CLC Testimony and Comments

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Budget Testimony: Committee on Human Services

April 10, 2019

CLC attorney Diana Sisson recently shared her testimony with DHS. She included her commentary because Children’s Law Center clients come into contact with DHS in many ways, especially receiving services through the homeless services Continuum of Care. Many client families also apply for and receive public benefits.

Budget Testimony: OSSE

April 9, 2019

Children's Law Center policy analyst Michael Villafranca recently shared his OSSE budget testimony with DC Council. At CLC, we work with children in DC's education system every day. Michael testified because the proposed education budget is severely inadequate and reflects a continued inability to listen to, and fully address, the needs of our youth, their families and the educators who have devoted their careers to shaping our youth’s future. The focus of his testimony includes the greatest of those unmet needs—adequate mental health supports and positive approaches to student discipline.

Budget Testimony: DC Health

April 9, 2019

Children's Law Center policy attorney Anne Cunningham recently testified at the DC Health budget hearing. She shared her testimony because at CLC, we are members of the Early Childhood Innovation Network (ECIN), the Bainum Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance, and the Home Visiting Council. Through these partnerships, in addition to our everyday work with clients, we know how critical DC Health programs can be for DC families. Anne focused on the Birth-to-Three for All Act, HealthySteps, home visiting, BUILD Health DC and the Maternal Mental Health Task Force Act of 2018.

Budget Testimony: Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants

April 4, 2019

CLC attorney Kathy Zeisel recently testified at the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants budget hearing. She provided testimony to highlight the significant impact of the DC Bar Foundation funding, in particular the Access to Justice Grant. At Children’s Law Center, this grant funds a large part of our medical-legal partnership. Our medical-legal partnership started in 2001 with Children’s National, and has grown to three Children’s National sites, two Unity Health Care sites, and Mary’s Center.

Budget Testimony: CFSA

April 1, 2019

CLC policy attorney Aubrey Edwards-Luce recently shared her testimony at CFSA's budget hearing. Our goal for our CFSA budget review was to assess whether the proposed budget is proffering adequate investments into the supports and services that will truly make a difference for DC’s children and families. The ultimate question we have when we examine the budget is: will these investments improve outcomes for children, youth, and families?

Budget Testimony: DBH

March 29, 2019

CLC policy director Sharra Greer shared her thoughts during DBH's budget hearing. She testified because in many cases, children only need our help because their mental health needs have gone unaddressed. Sharra focused her testimony on School Based Mental Health. The Mayor’s Budget includes an enhancement of $6,089,694 and 1 Full Time Employee (FTE) to continue the expansion of this program, an important and necessary investment. Sharra shared some suggestions about the program and its budget that we think are important for its success. You can read the full testimony here.

Budget Testimony: DCPS

March 29, 2019

CLC policy analyst Michael Villafranca testified at the DCPS budget hearing today to express our disappointment in this year's education funding. He testified because through our work, we see the critical impact the right funding and educational services can have for DC students. Michael focused on the greatest of our students' unmet needs—adequate mental health supports and positive approaches to student discipline. He also urged the council to fund the School Safety Omnibus Act and asked for budget transparency in our public schools. You can find his testimony here.

Budget Testimony: DCRA

March 27, 2019

CLC attorney Anne Cunningham recently testified at DCRA's budget hearing. Over the past year and a half, Anne has testified nine times regarding DCRA and the impact the agency’s failures have on the low-income families who CLC represents. Her past testimonies contain detailed criticisms and concerns about DCRA, including that DCRA generally lacks a culture of protecting tenants and rental housing, that DCRA’s approach to housing inspections and enforcement is neither strategic nor efficient, and that DCRA’s inspections and enforcement regime is under-staffed and under-resourced.

Oversight Testimony: DCRA

February 27, 2019

CLC attorney Anne Cunningham recently testified about DCRA at its oversight hearing. She testified because exposure to environmental allergens, such as mold and vermin, can cause both acute medical crises as well as the development of chronic, lifelong ailments. Lead exposure can permanently damage a child’s development. Poor conditions in rental housing can make it hard to sleep, eat, and thrive, thus impacting a child’s performance in school or a mother’s ability to go to work.

Oversight Testimony: Child and Family Services Agency

February 26, 2019

Children's Law Center executive director Judith Sandalow shared her insight during CFSA's oversight hearing. She testified because we represent the best interests of hundreds of children in foster care and represent foster parents and relative caregivers of children who are in or at risk of entering the District’s child welfare system. Judith talked about why CFSA's effectiveness has declined and what we can do to strenghten the ageny and its service for DC children. Read the full testimony here.