Your voice matters. Join us by taking a stand against Bay Area poverty.

Public Policy Agenda

To end poverty, we must tackle it from all sides. It’s important we help struggling individuals and families, but it’s not enough. We must advocate policies and programs that fight the root causes of poverty at all levels of government.

Here are our top priorities, and how you can get involved.

As the political climate evolves and shifts, our policy priorities must too. Check out this living document to find our latest policy agenda.

View Our Policy Platform (PDF)

How You Can Help

Community Milestones

Together with our health coalition partners in Contra Costa County, United Way helped build community support and testified before public hearings to successfully advocate for expansion of Contra Costa CARES. This county health program will now cover 4,400 uninsured low-income adults, including undocumented immigrants.

Affordable housing is perhaps our region’s most pressing issue, for low- and moderate-income families alike. We proudly endorsed bond measures in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, and organized phone banks to educate voters on their importance. Both measures passed with 2/3 voter support, generating $1.5 billion for affordable housing.

UWBA was wholly committed to advocating for a California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), including a public endorsement, joint op-ed with Assembly member Tony Thurmond, and client testimonial at the State Capitol. Since its passing in 2015, the state and federal EITC have helped lift an estimated 255,000 Californians out of poverty.

While the cost of living in the Bay Area has skyrocketed in recent years, salaries for our region’s lowest paid workers was stalled. United Way was a leading advocate for raising the minimum wage in 2014, endorsing ballot measures in Oakland and San Francisco. Both passed, benefitting around 190,000 workers.

Meet Our Team

Will White, MPP

Director of Policy + Government Affairs

Will provides policy analysis, advocacy strategy and implementation, and program support. He also leads regional public policy efforts for United Ways of California. Will has a BA in History from NYU and MA in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from the New School in New York City, and is an experienced community organizer.

Focus areas: Income (minimum wage, tax credits for working families), Health, Basic Needs (housing, food security)

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