Monday, February 21, 2011
the cut for me that hits the closest to home is the proposed cuts to the department of family and protective services, more specifically, the prevention and early intervention division (pei). pei is the department that my agency contracts with to provide child abuse and juvenile delinquency prevention programs in 16 counties in west texas. my position along with the positions of 15 people that i supervise are fully funded with these dollars, along with several others who work partially on these programs. 1 of our programs is funded by a line item called "tfts" (texas families together and safe). the additional 4 contracts are funded by a line item called "other prevention programs". this is the comparison between the current budget and the proposed house budget (hb1) for the line items that fund our contracts and many others across the state:
TFTS - current: $4,121,878 proposed: $2,610,039
Other Prevention Programs - current: $8,955,910 proposed: $0
that is not a typo, it says $0.
this is where my concern comes in. i completely understand that we have to cut costs and that all government programs are going to suffer. i get it and am willing to take a cut. but the greater question is: how will we recover from this? how will we be able to put all of this back together again? if we cut 10's of thousands of jobs across the state, what will all of these people do? where will all of these teachers, social workers, state employees, etc. be employed and how will they provide for their families? and if we are also cutting the programs that will help these people survive until there are jobs again, aren't we just getting ourselves into a bigger mess than we started with? if we raise class sizes and cut costs to schools (many who are already struggling), aren't we doing a disservice to our future and the uneducated children that we will be producing? if we cut prevention programs, we stop preventing, but we are also cutting the interventions. how does this work? we just stop providing services to people all together? for anyone out there who thinks that this is not your concern as long as taxes aren't raised, you are a fool to think that this will not have long term, far reaching effects on every person and community in texas.
i do not have a solution. i am just one of many, advocating for the underserved children and families, shouting my complaints and unhappiness, hoping to keep funding for jobs and valuable programs at my agency, trying to make sense of this situation, pleading with legislators to listen to my argument and the stories of my clients, praying that my voice is loud enough and that someone will hear and take notice.
i am concerned. you should be too.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
so, year 2 is upon us and this year's trip is being planned by yours truly. i have big shoes to fill. i am currently in the process of picking a location and it is hard because i want it to be amazing but also have to be very practical (we are on a budget here people). i have some ideas in mind and hope to have something chosen soon. once i have a location pinned down, the really hard part will begin. if you know anything about me, you know i have a hard time keeping a secret :)
i am blessed to have such an awesome group of women to share these traditions with. here's to the 2nd annual girls' mystery trip being as great as the first. cheers!
Friday, February 11, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
about 4 months before christmas, my mom, sister and i took a road trip to red river for a relaxing weekend of fishing, shopping, and hanging out. while there, we visited the local art gallery where we spotted some magnetic calendars. i thought it was a great concept and was considering purchasing one. anna told me to not buy one because "we can totally make that ourselves". how many times have we said this before? i didn't buy the calendar but i also walked away knowing that we would probably never make one ourselves. well, of course, she remembered. she made this for me. so, beyond being wildly talented and creative, my sister is also kind and thoughtful (and hilarious and laid back and super fun and insanely patient and i could go on and on). thank you sister for the awesome gift. i love you.to check out some of anna's other amazing talents, see her stationery line ruby june celebrates at getpapered.com