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Communicating with Legislators for Change

By Leah Eby, Community and Civic Engagement Specialist
January 9, 2017
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YWCA Minneapolis supports parents, caregivers, youth, early childhood and school-age care professionals, and community members to be effective advocates. We work with stakeholders – many of them who are Minnesota citizens living in low-income households – to promote public policies that support our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women and girls.

Learn more about YWCA Minneapolis’ public policy priorities in 2017 and how you can communicate with your local representatives about the change you would like to see in our state government.

Top Policy Priority

Access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education and afterschool programs remain our top policy priority. YWCA Minneapolis believes that increasing access to quality early learning and youth development opportunities is critical to addressing racial disparities and supporting future economic development. We also believe that, at its core, this is a nonpartisan value.

2017 Minnesota Legislative Session

The 2017 legislative session kicked off last week with a new political landscape and many new faces. Achieving new funding for programs this session will likely be challenging. House Majority Leaders have prioritized tax cuts and cost reductions in the Department of Health and Human Services, which creates pressure on existing program funding. New leadership on the federal level means uncertainty in the state budget when it comes to infrastructure spending, healthcare and more. Ultimately, our advocacy efforts may be focused on fighting funding cuts to important programs rather than increasing access to these programs.

In this legislative session, YWCA Minneapolis actively promotes policies that:

  • Increase access to high-quality early childhood programs for children living in low-income households through flexible, family-directed scholarships that layer, enhance and expand existing public funding for families
  • Support changes and investments in Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) to ensure more children living in low-income households can access high-quality care in both the early childhood and school-age settings, including:
    • Increased reimbursement rates for CCAP providers
    • Fully funding Basic Sliding Fee Child Care Assistance
    • Implementing and funding the family-friendly provisions of the Child Care Development Fund reauthorization
  • Increase access to high-quality afterschool youth programs for families living in low-income households through competitive grants to afterschool programs
  • Support sustainable career pathways for early learning professionals, specifically through an increase in employment and economic development funding to YWCA Minneapolis to provide individuals living in low-income households the jobs skills training, career counseling and job placement assistance necessary to secure a child development associate credential and have a career path in early childhood education
  • Increase equity through addressing racial disparities and institutional racism

Working With Legislators

YWCA Minneapolis looks forward to working with legislators and stakeholders on these policies to support Minnesota’s youngest leaders and their families. Despite the challenges we may face this session, your voice still matters!

Communicating with your legislators is an effective way to advocate for policy changes you support:

  • Write a letter
  • Send an email
  • Call your legislators
  • Visit your legislators at the State Capitol in St. Paul

Find out who represents you here:

Find My Representatives

Advocacy Workshops

To learn more about advocacy and how to communicate with your legislators about issues you care about, attend a YWCA Minneapolis advocacy workshop:

View Upcoming Workshops

For more information or to get involved, please contact the Public Policy department at 612-215-4143 or email us.