Advocacy Overall

PA 2-1-1 Report to DHS on Calls Related to Losing General Assistance Benefits

UWP and PA 211 have been tracking calls related to individuals losing their GA benefit, in response to a request by DHS to help connect Pennsylvanians impacted to health and human services information and referrals. You can read the update report here.

UWP/PA 211 Accepting Applications for a Fall Internship

We are currently accepting applications for an intern to support our team and increase our capacity while we take on several projects including data compilation and reporting. This will be a paid internship position, with a minimum of 15 hours per week. You can read the full internship position here. Please feel free to share this with your local post-secondary schools, technical schools, and other partners who may have interest. If you have any questions, please contact Maggie.  

Hunger Action Month and Proposed Changes to SNAP Rule

September is Hunger Action month and another great reason to keep advocating for food security for everyone! In Pennsylvania, there are 1.5 million individuals, including over 400,000 children, who identify as food insecure. Governor and First Lady Wolf, kicked off Hunger Action Month with a press conference discussing food insecurity and the need to protect SNAP as a support for so many Pennsylvanians struggling to afford food for themselves. You can read about the press event here.

As a reminder, SNAP comments are due on September 23rd for the USDA’s proposed rule changes to SNAP’s Broad-based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE). These rule changes would limit access to benefits for households with savings and other assets. USDA estimates over 3 million Americans would lose SNAP benefits and over 500,000 children will lose eligibility for free school lunch programs with this rule change. UWP has submitted comments, which you can read here.

If you are interested in submitting a comment, please use this template as a guide, which can be customized. You can submit your final comments here on the federal register. To help support your discussions around this proposed rule and your comments, please visit our members only section here for SNAP Messaging, a SNAP Eligibility white paper, as well as UWW’s comment letter.

If you are interested in submitting a comment, please use this template as a guide, which can be customized. You can submit your final comments here on the federal register. The federal comment period is open until September 23. To help support your discussions around this proposed rule and your comments, please see these resources for SNAP Messaging, a SNAP Eligibility white paper, as well as UWW’s comment letter.

We also encourage you to reach out to your community partners to encourage them to submit a comment.

Ask the Senate to Support Increased Funding for Child Care!

Congress is back from their summer break and are currently working through appropriations bills to keep the government running. As Congress is considering appropriations to prioritize, United Ways and many other organizations are advocating for Congress to provide an additional $5 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which helps families with young children find and afford child care. Even if Congress were to appropriate half of this amount, $2.4 billion (amount included in the House appropriation language), Pennsylvania could see an increase of between $60-$70 million in CCDBG funds.

Currently, we know the Senate Appropriations Committee is planning to mark up their education appropriations bill in subcommittee on Tuesday, Sept. 10th. Early reports indicate the number for CCDBG funds will not be as high as the $2.4 billion included by the House. While it may not be the number we want initially, there is still plenty of time for the number to grow as it moves through the legislation process. Please help UWP urge the Senate to provide this critical funding for families! You can take action here! Please share with your donors, followers, boards, and advocates! 

South Central Assembly Regional Summit

The SCA is hosting their 2019 Regional Summit on Tuesday, September 24 in Lancaster. The summit will take place from 8:30am-4:00pm at the Doubletree Resort. They will highlight pressing issues and needs, and share best practices and promising opportunities in improving municipal and community service delivery, growing the regional economy, and fostering housing, economic and community development in the Assembly region – Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry, Lancaster, Lebanon, Franklin and York Counties. The focus is on current challenges facing communities and organizations across the region, and Building Partnerships for services, growth and revitalization in a time of declining federal and state support. The Regional Summit features outstanding Plenary Speakers, Exhibits, and four tracks with 3 panel sessions each:

  • Local Government Innovation and Cooperation,
  • Housing and Community Development,
  • Workforce Economic Development, and
  • Coping with Regional Issues

The housing track features sessions on : Finding the Money: Increasing Financing for Affordable Housing – Going Beyond Low Income Housing Tax Credits; Senior Housing Challenges; and Housing Rehab and Neighborhood Revitalization – Improving Existing Housing & Neighborhoods.

You can read the Summit brochure here and you can register here.

Report: States’ Payment Rates Under the Child Care and Development Fund Program Could Limit Access to Child Care Providers

A new report, States’ Payment Rates Under the Child Care and Development Fund Program Could Limit Access to Child Care Providers, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General provides evidence of the extent to which state Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) policies fail to adequately address eligible families’ needs due to low reimbursement rates and other problems including perceived paperwork burdens. The Inspector General obtained information for the study by surveying providers and state agencies. Most providers of full-time infant care, including most providers serving CCDF children, charged higher rates than the state reimbursed. A substantial percentage of providers charged more than 50% above the state reimbursement rate. The report includes state-by-state data for those interested in knowing how their state fares. It also makes recommendations for steps the federal government can take to support improvements by the states.

