We at Partners Mentoring Youth understand that the investment in the social health of our community leads to better outcomes for local youth and families. We are actively advocating for Fort Collins City Council to allocate full funding for budget items 42.3 and 43.5 in the 2019-2020 budget, and we encourage you to do the same! Contact your council member by October 31st to have your voice heard, and your statement considered before the first reading of the budget.

· 42.3 is for an increase in human service funding by $500,000. This offer has not made it “above the line” and as such it actually means there will be a decrease in human service funding for the next 2 year budget amount of $100,000.

· 43.5 is a budget offer to fund affordable childcare. As indicated through the incredible work the chamber of commerce is conducting, affordable childcare is being seen as an economic driver. While this funding is not a solution for the current crisis it is a much need support as we look to support families across our city find, secure and utilize high quality childcare while they contribute to the community in their chosen profession.

One of our Board Members, Kim Johnson, provided us with the letter she sent her council member–feel free to use it as an outline for your letter to the council.

Dear Council Member Bob Overbeck,
My name is Kim Johnson and I am a citizen in your district as well as a member of the Board of Directors for Partners Mentoring Youth. I would like to start off by thanking you for your service in our city.

I am writing to you today in regards to the budget items 42.3 and 43.5. These items are investments that directly impact the lives of the residents of our community. If the funding for 42.3 is not allocated we will see a $100,000 reduction of funds for the Human Service Grants. Consistently, there is a funding gap between what is applied for in the Community Development Block Grant and what is available. Last year that gap was approximately $500, 000. I know that the city is not a service provider, but it is the duty of our city’s leadership to invest in organizations across the city who provide services for the marginalized. I am asking that the City join hands with our service providers and invest in services that can and do make an impact every day.

As a mother, affordable childcare is extremely important to me and funding for 43.5 would fund affordable childcare options for the many families that are struggling in our city. This funding is not a catch all solution for the current crises, it will provide much needed support and allow our citizens to find quality childcare so that they can contribute to our community through their work.

I moved to Fort Collins in the winter of 2007 and have grown to love this town and I am proud to call it my home. I love that our city has amazing schools, a beautiful downtown, and the citizens inspire me with their dedication to volunteerism and advocacy. We want to raise the level of support and ensure that all or our citizens feel that our World Class City is fully dedicated to them.

This dream can only be realized when it becomes a priority for the city leadership.

What I ask of you, my council member, is for the budget offer of 42.3 and 43.5 to be fully funded and for the city council to look at these two offers to invest in the social health of this community. Thank you.

Kimberly Johnson
Board of Directors
Partners Mentoring Youth