If each of us individually tries to go forward and effect change, it’s pretty tough. But when we work together, focused on solving the same kinds of issues and problems, it is so much more powerful. United Way has been very successful in advocating system-wide changes that will improve the quality of child care and early education in Texas. In 2013, the United Way Women of Tocqueville advocated for legislation which tripled the training requirements for child care providers.
With their commitment to making a lasting difference for young children in our community and across the state, United Way advocates are a force to be reckoned with at the State Capitol.
A lot of people think of advocacy as synonymous with lobbying, but it’s not. It doesn’t have to be a meeting with an elected official. At the end of the day, advocacy is about identifying the issues that are front and center in our city and our state – like those identified in our ten-year community goals— and looking at how we can partner with others to take action and to effect lasting change. That is one of the really unique aspects of advocacy – it’s about changing policies that can last for years — and United Way makes it easy.
First, learn about the issues in your community by signing up for United Way action alerts and then share that information with others. It’s about making your voice heard so that you can engage others around the same issues. You can do that through social media, emails, and conversations with friends and family.
Neena Newberry is the United Way Advocacy Committee Chair and Women of Tocqueville Steering Committee Member