Public Policy

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

 We recognize Wisconsin ranks among the worst states in the country for racial equity and we are committed to working with our diverse network of community members, nonprofit, business and philanthropic partners and policymakers to identify and address root causes of inequities and local challenges in Dane County. We believe that combining our investments in successful community-based programs and our caring power of convening with sound public policy engagement and advocacy will lead to long-term, positive change for everyone in our community.

We are conscious of how public policy impacts the lives of our neighbors and creates the conditions for people in our community to thrive. We are committed to using our knowledge and research of local issues to help inform decisions-makers on policies at the local, state and national levels and mobilizing our community and partner network to help design and support solutions guided by measurable results. Developed in consultation with community leaders and our partner agencies, our public policy priorities are aligned to the strategic work of our mission to support the Education, Income and Health of all people in Dane County.

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.





Join United Way of Dane County in Celebrating #VoteEarlyDay! Last month, we celebrated National Voter Registration Day by partnering with the City of Madison Clerk’s Office as a voter registration site. We are excited to continue our support of civic engagement efforts and honor national #VoteEarlyDay!

Learn about the candidates in the upcoming Election from The League of Women Voters of Dane County Candidates’ Answers webpage.

Policy Action Request Form

Do you have a request for United Way to take action on a policy issue? Fill out this request form.

Policy Selection Criteria

Do you want to know how United Way approaches our policy advocacy and engagement? See our advocacy criteria guide.