We hit the ground running in 2015 as the 84th Texas Legislative Session began in January. As an Alliance of YMCAs, we advocated for multiple policies that would help strengthen communities across Texas. Throughout the duration of the 84th Texas Legislative Session, the Alliance influenced twenty-one pieces of legislation, provided six public statements on Y priorities in House and Senate committee hearings, and our grassroots advocates sent more than 150 letters to legislative members on behalf of their communities. We also established the Texas YMCA Legislative Caucus, the first of its kind in Texas and only the second in the nation. Through this Caucus, we will have a stronger voice and presence at the Capitol and ultimately continue to promote our mission of a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. It’s exciting to be a part of a movement with incredible advocates.
Every single day our staff advocates on behalf of the communities we serve through the programs at local YMCAs. Whether it’s the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program which is targeted towards the estimated 1 million Texas adults who are undiagnosed as pre-diabetic or our early readiness and youth programming which serve more than 630,000 Texas children and teens, Texas Ys are dedicated to meeting the needs of each community. We’d like to close the year out by sharing inspirational and heartwarming stories from participants and members in local Ys across the state. Stories like Klein’s – a two-year-old who is enrolled in YMCA night-time childcare while his mother is completing her bachelor’s degree and working full-time. Our mission is also seen clearly through stories like Jeanne’s – a cancer survivor and participant in the YMCA of Greater Houston’s LIVESTRONG program who is finding a whole new community of support from fellow survivors. I could go on and on about the countless inspirational stories from our members.
I am privileged to be a part of such a wide-spread, impactful Movement. All around the state, Texas Ys are working hard to promote our three focus areas: healthy living, youth development and social responsibility. Through this recap of 2015, you’ll see how local Ys are fulfilling our cause and demonstrating that the Y truly is so much more!
James P. Finck, Chair
Texas State Alliance of YMCAs