What We Do

Advocacy

The YWCA Central Maine advocates for public policy solutions to improve the lives of women and their families and create safer, healthier, more equitable communities in Maine.

In 2019, working in collaboration with community partners, we will advocate for the following issues to advance our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. We also will monitor and educate stakeholders on policy issues that impact women and girls in our state.

2019 Advocacy Agenda

Improve the Health and Safety of Women and Girls

  • As a partner of L/A Women’s Rising, the YWCA will both support our local partners (Safe Voices, SAPARS, & IRCM) in addressing violence against women in our community and co-lead/co-sponsor educational and awareness efforts and events including LUNA Fest and the Vagina Monologues.
  • The YWCA Central Maine will support laws that protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by supporting policy initiatives that affect women and girls in Maine through partnerships with the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence and the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault as well as support the reauthorization of VAWA through shared support of the YWCA USA network.
  • The YWCA will support the expansion of Medicaid to ensure that women, girls, and marginalized individuals have access to quality, affordable, comprehensive, culturally competent health care, including the full range of reproductive health services.
  • The YWCA will support local and state level policy to restore safety net funding, improve economic self-sufficiency, and protect vulnerable families, including assistance to asylum-seekers.
  • The YWCA will support efforts to protect the rights and safety of marginalized communities including promoting voter registration, and by participating in local census meetings and planning for the 2020 Census.
  • The YWCA will advocate for policies and practices that eliminate racial health disparities and barriers to women receiving adequate health and preventive care, including maternal and reproductive health care. The YWCA will continue to partner with CMMC Dempsey Center to offer aquatic programming and education for women who are breast cancer survivors as well as Single Gender Swim classes. In 2019, the YWCA will become a member of the Community Health Stakeholder Coalition.

Advance Education and Economic Empowerment for Women and Girls

  • The YWCA will support advocacy that increases child care assistance for low-income parents, to help ensure more working mothers have access to quality, affordable early learning and child care. The YWCA will continue to provide affordable and accessible childcare services that includes nutritional programming.
  • The YWCA will seek opportunities to increase awareness of and support for effective STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, and Mathematics) initiatives for girls, including in after school programs to enhance job and college readiness at local schools.
  • The YWCA will support policy that removes barriers and expands opportunities for women’s successful workplace participation including new legislation around paid family and medical leave insurance as well as paid sick days.