Resolution in Support of the Best Starts for Kids Levy Renewal Vote

May 20, 2021

WHEREAS, every kid deserves a strong start in life to reach their full potential;

WHEREAS, data is clear that early identification and intervention is the most effective and least expensive way to address serious problems like mental illness, drug abuse, homelessness & crime, and ensure positive outcomes for our kids & our community;

WHEREAS, we need to support communities of color and children and youth of color to overcome racial injustice and have the best opportunity to thrive;

WHEREAS, quality child care is important to help kids develop the skills they need to succeed, but many working families in King County are struggling to afford needed care;

WHEREAS, during COVID, many women have reduced employment in order to take on greater childcare responsibilities, and funding childcare access will promote gender equity and increase opportunities for parents to fully participate in the workforce;

WHEREAS, In King County, childcare providers are some of the lowest wage workers, and women of color make up most of these workers;

WHEREAS, since 2016, the Best Starts for Kids Levy has served more than 500,000 children, youth, young adults, parents, and caregivers with services that prioritize prenatal to age five care and family supports, early intervention and counseling for teens and young adults, and specific programs to address equity and opportunity gaps in BIPOC and other historically marginalized communities;

WHEREAS, the Levy’s Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Program provided housing stability and prevented homelessness for more than 9,200 people, including 2,550 families and 620 unaccompanied youth;

WHEREAS, in 2021 the County Executive and Council have proposed a renewal of the levy with significant additions in school health centers and after school mentoring and study programs in targeted communities;

WHEREAS, the renewal also makes significant investments in childcare, including a subsidy to make child care more affordable for more than 3,000 low-income families;

WHEREAS, the renewal of Best Starts for Kids will establish a new child care Wage Project to increase the ability of child care workers to earn a living wage in King County as they care for the region’s children at a critical time in children’s lives;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Martin Luther King Labor Council endorses and urges voter approval of the 2021 Best Start for Kids Levy.

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