AdvocateAdvancing the Common Good: Creating Opportunities for a Better Life for All

Everyone deserves opportunities to have a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.

That’s why United Way of Santa Cruz County’s work is focused on the building blocks for a good life:

  • Youth – Helping Children and Youth Succeed in School and in Life
  • Financial Stability – Promoting Financial Stability and Independence for our Families
  • Health – Achieving Good Health for All

The Kindergarten Readiness Act (SB 837): State Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg has introduced a bill that would make one year of voluntary, high quality transitional kindergarten available to every 4 year old in California. The Kindergarten Readiness Act would supplement existing state and federal funding for child care and developments, including Head Start. To learn more about the Kindergarten Readiness Act, click here.

CalFresh Express Lane Enrollments: The State has decided to "express enroll" 153,000 children and about 550,000 adults who are enrolled in CalFresh, but not currently enrolled in Medi-Cal. The "Express Lane Enrollment" process allows these selected individuals to be immediately enrolled in Medi-Cal by simply giving their OK. There is no new application necessary. Letters to Cal-Fresh adult and child enrollees were sent out earlier in February. The letters contain very important information required for enrollment. Each enrollee will be given a PIN number that they must use to enroll via mail, phone or online. Click here for the Express Lane Enrollment Project and FAQs. For more information, please contact Judy Darnell,, Public Policy Director of United Ways of California.

Health for All Act (SC 1005): Senator Ricardo Lara has introduced a bill that would expand access to health care coverage for all Californians, regardless of immigration status. This bill would authorize enrollment in the Medi-Cal program, or in insurance offered through a separate new health benefit exchange, to individuals who would otherwise qualify for enrollment in those programs but are denied based on their immigration status. To learn more, please click here. We wil be tracking this bill closely as it moves through the legislative process.

The California Home and Jobs Act (SB 391): The California Homes and Jobs Act would place a small fee on the recordation of real estate related documents - excluding home sales - raising $500 million annually for state investment in affordable home production and leveraging an additional $2.78 billion in federal, local and bank investment in homes and jobs for Californians. Take action and sign a petition asking Assemblymembers to make homes and jobs a priority in 2014. Read more about the California Homes and Jobs Act here.


Advancing the common good is less about helping one person at a time and more about changing systems to help all of us. We are all connected and interdependent. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, when people are healthy.

United Way’s goal is to create long-lasting changes by addressing the underlying causes of these problems. Living united means being a part of the change. It takes everyone in the community working together to create a brighter future.

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