Front of the Milwaukee County Courthouse

Creating lasting change in our community sometimes requires changes in public policy. Advocating starts with educating policy makers about the importance of issues in our community, then engaging the policy makers. We know this is not always easy. Many want to contribute and advocate for the changes that are important to them, but don’t exactly know what to say or how to say it. We can help.

Our Current Policy Work

Our policy priorities are nonpartisan, grounded in research and evidence-based principles and support long-term solutions to local challenges. This is not about politics, it’s about understanding the complex issues that people face every day, and coming together, united, to solve these issues. 


Find your Local Representative 


Advocacy Toolkit


Current Call to Action: Diaper Sales Tax Exemption

Diapers are a critical, basic need for families with small children.Diapers are as essential to a baby’s healthy development as a mother’s love. Keeping infants and toddlers clean, dry, and healthy is key to building a solid foundation for all children to reachtheir full potential. Yet, one in three families struggle to provide clean diapers for their baby.

Will you support Senate Bill 227 to create a sales tax exemption for diapers, undergarments for incontinence, tampons, and sanitary napkins for residents of Wisconsin?

View the Diaper Sales Tax Exemption Toolkit


Current Call to Action: Safe Harbor Laws

Woman standing in front of car headlights

Human Trafficking is an invisible epidemic in Wisconsin . Wisconsin’s current prostitution laws fail to recognize minors as victims in need of support. Safe Harbor laws can help trafficked minors get the supports they need.

Will you help protect victims of Human Trafficking by asking our Legislature to support or co-sponsor Senate Bill 245/Assembly Bill 185? 

View Safe Harbor Laws Toolkit



Reducing Barriers to Employment & Advancement


Education, Training and Credentials
Promote programs and initiatives to connect jobseekers with the skills, knowledge and credentials that eliminate barriers to obtaining and sustaining employment.

Support efficient, multi-modal transportation solutions to improve access between jobseekers and employment opportunities.

Justice System Involvement
Advocate for bipartisan solutions which remove employment barriers for jobseekers with nonviolent criminal records.

Learn more about expungement

Read AB 69 Expungement Reform

Talent Retention
Promote strategies that attract and retain diverse employees in our community.



Safe & Stable Homes


Right To Counsel
Advocate for local ordinances to establish a right to counsel for low-income tenants facing eviction.

Below is a toolkit that include contact information for the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, sample phone and email scripts, and more.

Right to Counsel Toolkit

Shelter Civic Response Team Recommendations
Support bipartisan legislative and fiscal policy recommendations to prevent homelessness in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Expansion of Tenant-Landlord Mediation Programs
Scale and sustain the successful Mediate Milwaukee model to resolve tenant/landlord disputes before they become evictions.



Community Schools


High Quality Schools
Scale the Community Schools model to increase access to high-quality educational opportunities and developmental resources for K12 students and their families.
US Full Service Community Schools Act 2021

Racial Equity
Support legislative, fiscal and administrative policies which to maximize outcomes for schools, students and their families in all communities.

Digital Divide
Insure all families have access to the Internet and digital devices (Techquity).



Strengthening Communities


Milwaukee Civic Response Team
Advance legislative and fiscal policies which drive our community’s recovery from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus Package

Strengthening Communities 
Support and expand efforts that create greater community investment, volunteerism and civic engagement.

Child Tax Credit

Support for United Way Partner Agencies
Build local capacity to engage policymakers in efforts to improve the Health, Education and Financial Stability of our community. 

Read our letter to Congress


Public Policy & Advocacy Committee Members

Tim Baack, Pathfinders • Ian Bautista, Greater Milwaukee Foundation • David Bowles, Creative Marketing Resources • Anne Chapman, Wisconsin Policy Forum • Shelia Cochran, Community Volunteer • Daria Hall, Wisconsin Partnership • Danielle Nabak, UW-Extension • Tony Panciera, Greater Milwaukee Committee • Chris Rasch, 16th Street Community Health Center • Mike Rowe, American Transmission Company • Bethany Sanchez, Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council • Kari Southern, Public Policy Institute at Community Advocates • Paul Schmitz, Leading Inside Out • Thelma Sias, Community Volunteer • Jeremy Simon, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County • Lynn Sprangers, Community Volunteer • Gary Sprong, Community Volunteer • Marcus White, Johnson Foundation at Wingspread • Brenda Wood, City of Milwaukee

If you have questions, reach out to Jeremy Simon.


Spread the Word

Your voice matters. Use your voice and raise awareness about causes that impact our community.

Connect the power of your network with ours. Spread the word about the work that United Way is doing in the Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County community. When you like, share, and comment on our posts, you are letting the world know that you are Living United.

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© 2021 United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is a 501(C)(3) Nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 39-0806190.