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 2018 legislative priorities.

Download the 2018 Legislative Agenda

Legislative Priorities

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

Cliff Effect


Childhood Trauma

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

2018 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 to engage their legislators regarding these issues.


One in four Iowa children does not read proficiently by the end of third grade—a strong predictor of future education success. United Way of Central Iowa supports policies to increase the number of Iowa children reading proficiently by the end of third grade, a key indicator of high school graduation.

  • Support the Future Ready Iowa Alliance recommendation to identify and scale early academic and career development approaches.

  • Promote data sharing for developmental screenings across state-funded programs and agencies.


United Way of Central Iowa advocates for policies that enable Iowans to upskill and sustain employment to increase income.

  • Eliminate the child care “cliff effect” by expanding Child Care Assistance income eligibility and adjusting provider reimbursement rates.

  • Support the Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition recommendations 

  •  Repeal automatic driver’s license suspension for non-driving drug offenders.

  • Work to advance state engagement with the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training program (SNAP E&T).


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.



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.
  •  Increase awareness of 2-1-1 and the services provided to Iowans.
Download a Detailed Legislative Agenda

"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 state-wide."

Dave Stone.png

Dave Stone
Advocacy Officer   (515) 246-6538