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Advocacy at PEPS

Advocating for equitable policies is one part of our Strategic Direction, which means PEPS is striving to show up for families by taking action on policies that impact equity in our region. We are embracing our responsibility to leverage the large community of parents and caregivers in our network and will engage with issues and policies that affect parents and babies.

Engaging in advocacy is new for PEPS! Over the past several years, we have been learning and gathering input from families in the larger community, as well as the PEPS community.

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Informing PEPS Advocacy Priorities

To start, we conducted an organizational assessment, getting input from parents and organizations in the community to learn about the areas that significantly impact parents and how we can better show up for families in our region. We learned about the larger challenges we’re all facing — like access to affordable childcare, housing, and transportation.

Next, we conducted a landscape analysis, consisting of 15 interviews with stakeholders and coalition leaders involved in advocacy and policy locally and in Washington state, to identify areas PEPS could have the most impact.

We then asked for feedback on our advocacy work, and were thrilled by the enthusiastic response and support! We received nearly 400 responses, and the results are helping guide our advocacy work moving forward, from selecting our 2023 advocacy priorities to determining the most effective ways to communicate with our community about this work. 

Learn about the key takeaways from our advocacy survey.

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What’s Happening in 2023 

PEPS has joined three statewide advocacy coalitions to listen and learn. Advocacy coalitions are an effective way to collect current information about legislative advocacy and policy issues and have multiple groups sharing consistent messages with the community, legislators, and the media. Many advocacy coalitions exist in Washington state, bringing together various stakeholders interested in common policy issues.

We have also selected our priorities in relation to this year's Washington State Legislative Session. During this year’s session, legislators will have 105 days to grapple with policy bills and negotiate a two-year state budget.

Our advocacy work will fall into three areas of advocacy:

  1. Protect Paid Family and Medical Leave
    Demand for the program exceeds premium collection. A bipartisan proposal will adjust premium rates and formulas and create a three-month benefit reserve. These changes will keep the program solvent so it can support families when they most need it!

  2. Secure Affordable Housing Investments
    Housing is expensive and many individuals and families have been forced into homelessness. We are urging legislators in Washington State to make a substantial investment in affordable housing to reverse the trend and increase supply and affordability.

  3. Make Childcare More Affordable
    Childcare is expensive and in short supply. To add insult to injury, childcare workers are often underpaid. State investments in early learning will support childcare workers and expand access for low-income families.

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What is Advocacy? 

Advocacy: an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social institutions.  

People advocate to influence decision-making — at work and home — for themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. For PEPS, this includes listening to parent communities and our partner organizations about the needs of the families they serve. Collectively, we will use our voices to raise awareness of these needs and create change at a local or state level. 

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Our Goals for Advocacy

PEPS will work in partnership with other groups and organizations around specific issues, including those that affect expectant and new parents, maternal and child health, early learning, paid family and medical leave, and other basic needs.  

3 points of focus

Our advocacy work will fall into three areas of advocacy:

  1. Policy advocacy: PEPS will shape and uplift policies that prioritize racial equity and help Washington families.
  2. Administrative advocacy: PEPS will work with state agencies when appropriate to implement new policies equitably.
  3. Electoral advocacy: PEPS will educate our communities about local and state ballot initiatives relevant to children and families.

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Get Involved

Are you interested in joining us in advocating for families? 

Subscribe to receive email updates and follow us on Facebook or Instagram to stay up to date on our work.

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