With a new year upon us, the buzzword is “resolution”. While some people embrace the idea of a resolution or two to ring in a new year, others shirk the tradition. Today we’d like you to consider adding a resolution to your list, no matter which side you fall on. We invite you to resolve to be aware of your community’s needs. Because together, our community has the power to make big change.
United Way is part of the SCQLA team, Story County Quality of Life Alliance, working on the next version of the full community needs assessment led by Story County Public Health. Don’t worry – your assessment needn’t be this thorough for your resolution to be a success. We encourage you to open your ears to hearing the struggles of others and keep your eyes open when you see caring partners help bridge the gap between problems and solutions. Making an effort to be aware of the needs in the community will help you better understand the full picture of Story County – that this is a wonderful place to live, raise a family, have a career, enjoy retirement and so much more; but also bring to light that there are people who have yet to experience their full potential and there are immediate issues we can address for a brighter future for all.
United Way of Story County is a leader in building a stronger Story County by investing in the areas of health, education, and financial stability. We know that once you’re aware of our collective needs you’ll be inspired to act through giving, advocating, and volunteering. Together with other United Ways throughout Iowa, we’ll be advancing the common good through a shared advocacy agenda.
To advance the Health of our community:
- Support efforts of the Coalition to Advance Mental Health in Iowa for Kids (CAMHI4Kids) to fund the Children’s Behavioral Health System established in 2018 via House File 690.
- Support sales tax exemption for Iowa Food Banks.
To encourage Education for all:
- Support state investment of $500,000 in Iowa Reading Corps to add an additional 40 members per year to serve an additional 700 students per year.
- Support poverty and English language learner weighting in the school funding formula to help low-income students reach their full academic potential and help stem the decline in academic success rates among these populations.
- Support expansion of the child, dependent care and early childhood development tax credits to allow more Iowans to benefit from these programs.
To increase the Financial Stability of individuals and families:
- Support efforts to end the Childcare Cliff Effect by addressing the entry point and exit tiers for the Childcare Assistance Program.
- Support the recommendations of the SNAP Employment & Training Workgroup to increase engagement with the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training program (SNAP E&T).
- Maintain current investments in adult basic education, PACE programs, pathway navigators, industry sector partnerships and GAP tuition assistance at $12.5 million and expand PACE programs to include apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities.
- Support efforts to expand the access of low-income Iowans to affordable housing.
To make Crisis Services available everywhere:
- Lead efforts to begin state investment in the statewide 2-1-1
Resolve to be aware of your community’s needs and join us in meeting them. When we advance the common good in Story County everyone experiences these gains. If you’re one of our many contributors or volunteers united with us already, thank you for taking action. If you haven’t been a part of our work before but are interested in getting started, please visit our website to learn more. Together, let’s unleash the power of community in 2020. Happy New Year, Story County. Let’s LIVE UNITED.