Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Together, We Changed DC - Now, Let's Do It Again!

The final vote by the DC Council on the FY 2017 budget marked the culmination of multiple campaigns, appeals, and partnerships focused on securing additional resources for the District’s children, youth, and families. Despite the impact of our collective advocacy, our work is far from done. In order to build on the successes we have achieved in the last year, and to ensure children and youth receive the services they need to thrive, we ask that you please consider renewing your organizational membership with DC Alliance of Youth Advocates.

Absent our collective efforts and quick responses during budget season, DC children, youth and families would have lost, or been unable to access millions of dollars in services and supports. While it may seem like the finish line is behind us, the work we do is more like a marathon than a sprint. To carry our collective work forward, we need your support in the year to come.

What your contribution supports:
Over the past few years, DCAYA solicited community input and feedback at over 60 different convenings. This feedback, combined with high quality research and analysis informed over 350 pieces of testimony delivered at 51 public hearings, facilitated over 9,000 advocacy letters and emails to DC Council and the Office of the Mayor and led over 400 hours of direct advocacy to key decision makers. Not to mention, numerous professional development and networking opportunities.

These efforts have resulted in a variety of significant outcomes for the year to come, including:

  • Preserving the District’s $4.9 million investment for community-based expanded learning programs over the next school year and summer. Absent our work, over 3,000 students would go without an afterschool or summer option.
  • Successfully advocating for $2.3 million in new investments for prevention, diversion and crisis intervention to end youth homelessness; work that will impact hundreds of incredibly vulnerable youth in the year to come.
  • Securing $800,000 in local funding to sustain critical, quality afterschool programming which would otherwise have been cut off for up to 1,000 low-income children and youth in the next school year.
  • Removing transportation barriers to the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) for financially insecure youth, and making huge progress in expanding transportation subsidies to nontraditional and adult learners.
  • Informing the final structure and public funding for the Youth Re-Engagement Center; which has exceeded expectations in its first two years of operations and is now serving hundreds of opportunity youth.
  • Strengthening the pathway to postsecondary success for nontraditional students with the creation of a State Diploma for students who demonstrate high school mastery through the GED or NEDP.

But that’s not all.

  • In the last 5 years, our collective work has helped protect or secure just under $700,000,000 in key services and supports to our children, youth and families.

Each of these efforts requires months and sometimes years of work with continuous outreach, convenings, and research. Your membership is one of the critical pillars that sustains our efforts year round. Together, we provide resources and supports to enable young people to reach their fullest potential.

Thank you for your membership with DCAYA.  We believe it is an investment in the strength of your organization, in the future of our city, and, most importantly, in the lives of our youth.
We look forward to another successful year and thank you again for your commitment.

Maggie Riden
Executive Director of DC Alliance of Youth Advocates

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