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May 2016 Newsletter
Stay Connected
The last few months have been very busy with the House Budget release and debate, planning for YMCA State Advocacy Days, and rolling out YMCA Local Advocacy Day at your Y. A big thank you to all of the YMCA Advocates who reached out to their State Representatives these past few weeks about our budget priorities and a big thanks to all the advocates who came to YMCA State Advocacy Day at the State House. 
YMCA Local Advocacy Day at your Y
The Alliance Public Policy Committee is pleased to roll out the YMCA Local Advocacy Day at your Y for this summer.  We have put together a toolkit to help you.

An opportunity for your Y Association to invite your local, state, and federal elected officials to your site to see all the great work your Y does on a daily basis. If possible you will then connect your great work back to statewide advocacy.
Summer 2016 is the best time!  This is when most elected officials are on summer recess. We suggest your Y Association pick one day or up to a week in the summer when you invite your local, state, and federal officials to your Y and/or camp. 
We suggest holding your "Advocacy Day" at your Y or at your camp site. If you are hosting different elected officials for different sites try to do one week where you are inviting all your elected officials out to see the different branches they represent.
It is important that we continue to show our Y advocacy and support at the State House in Boston. But it is equally or even more important to show your elected officials the important and life changing work you do every day at your Y. Showing elected officials everything you do will make a much larger impact than telling them. Your Advocacy Day will help you build and strengthen relationships with your elected officials and it will provide a context for the important issues you advocate on! 

In the tool kit you will find: Best Practices, Sample Itineraries, Sample Media Advisory, Sample Press Releases, and a Sample Timeline to follow. We ask that you please let the Alliance know when you will be hosting your Advocacy Day. Took kits have been sent prior but they may also be accessed by clicking here To let the Alliance know and or if you have questions on your tool kit please email Kate-Marie at
House Budget
The House budget was debated and passed earlier this month. Because of all of your hard work the House budget passed with $1 Million in Youth-At-Risk funding for the YMCAs, this is more than we have ever received for direct funding to our Ys.
Also in the House budget is $15 Million in the Early Education and After School Rate Reserve. This is the highest amount it has been funded at since 2004. Our message that the early education field is in a staffing crisis is working. Please continue to let your legislators know the difficulties your Y is having hiring early education and after school teachers. A significant increase in the Early Education and After School Rate Reserve will give our early education teachers a much needed salary increase.
Unfortunately, despite everyone's best efforts, the HomeWorks program amendment to supply enrichment services to homeless and motel sheltered youth as well as the Out-of-School Time Substance Abuse amendment to continue our efforts were not included in the House budget. 
Our current efforts are with the Senate budget. We are hoping to increase our Youth-At-Risk line item to $1.3 Million and the Rate Reserve to $20 Million. We will also be advocating for the inclusion of the HomeWorks and the Out-of-School Time Substance Abuse funding. We will need your help in writing and calling your Senators!

After this there will be a Conference Committee to reconcile the House and Senate budgets into one. We will need your help during this process as well for our Youth-At-Risk line item, Rate Reserve, and hopefully HomeWorks and Out-of-School Time Substance Abuse funding.
Thank you for all your great advocacy work!
YMCA State Advocacy Day
YMCA State Advocacy Day was a success. We held our annual advocacy day on May 4th in the State House. Over 130 YMCA staff and volunteers as well as legislators and their staff attended the event.  The day began with a moving mission moment from David Tavares of the Greater Boston YMCA. We heard from two of our legislative sponsors Chairwoman Sonia Chang-Diaz and Chairwoman Joan Lovely. Bonnie Pajic, a Youth & Government Student from the South Shore YMCA also spoke about her experience with the YMCA and Youth & Government. Finally Representative Jay Barrows, a member of the Alliance of MA YMCAs Board, closed out the speaking portion. Our advocates then met with their Representatives and Senators, thanking them for all their work and asking them to support our budget amendments and legislative priorities.
The Ys in MA continue to make tremendous impact with advocating for our communities and those we serve. Our collective impact of the over one million people we serve every day in the Commonwealth with our one voice is being heard by our policy makers! Keep up the great work!

Child Protection
Mandated reporter training expanded and available on line
State law charges an array of people whose jobs may put them in contact with children with reporting suspected cases of abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Families. The list of mandated reporters includes public and private school teachers.
Attorney General Maura Healey and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced a new online program intended to educate mandated reporters in recognizing signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Open to mandated reporters statewide and to the general public, the free online program (click here) is available in 22 languages and accessible on phones, tablets and computers.
MASS and RI Membership Summit June 9
Following up on the great Membership Summit in January, the Y leaders in MA and RI have asked to come together to further these conversations for our states.
This is open to all leadership staff at the Association and Branch level as well as key volunteers. YUSA including Cindy McDermott will be present.
The gathering is at Springfield College, from 10 am to 2 pm, lunch included at $35 per person.
Opioid Epidemic Conference June 16
The Mass  Health Council is offering a conference that will be of interest to many Ys.

"Our Workplaces and the Opioid Epidemic: What We Need to Know, What We Can Do,"  taking place June 16 th  in Waltham, MA.
The conference will help employers to better understand the opioid epidemic, health and legal issues involved, and how to manage and support employees, or their family members, affected by addiction. Tickets are $85 ($75 for Mass. Health Council members) and are available at this link: .

Topics to be addressed:
- The Nature and Scope of Opioid Addiction
- What's Different about this Epidemic
- The Impact of Opioids on Business
- Treatment, Recovery & Prevention
- Managing and Supporting Employees While Keeping the Workplace Safe & Productive 
- Employee Assistance Programs
- Substance Use Education in the Workplace
- Speaking with an Employee Who May Be Affected by Addiction
- Legal Considerations: Protecting the Employer & the Employee
- Liabilities and Compliance
Worksite Wellness Funding Available
Through the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund and the MA Department of Public Health there is up to $10,000 of seed funding available to start an onsite wellness program for employees. Some Ys have already started this. If you would like to learn more please click here Working on Wellness

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