phone and get help quickly.

I’ll keep you posted as legislation moves through both House and Senate chambers. In the meantime, check out our Public Policy Agenda for more details.

Thank you for raising your hand and voice as an advocate for United Way of Central Indiana!

Anne Valentine is United Way’s Vice President of Government Relations.


Watch the On My Way Pre-K Video