Emerging Leaders advocate for change at Lobby Day
This is a guest post by Anne Disabato who works at Microsoft and co-chairs the Emerging Leaders volunteering sub-committee.
While many of us have been captivated by events on the national political stage, local United Ways in the Pacific Northwest came together in February to focus on bringing about legislative changes right here in Olympia. More than 30 United Way of King County volunteers and staff headed to our state capitol on February 23 to meet with local representatives and advocate for bills impacting the community.
As an Emerging Leader, I was excited about the opportunity to have a lasting impact by advocating for systematic changes in Washington State. Some of the issues we were advocating for included:
- Passing Breakfast after the Bell – providing breakfast for kids in high-needs schools where and when it matters.
- Reforming the system of Legal Financial Obligations for people facing incarceration.
- Increased Funding for 211, a service providing health and human service information and referrals to people in need.
Participating in Lobby Day reminded me that every individual can have an impact in the community just by using their voice. United Way is tackling some of our most challenging issues, but with the support of all Washington residents, we can ensure that we really are building a community where people have homes, students graduate, and families are financially stable.
Here’s what a few of my fellow Emerging Leaders had to say about their experience at Lobby Day:
“This was my first lobby day, and what impressed me the most was the friendliness of all the representatives and their willingness to listen. They gave honest answers and asked questions on how they could help further or suggested ways we could be more involved. It was a great experience to discuss issues that represent core United Way values, and I look forward to seeing what comes of it.” – Pooja Mishra
“United Way’s Lobby Day was a well-organized and inclusive way to be introduced to lobbying and influencing public policy. It was a lot of fun, and it was encouraging to see so many passionate volunteers speaking with legislators from my district who were eager to help in any way they could!” – John Anderson
Do you want to get involved with the important work that the Emerging Leaders do?