One Voice advocates for increased public funding for Health and Human Services
One Voice Central Texas' Put People First campaign advocates on behalf of the rapidly growing populations in our community who are unable to access a standard of living that supports their health, safety, security, and general welfare. The rate of poverty in Austin is growing and overall funding for social services has not kept up with the demand for services. One Voice Central Texas urges the community to Put People First and increase investments in human services to create a strong network and infrastructure. The human services network is the bridge to prevention and intervention strategies that achieve long-term economic benefits for everyone.
We advocate the following messages:
- Human Services are a Vital Link to Creating a Safe & Sustainable Community. We ask you to Put People First by recognizing that human services are a vital link in creating a sustainable community and reducing costlier interventions and should be ranked as a critical priority on par with public safety and transportation. One Voice Central Texas is committed to partnering with community leaders, residents, and organizations to invest in the talent and creativity of our residents and support them in reaching their full potential. We are also dedicated to focusing compassion and services on our most vulnerable residents to ensure that their basic needs are met. We ask you to Put People First as you determine how to best utilize your resources.
- Our Human Services Infrastructure is Strained by Increasing Poverty. Our community’s human services infrastructure is straining under the weight of trying to help rapidly increasing numbers of families overcome or alleviate the devastating effects of poverty. The nonprofits that are members of One Voice Central Texas provide the essential services that are critical in addressing the needs of so many of our residents. We are fortunate to have numerous nonprofits in this community that are recognized for their effectiveness, innovation and ability to leverage millions upon millions of state, federal and private dollars. However, please hear us when we tell you very clearly that our current resources are not meeting the community’s need, and in fact we are falling behind. At the same time that federal and state funding has been falling, local investments have not kept pace.
- Support of Effective Organizations and Collaborations Produces Economic Benefits for Everyone. We ask you to support nonprofits that demonstrate effectiveness and quality of service. The economic strength of Austin and health of its citizens depends on an effective, accountable, and proactive nonprofit sector. One Voice Central Texas is committed to advancing public confidence and support for the nonprofit sector by exemplifying ethical practices, accountability and the highest standards of quality service. We ask you to support us in building the capacity within nonprofits and adhering to the highest standards.
We thank Austin City Council for prioritizing Health & Human Services in the FY2016 City budget by increasing funding for the Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department and social services contracts by $4.3 million!
One Voice led a campaign in 2015 advocating for the City of Austin to increase funding for health and human services. Our campaign included holding a press conference and publishing an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman. Our advocacy was featured in various news outlets:
- "City Affordability Includes Support for Assistance Programs" - One Voice op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman, 8/1/15
- "Follow the Money" - Austin Chronicle, 10/23/15
- "Why Public Health, Social Service Funding Surged in the Austin Budget" - Austin American-Statesman, 9/28/15
- "Point Austin: Unmet Needs" - Austin Chronicle, 8/28/15
- "Council: The Public Weighs In" - Austin Chronicle, 8/28/15
- "Austin City Council Members Call for More Health and Human Services Spending" - Community Impact Newspaper, 8/25/15
- "Nonprofits Ask for $6.7 Million Increase in 2016 Budget" - KXAN, 8/17/15
- "5 Things We Learned as Austin Officials Started Hammering Out the Budget" - Austin American-Statesman, 8/10/15
Click the following links to view the Put People First campaign materials:
- Put People First powerpoint presented to City Council on 8.3.15
- One Voice op-ed published on 8.2.15 on the need to increase City funding for health and human services
- Put People First white paper
- Put People First request for an increase in City funding for social services
- Learn how investing in health and human services is a wise and cost-effective investment
- Put People First powerpoint presented to City Council on 8.19.14
Raise Awareness - Tale of Two Austins
In order to effectively advocate, it is essential to raise awareness around the basic needs disparities in our community. Learn about One Voice's social media awareness campaign, the Tale of Two Austins.