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News and Events

YDEKC Shared Advocacy Agenda – January 2018

POSTED ON January 3, 2018
YDEKC Shared Advocacy Agenda – January 2018
Youth Development Executives of King County
Working to advance the youth development field
Deep Dive into Advocacy: Our Shared Agenda

2017 brought many exciting opportunities for children, youth, and families into focus. It is a demonstration of what coordinated advocacy can bring. From a new Department of Children, Youth, and Families to the implementation of Best Starts for Kids, we are seeing new investment in our region and a focus on prevention and promotion programs that have demonstrated that they work in helping our children and youth reach their full potential. Our cross-jurisdiction advocacy agenda that guides our work can be found here.

If you need a refresher on legal issues around nonprofit advocacy, please join YDEKC, School’s Out Washington and the Alliance for Justice for a Lobbying and Advocacy 101 webinar TOMORROW, JANUARY 3rd at 10 am. Register here. 

On a personal note, I will be out on extended medical leave in January and February for an orthopedic surgery. I look forward to returning in mid-Fedbruary or March 1st at the latest. In the meantime, the YDEKC team will take on advocacy tasks as they arise!

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to have access to timely information between our more formal newsletters.

My thanks,
René Murry
Public Policy Manager, Youth Development Executives of King County | | 206.336.6913

King County Activity
Best Starts for Kids
The first year of funds for much of the King County investment for children, youth and families have been awarded! Please follow the BSK blog to view recipients, see open RFPs, and for the most update to date information!

Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy
The Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy was passed by a large margin, and this is a success for advocates across all sectors! Many YDEKC members could potentially benefit from the funding available for housing and support services for vulnerable populations and low barrier housing options.

Sound Transit 3 funds for Educational Support Services
The formal name for funds dedicated to educational support services in the Sound Transit 3 project is The Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account. RenéMurry from YDEKC, Leslie Dozono, consultant for the Early Learning Community, and Colleen Laing from United Way of King County provided public testimony in support of the language developed by King County council in early December. The King County Council has voted to hire a consultant to look at the potential for a capital investment that would provide a building or buildings in the Sound Transit corridor that could provide space for early learning, youth development, and funds to support the 13th year for youth in King County.

King County Human Services Coalition
KCHSC said goodbye to Pam Raphael, the coordinator of the Coalition for the past 5 years. She is moving on to her full time private counseling practice.  YDEKC wishes her the best of luck!

Washington State Activity
Expanded Learning Takes Olympia! 
State Capitol Building Columbia Room, Olympia, WA, 10:00AM-2:00PM, 1/9/2018
2018 promises to be a big year for expanded learning opportunities and increasing access to quality programs for more children and youth. Join School’s Out Washington in Olympia as they bring together Expanded Learning Opportunities professionals from around the state for conversations with lawmakers to share the critical role the expanded learning field plays for young people and families. Register here! Contact David Beard at for more information.

Children and Youth Focused Coalition 2018 Agendas
In addition to the Expanded Learning Opportunity Coalition (see above), YDEKC is a member of the Children’s Welfare Coalition (CWAC), Washington Coalition for Homeless Youth (WACHYA) and the Children’s Alliance. Their advocacy agendas for 2018 are available here: CWACWACHYA, and Children’s Alliance.

Youth Advocacy Day
United Churches of Olympia, 110 11th Ave SE, Olympia, WA, 8:00AM-2:00PM, 1/26/2018
Join over 300 youth, families and allies in Olympia each year to advocate for reforms to the child welfare system and to systems affecting youth experiencing homelessness. With a youth-inspired legislative agenda and our signature orange scarves, you can unite with our youth advocates and meet elected officials to make a difference for your community. The day includes inspiring speeches by youth, policymakers and fellow advocates. At the end of the day, join the rally on the Capitol steps and march around the grounds to help break down perceptions that stand in the way of every youth and young adult having a safe and stable home. More info and registration available here!

Wa State Department for Children, Youth, and Families
YDEKC has participated in stakeholder conversations regarding the implementation of the new Department of Children, Youth, and Families, including a stakeholder meeting convened by Rep. Ruth Kagi and Rep Tana Senn on Dec 8th.  The meeting was extremely well attended across the entire spectrum of youth services. Several highlights from conversations across the state were mentioned by Frank Ordway, staff to Secretary Ross Hunter, including:

  • Ensuring inclusion of the voices of youth and parents
  • Effective policies regarding response for child care and foster care
  • More robust prevention and support for pre-teens and teens with a holistic approach

YDEKC will pursue work this year for consideration of an Office of Youth Development at the state level in the new DCYF.

City Level Activity
Seattle Family and Education Levy
Work is beginning to shape the next Seattle Family and Education Levy which will be on the ballot in 2018. YDEKC participated in several meetings designed to hear from providers in December. The consultants emphasized that this is a listening period, where input will be taken from community and the levy plan will roll out in March. There will be more requests for input in January and February, and YDEKC encourages our Seattle members to attend meetings if possible to help shape this effort. Racial equity, social emotional learning, expanded learning opportunities and mental health are themes that are “rising to the top” from the current community conversations. Watch for a Lunching with Leaders for YDEKC members to give input on the Levy this winter.

Kent Youth Initiative
The Kent Youth Initiative got underway last fall with an advisory body taking shape and quarterly community gatherings to gain input and share information about the initiative. Contact Willie Seals for more information:

North Urban Human Services Alliance
YDEKC attended the annual meeting of NUHSA on December 5th to listen to a speaker regarding the suburban poverty issues and to represent youth concerns at this event.  The speaker was Scott Allard  from the UW Evans School.  It was an interesting look at the data regarding need in suburban communities. YDEKC will continue to advocate for services for children and youth across all of King County.

Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America
Check out Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America, the first in a series of Research-to-Impact briefs by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago on understanding and addressing youth homelessness.
Copyright © 2018 Youth Development Executives of King County, All rights reserved.
Youth Development Executives of King County (YDEKC) is a coalition of youth-serving organizations working together to improve outcomes for young people.