YWCA Lancaster CEO Stacie Blake was one of five YWCA leaders selected to join YWCA USA in Washington, D.C. last week for a weeklong advocacy fly-in! Throughout the week, YWCA leaders along with YWCA USA CEO, Margaret Mitchell, participated in a series of Hill and Administration meetings that highlighted several critical YWCA initiatives.
( Kelly Grosser, Chief Mission Impact Officer, YWCA Tri-County Area; Stacie Blake, CEO YWCA Lancaster; Naya Diaz, ED, YWCA Greater Austin; Margaret Mitchell, CEO, YWCA USA; Pam Yuen, Director of Government Relations, YWCA USA; Dr. LaRhonda Megras, CEO, YWCA Central Alabama; Dr. Cheryl Watkins, CEO, YWCA Metro St. Louis)
Throughout the week, YWCA Leaders focused on four key areas, which include:
Family Violence Prevention and Services Act
The maintenance and strengthening for FVPSA (Family Violence Prevention and Services Act) in the FY23 Appropriations process, with specific focus on the continuation of services, transitional housing, rapid-rehousing and related services (cash access, included) in addition of significant prevention funding.
This is the first and only funding stream dedicated to supporting DV shelters as well as lifesaving services in safety, childcare, housing, transportation, and counseling.
According to YWCA’s YWomen Vote Survey, 72% of women overall said providing robust funding in the federal budget for program services that support survivors of DV, sexual assault, and other gender-based violence is one of the most important or very important things Congress should do. This includes 80% Black Women, 72% Hispanic/Latinas, 71% AAPI women, and 78% AI/AN women.
The childcare sector is still struggling to recover from the pandemic with staff hiring and retention. The sector, including YWCAs across the nation, is still down over 100,000 workers when compared to pre-pandemic levels, leaving families relying on a childcare system that has lost 10% of its workforce.
65% of women overall support providing robust funding for childcare in the federal budget. This is an increase of 7 percentage points since January 2022. 79% of Black women, 67% of Hispanic women and Latinas, 70% of AAPI women and 79% of AI?AN women support providing roust funding for childcare in the federal budget. 70% of overall women support access to high-quality childcare that is affordable, dependable, and accessible. 70% of PA women overall believe passing affordable, quality childcare is the most or very important things Congress should do.
YWomen Vote Survey
The YWCA YWomen Vote Survey debrief was hosted on Wednesday afternoon and the results of the survey were used to inform the meetings with key offices during the Fly-In. The survey is YWCA’s 5th national survey of women in the US, explores women’s economic, health, gender-based, violence, workplace equity, and racial justice concerns and priorities. The survey highlights that women are expressing deep anxiety about a broad range of economic, caregiving, safety, and societal concern. The survey reflects that women are remarkably united – across perceived differences of race, ethnicity, party identification, and socioeconomic and disability status – in supporting policy solutions that address the concerns and needs they have for themselves and their families. The report included in-depth analysis of the concerns and priorities of women of color – Black women, Hispanic women/Latinas, AAPI women, and AI/AN women – Millennial and Generation Z women of color, and women across party lines. Women’s concerns are increasing when compared to January 2022, particularly with respect to economic security, gender-based violence, racial justice, mental health, childcare, and reproductive rights. Of note: Women’s support for Congressional action to protect access to abortion and reproductive rights is strong and increasing; Women want Congress to take action on child care NOW; anxiety around the economy (Cost of Living/Family Income Not Enough to Pay Bills), threats to personal safety (Mass Shootings and Gun Violence), and white nationalism (rise in white nationalism) dominate women’s top concerns.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
The leaders ended their efforts in attendance at the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s 25th Anniversary celebration. Among others, Sen Bob Casey was present. NDVH has answered over 6 million calls for help in the past 25 years. 1:4 women, 1:3 teens, 1:7 men will endure relationship violence. YWCA, as the largest network of DV/SA services in the nation, was honored to participate in this meaningful celebration.
WCA Lancaster looks forward to continuing to work together to break down barriers to services for women, families, children, and survivors of gender-based violence. The work done this past week directly impacts women and families in Lancaster through the important work we do at YWCA Lancaster in living out our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women!