News and Events

YDEKC Shared Advocacy Agenda – July 2017

POSTED ON August 1, 2017
Deep Dive into Advocacy: Our Shared Agenda

“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” -Dr. Mae Jemison

Mae Carol Jemison is an American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.

I reach for inspiration in the words of others who have stretched and achieved. They believed in their dreams. One of YDEKC’s dreams is to work together with collective voice and move policy forward to support the children, youth, and families of King County. We hope to help give every child a chance to reach their full potential. Let us use our imagination!

Look over this Deep Dive and see where you might have a chance to imagine a stronger, more equitable King County for children, youth, and families.

Please like us on Facebook 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 Request for Proposals has been released by BSK for the Youth Development programs with a due date of AUGUST 10th.  There will also be an Out of School time RFP process in the fall.  Please read and follow the BSK blog for the most up to date information.  Schools Out Washington (SOWA) will be the organization that manages the Out of School time RFPs for Best Starts.  There is also a webinar on the Best Starts Blog regarding the application process.

Veterans, Human Services, and Seniors Levy: WHY YDEKC?
The VHSL has moved to the ballot at 10 cents per assessed $1000 value for a property tax.  This will enhance services across the region for Veterans, their families, and serve populations with barriers to housing. 

YDEKC was present for many of the hearings, and we spoke in favor of the levy. YDEKC is a member of the King County Human Services Coalition, and we have a unified voice for funding across all sectors. Further, a significant portion of this funding has the potential to fund many of our members who service the vulnerable, young adult and homeless population. Finally, what is good for Families and Seniors is good for children and youth!  We are in the community together.
ST3 Funding
The Sound Transit 3 state legislation collects revenue to be used for targeted education programs for under served, foster care, and homeless communities. After the project starts, products sold to complete the transit corridor will be taxed. YDEKC is in early conversations with King County Councilmembers about the potential use of these funds. CM Kohl-Welles will be touring the 2100 Building in order to learn about he potential for co-location capital projects for non-profits.  This is one of the ideas that has been generated by the Advocacy Committee, along with the hope for support for transportation to programs during the construction of the mass transit opportunity.

Mockingbird Youth Summit 
The Mockingbird Society Annual Youth Summit was held on July 26th at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture.  It was extremely well attended by members from the community and a panel of policy makers.  There were 6 presentations from the Mockingbird Youth groups across the state with interesting proposals for policy.  For more in depth information, please check for updates at this link.

Regional Activities:
South King
YDEKC continues to reach out to city council members and Mayors in South King about the value of investment in human services from their city budget general fund budgets, and we are working on more ways to have dialogue between our members and policy makers in the South King area.

Eastside Coffee
A regional advocacy coffee was held in Bellevue on July 18th at Honor Coffee.  It was an interesting conversation where people new to the advocacy table talked about the YDEKC efforts to date and what they as providers viewed as important issue areas on the eastside.  One large concern that came to the surface was the need for more mental health services in the community.

YDEKC was a part of an outreach effort with Rob Beem from the City of Shoreline, Jesse Salomon from the Shoreline City Council, and Best Starts for Kids staff to assist in community building and conversations about applying for BSK funds and to kick start and continue other community conversations about collaborations in the area.

Washington State Activity
Legislative News
The Legislative session and special sessions came to a close with an operational budget passed but no capital budget as of this writing. Several issues that YDEKC followed and joined in advocacy for were addressed in this 2017 session.

  1. New revenue was addressed in some fashion in order to balance the operational budget and fund the McCleary mandate.  Many programs and budget focused non-profits continue to evaluate how this new funding formula will work.  The Supreme Court will likely address this issue in September.
  2. The new Children, Youth, and Family Department has been established.  YDEKC will begin the process of engaging with the Office of Innovation and Accountability. We plan to offer a voice for prevention services development in this historic effort.
  3. The Expanded Learning Opportunities Quality Initiative was funded at $750,000 for the next year with a potential to renew.
  4. The SEL Workgroup was supported for another year.

Several issues that YDEKC supported also did not make it through, including Breakfast after the Bell, Elimination of Suspensions in Grades K-2, and the Youth Consent to participate in the Homeless Youth Management Information System.

The Advocacy Committee will be reviewing legislative and policy issues in September to present legislative priorities for the 2018 Session at the November YDEKC Summit.

Voter Registration Information:
Please use this link for information on voter registration!  YDEKC is encouraging a voter registration effort:  Deadline to vote in the November election is October 9th, and September 26this National Voter Registration Day!

Bolder Advocacy
The Alliance for Justice offers information for groups that are interested in deepening and developing their advocacy skills.  Check out their website for more information!

City Level Activity
Sweetened Beverage Tax Proposal

The YDEKC advocacy committee decided to support the Seattle sugary beverage tax because of the potential for funds that could be directed to youth and education programs in the city.  YDEKC did testify in support of the tax.  The tax has been passed by city council after discussion and priority realignment.

From the Seattle Times: Under the mayor’s plan, the bulk of the revenue would have funded education programs for low-income and otherwise vulnerable children. But the council shifted the emphasis more toward healthful-eating programs. The tax is expected to raise about $15 million per year. Some money will support the city’s Fresh Bucks program, which helps people using food stamps buy more fruits and vegetables at farmers markets.” 

The tax now stands as amended and revenue will be collected next year.  However, there may be a movement by the beverage industry to oppose it.  YDEKC will still support given the health metrics and benefits to children and youth, but the funding stream change will leave us less engaged in the future.

Seattle Human Services Coalition
YDEKC is actively engaged on the Steering Committee and the SHSC budget task force.  Rene Murry (YDEKC), Steve Daschle (SWYFS), Marilyn Littlejohn (ReWA) and Eleuthera Lisch (YMCA) serve on the steering committee.  Steve Daschle and Shoshana Wineburg (Mockingbird) are representing youth on the current City Budget Task force.  This year the budget task force will be amending and supporting the last budget package that went before council because 2018 will be a supplemental budget.

Marilyn Littlejohn is serving on the committee for the SHSC Candidates forum which will be held on Sept 20th from 5:00 to 7:30 at the Miller Community Center.  Please help us spread the word regarding this forum. This forum is inviting candidates from across King County. Please find theSave the Date flyer here! YDEKC is a co-sponsor of this event.

Educational Candidates Forum
A group of education advocates, including YDEKC, will be hosting a candidates forum on Sept 19that Asian Counseling and Referral Services. This will be a diverse group of candidates, including Mayor, City Council, and School Board candidates. Please find the Save the Date flyer here!

Please help us get the word out about both candidate forums to your families and staff! The more people show up concerned about issues affecting children, youth, and families, the better we will be heard by our elected leaders!

Listening Circle with City of Seattle Human Services:
Members of the City of Seattle Human Services Department met with a group of YDEKC providers to hold a conversation regarding “Community Safety Strategy Inclusive Engagement”.  The meeting happened on July 20th.  The conversation lasted an hour with the goal of giving feedback around the successes that providers felt came from the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.  It was our chance to have a voice in the planning moving forward.