Ann Umemoto, President of the Board of Directors

Coronavirus Covid-19 has quickly become a serious threat to the health and well-being of our children, families, and communities in Westchester County. Advocacy by WCA for children that are vulnerable for a variety of reasons is even more important during times like these. WCA supports the public health measures being taken in our state to contain and combat this virus and ask the public to support these efforts even though some of these measures may seem drastic.

We stand with the families that are doing their best to adjust to the school closures and changes being put in place. We are also very concerned about low-income, homeless, and disabled families who may be struggling to adapt.    WCA is fortunate to have online and remote capabilities to speak up and rally support for these children and invite you to subscribe for updates and ways to get involved.

WCA wants to remind policymakers, decision-makers, and the health care community of issues of special concern to our communities such as:

  • More widespread screening and treatment – The ability of our public health care system to adequately respond to this pandemic is dependent on the accuracy of incidence and prevalence data and availability of necessary resources. WCA supports efforts to provide more widespread screening and treatment of Covid-19 for all regardless of access to health insurance.
  • Increased health insurance coverage and access to care – We support policies that increase access to care through the expansion of Medicaid, screening based on proximity, and re-opening of health insurance enrollment for those who are uninsured or underinsured.  WCA has long supported health insurance coverage for children and families. Now, when the health of the public is at stake, we are all at greater risk if residents delay medical advice or care due to financial concerns.
  • Support children who access supportive services through schools – As school districts close for various periods in Westchester and throughout New York, we ask that alternative procedures be put in place to provide meals, behavioral mental support, and shelter for students who do not have alternatives and depend on the school system for these services.
  • Paid medical leave for all – We support paid medical leave for all workers affected by closures who need to take time off to care for themselves and families. Financial compensation for nonprofits and small businesses so that they may cover these costs is also essential.
  • Oppose xenophobia, racism, and discrimination due to Coronavirus – Although the origin of this dangerous virus can be traced to a geographic location, Covid-19 is now a pandemic whose victims cannot be distinguished by race or residence. WCA stands against any form of discrimination that is being justified by this health crisis that is based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual-orientation, educational-level, employment status, citizenship or national origin.

At WCA, we are thankful for the tools we already have in place that allow us to continue advocating for the needs of all children, youth and young adults in Westchester County and greater New York.  Now more than ever our work is crucial as we push forward our 2020 NY State budget agenda including:

  • Early Childhood Supports and Home Visiting
  • Child Care, Afterschool and Youth Programs
  • Youth Justice and Restorative School Justice

And on the federal level:

  • House bill, Families First Coronavirus Response Act

We can still speak out for kids so they are healthy, safe, and prepared for the current challenge posed by Covid-19 and beyond.   Join us in rallying for our kids via social media, phone calls, and online resources. While most of WCA’s staff is working remotely – we are reachable through phone and email.  We have moved our workgroups to conference calls and video platforms. We are doing all we can to ensure business as usual.

Our work is even more critical, and we are ready to advocate fiercely for our kids!




Ann Umemoto


Board of Directors


Download the statement here.

Connect with members of our Board and staff via email to wca@wca4kids.org

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