Advocacy in Action | United Way of Southeast Louisiana

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Advocacy in Action



September 2019

Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute Announces Fall 2019 ClassMarsiglia Fall Class

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and United Way of Southeast Louisiana are proud to announce the fall 2019 class of the Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice. View the list of participants here.






Equal Pay Roundtable Discussion with Gov. John Bel Edwards

Charmaine Caccioppi participated in an Equal Pay Roundtable Discussion with Governor John Bel Edwards and equal pay advocates and legislators to discuss Louisiana’s nation-worst gender pay gap and the ongoing fight to close that gap. According to surveys, 90% of Louisianans believe men and women should be paid the same wage for the same work.  Louisiana has the worst gender pay gap in America, with women earning only 69 cents for every dollar a man makes.


SNAP Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility Revision Outreach

UWSELA Public Policy conducted outreach in opposition to proposed rule changes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to SNAP’s Broad-based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) that would limit access to benefits for households with savings and other assets. Charmaine Caccioppi co-authored a guest column in The New Orleans Advocate, submitted a formal letter to the Federal Register, and reached out to our advocacy partners encouraging them to submit personal comments in opposition. UWSELA is also part of the statewide Louisiana Anti-Hunger Coalition which spread information on the topic.


Louisiana Women’s Policy & Research Commission

Charmaine Caccioppi serves as chair for the Louisiana Women’s Policy & Research Commission. The Commission updated its committee assignments and strategy to prepare a comprehensive annual statewide report on the status of women to be delivered to the governor and all state legislators prior to the 2020 State Legislative Session.


Reception Honoring Louisiana Policy Institute for Children Founding Executive Director

UWSELA Public Policy participated in a surprise retirement reception honoring Melanie Bronfin, Policy Advisor and founding Executive Director of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, for her extraordinary work in advancing policy to ensure that Louisiana’s young children are ready for success in school and life.  Melanie has been involved in early childhood policy in Louisiana for the past 15 years and has been a committed UWSELA collaborative partner.


Ready Louisiana Coalition Editorial Board Meeting at The New Orleans Advocate

UWSELA’s Charmaine Caccioppi joined Ready Louisiana coalition members from the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, GNO, Inc., Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, and the Jefferson Business Council to discuss why increasing access to quality early care and education should be a top priority for our entire community. We are also proud to be one of 61 organizations joining Ready LA’s Joint Statement of Support for inclusion of increased investment in quality early care and education in governor, legislator, board of elementary and secondary education candidates’ platforms.



ALICE Presentation to St. Tammany Leadership Class

On Sept. 11, UWSELA Public Policy and Community Impact provided a presentation on ALICE to the St. Tammany Leadership class highlighting St. Tammany Parish data. 


2020 Census Complete Count Committee

UWSELA Public Policy is a member of the Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census. The 2020 Census will determine how much federal funding communities will receive for roads, schools, health care, child care, housing, food assistance, and so much more. 

August 2019

Reception for Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger

UWSELA joined in with collaboratives, advocates, and friends to host a reception for Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger in appreciation for his leadership and service in the legislatures and for his commitment to early childhood and education.


“Invest in Louisiana” Policy Conference

UWSELA was a major sponsor for Louisiana Budget Project’s “Invest in Louisiana Policy Conference,” which brought together community leaders and activists from around Louisiana for a day of conversation and learning about how we can craft a stronger, more inclusive state economy that works for everyone. Featuring artist and scholar Clint Smith, the conference was built around the Invest in Louisiana policy agenda and included workshops about the policies that should be front-and-center in the 2019 elections.  Visit for more information.


“Research Gun Violence Now Rally” with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell
“Research Gun Violence Now Rally” with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell

On Saturday, Aug. 17, medical professionals and advocates, including UWSELA’s Charmaine Caccioppi, joined Mayor Cantrell at the Ogden Library for a rally to tell the Senate: Congress must fund gun violence research. Research is an essential step to creating bipartisan support to end the senseless gun violence plaguing our nation. 






Women’s Equality Day

UWSELA’s Charmaine Caccioppi was the keynote speaker for the Southeast Veterans Health Care System Diversity and Inclusion office at their annual Women’s Equality Day event on Aug. 26. United Way of Southeast Louisiana remains committed to a comprehensive approach to assuring equity in every aspect of our work, including gender equity. We’ve evaluated our own practices and policies, and made changes where necessary. We know there is always room to grow, and continue to hold ourselves to account, even as we advocate for women’s equality and equal pay more broadly across our state.




“Battered Justice: The Challenges of Women Who Kill Their Abusers” Panel
“Battered Justice: The Challenges of Women Who Kill Their Abusers” Panel

United Way of Southeast Louisiana Public Policy Chair Kim Sport and community partners joined in a panel discussion titled “Battered Justice: The Challenges of Women Who Kill Their Abusers” on changes to domestic violence laws in the 2019 session and an overview and discussion of the latest developments in the Catina Curley Case.