Policy Updates from UWW

Sign up as a Partner for National Voter Registration Day (September 24)!

United Way Worldwide is the premier partner for this year’s National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), along with other premier partners Google, Twitter and Facebook. National Voter Registration Day is the largest one-day effort of the year to register voters. It’s celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of every September – September 24 in 2019 – by thousands of volunteers, organizations, businesses, schools, and election officials from all over the country. Over 1.4 million voters have registered or updated their registration as a result of National Voter Registration Day events since 2012.

  • Take Action: Sign up as a Partner Organization Today!
    • It just takes a few minutes to sign on. Please note that if you’ve signed up as a partner in previous years, you will need to sign up again in 2019.
    • What do partners do? They organize registration drives and publicize the holiday on social media. National Voter Registration Day partners will receive training opportunities, voter registration resources, posters and stickers and social media toolkits to promote the day. The 2019 Communications Toolkit can be found here and look for a Bambu story coming soon.

No Small Matter Partnership

United Way Worldwide is partnering with the compelling film No Small Matter and provide local United Ways with a 50% discount to host film screenings across the country. Here are 7 Things You Need to Know About the Partnership:

  1. United Way Worldwide is partnering with No Small Matter to provide public awareness and engage community members in early childhood education.
  2. No Small Matter is a feature-length documentary film and national engagement campaign that brings public attention to the issue of early childhood education.
  3. United Ways can leverage the film to drive their early childhood advocacy and engage Women United members and other supporters in their impact work.
  4. A Community Conversation guide, sample social media posts and other materials are located on UWO here.
  5. Check out the film trailer:
  6. To preview the film, feel free to reach out to the No Small Matter team at Please note that there are shorter versions of the film available, including 35-45 min, 20 min, and 10-15 min modules
  7. When you’re ready to host your screening, please submit a screening agreement here:

You can learn more here.

The Start Strong PA and Pre-K for PA campaign were able to preview this film for legislators and it was a big hit. I would highly encourage this opportunity. Please contact Maggie if you are interested or would like further information.

Charitable Giving Coalition One Pager Released

The Charitable Giving Coalition (UWW is a leading member) has released an updated one-pager, which can be found here. Please feel free to use the talking points and data in this document in your conversations with Members of Congress and their staff.

The memo refers to two bills that United Way strongly supports as a potential solution to the charitable sector’s donor loss and reductions in giving by middle-income donors. Please note that there is another bill being pushed by a for-profit company and erroneously portrayed as the solution for charities. The bill has little support. If you are asked about alternative solutions, please direct anyone back to the bills we support, H.R.1260 and/or HR651.

Pre-K for PA Advocacy

The Pre-K for PA Campaign released a report, Ready to Succeed: Kindergarten Teachers Support Investments in High Quality Pre-K, last month highlighting broad teacher support for pre-k and the need of increased state investments into early learning.

DHS just released the updated 2019 income limits and copays for subsidized child care to reflect the increased federal poverty limit guidelines. You can view the updated list here.

Start Strong Advocacy

The Start Strong PA campaign had an amazing launch in January and we are asking for your help to keep up that momentum! In March we want to reach out to legislators with a message of literacy. Below are some ideas to help get some great stories to share with your local legislators.

  1. Record & Share Toddler Stories – we all have heard the tall tales small children can tell. Ask a toddler to tell you a story (give them a specific topic) and write down or video what they say.
  2. Create your own reading materials using photographs of family and friends, or other print materials. Ask your child to narrate captions for each page (or give suggestions for them to choose from, if they are not verbal)
  3. Use a series of photos to tell the story of an infant/toddler reaching a developmental milestone as supported by high-quality child care, i.e. child now eats with a spoon thanks to the support of her teachers in HQ child care.
  4. Visit Libraries and bookstores to browse reading materials—then post a “CHILD’s NAME recommended reading list” with the books that catch your child’s attention/ get pulled off the shelves.
  5. Take pictures or record videos of staff and/or families engaging in literacy activities with infants and toddlers.

Infant toddler literacy includes activities such as:

  • Reading
  • Singing
  • Talking, particularly while looking at pictures, out the window, etc.
  • Using chalk, paint, or stickers to create pre-writing designs (share finished masterpieces on Instagram!)

If your United Way or any of your community partners plan to participate in any of these activities, please inform Maggie.

2019 Legislative Schedule

2019 Senate Session Schedule

September 23, 24, 25
October21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
November18, 19, 20
December16, 17, 18

2019 – 2020 House Session Schedule

September 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25
October21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
November12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20
December9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18
January7 (non-voting), 13, 14, 15, 21, 22
February3, 4, 5
March16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25
April6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16
May4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20
June1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30