December 2, 2016
A Message from Jennifer March
Progress doesn’t always happen as quickly as we’d like it to. This is a lesson that working in advocacy has taught me well. Yet, advocacy work has also taught me to believe in other truths I’ve found to be key: dedication, patience and persistence always pay off.
Even when we don’t immediately see the results we are striving for, it is crucial that we stay the course and continue to lend our voices to children and families by advancing solutions in the form of concrete budget, policy and legislative proposals.
In the past week, we’ve seen two important examples of ways that CCC’s perseverance has made a difference for New York children and families. Last week, the City announced a pilot program to create college savings accounts for kindergarteners from low-income families, an incredibly effective tool to help low-income children access college that CCC has championed for nearly a decade. And this week, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill that will allow New Yorkers to deposit a portion of their state tax refunds into college savings accounts at tax time, another crucial reform for which CCC has advocated for multiple years.
We must leverage victories like these to bolster our energy and remain steadfast to our commitment to New York children and families in the months and years ahead. Over the past month, we have been analyzing important data about the children and families in our communities, advocating for crucial reforms to our child welfare and criminal justice systems, fighting to shield low-income tenants from housing subsidy decreases, and training a fresh class of child advocates on the barriers to well-being that negatively impact too many of our city’s children and families.
Keep reading for more details on each of these initiatives, and stay tuned to our media, social media and web-based channels for the release of our new Community Risk Ranking and launch of innovative online data tools in the coming weeks.
As always, thank you so much for your support of CCC – together I am confident we can help to ensure that all children are healthy, housed, educated and safe.
Know The Facts
The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey revealed an uneven recovery from the recession. A quarter of all New York City children living in poverty are clustered in just eight of our 59 community districts. Download the infographic we created to illustrate the findings, and share it with your networks. You can also check out Keeping Track Online for a comprehensive look at the latest Census data.
Treating children as adults in the criminal justice system can negatively affect them for a lifetime. New York and North Carolina are the only two states that automatically prosecute all 16 and 17-year-olds as adults regardless of the crime. Take a stand – ask your elected officials to raise the age of criminal responsibility in New York State.
Earlier this month, the mayor signed into law a package of bills that will improve the foster care system for nearly 10,000 NYC children and youth. The package will strengthen data collection and reporting and increase coordination among agencies to help us as a city better meet the needs of youth in foster care. Learn more about the bills on our blog.
Last month, CCC testified against the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAMFR) rule for Section 8 voucher holders, which would have decreased rental assistance for more than 55,000 New Yorkers. The agency recently announced that New York City tenants will be exempt from the rule.
Community Leadership Course
Our Community Leadership Course wrapped up in mid-November with Community Day in Hunts Point. We are excited to congratulate participants on completing the course and thrilled to welcome more dedicated advocates for NYC children and families into our volunteer community. Check out recent updates below on the CLC’s work and stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for ways to get involved.
In Case You Missed It
Catch up on last week’s message from Jennifer March about the importance of remaining steadfast in our commitment to New York children and families.