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Policy and Advocacy

As one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years – from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. As we work to protect the gains made by women and people of color, we continue to advocate for legislation that promotes:

  • racial justice and civil rights
  • women’s empowerment and economic advancement
  • protecting the health and safety of women and girls

You are a crucial part of this work. Your voice is critical as we advocate for policies that bring us closer to eliminating racism, empowering women, and ensuring peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We invite you to learn more about our advocacy efforts below and join us in taking action!

Leslie Lina Paluch
Leslie Lina Paluch, Policy and Advocacy Manager

As part of our increased focus on advocacy, we are working hard to champion policy initiatives that encourage economic advancement for women, particularly for women of color.

Providing a living wage to our nation’s workers is at the top of this list, so we’re encouraged and excited by the passage of SB 1, increasing the minimum wage in Illinois from today’s $8.25/hour to $15/hour by 2025.

Illinois is the fifth state, behind California, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, to guarantee a $15 minimum wage for its workers, and it is the first state in the Midwest to do so.

Read Leslie’s blog, “Historic minimum wage law will make a difference to women and families” here.