Jun 12, 2023

Anthony Lux serves as CCLP's director of communications. His areas of expertise include institutional communications strategies, constituency growth and network activation for cause-driven organizations. Staff page ›

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PRESS RELEASE: Lydia McCoy to lead CCLP as next executive director

by | Jun 12, 2023

Longtime nonprofit leader to begin tenure June 16, 2023

DENVER, CO — June 12, 2023 — Today the Board of Directors for Colorado Center on Law and Policy was pleased to announce Lydia McCoy as the organization’s next Executive Director. Currently serving on the board of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, and as board chair of One Colorado, Ms. McCoy brings extensive nonprofit leadership and community engagement to CCLP’s anti-poverty mission.

In addition to her board leadership, McCoy most recently served as an adjunct faculty instructor for DU’s Nonprofit Leadership graduate program, as well as interim president and CEO of The Gathering Place.

“On behalf of CCLP’s board of directors, I am thrilled to welcome Lydia McCoy as our new Executive Director,” said Beatriz Bonnet, CCLP board chair. “Following an extensive nationwide search for the next leader of our organization, Lydia emerged as the strongest candidate not only in the eyes of the board but among CCLP’s dedicated staff as well. Her deep knowledge of what makes nonprofits succeed, combined with her real-world experience leading high impact mission-driven teams, made her a clear fit for where this organization is headed in the years to come.”

McCoy received her BA in Political Science from Tulane University and her Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Prior to her work with The Gathering Place, she served as chief operating officer for the Colorado Nonprofit Association, executive director of Ray of Hope Cancer Foundation, and executive director of Immunize Colorado.

Said McCoy of her new role: “I’m thrilled to be joining CCLP’s brilliant staff and dedicated Board in continuing to grow our impact across Colorado. Addressing the challenges that keep people in cycles of poverty requires not only expertise in research, legislation, and legal advocacy, but also deep partnerships with community-serving organizations and the people directly impacted. I have long been impressed with CCLP’s collaborative and responsive approach to the work and have great enthusiasm for the many successes to come.”

Her past volunteer roles include chairing the Community Voices Committee of the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, and serving as chair of both the Colorado Nonprofit Association Board of Directors and the National Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Board of Directors. She has participated in the El Pomar Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program, was a member of the 2016 class of Leadership Denver and 2019 Civic DNA Fellows, represented Colorado at the National Nonprofit Congress, and was a fellow with Social Venture Partners Denver.

“Lydia has dedicated her career to advocating for the needs of all Coloradans,” said Dontae Latson, vice chair of CCLP’s board of directors, and President and CEO of Rocky Mountain Communities. “Her alignment with the core values of this organization couldn’t be clearer. It is an honor to have her join us at this pivotal moment in the fight against poverty.”

McCoy will succeed Bethany Pray, who has served in the interim executive director role since October of last year. Ms. Pray will remain at CCLP, returning to her prior leadership role as CCLP’s senior legal director, where she will continue to oversee CCLP’s growing work in legal and regulatory advocacy.

Download the press release here (PDF).

Recent articles

HEALTH:
HEALTH FIRST COLORADO (MEDICAID)

To maintain health and well-being, people of all ages need access to quality health care that improves outcomes and reduces costs for the community. Health First Colorado, the state's Medicaid program, is public health insurance for low-income Coloradans who qualify. The program is funded jointly by a federal-state partnership and is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.

Benefits of the program include behavioral health, dental services, emergency care, family planning services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity care, newborn care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, preventive and wellness services, primary care and rehabilitative services.

In tandem with the Affordable Care Act, Colorado expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2013 - providing hundreds of thousands of adults with incomes less than 133% FPL with health insurance for the first time increasing the health and economic well-being of these Coloradans. Most of the money for newly eligible Medicaid clients has been covered by the federal government, which will gradually decrease its contribution to 90% by 2020.

Other populations eligible for Medicaid include children, who qualify with income up to 142% FPL, pregnant women with household income under 195% FPL, and adults with dependent children with household income under 68% FPL.

Some analyses indicate that Colorado's investment in Medicaid will pay off in the long run by reducing spending on programs for the uninsured.

FOOD SECURITY:
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)

Hunger, though often invisible, affects everyone. It impacts people's physical, mental and emotional health and can be a culprit of obesity, depression, acute and chronic illnesses and other preventable medical conditions. Hunger also hinders education and productivity, not only stunting a child's overall well-being and academic achievement, but consuming an adult's ability to be a focused, industrious member of society. Even those who have never worried about having enough food experience the ripple effects of hunger, which seeps into our communities and erodes our state's economy.

Community resources like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, exist to ensure that families and individuals can purchase groceries, with the average benefit being about $1.40 per meal, per person.

Funding for SNAP comes from the USDA, but the administrative costs are split between local, state, and federal governments. Yet, the lack of investment in a strong, effective SNAP program impedes Colorado's progress in becoming the healthiest state in the nation and providing a better, brighter future for all. Indeed, Colorado ranks 44th in the nation for access to SNAP and lost out on more than $261 million in grocery sales due to a large access gap in SNAP enrollment.

See the Food Assistance (SNAP) Benefit Calculator to get an estimate of your eligibility for food benefits.

FOOD SECURITY:
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN (WIC)

Every child deserves the nutritional resources needed to get a healthy start on life both inside and outside the mother's womb. In particular, good nutrition and health care is critical for establishing a strong foundation that could affect a child's future physical and mental health, academic achievement and economic productivity. Likewise, the inability to access good nutrition and health care endangers the very integrity of that foundation.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition information for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Research has shown that WIC has played an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs, resulting in longer pregnancies, fewer infant deaths, a greater likelihood of receiving prenatal care, improved infant-feeding practices, and immunization rates

Financial Security:
Colorado Works

In building a foundation for self-sufficiency, some Colorado families need some extra tools to ensure they can weather challenging financial circumstances and obtain basic resources to help them and their communities reach their potential.

Colorado Works is Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and provides public assistance to families in need. The Colorado Works program is designed to assist participants in becoming self-sufficient by strengthening the economic and social stability of families. The program provides monthly cash assistance and support services to eligible Colorado families.

The program is primarily funded by a federal block grant to the state. Counties also contribute about 20% of the cost.

EARLY LEARNING:
COLORADO CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CCCAP)

Child care is a must for working families. Along with ensuring that parents can work or obtain job skills training to improve their families' economic security, studies show that quality child care improves children's academic performance, career development and health outcomes.

Yet despite these proven benefits, low-income families often struggle with the cost of child care. Colorado ranks among the top 10 most expensive states in the country for center-based child care. For families with an infant, full-time enrollment at a child care center cost an average of $15,140 a year-or about three-quarters of the total income of a family of three living at the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides child care assistance to parents who are working, searching for employment or participating in training, and parents who are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. Most of the money for CCCAP comes from the federal Child Care and Development Fund. Each county can set their own income eligibility limit as long as it is at or above 165% of the federal poverty level and does not exceed 85% of area median income.

Unfortunately, while the need is growing, only an estimated one-quarter of all eligible children in the state are served by CCCAP. Low reimbursement rates have also resulted in fewer providers willing to accept CCCAP subsidies.