Advocating on Behalf of Low-Income Utility Customers
Mid America Assistance Coalition is involved in many ways to advocate for low-income citizens and their utility needs. John Rich, MAAC’s Executive Director, is a member and former Co-Chair of the Committee to Keep Missourians Warm (CKMW), a member of the Low-income Utility Coalition of Kansas (LUCK), and the Board Chair for the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC).
The purpose of CKMW and LUCK is to advocate at the state level for protection of low-income customers who are vulnerable to loss of energy during critical times of the year, especially during extremely cold or hot weather. These committees meet regularly in each state capitol to hear and discuss the latest government funding and legislation that impacts the availability of resources. Committee members offer comments and views representative of their constituents. The committees are currently concerned with the following issues:
- Obtaining continued funding for the federal Low Income Homes Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for future years
- The inclusion of energy protections for low-income customers in any electric restructuring legislation currently being considered by the state legislatures
- Weatherization of homes
At the national level, NEUAC is an organization that advocates on behalf of low income families for LIHEAP funds and for energy assistance funding programs or fuel funds, such as Kansas City’s Dollar Aide and Neighbors Helping Neighbors programs.
Homelessness Task Force of Greater Kansas City
MAAC participates in the Operations, Permanent Housing, and Responsive Services Teams of the Homelessness Task Force of Greater Kansas City (HTF). This group is charged with coordinating our entire regional housing system, from service user entry to exit, including HUD-funded agencies, privately funded housing and service providers, municipalities, hospitals, housing lessors, major funders, law enforcement, and many more stakeholders.
Most HTF meetings are open to the public and any interested parties; use its Contact Us page to communicate your interest or request a meeting schedule.
Bringing Public Attention to Issues Affecting Low-Income and Homeless Citizens
MAAC is a source of information for local media and public policy makers, and serves on the Professional Cabinet of the Local Investment Commission and other task forces related to low-income issues. MAAC’s ability to represent the broad interests of social service providers makes it an important resource for local radio, television and print media.
Additional Advocacy Work
- Participating in the Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness
- Providing factual information about the state of homeless and low income area populations in Missouri and Kansas and the social service agencies serving these populations in order to inform public policy and allocation of resources