Throughout the year, WCA works hard to identify the needs of Westchester’s children, make their needs known, and keeping them at the top of the public agenda. The Westchester County Budget is one of the main ways that we and our Campaign for Kids (CFK) Coalition (with over 100 service providers, community organizations, advocates, and residents) deliver results for children. Our budget recommendations enlist County funding to support projects and programs that meet the needs of thousands of children from early childhood to young adulthood.
For the 2021 Westchester County Budget which is finalized by mid-December, the priorities of the CFK Coalition include:
1. Digital Connectivity – Parents, guardians, and students alike cannot work and fully participate in learning from home without connections to adequate technology, training, and access to the internet/Wi-Fi. Westchester families need connection now more than ever, as a way to directly address county-wide racial, educational, and income disparities and foster widespread learning and opportunities.
2. Invest in Kids Youth Development Programs – All Invest in Kids (IIK) programs keep children safe, support working families, and foster academic success. This fills a critical need in communities that is more urgent now when children are increasingly in remote environments and need opportunities to strengthen connections.
3. Child & Youth Homelessness & Affordable Housing – There is a need to further support Westchester’s 2,800+ children and youth currently experiencing homelessness with accessible, coordinated services and expanded prevention through increased investments in affordable housing and eviction prevention — including a right to counsel for low-income residents at eviction proceedings.
4. Early Childhood Support – Quality early childhood education has a critical impact on kindergarten readiness, high school graduation, employment rates, and adult income. Also, in this time of COVID-19, safe, accessible, affordable child care is a necessity to restart the economy. Unfortunately, early childhood education and child care costs are exceedingly high, which creates barriers for many children and families.
5. Youth Justice – Recognizing the original intent of the Raise the Age Law to prevent children from entering the criminal justice system and delays and complications in state funding, there remains a great need for Raise the Age funds to support community-based prevention and age-appropriate, rehabilitative alternative programs.
What You Can Do?
The next public hearings on the County Budget are planned to be held virtually. They will be hosted November 18th at 7pm and December 9th at 7 pm. Provisions for live testimony have not been indicated.
Spread the Word!
We encourage you to attend County Budget hearings, register to speak, share our recommendations, and tag us on social media @WCA4KIDS with how you are trying to make sure children’s needs are met in 2021.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the CFK 2021 Westchester County Budget Agenda here.
Our 9th eBulletin includes: