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Why we need the youth mental health bill

Editor's Note: Rasheeda Bean is interning with DC Action this summer. She intends to testify at the DC Council's youth hearing this Saturday on the importance of behavioral and mental health screenings and treatment for youth. For more information on the hearing, which starts at 10 am at the Wilson Building, please visit http://www.dccouncil.us/youthhearings . Growing up in the Ward...

A bill worthy of Brishell

I had a very unique opportunity during last week’s D.C. Council hearing on the “South Capitol Street Tragedy Memorial Act of 2011.” I sat next to Ms. Nardyne Jeffries, the mother of one of the young shooting victims whose tragic death inspired the bill. As she told her painful story, she was moved to tears, and so was I. Unfortunately,...

Why I got arrested for D.C. voting rights

Editor's Note: DC Action for Children founder Diane Bernstein and her colleague at the Diane & Norman Bernstein Foundation, Annalee Ash, are our heros. Both are tireless advocates for D.C.'s vulnerable children and families and understand that voting rights for the District is a civil rights issue. This article first appeared on the opinion page of the Washington Post on...

Learning what it means to be an advocate for children

Editor's Note: DC Action is delighted to welcome Rasheeda Bean as our intern this summer. Rasheeda is a D.C. native and student. She is helping us with a little bit of everything, from stuffing envelopes to getting our office organized, all the while learning what it means to be an advocate. I consider myself an aspiring teacher who believes in...

More D.C. children and youth face the "summer slide"

District children and youth will suffer deep cuts in their summer programs this year -- a result of city budget cuts. With the District slicing away at summer school, the youth jobs program and a host of summer programming and enrichment activities, children will lose an estimated $17 million worth of programming this summer. This spring, DC Action, in partnership...

Duncan: A new competition without a minute to lose

Yesterday the early care and education field got some news that we have been eagerly anticipating for a long time. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, along with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, announced a new Race to the Top -- this one focused entirely on promoting innovation and improvements in early education. The goal of these Early Learning...

Fewer children in foster care, but too few find families

April was National Child Abuse Awareness Month, and May is National Foster Care Month. Of course for children in difficult situations or in limbo, the month doesn't make a difference. For too many children in foster care, a permanent home with a family they can call their own is a distant dream. And the longer children remain in foster care,...

Could you feed your family on $8 a day?

Nearly 66,000 families in D.C. receive food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) every month -- about half of those benefits go to children. Without food stamps, vulnerable children are at serious risk of hunger and malnutrition. Of all the safety-net programs out there, none are more vital than SNAP, which literally puts food on the table. Now...

A new community health center in Ward 4

One of the interesting findings in our recent Census issue brief was the expansion of the Hispanic community beyond its traditional core in Ward 1, where it actually decreased by 12%. In particular, Ward 4 has seen the largest influx in Hispanic residents over the past decade, with a 54% increase or 5,000 residents. Of course, the Census does not...

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Despite a booming economy, the District has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country, with more than one quarter of children and youth living in families struggling to make ends meet. Let's work together to ensure all #dckids reach their full potential.  Join Us!