February  2017
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Kate-Marie Roycroft, Director of Public Policy


We'd like to start this policy update with a big thank you to all of the YMCA Advocates that came to the State House during YMCA State Advocacy Day on February 2nd. The event was a huge success, with 150 YMCA Advocates in attendance and about 25 legislators and staff. We'd also like to thank all of our wonderful speakers who took the opportunity to come out and share their Y experience with our advocates.  A special thank you to Patti Menzel from the Attleboro YMCA and Shakyra Antoine, a Youth & Government student from the Malden YMCA. Advocacy Day is incredibly important to communicate the Y story to our legislators. After Advocacy Day our top five legislative priorities had a significant jump in co-sponsorship! As we move into the legislative session the Alliance is working on and watching a number of different public policies.


The Governor released his Fiscal Year 2018 budget in January. The Governor's budget signals where his administration will be focusing their energy this year. The budget included $7Million in the Early Education Rate Reserve. This is the first time Governor Baker has included funding to this line item in one of his budgets, signaling that early education could be a potential focus for his administration this year.
The Governor also added an Outside Section to address the rising cost of MassHealth, the agency that administers Massachusetts Medicaid and low income subsidized health insurance programs, that would place financial penalties on employers who do not have a significant number of employees enrolled in employer sponsored health insurance. As many of you know this proposal could cost employers significantly. However, this proposal must go through the lengthy budget process and will most likely end up changed. The Alliance expects some plan to reduce the amount of people insured through MassHealth, but we do not anticipate that the final plan will mirror the Governor's proposal. We will continue to work with our partners in the business community and the legislature regarding this proposal moving forward.


Now is the time to begin thinking about your YMCA Local Advocacy Day! Many of the YMCAs invited their elected officials to tour and take part in camp last summer. Please use the Local Advocacy Day Toolkit on our website here (Local Advocacy Day Tool Kit) for all the tools you need to plan a successful day! Don't forget to invite Administration Officials such as Commissioners or Secretaries. If you are curious who lives near your Y please reach out to Kate-Marie at 


Since this is the beginning of the legislative and budget session you will be seeing Action Alerts in your inbox in the upcoming months. Please make every effort to call and email your legislators when asked, this makes a huge difference in the public policy realm!

Massachusetts YMCAs State Advocacy Day
A big thank you to everyone who came out to support Massachusetts Ys at State Advocacy Day on February 2nd!


Shakyra Antoine is the epitome of why we do what we do at the Ys. She is the current Chief of Staff for the Governor's Council and prospective candidate for Governor in the YMCA Youth & Government Program. Check out this stellar high school senior giving a speech at Advocacy Day. Keep up the great work Shakyra!

"This is what Autism looks like at mid-life, and I am rocking it!" said Patti Menzel during her speech at State Advocacy Day. We were fortunate enough to have Patty come speak for us to demonstrate how swimming lessons at the Y gave her the confidence to overcome the many challenges of living with a disability. Keep on rocking it, Patty!

South Shore YMCA and Old Colony YMCA posing with Representative Meschino (left) and Senator Timilty (right)

Youth and Government Conference
Please join the Massachusetts's Youth Governor and Youth Leadership for a Legislative Breakfast at the Omni Parker House Hotel

Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 8:30-10:00am

Following breakfast please join us for our opening ceremonies at the Massachusetts  State House, House Chamber at 1pm.
RSVP BY 2/28/17

Please Email:

Kick Butts Day
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against tobacco use at more than 1,000 events from coast to coast.

This year, Kick Butts Day will be held on:  
March 15, 2017

Students from schools across the country hold hundreds of different events and activities that call attention to the problems caused by Big Tobacco and its attempts to market to youth.

As a teacher, youth leader, or health advocate, you can organize these events and mobilize your kids to raise awareness about the problems of tobacco use in your school and community.

Visit the Kick Butts Day website to learn how to get started, register and promote your event, and download our activity guide and additional resources. Stand out, speak up, and seize control against Big Tobacco!

Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund Campaign Kick-Off and Advocacy Day
Community Action Hour's National Consumer Protection Week

Are you having a  consumer problem ?
Disputing a purchase or return of a faulty product with a business?
Issues with automobile purchase or repair?
Do you need help resolving an issue with your landlord?

Come to the
Attorney General's Community Action Hours
During  National Consumer Protection Week , staff and members of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be ready to assist you and answer your questions

Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM)
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
88 Warren Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

Community Connections of Brockton
Thursday, March 9, 2017
1367 Main Street
Brockton, MA 02130

Office of the Attorney General Maura Healey
Questions call (617) 963-2486 | www.mass.gov/ago

Children's Investment Fund: Building Stronger Centers
Is your program planning a major facility upgrade or renovation?

Children's Investment Fund
is a non-profit organization that provides technical assistance to early education and out-of-school time programs undergoing facility improvement projects.

Our 2017 Building Stronger Centers training, held May 8 - 11th, still has room for interested organizations. Building Stronger Centers is a four-day intensive training designed for programs that are beyond simply thinking about a facility project but not quite "shovel-ready."

The training covers every aspect of embarking on a facility improvement project and brings consultants from the field to review planning, design, construction, financing, internal operating considerations, and other critical topic areas. Contact Theresa Jordan at Children's Investment Fund if you are interested in learning more:

Alliance Seeking Qualified Interns

We are seeking interns to help us with some projects including healthy living, achievement gap, and advocacy. The positions are unpaid, but make for great opportunities to learn about public policy, advocacy, and serving our Ys. 

These positions are unpaid with flexible hours in our Boston office. It is perfect for undergrads on break, recent graduates, or as capstone projects for undergrads and graduate students. 

Please refer all interested parties to: 
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