United Way priorities for 2014: education, income and health

The United Way represents many things

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  • | 1:45 p.m. February 20, 2014
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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The United Way represents many things. We are a community impact agent. We are a fundraiser. We are a bridge that links a diverse community. We are local people solving local problems, with local solutions – We Live United.

But in our community we can’t do it alone. Every day – in almost every way – government laws, rules and regulations shape how we address our most pressing community problems. Sometimes they help, sometimes they hinder, but they always have a tremendous impact on how – or if – we are able to find the solutions best suited for us in Central Florida.

The Heart of Florida United Way is joining the other 31 United Ways across Florida to help our policymakers understand how they can help us locally by supporting policies that will assist our efforts during the 2014 legislative session that begins on March 4. Our 2014 Florida United Way Consensus Legislative Agenda is grounded in the philosophy that government should maximize revenues, invest in cost-effective and proven programs, allow local communities to determine the best use of resources and, to the greatest extent possible, orient spending to prevention programs.

While Florida’s United Ways will maintain our advocacy in 2014 for elder care, parent skill-building, mentoring, abuse and neglect prevention, behavioral health, children with disabilities, and more, our focus will be in three areas critically important to our communities. We will urge legislators and our congressional delegation to:

• Education: Provide access to high-quality early learning programs for all children.

• Income: Preserve and strengthen tax credits for low income households.

• Health: Provide access to affordable health coverage for all Floridians.

We hope you will join us in this important advocacy work. Make a call to a policy maker about any of these issues – or any other issue important to you. Help us work together to create policies that support our community. Live United!

— Robert H. (Bob) Brown, President & CEO of Heart of Florida United Way