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Role We Play: Advocate


Through our unique position in the community, we lead and influence the implementation of policies and funding that support immediate needs and drive systemic change.

Celebrating Major Wins From the 2023 Legislative Session

A Woman Stands At A Podium At The MN State Capitol Building And Is Speaking To A Group Of People

The 2023 legislative session adjourned on May 22 with many legislative wins for Greater Twin Cities United Way, our partners and our communities. The House and Senate came to final agreements on bills aligned with our 2023 Policy & Advocacy Agenda that will help promote educational success, deepen household stability and build economic opportunity across the state. We successfully advocated for investments in Early Childhood Education, homelessness prevention, Career Academies programming, and more!

2023 Policy & Advocacy Agenda

No one navigates poverty in isolated systems. We recognize the deep disparities in life outcomes predictable by race as evidence of long-standing systemic racism and oppression, and we believe we must both support necessary services which respond to immediate need and work further upstream to advance trauma-sensitive, culturally responsive policies. Informed directly by our stakeholders, our advocacy agenda enacts a series of interrelated policy issues that address these challenges and enables long-term, system solutions.

Lead Issues

  • Increase investments to stabilize the early child care and education workforce and expand access to culturally responsive, trauma-sensitive care.
  • Advance policies that remove systemic barriers and mitigate the impacts of the “benefits cliff.”
  • Provide holistic services to prevent homelessness and build pathways to stable housing for those exiting the foster system and transitioning out of incarceration.

Support Issues

  • Ensure young people are prepared to succeed through high-quality out-of-school programs and pathways for college readiness and career success.
  • Support stable, affordable housing access for households with an income at 30-60% of the area median income through eviction reform.
  • Establish support and allocate resources to sustain a strong nonprofit sector.
Jane, an immigrant farmer, in her field

Endorse Issues

  • Strengthen and expand access to 24/7 resource referral services, including United Way’s 211 resource helpline and 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
  • Expand reliable access to fresh, healthy meals that meet the needs of individuals and families.
  • Increase flexibility for state grant requirements issued by state agencies.

Our Impact

United Way’s 2023 Advocacy Wins and Successes

Perspective: My Experience as a United Way Policy Intern

April Advocacy Update: The Final Weeks of Session

How We Work

Coming Together for Transformation

Alongside coalitions, we leverage strong community relationships, research and real-time data to:

  • Amplify community voices, especially those voices with lived experience
  • Educate government officials and lawmakers on systems-level issues and opportunities
  • Develop solutions in partnership with the public, private and nonprofit sectors

“Advocacy means taking action to create positive change. True advocacy requires addressing and solving the root problems that create barriers for communities.”

– Kristen Rosenberger, Director of Advocacy and External Engagement, Greater Twin Cities United Way

How We Show Up as an Advocate

Start Early Funders Coalition

As the coalition’s fiscal host, we collaborate with more than 20 funders across Minnesota to improve early childhood education through research, best practices and public policy.

211 operator taking a call

211 Data

Using data from the 211 resource helpline, we help state and local leaders gain insight into changing community needs and how we can work together to implement solutions.

Homes for All

Working alongside more than 240 statewide organizations as part of the Homes for All coalition, we advocate for policies that support housing stability for all.

Smiling young man

Justice for All

Through a multi-year collaboration with the Minneapolis Foundation and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, we’re working to bring transformational change to our criminal justice system and policies rooted in long-standing systemic racism.

Join Us as a Changemaker

Join the work, lending your power and your voice to issues that have the potential to transform our community.

Stories & News

Lessons Learned from 80×3’s First Year

Lessons Learned from 80×3’s First Year

August 24, 2023
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Greater Twin Cities United Way, St. Paul Saints and Minnesota Twins Unite Community to Support Families Going Back to School

Greater Twin Cities United Way, St. Paul Saints and Minnesota Twins Unite Community to Support Families Going Back to School

August 1, 2023
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Greater Twin Cities United Way Announces New Senior Vice President of Community Impact

Greater Twin Cities United Way Announces New Senior Vice President of Community Impact

July 20, 2023
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