The UPDATE | February 2 | Youth Summit Enables Young People to Share Concerns with Elected Officials

The UPDATE | February 2 | Youth Summit Enables Young People to Share Concerns with Elected Officials

Youth Summit Enables District’s Young People to Share Concerns with Elected Officials

Issues such as making schools and communities healthier and safer topped the list of concerns of young people who gathered at the January 18 youth summit organized by the DC Girls Coalition and sponsored by Black Swan Academy, Critical Exposure, DC Action, and YWCA of the National Capital Area. Nearly 100 middle and high schoolers shared  the urgent need for greater mental health support, better sex education, improved school sanitation, an end to gun and gang violence, and the need for more out-of-school-time opportunities, among other pressing topics.


Last-Minute Reauthorization of Federal Home Visiting Act Offers Good News for Families

The home visiting field ushered in a major win in the new year with the reauthorization of the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. Near the end of December 2022, President Biden signed the federal government omnibus spending bill into law, after Congress had passed it earlier that month. The massive spending package included the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act, which is a bipartisan five-year reauthorization and expansion of the MIECHV program. This concludes a long effort from home visiting and maternal and child health advocates who pushed Congress to reauthorize the legislation before it expired at the end of 2022.


DC OST Coalition Moves District Toward Equitable Insurance Requirements for Afterschool & Summer Programs

The DC Out-of-School Time Coalition is making progress in its advocacy to achieve equitable insurance requirements for publicly funded afterschool and summer programs. In a meeting last week, DC officials agreed to reassess the current “one-size-fits-all” policy in favor of a model that requires insurance levels that fit each organization’s needs, effectively reversing a policy change made under prior leadership of the Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes.e hThe DC Out-of-School Time Coalition is making progress in its advocacy to achieve equitable insurance requirements for publicly funded afterschool and summer programs.


Testimony Before the DC Council’s Committee on Health Kicks off DC Action’s Participation in Performance Oversight Season

A key element in DC Action’s Youth Economic Justice and Homelessness Coalition efforts to dismantle the pipeline from youth homelessness to chronic adult homelessness is to ensure young people experiencing homelessness have access to consistent, quality, culturally appropriate mental health services. This was the focus of Senior Youth Policy Analyst Rachel White’s testimony before the Committee on Health on February 1.


DC Action Welcomes New Bernstein Fellows and Children’s National Intern

We are excited to welcome several new members of our team: Alexa Marotta, Torrey Peters, and Lucy Suarez.


Alexa Marotta is one of our Diane Bernstein Fellows for Spring 2023. Alexa is a senior at American University majoring in CLEG: Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government. She is pursuing a minor in education studies and a certificate in community-based research. Alexa is passionate about education policy and research that prioritizes community input and youth voice. She has conducted research to assess the level of environmental literacy in Appalachian states. Through this work, Alexa had the opportunity to interview informal and formal educators paving the way in environmental education. She was able to highlight the significant role of educators and their opinions on how to improve and expand environmental education at the North American Association for Environmental Education Conference. Alexa is a member of an AU dance team and loves to bake, visit museums, and explore the outdoors. 


Torrey Thomas is one of our Diane Bernstein Fellows for Spring 2023. Torrey is a junior at the University of the District of Columbia pursuing his bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in global studies. Torrey is the Director of Mobilization with the Voters of Tomorrow in Washington, DC. Previously, he worked as a human resources intern with the Democratic National Committee. When he isn't working, Torrey can be found loudly rooting for the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, or any other Maryland sports team. He also can be found reading a good book from time to time, with a cup of tea.


Lucy Suarez is a pediatrician with the Children’s National Medical Center, currently serving as an intern with DC Action as part of her participation in the Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health Equity Track at Children's National.

As a new pediatrician, Lucy is passionate about preventative medicine. She is particularly interested in adolescent medicine, protecting reproductive rights, promoting mental health and wellness in the primary care setting, counseling families on accident prevention, and keeping kids out of the hospital. Raised in an Ecuadorian family, Lucy is proud to be a Latina in medicine and excited to use her Spanish to serve her patients, their families, and the Hispanic community at large. More broadly, she hopes to work toward improving medical care for non-English speaking families. Lucy earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her MD from Harvard Medical School.


DC Action in the News

DC children propose solutions to violence at 'Youth Summit', WUSA, 1/18/23 This is one of many local, national, and international news stories about the Youth Summit [link to blog post].


Opinion  Remote work has unstated benefits, by Kim Perry, 1/25, The Washington Post


On the Road: AU's Humanities Truck | American University, Washington, D.C., 1/18/23


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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