Thank You for Helping Sustain Our Work
Many thanks to so many of you for donating during our year-end email campaign that began with Giving Tuesday and ended on New Year's Eve. Because of YOU, we far exceeded our fundraising goals and are eternally grateful. Together, we will strengthen the advocacy needed in 2022 to continue to fight for a fair and equitable pandemic recovery for children, youth, and families. Your support helps us make progress on our collective campaigns to strengthen families from the start with home visiting, ensure high-quality early education for every child, make out-of-school time programs accessible for every student in every neighborhood in the city, and close the gaps in opportunity for our young people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. 2022 is here and we are ready to get started!
Federal dollars help, but DC policymakers must do more to help residents keep their homes
The US Treasury responded to a request by Mayor Bowser for additional federal funds for rental assistance by tapping into resources unused by other states. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the need far outweighs the support being offered. If we are to avoid an eviction crisis during the latest phase of this public health crisis, the District’s lawmakers will need to step up and replenish funding for STAY DC, which ran out of money in October. The pandemic shows no signs of ending soon, but measures to assist residents are still expiring, including the District’s elimination of utility assistance.
We cannot pile an eviction crisis on top of a public health crisis. Mayor Bowser and the DC Council must take immediate action to ensure that this rental assistance funding is fairly and swiftly distributed, while also finding additional dollars to keep District residents in their homes throughout 2022.
The good news is that in addition to the limited federal dollars the District is receiving, the District’s CFO has indicated that a sizable budget surplus exists, providing an ideal opportunity for Mayor Bowser to dedicate additional funds to meeting the most pressing needs of residents. DC Action will monitor how surplus money is spent and advocate for our city’s children, youth, and families.
Join Us for a Conversation about the Role of Youth Development in Crime Prevention with Attorney General Karl Racine
DC Action, the District's Office of the Attorney General, the DC Girls Coalition, and the Latin American Youth Center will host a virtual community discussion about how–especially during a period of increased violence–we must focus resources on providing opportunities and support to young people. It’s important to address the root causes of poverty and crime instead of reverting to the failed punitive policies of the past. Moderated by DC Action Executive Director Kimberly Perry and DC Action Board Member Tiffany Ward, and featuring Attorney General Karl Racine the webinar will be held Tuesday, January 25 from 5pm-7pm via Zoom. All are invited to join the discussion.
Get the Answers You Need to Hold Government Agencies Accountable
This week the DC Council began holding performance oversight hearings. These hearings offer the opportunity for residents to weigh in on what is and isn’t working in the District and how we can push our city government to be more responsive to residents. The six-week schedule of committee hearings enables members of the DC Council and District residents the opportunity to ask questions of agency representatives that will inform needs and requests for the upcoming budget season.
Some of the upcoming hearings related to DC Action’s work include:
Monday, January 24 | Committee on Health: Department of Behavioral Health (Healthy Futures)
February 17 | Health and Human Services Committee: Child and Family Services Agency
February 23 | Health Committee: DC Health
If you are interested in testifying about the importance of Healthy Futures, the District’s mental health consultation program for early learning programs, contact Jarred Bowman at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
If you are interested in testifying about the importance of family strengthening/home visiting programs funded by CFSA and DC Health, contact Nisa Hussain at email@example.com to learn more.
For a full list of the performance oversight hearings, please see the Council’s schedule here.
Out-of-School-Time Report Illustrates Increased Value of OST During Pandemic
In case you missed it, we invite you to read DC Action’s Out-of-School Time 2021 Impact Report, which details the importance of and demand for quality programs for kids and youth when school is not in session. Especially during the pandemic, when isolation and learning loss have traumatized young people, OST programs offer desperately needed social-emotional and academic support, opportunities for growth and development, and safe and constructive environments for youth.
READ, WATCH, LISTEN
READ: The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth by Kristin Henning of Georgetown University. Join the DC Action staff in reading this new and timely analysis of the foundations of racist policing in America: the day-to-day brutalities, largely hidden from public view, endured by Black youth growing up under constant police surveillance and the persistent threat of physical and psychological abuse.
WATCH this interview with the award-winning, bestselling native Washingtonian author Jason Reynolds. He talks about how poverty, trauma, and politics lead to gun violence and how that gun violence affects the young people caught in the middle of it, as well as the importance of Black and brown youth seeing themselves in books
LISTEN: The 74’s Class Disrupted Podcast features conversations with “educators, school leaders, students, and other members of school communities as they investigate the challenges facing the education system amid this pandemic.”