Advocacy

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.


FEDERAL

To learn how the YWCA network is making an impact on the national level, visit YWCA USA’s Action Center. You can learn about our federal policy goals and make your voice heard by signing a letter to your Representative or Senator. The 117th Congress represents a critical opportunity to address core issues that impact the needs of women, girls, and marginalized communities.

Your voice matters and your voice counts! Visit YWCA USA’s #YWomenVote Portal for voting registration and planning resources to prepare for this year’s monumental midterm election season.

YWCA is working with Congress and coalition partners to ensure that Congress passes legislation in the following areas:

  • Racial justice
  • Women’s economic security
  • Childcare
  • Safety from gender-based violence
  • Strengthening the nonprofit sector
  • Immigration
  • Healthcare
  • Civil rights

Click below for federal legislation to watch:


STATE

Click below for current Ohio legislation to watch:


LOCAL

  • Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis
    • 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.
  • Ending Youth 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.

ACTION STEPS

  • Talk about these bills with your family, friends, and co-workers
  • Host a letter or postcard-writing party and send the letters/postcards to your State Representative
  • 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
  • Submit a letter to the editor to your local or regional news outlet
  • Visit the YWCA USA Action Center

Phone Call Script

Use the draft script when you call your representative, but be sure to make it personal!

Hello, I’m a constituent of Representative____________. I live in [City/Town].

I’m calling to urge [Representative] to vote against House Bill(s)____. These bills are a distraction from the real issues that matter to students and educators. They would have a serious chilling effect on student learning and Ohio’s education profession, which is facing a growing recruitment crisis. With these bills, Ohio lawmakers are sending exactly the wrong message to students and to businesses looking to recruit a diverse workforce.

Letter Template

Use this draft to help start your letter but be sure to include any relevant personal experience.

Dear Representative____________.

I live in [City/Town] and I am writing to urge you to vote against House Bill(s) ___. These bills are a distraction from the real issues that matter to students and educators. They would have a serious chilling effect on student learning and Ohio’s education profession, which is facing a growing recruitment crisis. With these bills, Ohio lawmakers are sending exactly the wrong message to students and to businesses looking to recruit a diverse workforce.

Best Regards,

First Name Last Name