Advocating on behalf of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas is one of the most rewarding aspects of my position as President & CEO. Having the opportunity to allocate more resources for our members is a task that I take pride in accomplishing. Recently, I visited both Austin, TX and Washington D.C. to visit with Dallas area elected officials to discuss the needs of our youth and BGCD programs.
I traveled with the Texas AIM Alliance at the beginning of March to visit with Sen. Royce West, Rep. Rafael Anchia, Rep. Eric Johnson and Rep. Helen Giddings. We discussed the importance of the following topics in the 84th Texas Legislative session:
- Increase Texas Academic and Innovation in Mentoring (AIM) funding at Texas Education Agency (TEA)
- Maintain the Statewide Youth Services Network program at Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
- Monitor and influence prevention funding across agencies, especially at Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD)
- Monitor Child Care Licensing and Exemption legislation
- Pursue healthy lifestyles programs
- Monitor and influence funding for Out of School Time (OST) programs per the Texas Partnership for out of School Time (TXPOST) initiative
In Washington D.C., I joined the National Day of Advocacy team in mid-March to talk with Sen. John Cornyn, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Rep. Ted Cruz to champion the needs of our members. Key topics included 21st Century Community Learning Centers, afterschool and summer meal and snack programs and youth mentoring. This collective effort of Boys & Girls Clubs professionals empowered Club executives and Board members to build awareness and garner support for programs that enable BGC members to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.