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News and Events

YDEKC Shared Advocacy Agenda – May 2016

POSTED ON May 12, 2016

YDEKC Advocacy Deep Dive
Rene Murry | Public Policy Manager

Greetings YDEKC Members!

This is the first of a new monthly communication packed with updates about our common agenda across jurisdictions (starting locally, moving out to federal), and in support of young people reaching their full potential. We know there’s a lot to read in here – print it and read it on the bus on your way home, or save it for first thing tomorrow morning with your coffee.

Regardless, we want to hear from you! Tell us about your advocacy and budget priorities here in our biannual  Field and Budget Survey We hope that this newsletter can help keep you up to date on the advocacy opportunities that are most important to you.

If you would like to meet with me, have me visit your organization, coordinate an advocacy training with your group or host a legislative meeting with elected officials from your area, please reach out.

Your Public Policy Manager,
Rene | 206.336.6913

Of Local Concern:

I have been attending coalition meetings across King County on behalf of YDEKC and continue to share our Legislative Agenda. The conversations now focus on alignment of funding streams across the various efforts in County government and City activities. YDEKC is playing a role in conversations with the City of Seattle and related to the next budget through theSeattle Human Services Coalition. YDEKC is also now participating with the South King Council of Human Services, the King County Alliance of Human Services, the North Urban Human Services Alliance, Connections and others.  One request is that surrounding municipalities invest in Humans Services through their budgeting process also.

The Seattle Human Services Department Youth and Family Empowerment Division’s 2016 Youth Development and Educational Support Request for Proposal (RFP) has been released. You can find more information about this RFP on HSD’s funding opportunities here. The deadline for  submission is Tuesday, June 7, 2016 by 12:00 p.m.

King County Updates:

We were glad to see many of you at YDEKC’s “Lunching with Leaders” event on April 8th with Sheila Capestany from Best Starts for Kids and Leo Flor from the Veterans and Human Services levy. Members present were able to ask in-depth questions and the conversation was very helpful. Based on early review of implementation planning for the strategies for youth ages 5-24 (35 percent of the funds for BSK), YDEKC submitted this letter to provide feedback about how we see effective strategies shaping up.

There is one more community meeting scheduled in Federal Way on May 16th regarding Best Starts. Keep up to date on their blog and give feedback to BSK staff on the website.  They are taking input now.

Washington State Updates:

On my first weeks in the job, I was able to meet with many legislators or their aides during the last few weeks of session this year introducing YDEKC as a coalition to the Representatives and Senators that cover King County. Wins for youth and families this session included:

  • Implementation of the Family Assessment Response statewide
  • Additional HOPE beds, Family Reconciliation, Crisis Residential Centers, and Street Youth Services
  • The Blue Ribbon Commission (per the Governor’s Executive Order related to a separate children’s department). Find the members appointed to the Commission here

Additionally, the legislature passed the following bills that will support the well-being of youth:

  • HB 2439, geared towards improving access to appropriate children’s mental health services
  • HB 1682, which focuses on homeless students
  • HB 2591, a bill that deals with foster parents/caregivers receiving notice of their right to be heard at dependency court hearings and having such notification documented by the court
  • HB 1553, the bill that creates the Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity, and will help formerly incarcerated individuals obtain employment
  • HB 2749, which extends the requirement to implement ‘part 2’ of the child welfare reform bill passed in 2009 from December of 2016 to December of 2019.
  • E2SHB 2439 includes creating an inventory of mental health services provided to school-age children, including funding sources; and one-day suicide prevention “train the trainer” session, with ongoing support if funded.
  • ESB 6620 includes a requirement for OSPI to create and maintain an online social and emotional training module for educators, administrators, and other school district staff by September 1, 2017.

YDEKC staff will be meeting with Legislators in the interim to discuss current advocacy goals, align our interests with potential bills that may be proposed in 2017 and to coordinate regional meetings with member organizations. The question on the top of everyone’s list is how we can fund basic education (McCleary) without cutting other essential supports to young people and their families. We need to start practicing saying “new revenue.” All together now…“NEW REVENUE!”

On the National Front:

Jessica and I were able to connect with some of our counterparts across the country at the Forum for Youth Investment’s 5th annual conference, Ready by 21, in Baltimore. I caught up afterwards in Washington DC with MaryLee Allen, Public Policy lead with the Children’s Defense Fund. She was excited about the activity in Washington state, in particular, the structure of YDEKC as a coalition and the work for a unified voice of non-profit leaders and the opportunities that Best Starts for Kids will afford the children, youth and families in King County. MaryLee was excited about a bipartisan effort they are supporting called the Family First Act which could provide more flexibility in using funding dedicated to foster care for early prevention and intervention services as well as for young people aging out of foster care. If you would like more information on this work and could reach out to Representatives in Congress or Senators, please contact me at  I have a more in-depth white paper on this issue that I can share.

That’s it for now! We will be in touch with any urgent opportunities and otherwise, look for our monthly “Shared Agenda” Enewsletter on a monthly basis moving forward.

Copyright © 2016 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.