LPIC, United Way announce 2021 legislative champions

Jan. 13, 2022

Elected officials, partners honored for their commitment to Louisiana children, families

NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (LPIC) and United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) announced Wednesday the 2021 Early Care and Education Legislative Champions, recognizing elected officials and leaders for their efforts to increase access to quality, affordable early care and education (ECE) for children and families across Louisiana. 

UWSELAThe champions helped secure multiple legislative wins in 2021, including the repeal of the pink tax and the dedication of sports betting revenues – 25% up to $20 million – to the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund. 

The 2021 Early Care and Education Legislative Champions:

  • Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards
  • Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser
  • Superintendent Cade Brumley
  • Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne
  • Sen. Page Cortez
  • Sen. Cleo Fields
  • Sen. Ronnie Johns
  • Sen. Patrick McMath
  • Sen. Rick Ward, III
  • Rep. Rick Edmonds
  • Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman
  • Rep. Jonathan Goudeau
  • Rep. Stephanie Hilferty
  • Rep. Rodney Lyons



“The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children is proud that in 2021, our work – alongside partners like United Way– resulted in wins for young children,” said Dr. Libbie Sonnier, LPIC executive director. “As we look forward to the 2022 General Session, it’s important that we build on our past success as children only get one chance to learn the fundamentals the right way: how to count; how to talk; how to think. And parents only get one chance to put their child on the right path to success in education, society and life.”

UWSELA also recognized its complete list of 2021 Legislative Champions and Public Policy Collaborative Partners for their efforts to address the most pressing health and human service needs in Southeast Louisiana and to assist those on the cusp of poverty or ALICE® – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

UWSELA’s 2021 Legislative Champions:

  • Sen. Regina Barrow
  • Sen. Cleo Fields
  • Sen. Ronnie Johns
  • Rep. Barbara Carpenter
  • Rep. Royce Duplessis
  • Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman
  • Rep. Jason Hughes
  • Rep. Ted James
  • Rep. Mandie Landry
  • Rep. Rodney Lyons
  • Rep. Matthew Willard

UWSELA’s 2021 Public Policy Collaborative Partners:

  • Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D., Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
  • Ashley Shelton, Power Coalition for Equity & Justice 
  • Jan Moller, Louisiana Budget Project – Davante Lewis accepting on his behalf
  • Alice Glenn, Junior League of Greater New Orleans
  • Anna Mahoney, Tulane University, Women’s Political Leadership at Newcomb Institute
  • Toya Barnes-Teamer, Ph.D., UWSELA Women United
  • Julie Schwam Harris, IWO New Orleans

“We recognize we must rely on collaborations with our legislators and nonprofit partners to address the broken systems and inequities holding back our most vulnerable children and families,” said Charmaine Caccioppi, UWSELA COO and executive vice president. “United Way is thankful for our friends at the policy institute and others who continue to join us in our fight for more equitable communities with health, education and financial stability for all.”   


About Louisiana Policy Institute for Children 

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that Louisiana's young children, from birth to age four, are best prepared for success in school and in life. The Policy Institute develops policy proposals informed by data, research, best practices and the experiences of other states to improve the outcomes of Louisiana’s youngest citizens, and further provides educational and outreach activities based on recommended policy solutions. The organization works to ensure children are safe, healthy and have opportunity to reach their full potential. For more information, visit www.policyinstitutela.org and follow the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About United Way of Southeast Louisiana
For nearly 100 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.