Advocacy represents a cornerstone of our work at United Way Suncoast. We believe government plays a critical role in creating change that can improve people’s lives. But government cannot do it alone. Neither can United Way and the rest of the nonprofit sector. Led by our Public Policy Committee, United Way Suncoast actively engages in public policy advocacy to develop partnerships that include local, state, and federal governments – along with the private and nonprofit sectors.
As a regional leader, we strive to join civic, corporate and government leaders to produce solutions. Our work on the 2022 housing crisis typifies our advocacy efforts. We not only devoted substantial funding to address the crisis, but we took a collective approach to addressing the housing crisis on multiple fronts, including staging a five-county housing roundtable with nonprofit partners, larges businesses and elected leaders to discuss practical solutions.
The session yielded 41 ideas to stabilize the crisis. We also met with 20 state representatives to advocate for those needed housing and promote housing supports. In addition, we’ve taken the lead on providing information and resources to those seeking help, and grown into a leader in data distribution about the crisis with our housing crisis dashboard.
Public Policy 2023 State Agenda, United Way Capital Days
As one of 28 local United Way affiliates in the state, we collaborate with United Way of Florida to advocate for public policy that will do the most good for all Floridians. For the 2023 Florida legislative session, our advocacy will involve a focus on financial stability, affordable housing and expanding access to healthcare. It’ll include a continuing emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. On Feb. 21-22, a contingent of United Way Suncoast team members led by CEO Jessica Muroff and Public Policy chair Mike Daigle attended United Way of Florida’s United Way Capital Days. The group joined more than 70 local United Way members from around the state. They met with local legislators, heard from state agency leaders and advocated for both the state consensus agenda and our local public policy concerns. With the help of the RSA Consulting firm, one of the organizers for Capital Days, the Suncoast contingent met with state house members James Buchanan, R-Sarasota; Berny Jacques, R-Clearwater; Susan Valdes, D-Tampa; Kim Berfield, R-Clearwater; and Lindsay Cross, D-St. Petersburg. State Sen. Jay Collins, R-Tampa, also took a meeting with select members of the team.
Public Policy Vision Statement
To establish United Way Suncoast as a valued leader and vital resource for representatives of local, state, and federal government in the development and enactment of legislation, regulations, and procedures that are beneficial to the citizens of DeSoto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota Counties, as well as to United Way and its constituents.
Public Policy Committee
- Develops annual public policy agendas
- Builds corresponding policy engagement plans
- Cultivates relationships with elected officials
The 2023 committee is comprised of Mike Daigle, chair; Mike Bedke, Sam Blatt, Eileen Coogan, Melissa Erickson, Ryan Jeter, Sadaf Knight, Jacqueline Coffie Leeks, Chris Majeski, Candy Olson, Stuart Rogel, Lori Rogovin, Bob Thompson.
For more information, please contact United Way Suncoast CEO Jessica Muroff at firstname.lastname@example.org.