First Vote on DC Budget and More!

July 9, 2020
Other Publication

A collage of photos of smiling adults and kids

On Tuesday, the DC Council took the first vote on the FY 2021 budget. In many ways, it was a step in the right direction, but when we stop to consider how much ground children and families, and the educators and workers who care for them, have lost as a result of the pandemic, we must consider this vote as a step forward, not the end point on the road to a fair, equitable, and just recovery.

The COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone, but just like other challenges we face, we know that it has a disparate impact on our communities of color. In addition to the threat to people’s health that the virus poses, our Black and Latinx residents are facing an economic catastrophe. More than half of Black residents and nearly two in five Latinx residents have experienced a loss of employment income, compared to just over one in five white residents. When families are thrust into these circumstances, we know that children and youth often pay the biggest price.

The good news is that, so far, the majority of our budget priorities have been held harmless and in some areas, like health, have been slightly increased due to more federal funding.

The tough news is that early care and education is still underfunded. But, thanks to the hard work of advocates like you, and champions on the DC Council, we made some progress!

The Council was able to authorize up to $5M in FY20 for child care stabilization, thanks to CMs Kenyan McDuffie (Ward 5) and Charles Allen (Ward 6) for including child care businesses in the Business Support Grants Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 and thanks to the rest of the Council for voting for it unanimously.

And, thanks to the leadership of CMs Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1), Vincent Gray (Ward 7), and Chairman Phil Mendelson $6.4 million more was allocated for FY21 investments in early childhood education. The Council was able to fund child care and more critical needs for families by delaying corporate tax cuts, increasing the Estate Tax, reforming the High Tech Tax Credit, and revisiting our schools’ contract with the Metropolitan Police Department.

We’re half way there! Remember our early education goals were an additional $10 million this year, and an additional $10 million next year. Please call your DC Council members to thank them for the progress made so far, but let them know, we’re not done yet! The second vote on the budget is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21st.


Soaring beyond expectations logo

We were proud to co-host a virtual town with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant recipients to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has created many barriers and interruptions to out-of-school time programming. Over 35 OST leaders turned out for the virtual Town Hall, helping to send a strong message about the importance of this conversation and about how we chart a path forward.


Read More about the Town Hall

A headshot of Tawana Jacobs



We are thrilled to welcome Tawana Jacobs to DC Action for Children and the Under 3 DC campaign. With over 20 years of experience in leading marketing communications programs and public interest campaigns for nonprofits, government agencies, and strategic communication firms, Tawana joins us as our new Senior Communications Manager.



  • Ahead of Tuesday’s budget vote, Executive Director Kimberly Perry joined advocates from across the District to call on the Council to do more to support the children and families hit hardest by the pandemic.

“As members of the DC Council now understand the layered complexities of reopening businesses, I am shocked they aren’t putting an additional $10 million into child care to ensure this essential service is strengthened and fully empowers parents to get back to work and maintain employment throughout the recovery. Hard working owners, operators, and early childhood educators, most of whom are Black and Latinx women, who educate our children and provide an invaluable service to families, deserve more investment” said Kimberly Perry, Executive Director of DC Action for Children. “Every family that has struggled to manage both child care and work these past few months understands this. Our children deserve a healthy learning environment that supports their growth and development. Without committing additional resources, we are putting child care programs at risk and worsening the crisis we were already facing. We need the Council to invest more in a caring economy, one that centers the needs of children and their families, and the professionals who help educate and care for them.”


  • Read Research and Data Manager Rachel Metz’s blog post “DC Budget Must Take Into Account the Impact of COVID” about how families of color are being hit hardest by the pandemic.
  • Samaura Stone recently joined our team as Director, Youth Policy and Programs. She will establish a team of policy experts and youth organizers and lead a city-wide coalition seeking to empower young people to advocate for systemic changes. Read more about Samaura here.

The DC Action for Children Team

A collage of headshots of various members of the DC action Team