United Way’s Public Policy Committee has been meeting since January with community experts and people representing coalitions to identify education, income and health issues around which policy change at the local, state or federal level would benefit people who live and work in Tarrant County.
At three “legislative briefings” held in Arlington, Grapevine and Fort Worth, guest presenters discussed issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking, literacy, foster care redesign, mental health and substance use disorder, and nursing homes and assisted living residents. The briefings were held in various parts of the county to be accessible to community members, especially nonprofit staff and volunteers, who wished to become more informed.
This summer the Public Policy Committee is prioritizing all of the issues being considered and drafting a Legislative Agenda for action by the United Way board and discussion with elected officials during the Texas state legislative session next January – May.
“United Way of Tarrant County partners with United Ways of Texas on issues of common concern around the state and with United Way Worldwide on federal issues requiring Congressional action, so that United Ways can speak as one voice,” said Pat Cheong, Vice President of the United Way of Tarrant County’s Community Development Division.
“United Ways of Texas serves as our ‘boots on the ground,’ shepherding our issues through various legislative offices at the Texas Capitol, providing regular updates to local United Ways and alerting us to be in touch with our legislators as needed,” she said. “United Way Worldwide does the same thing on Capitol Hill in DC.”