Mayor, Councilmembers, and Attorney General Sworn in and Ready for New Term
Congratulations to Mayor Bowser on being the first woman in American history to be elected Mayor for a third consecutive term. We are excited to hear in her inaugural address about her pledge to build “the most robust free before- and after-school programs in the nation,” and eager to learn more about the mayor’s plans for significant expansion of before and after school programming.
We also look forward to working with those re-elected to the DC Council, including DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson, At-large Councilmember Anita Bonds, Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, as well as Kenyan McDuffie, who previously represented Ward 5 and is now an At-large member. Congratulations to newly installed Ward 5 Councilmember Zachary Parker and Ward 3 Councilmember Matthew Frumin, as well as the District’s second-ever elected attorney general, Brian Schwalb.
New DC Council committees were also announced this week. A complete listing of committees, their chairs and members is here.
Related to DC Action’s priorities,
Councilmember Christina Henderson now chairs the Committee on Health
Councilmember Robert White now chairs the Committee on Housing, which now includes the Department of Human Services
Councilmember Vincent Gray now chairs the Committee on Hospital and Health Equity
Councilmember Janeese Lewis George now chairs the Committee on Facilities and Family Services
Councilmember Anita Bonds now chairs the Committee on Executive Administration and Labor
Councilmember Brooke Pinto now chairs the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety
DC Action is ready and eager to continue and begin productive collaborations with DC Council members in 2023.
Start Planning Now for Performance Oversight Hearings by Joining Coalition Meetings
The DC Council expects to begin holding performance oversight hearings in February, providing DC Residents and advocacy organizations with the opportunity to weigh in on how government agencies are performing, particularly with respect to programs and services they deliver.
In preparation for these hearings, DC Action’s coalitions, including the DC Out-of-School-Time Coalition, the Home Visiting Council, the Under 3 DC Coalition, and the Youth Economic Justice and Housing Coalition will be developing critical inquiries for each agency and organizing DC Residents and stakeholders to deliver testimony at relevant public hearings throughout the process. The upcoming coalition meeting schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, January 18 from 2pm-3:30pm | Under 3 DC Family Health Supports (contact Hannah Francis with questions)
Tuesday, January 24 from noon-1pm | Out-of-School-Time Coalition (contact Ryllie Danylko with questions)
Wednesday, January 25 from noon-2pm | Under 3 DC Coalition (contact Hannah Francis with questions)
- Tuesday, January 31 from 2pm-3:30pm | Home Visiting Council (contact Nisa Hussain with questions)
Wednesday, February 1 from 3:30pm-5pm | Youth Economic Justice and Housing Coalition (contact Rachel White with questions)
DC Action Statement on Creating Nation's Best Out-of-School-Time Sector
This week in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s inaugural address for her third term, the mayor pledged to build “the most robust free before- and after-school programs in the nation.” DC Action, home of the DC Out-of-School Time Coalition, is pleased to hear this exciting announcement and eager to learn more about the mayor’s plans for significant OST expansion.
In recent years, the District has made strides toward universal access to affordable, high-quality programming. Increased local and federal funding has helped add more spots in many in-demand programs and helped some community-based organizations weather the impact of the ongoing pandemic. However, we continue to hear from families that their desired program is unaffordable, difficult to transport their child to, or not accessible for their child with special needs. Community-based organizations continue to face extraordinary administrative burdens, staffing shortages, and insufficient funding to serve the amount of young people who are interested in their program. Meanwhile, District youth need mentorship, tutoring, mental health support, and a safe space to foster creativity, confidence, and joy.
DC Action Welcomes New Digital Storyteller Nada Blassy to Staff
We are excited to announce that Nada Blassy joined the DC Action staff this week as Digital Storyteller. Nada is passionate about the intersection of media and policy. Nada has created videos, annual reports, and digital media materials for nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering refugees, immigrants, and other marginalized populations in the Tampa Bay area and Philadelphia. She produced content for NPR's Tampa Bay radio station, WUSF, and PBS affiliate WEDQ. Since Nada is bilingual, many of her video projects have been in English and Arabic.
Nada earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a concentration in broadcast news from University of South Florida, and her master’s degree in social policy from the University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, Nada enjoys doing anything outdoors, especially going on hikes. She loves exploring new cities, museums, and spending time with friends and family.
Thank You for Supporting DC Action’s Mission to Improve the Lives of Children, Youth, and Families
We are well aware that the important work we do is only successful when we all work together. You demonstrated your commitment to our efforts through your generous donations in December in response to our Giving Tuesday and end-of-year fundraising campaign. Thank you to all of our contributors and supporters for your continued confidence in our advocacy with and for the District’s children and families.
DC Action in the News
DC Action Policy Analyst Ryllie Danylko and DC Out-of-School-Time Coalition Co-Chair Wida Amir were quoted in an article on the damaging effects of unexpectedly unavailable grant funding. D.C. afterschool programs on edge after city closes grant competition, Washington Post, 12/31/22
Under 3 DC Coalition member and early childhood educator Angelique Marshall was featured in an article highlighting the economic challenges of working in the profession. Child-care workers wait for checks that could take them off the brink, Washington Post, 12/30/22