Public Policy

Combining successful community-based programs with sound public policy engagement leads to long-term, positive change for everyone in our community. ​

United Way of Dane County fights for the education, health and financial stability of everyone in our community.

We are conscious of how public policy impacts the lives of our neighbors and committed to using our knowledge of local issues to help inform decisions-makers on policies at the local, state and national level. Developed in consultation with community leaders and our partner agencies, our public policy priorities reflect the strategic work of our Agenda for Change and our commitment to a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life. Our policy work is nonpartisan and research based.

United Way's Policy agenda

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Expand access to affordable, high-quality childcare as well as local home visiting and other early learning opportunities for all children in Dane County.

Support policies that close gaps in academic achievement particularly for students of color.

Increase access to affordable higher education and post-secondary education programs to ensure Dane County students are prepared for college, career and community life.

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Financial Stability

Strengthen access to job training and workforce development programs that align to jobs with family supporting wages, benefits and stable work schedules and provide opportunities for career advancement.

Support tax and other public policies that create incentives for work and promote income stability.

Expand access to affordable housing and address disparities in homeownership rates which contribute to the racial wealth gap.

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Protect and improve access to affordable, high-quality health care to ensure people’s health issues are identified and treated early.

Ensure basic nutritional programs are available to vulnerable populations.

Support the provision of culturally competent and linguistically responsive care.

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Nonprofit and Community Strengthening

Protect and expand existing charitable giving tax incentives that provide support to not for profits in Dane County and nationwide.

Position and promote United Way of Dane County 2-1-1 as our community’s most comprehensive health and human services information and referral resource.

Support community partnerships that promote equity and social justice.

How Can you take action?

One of the best ways to affect public policy is to take action yourself. Register to vote, contact your local and national politicians. Make sure your voice is heard! Check out the links below to help make a difference in your community.

Click here to visit MyVote Wisconsin and:

  • Register to vote
  • Find your elected officials
  • Learn about upcoming elections
  • Find out where to vote

Satya Rhodes-Conway is the 58th Mayor of Madison. Elected in 2019, she is the city’s second female mayor and the first out LGBTQ person to serve as Mayor of Madison.

The Wisconsin state legislature is made up of two houses: the Wisconsin State Assembly, and the Wisconsin State Senate. Every citizen of Wisconsin is represented by two legislators, elected by the people in their area: one in the Assembly, and one in the Senate.

Mark Pocan serves Wisconsin’s Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives. This includes all of Dane County. 

Senator Tammy Baldwin was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. She serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Senator Ron Johnson first elected to the Senate in 2010. He serves as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and also serves on the Budget, Foreign Relations, and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees.