In April, BGCD President & CEO Charles English attended the Boys & Girls Clubs Day of Advocacy in Washington D.C. along with about 50 other Major Metro Clubs. Jim Clark, BGCA President and his Leadership Team organized this 2-day conference. This was a first for BGCA in terms of inviting CEO’s to visit legislators regarding continued and increased funding opportunities with US Departments of Justice, Education, Agriculture, Transportation, the Interior and a new funding program with the Department of Treasury. Over 200 legislators accepted meeting requests. The DFW Metro Clubs from Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington met with Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Pete Sessions, Rep. Kay Granger, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Rep. Mark Veasey, Rep. Eddie Burnice Johnson and Rep. Joe Barton.
The meetings focused on funding and advocacy. Funding from the Department of Treasury under H.R. 3580, the America’s FOCUS Act, will provide unlimited funding for evidence-based youth development programs throughout the country. The source of funding will come from revenues collected annually from major lawsuit settlements, fines and penalties and placed into a fund within the Department of Treasury. For instance, over $62 billion was collected in bank settlements between 2010 and 2012. BGCA, along with about 80 other national nonprofits, is petitioning for a percentage of those dollars to be used for youth development programs related to career and college readiness and STEM. Currently, there is not an appropriation bill for this expenditure. However, there is growing support for this allocation of funds. The elected officials were also asked to become a Congressional Advocate for BGCA at the local and national level by attending the Annual Youth of the Year Congressional Breakfast, joining the BGCA Legislative Team and supporting local Clubs while in their home districts by visiting Clubs and attending special events.
This is the first of many opportunities for BGCA to receive increased allotment of federal funds to fund programs at the local level.