GTCUW also shows up as advocates with our coalition partners. For example, working alongside more than 240 statewide organizations as part of the Homes for All coalition, United Way advocates for policies that support housing stability for all, including building momentum for affordable housing through bonding this session. Every spring, we co-host Advocacy Day for Children with the Start Early Funders Coalition, where hundreds of young children, parents and educators from across the state come together to ask legislators to prioritize Minnesota’s youngest children.
In 2021, GTCUW urged legislators to act quickly on issues important to our community, and our leadership resulted in several critical wins.
United Way strongly advocated for emergency rental assistance for Minnesotans experiencing financial hardships during the pandemic, as well as a reasonable off-ramp to the eviction moratorium. Lawmakers agreed on a new program, RentHelpMN, and over 200,000 callers contacted our 211 resource helpline to learn more and apply. Additionally, a 15-week phaseout of the eviction moratorium was adopted, requiring a 15-day pre-eviction notice and the provision that any tenant eligible for assistance with a pending RentHelpMN application cannot be evicted through June 1, 2022.
The organization was highly vocal on behalf of our littlest Minnesotans, advocating to expand access to quality early childhood care and learning opportunities for families across the state and to support child care providers. With our parnters, we achieved a long-sought increase in funding for Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program, primarily for its reimbursements to child care providers for low-income households. This increase will allow more families to access the program, which already serves roughly 30,000 children each month, while providing much-needed stabilization for providers.
COVID-19 has dramatically increased the need for local services from Minnesota’s nonprofits, yet organizations have struggled to stay afloat. GTCUW advocated for $50 million in federal emergency relief funds to support Minnesota’s nonprofit sector, so they can continue to address current needs and improve outcomes for communities. In April 2021, the organization’s president and CEO John Wilgers co-authored the MinnPost op-ed, “A smart investment in Minnesota: A nonprofit resiliency and recovery fund,” to raise awareness to this issue. In 2022, United Way increased this ask to $200 million, a measure that had bipartisan support but did not pass. We continue advocating for relief funding for our state’s nonprofit sector.