MCCOY has been very busy lately in terms of digesting the past state legislative session and creating plans for new and exciting endeavors! In response to the past legislative session, MCCOY produced an issue brief analyzing the new education reform legislation and held an informal breakfast discussion to create awareness about the impact that it will have in Marion County. We also produced a legislative voting record on selected youth-related bills for the state legislators who represent Marion County. The purpose of the document is to inform advocates and youth-serving professionals on how their legislators voted so that they can better understand who are potential allies on youth issues. It also creates awareness of the need for more targeted education and relationship building with those legislators who may not vote in favor of youth issues.
A couple of exciting developments will be announced within the next month, including the “Voices for Indiana’s Children” network, which is a result of MCCOY’s new membership with the national Voices for America’s Children organization. MCCOY will be reaching out to local and state partners to sign up for regular electronic communications to better improve our advocacy efforts on behalf of Indiana’s children.
MCCOY is also ramping up efforts to recruit youth to its Youth Advocacy Council. Promotional materials have been developed and MCCOY’s current and former VISTA volunteers will be leading the recruitment and development of the group. Mindi Goodpaster, director of public policy & advocacy, recently attended an event at the White House as a follow up to the Real Talk Youth Roundtable event that MCCOY held in May. The purpose of the event was to learn more about how President Obama and his administration want to involve youth in advocating for the issues that they care about. This event, broadcast live on the White House’s website, was the first in a series called “How to Make Change” which is based on the results of the 100 Roundtables with Young Americans initiative that the President initiated this past spring.
MCCOY was one of 384 roundtable discussions held in 46 states, DC and Guam. We were also one of only 105 roundtable events that had an official representative from the White House. The results of our roundtable discussion with youth from Central Indiana were directly in line with the national results. The top three concerns of youth in Indiana and across the nation – education, violence and the economy.
The White House is now looking to partner with youth and the organizations who hosted roundtables to make change and create solutions in their communities. In the next few weeks, the Administration will publish an E-book that will compile the results of the roundtable discussions and outline recommendations for solutions. MCCOY hopes to utilize this information in its Youth Advocacy Council and is excited about all of the possibilities that this new endeavor will bring.