|Washington State Activity
Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission
The BRC had its final meeting on 11/8/16 and unanimously recommended this report to Governor Inslee. The focus of this new department will be in prevention and promotion, and there may be an opportunity for investment in community based organizations in youth development.
The Children’s Alliance has chosen to prioritize support of the new department as one of their top 2017 Legislative priorities. YDEKC will support and monitor the progress. The Children’s Alliance and Partners for Our Children will convene short weekly calls during session to keep those interested informed. Sign up here to receive invitations to these weekly calls and email summaries.
Ostara Group Grant Opportunity
The Ostara Group is offering a grant opportunity to individuals in Washington State who want to start a new nonprofit to promote understanding, encourage compassion, and dispel stereotypes and existing nonprofits in Washington State with budgets less than $300,000 in 2015 may also apply for support of their on-going work (or new projects) that promote understanding, encourage compassion, and dispel stereotypes. More details here.
The McCleary Decision
The McCleary decision and its funding will be the primary revenue focus in 2017. The job of advocates in Human Services will be to link arms to protect and preserve the funding for existing programs.
Social Emotional Learning Benchmarks
The SEL Benchmarks workgroup submitted their report to the Governor on October 1st. Click here to review the report. YDEKC will be advocating for the acceptance of these benchmarks and for continued support and funding of the workgroup.
There are several areas where YDEKC will play an advocacy and support role regarding homeless youth in the 2017 WA Legislative Session. We are following the lead of WACHYA (Washington Coalition for Homeless Youth Advocacy) and will be involved in the following issues:
- Youth Consent to participate in HMIS
- Monitoring the Housing Trust Fund
- Expanding funds for the Homeless Youth and Stability Act
- Seal Juvenile Records
- Legal Financial Obligations Reform
- Ban the Box
Have a Heart Day for Kids
United Churches of Olympia, 1/27, 9:00 to 3:00
Join the Children’s Alliance and raise your voice for kids at the State Capitol! If you would like to attend the rally and/or coordinate with your legislator, please email email@example.com. More info here and registration here.
State Capitol, 2/20, 10:00
Join advocates from across the state to call for a fully funded education system and full funding of other critical state services. YDEKC and SOWA are exploring the idea of sending a bus of advocates and members to Olympia and need to fill it! If you would like to attend and/or plan a visit to your legislator, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. More details here.
Laurie Lippold, Director of Public Policy from Partners for Our Children, served as a panelist at the YDEKC Annual Summit and offered several thoughts on the upcoming 2017 WA Legislative Session:
Laurie felt that we will have a maintenance level of funding and that expectations for new funds should be limited. It will be a challenge to fully fund “McCleary.” Advocates will need to be prepared to work for new sources of revenue, such as a Capital Gains tax, which is unlikely, or at the very least tax loophole closures.
Priorities that have risen to the top, in her view, are the Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendations for a new Children’s Department and how it can change how we serve children, youth, and families. A key addition to the recommendations is for a new Office of Innovations and Alignment that could open the door for collaboration.
Laurie states that it is “essential that youth and youth advocates” are a part of this process. She also emphasized a new look at the connection between on intergenerational poverty, racism, institutional racism.
For more information on Partner’s for Our Children and their work: http://partnersforourchildren.org/