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United Way of Northern New Jersey, LIVE UNITED
United Way of Northern New Jersey-INCOME Advocacy

ADvocate » Income Advocacy


Financial Stability And Independence

IncomeMore than half of all jobs in New Jersey pay less than $20 an hour or $40,000 annually when full time. That's not enough for a family to survive in this high cost region. ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families live paycheck to paycheck, unable to set aside savings, leaving them vulnerable in the event of an emergency. We save our communities the high price of lifting families out of poverty when we provide them with the tools to remain financially stable. The following are the policy changes United Way is fighting to change for ALICE and all in our community:

  • Preserve and expand pro-work, anti-poverty tax credits and savings options at the federal and state levels, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
  • Protect free, IRS-certified tax preparation services by making the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program a permanent IRS matching grant program and establish a matching state funding program.
  • Invest in affordable, high-quality, sector-based education and job training programs that ensure more individuals are well-equipped for the workforce with degrees or industry recognized credentials.

You can learn more about our work to promote financial independence here.

Want to learn how you can get involved? Email Lynn Weckworth or call 973.993.1160, x505.

United Way Stands Up For ALICE

United Way is advocating for policy changes that would make a meaningful difference for those earning incomes below the ALICE Threshold and all in our community. See below for examples.

Partnered with Rutgers Bloustein School of Public Policy to research the economic impact and political feasibility of expanding the NJ EITC eligibility to childless working adults ages 18-24 to lift some out of poverty, or provide relief.
Read the report here or the brief here.

Sent a letter asking Congress to support making VITA a permanent grant program with $30 million in funding.

Signed a United Way Worldwide letter sent to Congress on February 28 requesting funding for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance so that we can better provide free tax preparation services in our region.

Wrote a letter to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez advocating to make permanent key provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. The same letter was shared with U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman and Bill Pascrell.  
PDF Icon PDF  Download Letter

N.J. General Assembly Human Services Committee January 26 Hearing
United Way ALICE Project Director Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D., testified on the importance of supporting ALICE in the short term while developing long-term strategies that can help these families get on solid financial ground.
PDF Icon PDF  Download Testimony 

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