Advocate with the Y

Lasting positive change in your community is possible. As an advocate for the YMCA, you can take an active role in influencing policy that can help make your community healthier, happier and more equitable.

Advocate with the Y

Influencing Policy and Your Community as an Advocate

When you advocate with the YMCA, you take an active role in bringing about meaningful, enduring change for your family, neighbors and community. Having served our nation for nearly 175 years, the Y has a deep understanding of how to strengthen our communities. With the help of our many partners, the Y's goal is to provide everyone with the opportunity to thrive.

2022 National Public Policy Priorities

The YMCA is committed to helping our communities thrive. By advocating for change in public policy, we can be the catalyst for meaningful and lasting change that community members benefit from.

  • The Y is for Youth Development

    At the YMCA, we believe that all kids deserve the chance to discover who they are and what they can achieve. We take a holistic approach in developing their social, emotional, academic and physical well-being. Each year, the Y serves 8 million children in a variety of programs and activities. But we don’t just teach swimming or coach soccer, we help support strong kids with strong futures in thousands of communities across the country.

    Learn about the Y’s national youth development policy priorities:

  • The Y is for Healthy Living

    We have driven program innovation in a mission to create healthier, more balanced communities across the country. Our community health programs are evidence-based, proven and delivered in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations. Our goal is to make a healthier life more accessible to all.

    Learn about the Y’s national healthy living policy priorities:

  • The Y is for Social Responsibility

    At the heart of the Y, there are millions of people committed to building a better future for their communities. We support policies such as tax incentives that promote charitable giving and reasonable reforms that promote good governance, accountability and transparency.

    Learn more about the Y’s national social responsibility policy priorities:

The Y's 2023 Legislative Priorities

Our legislative priorities support federal investments in places and programs that are open to people of all generations, backgrounds and perspectives, and expand access to the resources, opportunities and relationships that everyone needs to thrive.

  • Supporting the Healthy Development of Youth

    • Support the highest allocation possible for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).
    • Support a $500 million increase for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC).
    • Support the highest allocation possible for Head Start.
  • Ensuring the Safety and Well-Being of Youth

    • Reauthorize and increase funding for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
    • Support the RISE from Trauma Act and other proposals that address the mental health and wellness of young people and staff in youth-serving organizations.
  • Preventing and Controlling Chronic Diseases and Promoting Health Equity

    • Support $3.8 billion, a tripling of funding, for CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
    • Advance legislation or Administration-level fixes to improve the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program expansion project at Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Creating Safer Futures

    • Support $5 million for Drowning Prevention at CDC’s National Center on Injury Prevention and Control.
    • Support $50 million at CDC’s National Center on Injury Prevention and Control for Firearm Injury & Mortality Prevention Research to determine the best solutions to prevent and reduce gun-related injuries and deaths.
  • Building a Sustainable Future

    • Support $100 million for the National Park Service (NPS) Youth Partnership Programs at the Department of Interior.
    • Support the creation of a national Outdoor Equity Initiative.
    • Cosponsor the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act.
  • Connecting Individuals and Communities to Needed Resources

    • Support the Summer Meals Act and codify lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen USDA child nutrition programs.
    • Cosponsor the Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act (UGPRRA).
    • Support an increase for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
    • Increase funding to the highest allocation possible for emergency shelter, transitional and affordable housing, facility infrastructure and social services to address social and health inequities.
    • Support programs and funding streams that advance the community schools model, including for Full-Service Community Schools.
    • Support meaningful, bipartisan deliberations on comprehensive immigration reform.

Related content

  • Work at the Y

    It takes support of all kinds to sustain the many ways in which we work to strengthen communities. In addition to advocates, we also need people who are interested in turning their passion into a career at the Y.

  • Volunteer

    By volunteering at the Y, you can work alongside your neighbors in your own communities to impact lives and contribute to a stronger, more inclusive country.

  • Drive Change in Your Community

    We believe in the power of young people to create lasting change in their communities, which is why we offer programs and experiences that grow leadership skills and encourage civic engagement.