Guest View: Here's what United Way is fighting for in 2021

GUEST VIEW: Here’s what United Way is fighting for in 2021

By The Daily News Staff | on January 31, 2021

2020 was a challenging year.

Terri Legg is the Executive Director of United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties.

The COVID-19 pandemic made the need to raise our voices and push for policy change more important than ever. At the United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties, we fight for ALICE — many women and men who work hard at low-wage jobs yet can barely make ends meet. They find it nearly impossible to cover even essentials such as food, transportation to and from work, and electric bills

You joined us in advocating for critical supports for people in our community. Congress responded with meaningful relief for children, families, and nonprofits. But in a new year and a new Congress there is more work to be done.

United Way’s focus on advocacy priorities in the areas of health, education, financial stability and community strengthening remains steadfast. In 2021 our federal advocacy work includes an intentional focus on policies that will help our community respond, recover, reimage and rebuild systems in the wake of the health and economic crisis from COVID-19 and address gender and racial inequities. We’re joining with United Ways in every state across the country to push for policy change that supports families in Montcalm and Ionia Counties.

We need our elected officials in Congress to prioritize things like:

• Protecting and maintaining affordable healthcare coverage, especially a robust Medicaid program, to keep people insured through the pandemic.

• Stabilizing and supporting the child care sector so that families have the support they need and young children have access to high quality early childhood learning opportunities.

• Closing the digital divide for children and workers by increasing broadband access.

• Fight for affordable housing by extending the eviction moratorium for the duration of the pandemic and providing additional rent relief so that families remain housed.

• Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit to keep millions of Americans from sliding into poverty.

We’re fighting for these priorities and much more. Join us this year, let Congress know what is important to you. 

Terri Legg is the Executive Director of United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties.

The opinions expressed in the Guest View do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Daily News.