Deep Dive into Advocacy: Our Shared Agenda
Greetings YDEKC Members and Friends –
Advocacy is about Hope. At the May 26 poverty conference hosted by Partners for our Children, Siobhan Ring from the Children’s Alliance compellingly stated “I suggest inspirational thinking and a long view into the future”. This Deep Dive is about the many programs, resources, and policies that offer hope and a long view!
Thanks for reading on,
Rene Murry | YDEKC Public Policy Manager
For the Common Good
TALKING HUMAN SERVICES
First, I would like to share the link to the Frameworks Institute’s Presentation on Talking Human Services. Their work seeks to move the citizen at large to support efforts to fund and promote the services we all provide. It is worth a review, and supports YDEKC’s vision that “every young person has the opportunity and support they need to learn, lead, connect, contribute, and thrive.” The Frameworks Institute supports providers to change the narrative to helping children, youth, families and individuals reach their full potential, instead of focusing on the “problems” facing our communities. Their research shows that we need to change the communities’ perception of Human Services, and we can do that through messaging.
King County Activity
BEST STARTS FOR KIDS
The Best Starts for Kids Implementation Plan was submitted to the Executive on June 1,2016 and was presented to the Regional Policy Committee on June 6, 2016. This is a hefty document. I recommend pages 55-73 which reviews the 5-24 years approach and investments and the Communities of Opportunity pages 74-86. I do believe that the intent of the community is reflected in the implementation plan and that there are exciting opportunities here for the children, youth and families of King County. I attended the Regional Policy Committee hearing on June 6th on behalf of YDEKC and hope to see many of you at the July 13th hearing, timing TBA. Please check into this Best Starts for Kids Blog for updated information. We will also continue to advocate for the Youth Action Plan that was passed by King County Council so that the work will continue for children and youth.
Washington State Issues
GOVERNOR’S BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION
I was able to attend and watch the deliberations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on June 14, 2016. It was important to be in the room representing, at some level, the areas of interest of YDEKC members. The agenda for this (the second) meeting was focused on Early Learning and Public Health. I was struck by a particular quote that was posted during one of the presentations: “Resilience in children depends on the resilience across interconnected systems in which human development unfolds, such as families, schools and neighborhoods” –Masten and Obradovic (2006). The Commission is clearly taking on a huge task, working on a variety of levels to gain knowledge from the sectors it could impact. We will monitor its progress and keep you informed.
A FORUM ON POVERTY: The Impact on Children and Families
Partners for Our Children and the Washington State Budget and Policy Center held a forum on poverty May 26, 2016. There were panels regarding “Innovation in the Field: New Solutions to Old Problems” and “Building a Poverty Consensus Agenda in Washington”. When I review the advocacy agenda for YDEKC, and actually many of the groups that work for children and families in WA state, the truth is that “eliminating poverty” would really make a difference!!! The thing that comes up, of course, is how daunting and huge this is. This forum did try to wrap some words around it and come up with a path forward. Some “hopeful” news is the movement to fully fund TANF in 2017 from the 2009 cuts, that there is consideration of an Anti-Poverty Omnibus Bill and Rep David Sawyer D-29th District and Rep Hans Zeiger R-25th District were able to have a very good conversation on common ground in the presentation. As in all things; the devil is in the details: Dee Wilson, a long time children’s advocate and child welfare expert did stand up at one point and ask the room“When are we going to do something REALLY disruptive?!” I can’t say that the disruptive action came up on that day, but the question did linger in the air. Forum materials and video are available here.
The Cost of Doing Business as a Non-Profit
FEDERAL LABOR STANDARDS ACT:
The new rules for overtime pay take effect on December 1, 2016. Nancy Bacon from theWashington Non-Profits shared this information regarding the new federal rules for overtime. Washington Non-Profits is a great group to contact if you need further assistance and 501 Commons is also working on informing non-profits in the community. Make sure you have a plan in place to abide by the new law!
CITY OF SEATTLE SECURE SCHEDULING:
YDEKC continues to monitor this issue regarding livable schedules and the potential ordinance that could be proposed by Seattle City Council. We have convened meetings with the Mayor’s Office of Civil Rights and hosted a “Lunching with Leaders” where Council Member Lisa Herbold was our guest. She is one of the prime sponsors working on this issue. YDEKC will continue to be a voice for the issues of part-time work for youth and the concerns that non-profits have around flexible schedules and providing services. The discussion in May with the Mayor’s staff focused on:
- Advance Notice of Schedules
- Predictability Pay
- Right to Rest
- Right to request Flexible Working Arrangement
- Access to Hours
YDEKC continues to stress that our coalition providers do want an excellent work environment for our staff. We also need to continue to educate our policy makers around the rising costs to non-profits to provide services in the community with very little options to increase the revenue to support programming that would not negatively impact our consumers/clients.
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Youth Development Executives of King County (YDEKC) is a coalition of youth-serving organizations working together to improve outcomes for young people.