(WHITE PLAINS, NY) At a press conference at the Board of Legislators, members of the Board’s Families Task Force announced the creation of a Families Bill of Rights and will use it as a guide for 2016 priorities.  The BoL Families Task Force has concluded a series of public meetings in various parts of the county where they received input on what families in Westchester need to stay, grow and thrive here. 

The result of that work is this Bill of Rights which comes at a very important time at the beginning of the County’s new fiscal year.  This bill of rights will outline the basic needs demonstrated by many families across the County and will serve as a tool to make sure that County provides the services it pledged to in the recently enacted 2016 budget.  

Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), who serves as the Co-chair of the task force said, “This Bill of Rights will give us a very good framework to guide everything we do in order to help Westchester families thrive.  Every member of the Board of Legislators has agreed that the budget we just passed leaves no margin of error in the coming fiscal year.  Every decision we make as a result of that will be geared towards making sure every family can have the Westchester life they envisioned for themselves.”

“Similar to the hearings during the recently completed budget process, we received lots of compelling testimony about specific needs that families want to see our elected leaders prioritize,” added Kathy Halas, Executive Director of Child Care Westchester, Inc., who also serves as a Co-chair of the task force. “We’re certain that nobody is against providing for the families of our county and the priorities outlined by this task force are very helpful for our elected leaders to be proactive in their solutions to the challenges we face.” 

Julia Solow, who was in charge of the policy group of the Task Force to produce the Families Bill of Rights added, “The Families Task Force was created to look at what the needs of Westchester families are, how they are changing, and what we want the county legislature and other elected officials to know about Westchester families in order to have some influence on ways to improve family life.  I’m confident that we can do that if we adhere to the principles in the document this task force created.”
The Families Bill of Rights will be recommended to the BoL for passage when the new term begins in January.   

Draft resolution of the Families Bill of Rights

The full press conference can be viewed here (9 min 40 sec)