Last week, the DC Council held its second vote to approve the FY23 budget and accompanying amendments. Based on the results of the first vote, DC Action did not anticipate any major changes to the priorities we have been campaigning for in the second vote. There were a few revisions to the budget that will make a big difference for District children, youth, and families:
$215,000 has been reallocated to increase funding for youth homelessness services. This brings the total amount to $1.2 million to meet the intensive needs of young people who are unhoused.
Community and worker-led organizing put pressure on policymakers to respond to the needs of District workers who were ineligible for unemployment benefits during the pandemic. The resulting amendment, introduced by Councilmember Elissa Silverman, was unanimously approved, dedicating $20 million of the anticipated budget surplus to provide financial assistance to 15,000 workers. The District’s Chief Financial Officer must certify the budget for funds to be allocated.
DC Health Care Alliance and Medicaid
The second budget vote included a $6.9 million one-time increase for the DC Health Care Alliance and a $20.3 million one-time increase spread across various parts of the Medicaid program, both for “Enhancement to meet: Medicaid payment requirements per federal extension to public health emergency." Right now it isn't entirely clear what that means. But we share the concerns of national organizations that millions of children nationally could lose health care coverage once the federal public health emergency is officially over and all the people who the federal government required states to keep enrolled in Medicaid no longer have that protection. While we don’t know if these budget boosts address that issue, we're hoping they’re a sign that the District will not make that transition too abruptly.
The final vote to approve the District’s FY23 budget will be held Tuesday, June 7.
OST Voices: The Power of Picking up a Pen or a Microphone Instead of a Gun
In the latest installment of our OST Voices series, Tia Bell, executive director of the TRIGGER Project, describes how she channeled her own experiences with gun violence into creating opportunities for young people to change the direction of their lives.
DC Action in the News
What’s Behind the Surge in Youth-Involved Carjacking?, Washingtonian, May 12, 2022
READ WATCH LISTEN
It’s harder than ever for young people to make a successful transition from school to a good job. This report from The Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University explains why and what can be done to change the situation. Read The Uncertain Pathway from Youth to a Good Job.
To the Future, With Love is a seven-minute documentary video created by Hunter Pixel Jimenez, a 19-year-old nonbinary trans artist from Guatemala living in Los Angeles. Jimenez’s story is part of a series of shorts celebrating Pride Month, produced by POV Shorts and PBS.
Black. Queer. Rising., a special project by WNYC’s The Takeaway, highlights the contributions of Black LGBTQIA+ individuals. Listen to this episode featuring civil rights leader and Color of Change President Rashad Robinson.