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By becoming an advocate in your community, you help to inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow for the lives of children and families who are struggling to get by. Advocacy is a key part of our FACE 2024 plan. Ensuring policy and program improvement is essential to achieving maximum collective impact. The following is a brief overview of our advocacy plan with priorities focused on the achievement of our communitywide goals.

Public Policy & Advocacy Priorities


  • Early Childhood Education Investments
  • Reducing School Truancy and Absenteeism
  • On-Time Graduation and College/Career Readiness
  • Preserving Funding and Resources for Students/Schools of High Need


  • Improve Financial Literacy Standards for grades K-12 and in Community College
  • Increase Access to Self-Sufficiency Supports and Maintain Awareness of Tax Credits
  • Promote Career Readiness/Job Training and Workforce Development Aligned with Hiring Industries
  • Reduce Payday Lending


  • Ensure Broad Health Access
  • Include a Healthy Component and Free and Reduced Lunch Waivers for Targeted Districts
  • Expand Existing Public Children’s Health Coverage to Include Access to Dental Care


  • Support and Utilization of Permanent Year-Round Emergency Shelter and Service Centers for the Homeless
  • Increase Production, Utilization and Awareness of Affordable Housing Stock


  • Maintain the Charitable Tax Deduction
  • Preserve Existing Federal, State and County Resources for Education, Income, Health and Housing

Public Policy & Advocacy Committee

  • Mike Ruane, Co-Chair, Executive Vice President, National Community Renaissance
  • Karen Conlon, Co-Chair, President, Sequoia Grove Consulting
  • Antonella Castro, Real Estate and Business Attorney
  • Diane B. Dixon, City Council Member, Newport Beach
  • Michael Feldman, Executive Vice President, Head of Wealth Markets, Union Bank
  • Suzanne Fradette, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP
  • Joan Patronite Kelly, Corporate Director of Environmental Planning and Resource Management, Psomas
  • Michelle Murphy, MSW, Associate Director of Advocacy & Health
  • Scott Sampley, Vice President, Sales, Enterprise Holdings
  • John E. Stratman, Senior Director, Public Affairs & Brand Communications, Kaiser Permanente

Ways to advocate in Orange County

Anyone can champion our cause. As a community advocate, a little effort on your part can go a long way towards making a difference in your community.

Lend your voice by advocating for issues related to Education, Income, Health and Housing in Orange County

Help spread the word by sharing the work of United Way with your friends, neighbors and coworkers

Discover your passion by learning about an issue affecting your community that you care about, that you can advocate for change at a local level

Community Change Agents—United Way At Work

Our FACE 2024 strategy focuses on the belief that everyone should have access to a quality education, a sustainable income, good health and stable housing—building on United Way’s national policy priorities at a community level.

Raise your voice with us by writing to your local elected officials, keep up-to-date on policy changes, engage in social media discussions or attend a Board of Supervisors, city council or school board meeting.

Stay Informed on the Issues

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