Date: February 2017

Creating Systems Change Through Policy Efforts

Melissa Viola

Because Gary Community Investments seeks transformative solutions to the issues facing Colorado's low-income children and families, we support policy efforts that have the power to create systemic change in support of our mission. Through this work, we collaborate with various stakeholders to develop common agendas and build public will; fund advocacy efforts; and support policy campaigns needed to achieve success. 

Our policy priorities, which closely align with the four, integrated long-term outcome areas identified in our theory of change, include the following:

  • Young Children: Because we believe that investments in early childhood generate the best returns, we support strategies that promote positive child development, including expanded preschool, increased funding for quality child care, support of the early care and education workforce, and evidence-based interventions for parents.
  • Child Health: In an effort to promote physical, mental and oral health in children, we support the maintenance of coverage and benefits for children enrolled in Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus; advocate for increased funding for state and local agencies to support early childhood mental health; and promote integrated care and coverage for maternal-child health.
  • Family Economic Security: We support income and asset-building solutions such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits for working families; strategies that enable families to more easily access public benefits; and work supports that ensure families stay employed.
  • Communtiy & Economic Development: To help communities build the social capital, infrastructure and access to services needed to create an enduring environment that benefits families, we support community ownership strategies such as cooperatives and community land trusts; advocate for responsible access to capital for businesses and individuals; and promote positive business practices that take into account the well-being of employees’ families. 
  • Affordable Housing: To help ensure that low-income families have their basic housing needs met, we support opportunities to remove policy barriers and expand dedicated revenue streams for affordable housing. We monitor strategies that affirm fair housing practices and encourage affordable housing access for low-income families. 
  • Data Use & Accessibility: We support the smart use of data at the state and local level, including the use of indicators to measure results, and we encourage increased transparency through data accessibility. In addition, we advocate for the collection and use of data to inform policy. 

For more insight into our policy agenda, we invite you to download this brief, which provides additional rationale behind each of our legislative priorities.