This year’s election will bring immense change to our nation and our state. Because we know you love kids as much as we do, we want to take a moment now to share our initial thinking about the impacts of the election on children and on our work as child advocates.
For more than 30 years, Children’s Alliance has stood side by side with advocates like you to respond to threats like poverty and racism as we’ve built equity and opportunity for all of Washington’s kids. Together, we’ve made a lot of progress. And, we’ve learned how racism alters the path our children walk toward their future. We are concerned now more than ever.
Racialized rhetoric propelled President-elect Trump’s harmful policy ideas toward the White House, and now, many of those ideas endanger American kids in their homes, schools, neighborhoods and faith communities. Children and youth were and are listening. They heard President-elect Trump promise to take away rights and protections for communities and families. And they are witness to a rising number of bias incidents. Some of you are facing the daily challenge of how to respond.
Thank you for all that you do to make kids feel safe and loved. In whatever ways you are serving and protecting the kids we hold dear, please know that we are with you.
Now, in this singular time, we want to connect with you and Children’s Alliance members in every corner of Washington state.
We would like to start by asking you this: What are you and the kids you love experiencing as a result of this election? What questions do you have about the new administration’s policies for kids? And, what do you need from the Children’s Alliance in the days, months, and years ahead? Please let us know.
On the public policy front, we are still taking stock of the election’s implications for kids at the state and national levels.
We note great progress made here in Washington. Because of you and voters like you who approved Initiative 1433, thousands of children will be able to stay home from school with their parents to recover from illness. Because you voted Yes on Initiative 1491, Washington families are better equipped to protect themselves from gun violence.
And we know that severe challenges will confront our efforts to connect kids with the nutritious food, health care and quality early learning opportunities all children need. For example, new doubts are cast on Washington’s early learning funding, 70 percent of which comes from the federal government. The proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act will have widespread effect on the health of our families.
For child advocates, this election is a prompt to push harder, and with greater focus, against the racism and poverty that erodes our country—to create the healthy futures kids deserve. Your strength and partnership in our efforts, your voice, and your dedication to justice for all our kids is what makes this advocacy work.
As we move forward into this uncertain period for our children, we are ever more grateful to be side by side with you. Please take a moment now to answer three questions about how we can move forward together.