Our Advocacy Platform

Advocacy is a critical piece of our work at United Way of Washtenaw County because it is one of the most effective tools we can use to promote our community’s needs.

That’s why we work every day to bring our partners, supporters, civic leaders and community members together to speak out on Health, Education and Financial Stability issues that are the heart of our mission. 


Current Issues with Movement on our Public Policy Platform:

Act Now to Keep Millions From Going Hungry

One in seven Michigan residents relies on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to access the nutritious food their families need to grow and thrive. At United Way, we work to build strong and healthy communities. SNAP helps achieve this goal by pulling families in Southeastern Michigan out of poverty, increasing participation in local economies and ensuring that children have access to fresh food.The changes outlined in the U.S. House version of the Farm Bill, which contains SNAP, would weaken all these efforts and make it harder for families in Washtenaw County to put food on the table.

By contrast, the Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill is a bipartisan compromise that protects access to SNAP and will strengthen the economic stability of our communities. Join us in telling our elected officials to reject House Resolution 2; instead, support Senate Bill 3042, which will help Michigan families reach economic stability. 

Thank you for helping us advocate for a healthier and stronger community.

Action on Payday Lending

Payday lenders have targeted vulnerable Michigan communities, disproportionately locating their stores in communities of color, rural areas, and low-income neighborhoods, according to a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending. Through a business model designed to trap people facing economic hardship in long-term cycles of debt, payday lenders raked in $94 million in 2016 and more than $500 million in five years. Two thirds of Michigan payday loan stores have headquarters outside of the state.

Senate bills 430-432 were introduced in June 2017 and referred to the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Services. These bills would legalize loans of up to $2500 for up to two years, with fees equal to up to 180% APR. For example, on a $1,500, 12-month loan, the total payback amount would be $3,209. For a $2,500, 24-month loan, the total payback amount would be $8,344 with monthly payments of $348. 

Read the Community and Economic Development Association of Michigan's sign-on letter to Michigan Senators which includes a list of 89 organizations who oppose SB 430-432. is a new online voter resource to help Ann Arbor residents be informed about local candidates and proposals in Ann Arbor. The site also provides basic info on how to register, how to vote absentee and where to go on Election Day, as well as features like a photo gallery, a glossary of election terms, and tools to help promote awareness of local elections. This effort is a project of The CivCity Initiative, a nonpartisan nonprofit that's working to build a more informed, engaged community. Check it out!