KUW Board Members visit with Congressman Hultgren
KUW Board Members Paul Callighan, Kenda Jeske, and Dave Leifheit joined Susan Peterson, Director of 4-C at a meeting with Congressman Randy Hultgren on 9/29/17. The Congressman was very interested in United Way’s examples of collaboration and efficient service delivery demonstrated by the recent launch of the 2-1-1. This informational phone and internet referral system has recently been launched in DeKalb County. The Congressman also expressed an understanding of the impact the Earned Income Tax Credit has on individuals and families to avoid penalizing them as they enter the workforce and become wage earners or advance in their jobs but could see minimal wage gains lost to taxes.
We want to thank each of the participants for contributing meaningful information to the Congressman’s visit based on their personal involvement with United Way programs and services. He listened carefully and thoughtfully, and we are hopeful he can use the information we gave him in formalizing wise public policy related to income tax reform and permanent funding for volunteer income tax assistance programs.
You Can Be an Advocate!
Here are seven ways in which you can advocate for change:
- Know the issues. Educate yourself about the basics.
- Build strong relationships. Collaborating with others can amplify the impact to strengthen community & use resources more effectively.
- Get others involved.
Encourage colleagues to get involved to advance the cause.
- Engage your local elected officials. By bringing awareness to local leaders, you can influence decisions.
- Personally meet with your legislator. The personal touch is crucial, & brings a face to your issues.
- Involve the media. Media attention can have a huge impact in creating awareness & promoting a cause. Consider letters to the editor or media outreach.
- Get on the internet. Using online tools to share facts about a problem, communicate with supporters & allies, mobilize action, create a forum for discussion, raise funds, reach the media or educate the public.
Advocacy at the Local Level
We work closely with our partner agencies on emerging issues for which we can provide assistance.
Know Your Officials:
Advocacy at the State Level
Kishwaukee United Way is a partner of the United Way of Illinois in supporting health & human services work across the state. This partnership serves thousands of Illinois citizens. We support legislation on issues that will improve the lives of citizens.
Advocacy at the Federal Level
On federal policy issues, Kishwaukee United Way follows the lead and recommendations of United Way Worldwide. When a federal issue impacts DeKalb County, we ensure our federal delegation is aware of the issue and work with them to find an appropriate method of advocacy. For example, in the past, we have worked with our congressional delegation to advocate for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).