Advocate.pngEach year United Way works with legislators, communities, programs, and leaders across the state of Iowa to establish mission-driven public policy goals and priorities to achieve systemic changes.

United Way’s advocacy work is focused on:

  • Developing relationships with elected officials from both parties at all levels of


  • Sharing what we have learned from our initiatives and heard from the community

  • Focusing on where we align with others and working with allies to collectively drive change

Below are tools, references, and information regarding United Way's advocacy efforts in Iowa. 


Subscribe to Legislative Updates


Scroll down to see United Way's 2019 Legislative Agenda and Scorecard.

Legislative Priorities

Explore some of the issues we're advocating for more in-depth: 

Cliff Effect


Childhood Trauma

5-2-1-0: Healthy Choices Count

Advocacy Resources

Iowa General Assembly


Learn about current legislation, committee meetings and legislatures at the Iowa General Assembly website.

Iowa Governor


This website includes press releases, commentary and constituent services for Iowa’s governor.


Find Your Legislators


To engage in advocacy, it is important to know who represents you at the Iowa Capitol and in Washington, D.C.


Nonprofit Advocacy & Lobbying

Can nonprofits lobby? What is legal? The following sites are useful resources for nonprofits engaging in public policy and advocacy

2019 Legislative Priorities

Each year United Way of Central Iowa and other United Ways around the state collaborate to develop our top priorities for the Iowa legislature in the areas of education, income and health, the building blocks for a good quality of life. Our work to advocate for public policy changes to work toward achieving our goals for 2020 happen both directly through face-to-face meetings with legislators, leaders, and influencers in our community, and indirectly by helping all central Iowans engage their legislators regarding these issues.

Below are the legislative priorities that we have identified for the 2019 legislative session. Download a PDF of our 2019 Legislative Agenda for a printable summary.

Download the 2019 Legislative Scorecard


United Way of Central Iowa supports policies to help children build critical reading skills and help youth connect with education and support for lifelong success.

  • Support the reauthorization of the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) school infrastructure sales tax. (Policy)

  • Increase opportunities for career pathway exploration in the PK-12 system by providing more valuable career-assessment experiences and work-based learning options to help students better prepare to make education, training, and career choices. (Policy)


United Way of Central Iowa advocates for policies that enable Iowans to upskill and sustain employment to increase income.
Support the recommendations of the Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition including:
  • Maintain current investments in adult basic education, PACE programs, pathway navigators, industry-sector partnerships, and GAP tuition assistance at $12.5 million. (Maintain Funds)

  • Lead efforts to eliminate the child care “cliff effect” and increase access to quality and affordable child care by expanding the income eligibility level of the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program from 145 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level using a tiered co-pay schedule. Advocate for stabilizing the child care provider market through CCA program improvements and reimbursement rates. (Fiscal Ask)

  • Support the Future Ready Iowa initiative to help grow Iowa’s workforce through new investments that build on the solid foundation of programs and funding currently in place. (Fiscal Ask)

  • Support efforts to increase awareness of affordable workforce housing. (Policy)

  • Initiate a public-private partnership to increase opportunities for the direct care workforce to transfer credentials and training, support higher wages, and build the talent pipeline. (Policy)

  • Identify and support public and private transportation solutions. (Policy)

  • Promote the recommendations of the SNAP Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) work group to increase engagement with the federal SNAP E&T. (Revenue Increase)


United Way of Central Iowa advocates for a comprehensive, holistic approach to health and well-being, focused on prevention and addressing root causes of poor health outcomes. 

  • Ensure access to quality mental and health care services for all central Iowans with a focus on vulnerable populations served by Medicaid. (Fiscal Ask)

Support the recommendations of the Well Kids of Central Iowa Coalition:

  • Promote healthy habits through 5-2-1-0 messaging and technical assistance resourced by childhood obesity funding at the Iowa Department of Public Health. (Maintain Funds)

  • Support data tracking to improve the physical education of Iowa students. (Policy)

Support the recommendations of the ACEs 360 Coalition (Adverse Childhood Experiences)



United Way of Central Iowa works to secure the basic needs of all Iowans to impact our community goals.

  • Support a sales tax exemption for food banks and pantries serving low-income Iowans.
  • Advocate for implementing the Benefit Bank to help stabilize families and ensure that Iowa receives the maximum federal funding available to support financial stability and workforce development.
  • Increase awareness of 2-1-1 and the services provided to Iowans.
Download the 2019 Legislative Scorecard

"Our work with Iowa legislators, business leaders and community impact experts is an important part of United Way's work, and has led to significant progress statewide."

Dave Stone.png

Dave Stone

Advocacy Officer   (515) 246-6538