Grant Project Title
Statewide Poverty Action Network Community-based Campaign for Oral Health Equity in Washington
Grantee Address

Poverty Action c/o Solid Ground
1501 North 45th Street
Seattle, WA
United States

Poverty Action, based in Washington state, is a statewide anti-poverty advocacy organization that advances policy for low-income communities across through in-person community organizing and online advocacy.

Poverty Action and their statewide network have been very actively engaged in oral health policy work over the past 10 years and most recently led efforts in getting the state’s Medicaid adult dental benefit reinstated. In 2020 when Washington was planning to cut Medicaid dental benefits again, Poverty Action quickly organized to protect the benefit and saved it from being removed from the state budget. In addition to this, Poverty Action has led the statewide work to advance dental therapy as a strategy to support the severe shortage of dental providers across the state.

As a result of the growing momentum of the past couple of years, in 2021 the state legislature convened a Dental Therapy Task Force and in December the task force produced a report that included a thorough review of dental therapy practices on both tribal and non-tribal lands as well as implementation recommendations. With this spotlight on dental needs, there is a window of opportunity in the current legislative session to activate the state Poverty Action Network in advocating for dental therapy policy.

Poverty Action’s 2022 strategy kicked off in January 2022 with an MLK Virtual Day of Action that was held along with an issue briefing, speaking opportunities for impacted community members to share their stories, and legislative meetings. Moving forward, the key strategies within this proposal that Poverty Action will implement to organize and advocate for dental therapy policy include constituent meetings, digital organizing, and story sharing. Additionally, the work in 2021 resulted in new engagement from labor and senior advocacy groups that Poverty Action will seek to deepen as well as establish new partnerships with individuals and organizations within the disability rights community.

The budget for the proposal is $125,001, which includes a little over $100k in staff time, and the rest goes to supplies and travel associated with the work. The proposal budget also includes over 100% matching funds for this project.

The total organizational budget for Poverty Action is $922,474 and therefore this grant represents 13% of their total organizational budget.

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