This week's blog post is a message from DCAYA's Executive Director Maggie Riden.
In 2012 our coalition advocated for youth on the most pressing issues. We offered over 150 pieces of testimony at 25 different hearings, sent over 500 letters, emails, calls, tweets or post cards to DC Council, engaged in over 135 hours of direct advocacy to council members and other key decision makers and facilitated community input at over 50 different community convenings. This collective effort resulted in some significant outcomes; we:
· Safeguarded over $8 million dollars in funding to high quality youth development programming that supports thousands of low income and at risk youth;
· Realized ongoing improvements to our youth workforce development system; including an increase of $1.3 million dollars in public funding to year round programming;
· Increased supportive resources to homeless youth by over 50%;
· Informed the use of close to $1 million dollars in summer funding targeted to at risk youth.
These wins, achieved despite a number of hurdles, could not have been accomplished individually and genuinely illustrate the power of a collective approach to advocacy. While there is still work to be done, know that DCAYA is committed to building on these successes and will continue to provide: (1) meaningful research and analysis, (2) timely updates and information, (3) robust community engagement and mobilization and (4) opportunities to inform policy recommendations and connect with key decision makers.
Once more, thank you all for every hour of work you and your staff have put into supporting the creation of a true youth advocacy movement here in DC and know we, DCAYA staff and Board, look forward to continuing to work with the community in pursuit of lasting positive outcomes for District youth in the year to come.
This week's blog was also sent out to DCAYA members via our website. If you would like to receive updates from DCAYA please sign-up on dc-aya.org.