The UPDATE | June 8 |Safeguarding SNAP, Feeling the Effects of Broken Promises, and Seeking Universal OST

New Federal Restrictions Make Funding DC’s Give SNAP a Raise Law Even More Urgent

The DC Council recently voted to allocate $40 million of any remaining excess revenue at the end of this fiscal year to helping District families put food on the table, through Give SNAP a Raise. However, “any remaining excess revenue” is hardly guaranteed. There could be any amount–or zero–excess revenue. And the full cost of funding Give SNAP a Raise–legislation that was unanimously passed in January–is $53 million, so even the maximum excess revenue wouldn’t completely cover the necessary expense of the program. Mayor Bowser and the DC Council must make it a priority to sustainably fund Give SNAP a Raise. 



FY24 Budget Reflects Broken Promises from District Government

On May 20, the DC Council passed a budget that falls short of representing on-the-record promises of strengthening our early childhood education sector, ending homelessness, and making our afterschool programs the most robust in the nation. Watch our video about these broken promises. We appreciate Mayor Bowser listening to our coalitions’ budget asks to expand child care assistance and increase funding for out-of-school time programs, and the DC Council expanding funding for some home visiting programs. However, we are disappointed that in an economic slow-down, with rising rates of homelessness among young people–and given concerns about youth mental health and youth-involved crime–the DC Council chose to go only halfway in adjusting the budget to meet urgent needs, breaking their promise to protect and advance the interests of the District’s children and youth. DC Action will release a comprehensive budget analysis soon.


Advocates Discuss Avenues for Expanding Out-of-School-Time Opportunities at DC Council Hearing

After requesting a special hearing for several months, members of the DC Out-of-School Time Coalition spoke Wednesday before the DC Council about the future of OST in the District. Youth advocates, parents, and youth development leaders went on the record about what policymakers should do to expand afterschool and summer program opportunities to more youth. This includes youth with disabilities and those who have been disconnected from OST due to barriers like cost, transportation, and program capacity. Public witnesses raised topics such as the need for more long-term local funding for OST, ideas for how to ensure youth with special needs have access to the supports they need in programs, and ways that the DC government can create policies and processes that make it easier -- rather than more difficult -- for OST providers to meet their goals of providing high-quality programs to District youth. 


While the weekday morning timing of the hearing made it difficult for young people to participate and weigh in on the conversation in real time, DC Action shared highlights from the Youth Voices Youth Power Project on Twitter throughout the hearing, including clips of teens sharing their thoughts on why OST matters to them and their peers. Coalition witnesses answered questions from Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, and Councilmember Christina Henderson in response to their testimonies, including about proposed budget-related legislation that would expand Learn24 grantmaking to DCPS schools, which could have a number of unintentional negative impacts on the equity and stability of the OST sector. These conversations with legislators are continuing as the DC Council prepares to vote on the Budget Support Act next Tuesday, June 13.


We’re Hiring: DC Action Seeking Director of Youth Advocacy


The Director of Youth Advocacy will lead efforts centered on advancing education, eliminating gun violence, and pursuing economic justice. The Director will provide strategic direction to a broad portfolio of policy, mobilization, and communications strategies to advance opportunities for the District’s young people. Salary range is $120,000-$130,000.


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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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