Y WE ACT
Many of the issues addressed by YWCA Greater Cleveland – homelessness, addiction, poverty, mental illness – are founded upon and fueled by racism and social injustice. YWCA is committed to advocating for policies that acknowledge structural racism and sexism are at the heart of many of our current crises and must be addressed directly if prospects for women and girls are to improve.
On a Mission to End Homelessness
When our local government commits to the systemic change needed to end the inequities, we can ensure that everyone in our community has access to safe and affordable housing.
Ban Flavored Tobacco Sales in Cleveland
Tobacco companies have a long history of targeting communities of color with devastating consequences. We have a responsibility to protect our communities and ban flavored tobacco sales.
Become a YWCA USA Advocate
YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. We invite you to join us and take action on health, economic, safety, and racial justice priorities directly affecting women and communities of color.
Vote No on Issue 1
On Aug. 8th, Ohioans will vote on Issue 1 which proposes to amend our state constitution to raise the threshold to pass citizen-led Constitutional Amendments on the ballot from 50% plus one to 60%. Vote no to help protect democracy in Ohio.
Click below for current local legislation and advocacy:
Tell Cleveland Lawmakers to Ban Flavored Tobacco Sales– Tobacco companies have a long history of targeting communities of color with devastating consequences. As a driving force behind potentially fatal health conditions that disproportionately impact people of color, such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Cleveland has a responsibility to protect our community and end the sale of flavored tobacco products.
Creating a More Equitable Continuum of Care– We recognize the systemic barriers to exiting homelessness such as racism, sexism, and ableism. When our local government commits to the systemic change needed to end the inequities, we can ensure that everyone in our community has access to the safe and affordable housing they are entitled to.
Homeless Bill of Rights– The main goal of the Homeless Bill of Rights is to enshrine and protect the civil and human rights of people while they are experiencing homelessness. It aims to end the criminalization of the experience of homelessness. It also guarantees that all Cleveland residents have the same rights and are treated with respect and compassion, regardless of their housing status. The proposed Homeless Bill of Rights adds protections against discrimination for people experiencing homelessness in Cleveland and memorializes specific rights belonging to people experiencing homelessness.
A Place 4 Me – AP4M is a collective impact initiative of 30 partner organizations that coordinates the planning and implementation of local efforts to improve outcomes for young adults aging out of foster care or experiencing homelessness. We achieve these goals through convening, system assessment, planning, using data to drive decision-making, and by partnering with young adults to lead our advocacy efforts. We work to promote racial equity in the youth homeless system.
Join us for the Racism as a Public Health Crisis Town Hall on April 28th- In November of 2019, YWCA Greater Cleveland partnered with First Year Cleveland to host “400 Years of Inequity: A Call to Action” a national summit commemorating the start of chattel slavery in 1619 and its enduring impact on health, economic and educational inequities in America. The summit closed with a call to action – declare racism a public health crisis. With the support of YWCA and other community organizations, in summer 2020, the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County officials declared racism a public health crisis and committed to making real systemic change. These declarations represent an important governmental acknowledgment of racism and its continued impact.
We are now serving on a working group made up of leaders from several community organizations in Cleveland, including the NAACP, infant mortality activist groups Birthing Beautiful Communities and First Year Cleveland and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland to make recommendations and advise policymakers and city officials on improving racial disparities in Cleveland.
Click below for current Ohio legislation to watch:
Aisha’s Law is currently sitting in the senate for approval, and it is a bill proposal that was named after Shaker Heights teacher who was murdered by her ex-husband. If passed the bill would make it so that penalties for killing an intimate partner is tougher.
House Bill 7 (Strong Foundation Act) seeks to address the lack of resources that mothers are provided by supporting strong foundations for mothers and babies to address maternal and infant mortality and improve health and developmental outcomes.
HJR1 Proposing to amend Sections 1b, 1e, and 1g of Article II and Sections 1 and 3 of Article XVI of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to require a vote of at least 60% of the electors to approve any constitutional amendment and to modify the procedures for an initiative petition proposing a constitutional amendment.
Senate Bill 83 (Ohio Higher Education Act) is a proposed bill that seeks to change the very fabric of education in the state of Ohio. It seeks to this by:
- Banning DEI programs
- No Boycotting
- No public positions
- No indoctrination
- No controversial concepts
- No advantage/Affirmative Action
- No “Ideological litmus test”
The Reproductive Freedom with Protections to Reproductive Health and Safety Bill will ban every restriction concerning abortion in Ohio, while also protecting it under the state constitution. The Ohio ballot board has voted unanimously to approve the initiative as a single-issue amendment which will allow it the possibility to go before voters in November.
SUPPORTED: Adopting the Menstrual Equality Act
The Menstrual Equity Act seeks to provide menstrual hygiene products to incarcerated menstruators and assures that they are treated with dignity. Products such as pads, tampons, and menstrual cups, are not luxuries, but are essential for maintaining health and sanitation.
This will benefit the citizens of Greater Cleveland by putting in place a uniform policy across the state to ensure that:
- Incarcerated people have equitable access to a sufficient quantity of menstrual products and aren’t denied essential supplies because of their race, sex, gender preference, income status, degree of charge, or disability status.
- Staff cannot use access to period products to manipulate or abuse incarcerated people.
- Menstrual products are safely stored, distributed, and disposed of.
- Incarcerated people do not need to create unsafe makeshift products or come into conflict with others because of the scarcity period products.
To learn how the YWCA is making an impact on the federal level, visit YWCA USA’s Action Center.
In this moment of ongoing economic uncertainty and compounding social challenges facing our nation, YWCA is driving an inclusive agenda to address the underlying gender equity and racial justice tensions that are deeply embedded in our nation.
We are calling on members of Congress to act on the following health, economic, safety, and racial justice priority areas:
- Safety from gender-based violence
- Child Care
- Federal Budget & Appropriations
- Strengthening the Nonprofit Sector’s Impact
- Racial Justice
- Reproductive Justice & Abortion Access
- Women’s Economic Security
- Talk about these bills and action steps with your family, friends, and co-workers
- Sign a petition to pass the Homeless Bill of Rights
- Host a letter or postcard-writing party and send the letters/postcards to your State Representative
- Send a letter to your local representative urging them to ban flavored tobacco sales.
- Support or volunteer with organizations working to register voters and increase turnout
- Attend local school board meetings and share your concerns
- Call your State Representative
- If you have a personal connection with a state representative, reach out and see if they have time for a phone call or meeting with you
- Share information YWCA posts on social media about these bills and action items
- Submit a letter to the editor to your local or regional news outlet
- Visit the YWCA USA Action Center