United Way of Rome & Floyd County Executive Director Alli Mitchell joined United Way executives from across the country on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., this week as part of the United Way Presidents Forum.
The executives came together to advocate for priority causes in their local communities and leverage the power of the United Way network to call for expansion and support of several issues, including the Earned Income Tax Credit.
“The EITC is a vital tool that immediately impacts the lives of working families, allowing them to keep more of their earnings to cover the basics: groceries, utilities, child care and more,” Mitchell said. “It encourages and rewards work and is broadly considered our nation’s most effective pro-work, anti-poverty tool. Only those who work are eligible.”
United Way advocates for the similarly structured Child Tax Credit and the expansion of charitable giving incentives to all American taxpayers by creating a universal deduction.
“Charitable deductions provide an added incentive for people to give charitably to benefit others and ensure families and individuals receive critical services provided by our charities,” Mitchell said. “There are currently three House bills that support charitable giving incentives, one of which has bipartisan sponsorship.”
Mitchell took advantage of the opportunity to address concerns specific to the local community, as well, urging support for mental health parity, the equal treatment of mental health conditions and substance use disorders in insurance plans, and HIV/AIDS and anti trafficking and slavery awareness.
“NAMI Rome, AIDS Resource Council and End Slavery GA are just a few of our local nonprofits whose work supports and furthers these causes; these are issues that affect every organization and individual in our community,” she said. “We now have strong, community-wide focus on addressing homelessness and poverty, and are proud to be a part of and lend staff and financial support to that work. Homelessness is the symptom and avoidable result of myriad factors affecting members of our community, poverty being first in line. Many are not aware that Georgia has the highest state rate of HIV/AIDS infection in the country according to the CDC, and mental health support has long been an underresourced and leading contributor to homelessness in Rome and Floyd County.”
As part of its recent restructure, United Way of Rome & Floyd County places strong emphasis on advocating at the local, state, and national level for policies and programs that support the work of local nonprofit organizations and provide assistance to agencies and individuals alike for the good of all in our community.
“We are very grateful to Sen. (David) Perdue, Sen. (Kelly) Loeffler and Rep. Tom Graves and their staff for taking the time to connect on the priorities and work being done in our community to create collaborative solutions that lift people out of poverty and improve lives for all in Rome and Floyd County in measurable and lasting ways,” Mitchell said.
United Way of Rome & Floyd County seeks the community’s support in joining their advocacy efforts by contacting their members of congress.