Hello YDEKC Members and Friends:
Let me say something right from the start: Advocacy in the “Time of COVID” is not what any of us expected to be doing. I need to remind myself often that we are in a historic time and that we are in the middle of a pandemic. SO: doing things like “normal” is not going to be the task of the day!
YDEKC is trying hard to elevate children, youth and families in the many conversations that are going on about COVID-19 services and relief. We are partnering with Washington Nonprofits in order to help elevate the needs of nonprofits across all sectors to our policymakers at the congressional and state level. The exciting thing about this is that nonprofits are banding together LIKE NEVER BEFORE in order to have no group left behind — speaking to urban and rural, old and young; highlighting the needs of communities of color and our vulnerable youth that are in foster care; and supporting all that are homeless.
We are members of the Youth Development Strategy Table, which has been working over the past year to develop a state-wide approach to Youth Development. This group has acted as a touch-point to communicate with state policymakers about the best steps to address summer and fall childcare and youth services. The group has also been working to partner with school districts on the best way to serve our children and youth. Check out this COVID Factsheet – Children & Youth Supplemental, which we will be sharing with policymakers.
The YDEKC team is working to be in circles where we can learn which resources will be helpful to our member organizations in areas of fiscal support, access to basic needs for their clients, rental assistance, and mental health supports.
We are connecting with city, county and state policymakers to continue to bring up the needs of expanded learning, mentoring, wrap around services, and concerns regarding foster and homeless youth in order for us in youth development to be considered in this time of decision making.
There is no doubt that there will be reductions in funds to programs. We will do our best to help prioritize what needs to be protected by “guard rails” so that we can keep as many of us going as possible. YDEKC will continue to offer advocacy conversations and opportunities for members to engage. As Elizabeth Warren stated years ago, “If you are not at the table, you are on the menu.” The YDEKC advocacy team will do our best to be at the table for you.
Please tune in to the advocacy section of our newsletters to find links to various toolkits and to the ways you can educate yourself about advocacy opportunities.
Thank you for all that you do for the children, youth, and families of our community.