By: Will White
United Way Bay Area recently wrapped up another Capitol Day in Sacramento where a team of volunteers and staff conducted an impressive 25 legislative meetings in four hours. No small feat but it’s all in a day’s work for UWBA’s Public Policy team and its dedicated volunteers.
It’s great news that the state’s revenues are larger than expected with $9 billion in surplus but it means that advocates, the United Way network included, are working harder than ever to ensure our legislators make smart investments in working families and low-income communities.
Two of our policy priorities this year aim to make these investments, setting families up to reach economic stability and succeed.
AB 2066, Cal EITC – This bill extends eligibility for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) to three populations currently excluded:
-workers age 18-24
-workers age 65 and over
-workers filing with an Individual Tax Identification or ITIN, many of whom are immigrants
This bill ensures this powerful tax credit for low-income workers is available to all Californians, making the program more equitable and inclusive.
AB 2471, School–Based Supportive Services Program – This proposal establishes a statewide grant program for schools and school districts to provide wrap-around services to students and families in schools. Dental, health and benefits enrollments are just a few examples of the kinds of services schools could provide. Having easy access to these services on-site will allow students to show up ready to learn and succeed.
In meeting with Bay Area legislators, our volunteers and staff worked to educate each office on the benefits of the bills and their ability to help families thrive. For the single mother working to support her two children and the elementary student whose grades are slipping due to poor health, these two bills can mean the difference between a trap door to poverty and an escalator to economic success.
At UWBA we know that significant changes like these to public policy will have a profound effect on children and families who are struggling to get by. That’s why we advocate and continue to fight for the most vulnerable in our communities.
To learn more about how we advocate or to get involved, visit uwba.org/advocate where you can download our public policy agenda. Together we can ensure every California family has a chance to thrive.