Advocacy is a key part of what Aloha United Way does to impact our community. By working collectively with nonprofit partners and across sectors, AUW aims to collaborate with policymakers to create positive change. We proactively engage policymakers and partners, work closely with cross-sector allies, and bring greater visibility to priority issues that affect our community.
As a trusted leader, AUW is focused on crafting and supporting long-term solutions for our community through a nonpartisan, non-ideological approach to advocacy. We leverage our relationships and convening power to bring together allies across sectors for greater impact.


We are committed to providing leadership, active and visible support in our advocacy work. Both AUW staff and volunteers will lend themselves to work with partners and use resources for outreach, education, and submission of testimony. 

Advocacy and Public Policy Priorities

Aloha United Way policy agenda is strategically aligned with advancing the health, education, and financial stability in our community. The 2024 AUW Advocacy and Public Policy Agenda can be organized in the following areas:
  • Safety Net
  • Nonprofit Sector Support


ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The ALICE Initiative aims to increase the economic stability of ALICE Households. In 2024, AUW will focus on the following areas:
  • Advocating for measures that would increase accessible, safe and affordable housing
  • Increase the stock of affordable housing for residents in a range of income levels; including measures to modify zoning and permitting regulations
  • Development and rehabilitation of affordable housing for residents and measures that limit the use of housing stock for non-resident investment and short-term rental units
  • Develop pathways to homeownership specifically for households at or below the ALICE Threshold
  • Support fund development to rehabilitate existing housing and maintain current owners in their homes
  • Limit or cap property tax increases for kūpuna and long-time homeowners living in their primary residence

Increased Financial Stability & Equity

  • Develop living wage income opportunities and/or reduce household costs 
  • Expand and support savings, matching, and asset-building programs
  • Increase minimum wage to meet or exceed ALICE Threshold
  • Combat predatory lending and increase access to equitable financial services and credit
  • Expand resources for households facing unmanageable debt
  • Provide statewide access to paid family leave and paid sick leave
  • Reduce tax burden on households for essential goods and services
  • Develop broader safety net supports to mitigate short-term setbacks and emergencies for households ALICE and below
  • Increase funding for Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP), Voluntary Income Tax Credit (EITC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) and dependent Tax Credit programs

Childcare and Early Education

  • Support universally available preschool and expansion of public preschool options and seats
  • Reduce cost of childcare and increase availability of affordable/quality childcare

Workforce Development

  • Enhance workforce development opportunities in Hawaii and develop career pipelines that provide wages above the ALICE Threshold
  • Development of  programs to assist ALICE Households in accessing and affording the cost of post-secondary education
  • Diversify options for dual credit certification programs

Mitigate Benefits Cliffs

  • Eliminate or mitigate impact of “Benefits Cliffs” means or earning tests that cause large drops in benefits due to minor increases in earnings 
  • Develop bridge programs that transition households through potential benefits cliffs and support economic mobility

Community Wellbeing

  • Increase funding or programs that support active and healthy aging in our community
  • Increase investment to address a growing mental health crisis; providing for timely request for services and support

Safety Net

Advocacy in this area supports local residents with immediate food and shelter needs, as well as those in our community responding to emergencies. The 2024 Safety Net advocacy agenda focuses on:
  • Provide for continuity and increased funding for Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP), Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) programs
  • Development of “Safe Zones” for houseless persons as long as the long-term objective remains permanent housing for safe zone users
  • Increases in the rate for the Low Income Tax Credit via a non-contiguous cost of living index

Nonprofit Sector Support

Aloha United Way actively works to support the nonprofit community and the vital programs that local nonprofit organizations provide. The 2024 advocacy and public policy work in this area will focus on:
  • Continuation and expansion of charitable giving tax incentives
  • Continuation of existing limitations on 501(c)3 advocacy regarding support of specific candidates (Johnson Amendment)

eNewsletter Updates

During the 2024 legislative session, Aloha United Way will provide updates and opportunities to support advocacy work. If you are interested in receiving updates, providing testimony, or assisting with education and outreach efforts please join our Advocacy eNewsletter list here.

Advocacy eNewsletter