The UPDATE |April 27| FY24 Budget Vote in 19 days!

Keep the Pressure On—19 Days Remain Until DC Council Votes on FY24 Budget 


Together, we’ve written letters, testified at hearings, held meetings, sent emails, posted on social media, and made phone calls, all to ask the DC Council to prioritize the essential human needs of District residents in the FY24 budget. Today the mark-up period of budget season concludes, but two and a half weeks are left until the council holds its first of two votes on the budget and whether or not they improve the Mayor’s proposal depends on what we do now. We can’t afford to balance the budget on the backs of working families. Send an email to tell the DC Council to prioritize the needs of children, youth, and working families.


Figure 50 from the DC Policy Center's Needs assessment of out-of-school time programs in the District of Columbia Report


New Report Shows 52,000+ DC Youth Left Out of Afterschool Programs

According to a long-awaited report recently released by the DC Policy Center, afterschool programs in the District currently have the capacity to serve less than half (41%) of the District’s public school students. The report illustrates the incredible unmet demand for affordable, high-quality programs–especially in historically underserved Wards 7 and 8– and provides a blueprint for how government leaders, policymakers, and providers can improve opportunities.

Plenty of community-based organizations are eager and well-positioned to expand to meet the need, but obtaining sufficient and reliable funding remains a challenge. Parents who want their children to participate in afterschool programs, but aren’t currently enrolling them in activities say that barriers include expense, lack of transportation options, and difficulty both learning about and gaining admission to programs. If Mayor Bowser wishes to make good on her pledge to make DC home to “the most robust free before and afterschool programs in the nation,” she and the DC Council must take the data in this report seriously by dedicating significant funding  to our out-of-school-time sector.


DC Action Policy Analyst and co-chair of the DC OST Coalition Ryllie Danylko shared her top takeaways from the report.


Traveling Mental Health Services for Youth Experiencing Homelessness Are an Essential Investment

Coverage of the growing mental health crisis among young people has saturated the news. The cumulative weight of pandemic losses and isolation, economic struggle, and persistent violence are impossible to ignore and exacerbated for youth experiencing homelessness. Youth experiencing homelessness have higher rates of mental health issues, including suicide, depression, and conduct disorders compared to those in stable homes. Increasing access to mental health supports for youth experiencing homelessness will literally save lives. A strong step toward that end would be investing $1.7 million in a traveling behavioral health unit to bring culturally competent and trauma-responsive mental health supports to youth experiencing homelessness where they physically congregate. 


Senior Policy Analyst and chair of the Youth Economic Justice and Housing Coalition Rachel White detailed the case for expanding essential services to this often overlooked population.


You’re Invited to DC Action’s 2023 Renaissance Awards on May 23


Join us in celebrating the successful rebirth of our organization since our merger with DCAYA and continuing our tradition of honoring the contributions of the youth, young adults, residents, and District leaders who are blazing new trails in advocacy. We will lift up individuals and groups who collaboratively and consistently bring to life our collective vision of making the District of Columbia a place where all of our children and young people grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard. The event will be held on the 5th floor rooftop of the District’s newly renovated Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library.


DC Action in the News


About DC Action

DC Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multi-issue advocacy organization making the District of Columbia a place where all kids grow up safe, resilient, powerful and heard. DC Action uses research, data, and a racial equity lens to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. We are home to DC Kids CountUnder 3 DCDC Out-of-School Time Coalition, the DC Home Visiting Council and the Youth Economic Justice and Housing Coalition. Our collaborative advocacy campaigns bring the power of young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.

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