On December 8th, 2015, at the Sherrill Center on the UNC Asheville campus, United Way was one of several sponsors for “Building a Stronger North Carolina: A Legislative Briefing and Call to Action”. Click on the links below to access the presentation slides, companion guide, 2015 economic snapshots of any of 17 western North Carolina counties, information how your organization can get advocacy training from WNC Nonprofit Pathways, and the video recording of the presentation.
- Presentation slides
- Companion Guide
- Economic snapshot 17 western counties
- Advocacy Training Opportunity
- Mountain Xpress article about the event
- Recording of the Legislative Briefing (to come later)
Issues within our Focus Areas
- Check out our very own Education blog.
- How we approach the "First 2,000 Days" of a child's life can make a difference for the child and community. As shown on this website, early investments in early child development reap a lifetime of results.
- By moving the Education bars of the Common Good Forecaster, you can predict changes in Health, Financial Stability, Kids Achievement, and Civic Participation through this cool, interactive learning tool.
- Here is another interactive tool - play a Texas Hold 'em style card game as a way to understand the options school officials face when deciding the budget when faced with severe cutbacks.
- NC Child provides news, reports, and resources on issues affecting the well-being of North Carolina's children. This organization’s goals are to work to ensure that every child is healthy, safe, well-educated and financially secure.
- Check out how well schools throughout the state are doing.
- When it comes to money in our pockets and resources for needed services taxes are often a key part of the conversation. The Institute for Emerging Issues has developed a “tax calculator” that people can work through to see how changes in the sales, personal income, and corporate tax rates affect the structural deficit in place now, in North Carolina. Before you use the tax calculator be sure to check out this brief but excellent video that will walk you through the calculator with examples of how changes in what gets taxed can affect the deficit.
- Be your own advocate. Gain knowledge on how to manage financial resources and build stability. And be sure to forward this to a friend…
- In 2005, Buncombe County prepared a 10 year plan to end homelessness. See the progress being made.
- The North Carolina Housing Coalition is a leading advocate for safe and affordable housing.
- This link, provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation, lists a wide range of questions and answers to all sorts of concerns about the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare).
- UPDATED FOR 2015! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has updated the data on the website it maintains that looks at a variety of statistics that reveal the health of counties. By entering the State and County, you can access that information. This website highlights their approach, ranking methods, action steps you can take, and stories from counties throughout the United States that are taking action to improve their health results.
- Check out Buncombe County’s latest Community Health Assessment, produced in 2012.
All three issues (Education, Income and Health)
- Read a report that gives a snapshot of the economy in Buncombe County - produced in 2015.
- In order to be a good advocate it is important to have quality data at your fingertips. Check out the resources on the WNC Vitality Index. Topics are categorized as The Natural Environment, The Human Environment, The Built Environment and The Economic Environment.
- Kids Count compares North Carolina (ranked 35th in the country from the latest statistics) to the United States as a whole on a wide range of issues affecting children - review their profile of the status of children NC here. View their whole report here.
Connect with government
Direct links to Federal, State and Local officials:
- Identify and contact your federal legislators
- Identify and contact your NC Reps
- Connect with Buncombe County Commissioners
- Connect with Asheville City Council
- Meet members of the Buncombe County Board of Education
- Identify members of the Asheville City Schools Board of Education
- Become more engaged with what is going on in Raleigh - who is there, what the issues are and what is being voted on. Carolina Public Press has assembled a great collection of links that can help you do just that.