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Advocate: Everyone is a champion for change

Public Policy
Public Policy is a significant catalyst for change. It directs funding toward important community health and human service needs that compliment the ongoing fundraising and investment efforts of United Way of Snohomish County.
A committee of United Way of Snohomish County volunteers and staff develop an annual public policy/legislative agenda to provide guidance on a variety of local, state and federal policy issues. (see below).
We will provide information to legislators and to the public in an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the impact of policy and budget decisions on health and human services in our community.
United Way of Snohomish County’s 2016 Board-Approved Public Policy Agenda
United Way of Snohomish County is uniquely positioned to link business, philanthropy and human services to transform our community and improve people’s lives in Snohomish County.
We believe everyone deserves a strong, inclusive community that celebrates diversity, provides access to vital resources and promotes civic involvement for all ages. It is critical to maintain safety net programs, housing, food and nutrition, basic health care, behavioral services, transportation, basic life skills services and services that promote financial capability. For life-long success, education and resources that encourage the development of healthy physical, social/emotional, academic and psychological behaviors for children and youth are essential.
Create a comprehensive cradle to the career education system.
  • Establish a comprehensive definition of basic education that includes early years. 
  • Implement “breakfast after the bell” for high-poverty schools in Washington State.
  • Continue investments in quality early learning programs that are particularly necessary for increased access to ECEAP, quality child care, home visiting and expansion of WaKIDS.
  • Implement a comprehensive statewide literacy program that ensures all children are able to develop early (0-5) literacy and language skills.
  • Continue to incentivize school districts and community partners that identify students who are at risk of dropping out, and provide such students with tailored school and family and community supports.
Financial Stability
Give families the tools to become financially stable.
  • Continue investments in policies and programs that provide low-income people access to affordable housing.
  • Support programs that provide low-income people with access to adequate food and nutrition. 
  • Implement policies and programs that provide low-income people access to affordable financial products.
  • Oppose all predatory loan products that disproportionately affect low-income families.
Give families access to high-quality health and wellness resources.
  • Increase statewide emphasis on wellness, incorporating population-level prevention programming that promotes health of body and mind, especially for seniors.
  • Increase access to primary, dental and mental health care services and chemical dependency treatment for underserved populations.
System Capacity
Increase community capacity to connect people with the resources available to them.
  • Promote collective impact through partnerships between public, private and nonprofit sectors
  • Support an adequate statewide 211 system.
  • Fund an adequate transportation package to reduce congestion and increase local ridership.

Want to learn more about what is happening down in Olympia at the Washington State Legislature or how to contact your legislators, visit  

For more information on our public policy work, contact Allison Matsumoto at 425.374.5501.