What We've Done Together in 2020
When 2020 began, none of us could have imagined what challenges would confront us this year. The racist policies and resulting circumstances that put Black and brown children, youth and families at a disadvantage when it comes to learning, staying healthy, and maintaining economic security were exploited and exacerbated by COVID-19. The parallel pandemics of a racial reckoning and a destabilized democracy further undermined the safety and well-being of tens of thousands of District residents. We’ve had to fight hard and the battle is far from over.
On a positive note, our organization is more powerful, since DC Action for Children and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates merged to form an even stronger, independent voice for children and youth, from cradle to career.
Here’s how DC Action stepped up:
To protect children, youth and families hardest hit by the pandemic, we
Joined our partners to advocate for unemployment benefits, moratoriums on evictions and utility shut-offs, waiving re-certifications for public health insurance, free meals for kids, emergency child care for frontline workers, and devices and internet for every student.
Supported the timely implementation of the DC Paid Family and Medical Leave benefit, which supports the economic security of families and the well being of children.
Advocated in coalition with other organizations for a #JustRecovery to build the District back stronger as we deal with the effects of the pandemic.
To promote quality, affordable, and accessible early childhood education
Through our Under 3 DC campaign, we amplified the voices of early childhood educators who are struggling to stay open to serve families during the pandemic; and worked in coalition to restore full funding for the child care subsidy, and secure $5 million to be distributed in grants toward stabilizing the sector.
Along with the DC Home Visiting Council, we successfully advocated to maintain funding for home visiting programs, which proved to be a critical lifeline to stay connected to families with young children during the pandemic.
To promote positive youth development and protect out-of-school time programs, we
Created a paid Youth Census Ambassador Internship and partnered with Mikva DC and The Black Swan Academy to encourage youth to educate and remind their friends, families, and neighbors to complete the US census.
Formed the DC Out-of-School Time Coalition and collectively have been advocating for the inclusion of OST in school virtual learning and reopening plans. During budget season we emphasized the importance of OST providers in supporting kids and families year round, especially during the pandemic, and secured level funding for OST programs.
To create equitable systems and opportunities for Black and brown children and youth in DC, we
Fought to protect programs and services critical to children’s health, education and well-being in the FY21 budget; and currently urging the same protections in the FY21 Supplemental Budget.
Published the DC Kids Count 2020 Data Book to provide policymakers and community activists with statistical tools, and data disaggregated by race, to advocate for fairer and more equitable policy.
Unfortunately, the future threats to children and young people in our community are just as serious as those we’ve already faced. Believe it or not, the stakes are even higher in 2021.
We must and we will do more. We are asking for your help with a donation of $5, $25, or $50 to make it happen. Join us in our work to shape fair and equitable public policy for all of DC's children and youth to grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard. Help DC Action for Children break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. Together, we can make the District a great place to live for all of our children and families.