by Desiree Hoffman
Director of Advocacy and Policy, YWCA USA
Today is an important day for the YWCA and for all the women we serve. Here in our nation’s capital, 250 YWCA leaders — from Oregon to New York, Texas to North Dakota — are gathered today to advocate for women, girls and families. Not just the ones that come through the doors of our 1,300 locations across the U.S. every day, but for ALL women and girls.
United to serve 2 million women and girls across country, YWCA is a force to be reckoned with!
Today we’re visiting the offices 241 members of Congress. Our goal is to educate the members and their staffs on the importance of legislative issues that are critical to YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. These meetings focus on securing full funding for these key priorities:
- Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) – a vital funding stream that provides child care subsidies to low and moderate income families. CCDBG keeps people gainfully employed by providing quality affordable child care and gives children access to quality early childhood education.
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) — YWCAs depend on CDBG to provide core services. CDBG provides support for infrastructure, including YWCA buildings that house community programs and shelters. It’s an important source of funding for key YWCA programs, such as sexual assault and violence prevention programs and services, transitional housing for those escaping violence at home, and job training programs that empower women to support themselves and their families
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding – Funding for VAWA and VOCA support much-needed domestic violence, sexual assault , emergency shelters, transitional shelters – critical services to help survivors and victims of crime pick up the pieces after trauma when they need it most. Tomorrow we’re looking forward to hearing Vice President Joe Biden speak about the importance of VAWA at our luncheon.
- Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act– with VAWA reauthorization on the move, this is a critical legislative time. The Senate to a positive step forward by passing their version of the 68-31 last week. While there is overwhelming bipartisan support, there are key provisions of VAWA at risk of being stripped from the House version bill, including protection for Native American, immigrant and LGBT communities. YWCA supports HR 4271, the House version of VAWA sponsored by U.S. Rep Gwen Moore (D-WI), and our goal is to get as many cosponsors as possible.
Our fight today is every woman’s fight. Join us. Even if you aren’t in Washington, D.C., today, you can let your voice be heard! Wherever you live, participate in YWCA’s National Day of Action by calling and emailing your Congressional reps to stand up for women in your community.