Category: Advocacy

$13.5 Million (Yes, Million) invested in Greater Austin Children and Families: Big Wins from the American Rescue Plan

Here at United Way for Greater Austin, we’re on a mission to bring people, ideas, and resources together to fight poverty in our community. United with community leaders and partners, we’re leading the charge to create sustainable and lasting solutions to break the cycle of poverty.  Advocacy is critical, not just to further the impact of United Way’s work, but to create lasting systemic change. It takes all of us — using our collective voice — to advocate for a Greater Austin that works for everyone. This is why we are so excited to share and celebrate with you a few major funding wins from the American Rescue Plan.  What is the American Rescue Plan?  The American Rescue Plan (ARPA) is a $1.5 trillion federal economic package designed to address the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is being allocated to cities, counties, and states to directly support their recovery efforts. The City of Austin received $195.8. million in funding, and Travis County received $247.1 million.  A collective investment of $13.5 million, from the City of Austin ($11MM) and Travis County ($2.5MM), will be made to specifically strengthen our local education, health, and workforce systems. These funding decisions were driven by testimony and recommendations put forth by United Way and you, our supporters and coalition partners. Thank you! This significant one-time investment of federal dollars will not only drive Greater Austin’s post COVID-19 economic recovery, but help address some of the root causes of poverty in our community. […]

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Uniquely Austin: The Early Childhood Council is helping all children in Austin thrive.

We all know Austin is unique for so many reasons, but did you know about our unique approach to early childhood investments? Our city has a formal body that advises City Council on early childhood issues and initiatives, dating back to 1985! Today this body is known as the Early Childhood Council (ECC), and is made up of 13 stakeholders from different sectors, who come together with recommendations on how our City Council should budget, spend, and address all matters that help ensure that our kids happy, healthy, and ready to succeed in school and beyond.  The Early Childhood Council is a very important part of our early care and education ecosystem, and their work promotes our Success By 6 Coalition efforts, helping us reach the goals of our strategic plan. We are grateful for the work they do, and we want everyone in Austin to celebrate them! Hear from a Success By 6 Coalition Leadership Team member and ECC member, Dr. Aletha C. Huston, on some recent successes from the ECC. Blog contributions from Aletha C. Huston, Professor Emerita of Child Development, University of Texas at Austin Early Childhood Council Member, District 5 Success By 6 Coalition Leadership Team Member The Early Childhood Council (ECC) is a City of Austin commission assigned to make recommendations to City Council for the “creation, development, and implementation of programs that promote optimal development for young children…and contribute to a system of high-quality early care and education and after-school programs for Austin’s children.” […]

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Blog contributions from Jordan Gutierrez-Ramirez, United Way ATX Corporate Volunteer Manager Brooke Freeland, United Way ATX Policy Consultant Cathy McHorse, United Way ATX VP of Success By 6 At United Way for Greater Austin we welcome our community to create positive change with us through three avenues: Give. Advocate. Volunteer. While giving and volunteering often feel straightforward, many folks aren’t sure where to start with advocacy. Thankfully, our resident advocacy expert Brooke Freeland is here to show that advocacy is easy! You just have to know where to start. Brooke and our team recently hosted a Volunteer Advocacy training to teach our community how to support issues they care about — and now we’d like to invite you (and everyone in ATX) to learn how to be an awesome advocate! “It was a great session… because in my head I always thought advocacy was much more involved and complex. I didn’t realize it was as simple as an email.” -Newton Wong Want to know how YOU can become an awesome advocate? Here’s how: Step 1: Identify the issue you care about Step 2: Decide the change you’d like to see Step 3: Learn who the decision makers are Step 4: Take action Here’s how to find those decision makers: Austin City Council Travis County Commissioner  AISD School Board  Texas Legislature U.S. Congress Here’s how to engage with those decision makers: Write letters, send emails, or call your elected officials Participate in social media campaigns to spread the word Submit op-eds […]

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