1970s

Mainline Queens Who Became Kingmakers

Led by Lucy Sayre, a group of wealthy women formed a movement that would eventually become the most influence voice for children in Philadelphia and beyond. Driven by a moral obligation to protect children and an extraordinary amount of energy for organizing citizens toward justice, the founding members came together through a shared conviction that attention and advocacy were required to the reverse the deplorable state of child welfare in Philadelphia.

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1980’s

Decade of Deep Dedication

The 1980’s was a tough time to be a poor kid in Philadelphia.  Issues multiplied as corruption and incompetency contributed to a weak child welfare system. The system of services and programs for children in Philadelphia were in crisis. In early 1980, Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth was incorporated as a non-profit — its primary mission is to improve the delivery of publicly mandated services to children and youth in Philadelphia.

Audio Clip (to come)

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1990’s

Influence and Issues

As Philadelphia reels from funding cuts of the 1980’s, and years of state cuts in child welfare programs pile up, PCCY protests and responds by issuing reports and organizing thousands of citizens in the name of children. PCCY is growing its docket of issues and extends its reach.  The 90’s show PCCY is able to command the ear of lawmakers and corporate and civic leaders across the region. PCCY is at the table as CHIP is created to extend free health insurance to children across the Commonwealth and in the room developing a $120 million fund fueled by Philadelphia sport teams to benefit the children of Philadelphia.

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2000’s

Children Take Center Stage

PCCY is beginning to extend its service arm: signing children up for CHIP, while organizing free eye care and dental care. The needs of children and youth across the region are pulling PCCY beyond the city borders, and to reflect its growing work in the counties surrounding Philadelphia, PCCY changes its name to “Public Citizens for Children and Youth.” PCCY remains firmly planted in its roots advocating for children and finding creative ways to break through the critically complex and myriad needs facing children and youth.

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2010’s

Fresh Vision & Long-fought Victories 

The decade brings change, with the retirement of the venerable Shelly Yanoff, paving the way for a new leader inspired by the PCCY tradition of fighting for kids and well-connected to city and state lawmakers. Donna Cooper sets forth with an aggressive agenda and boundless energy. While the PCCY organizes statewide education coalitions, they are winning landmark victories at home, and taking on tough issues facing poor and immigrant children.  

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2020’s

Children Matter: A New Era

The decade begins on the heels of an historic victory in the fight to protect children from lead paint poisoning, an issue plaguing children since the dawn of PCCY. PCCY has been improving the lives of children by pioneering initiatives and advocating for quality health care, child care, education for four decades.  The dawn of this new era, sets forth with a defining moment, as the citizens of PCCY—mission firmly in tact—demand attention for their core constituency and guiding light in the organizations name:  Children Matter. 

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