What We Do

About Our Organization

Founded in 1996 as a response to the federal government’s passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act or “welfare reform,” Poverty Action is Washington state’s largest anti-poverty organization, committed to building grassroots power to end causes of poverty and create opportunities for everyone to prosper.

We are directed by people with low incomes and people of color, ensuring accountability to the communities that are most directly impacted by the effects of poverty. Together with our 8,000 members across the state, Poverty Action:

  • Develops and advocates for innovative public policy solutions that address the root causes of poverty;
  • Registers, educates, and mobilizes voters from low-income communities and communities of color;
  • Engages community members in advocating for the issues that impact their lives;
  • Organizes community members through a racial equity lens; and
  • Develops leaders in low-income communities.

Poverty Action is reclaiming democracy for families who work hard, but still struggle to get by. We want the Governor, legislators, regulators, and other decision-makers in the state to hear these voices and stories. That’s why we mobilize our members to come together, get educated and act. We organize people across the state to vote, march on the capitol steps, flood legislators with mail, phone calls and email, and testify at hearings. Together, we can make sure elected officials work for all Washington families.