Children's Alliance looking out for kids in Olympia battles | Seattle Times | 01-13-2012
Alliance staff spent this past summer gathering input from partner organizations, parents and others so that it could present a unified agenda. They want the Legislature to fight childhood hunger, invest in early learning, strengthen Apple Health for Kids, expand access to dental care and stop cuts and raise revenue. Gould intends to remind legislators of the many studies that show children learn better when they are well fed and healthy.
Last week, Children’s Alliance joined family advocates to defend marriage equality and urge voters to APPROVE Referendum 74 and spoke up for families disproportionately hurt by current marijuana enforcement policy in support of Initiative 502. A Seattle legislator says NO on Initiative 1185 because extending the supermajority rule would rob Washington’s children of a basic education. In national news, former U.S. Senator George McGovern passes on at age 90, leaving a legacy of bipartisanship to feed hungry children.
A longtime dentist and health leader says it's time Washington adds a new midlevel provider to extend care and clinic hours to the chronically underserved. In other news, a new report confirms that current marijuana enforcement is costly and disproportionately hurts communities of color. Business leaders in Clark County hail high-quality early learning as a smart investment with high returns. Finally, the Tri-City Herald endorses Referendum 74 to protect love and equality for all of Washington’s families.
Early learning advocates recognize lawmakers in Shelton and Anacortes for prioritizing early learning, and one Monroe resident says Head Start is key in building a strong foundation for success. In other state news, The Seattle Times endorses Initiative 502 to boost marijuana regulation and state revenue, one legislator says Initiative 1185 threatens a balanced approach to the state budget, and education advocates challenge the legislature’s supermajority vote on taxes in Supreme Court. As health care reform advances in Washington, candidates for Governor weigh in on whether extending health coverage helps or hurts our state.
One education advocate asserts that school districts can do more for academic success by strengthening early learning. The Children’s Alliance endorses Initiative 502 to lessen the inequitable impact of marijuana enforcement policy on families, the Seattle Times asks voters to approve Referendum 74 in support of family values and The News Tribune calls Initiative 1185 “inherently democratic.” In other news, a nurse says extending Medicaid to more Washingtonians will save state dollars. And in national news, one advocate speaks up for families that would be hit hard by deep cuts to food stamps proposed in the House Farm Bill.
This week, Children’s Alliance takes a stand for kids and racial equity by endorsing state ballot measure Initiative 502. In other state news, a new report shows that child hunger has spiked faster than surrounding states as deep food stamp cuts are considered at the federal level, and the Governor is recognized for her achievements in early learning during her eight-year term. Last week, early learning advocates awarded Rep. Bruce Dammeier and Sens. Mike Carrell and Debbie Regala Crayon Awards for their outstanding work on early learning in Washington. And finally, one elder advocate says Washington needs a new licensed dental practitioner to extend quality dental care to underserved seniors and families.
A Thurston County business leader expands on the future economic benefits of early learning investments, and a new state budget analysis finds that extending the two-thirds majority vote in the State Legislature would harm kids while hindering economic recovery. While high school graduation rates in the state have improved overall, students of color experience disproportionately higher dropout rates. This fall, federal nutrition guidelines will fortify school meals in King County. And a distinguished community leader and former school board member of Seattle schools comes out for kids as marriage equality in Washington hinges on the vote to approve Referendum 74.
High-quality early learning can be a standard across the state with continued support, thanks to Washington’s Early Achievers rating system. The Health Care Authority’s planned partnership with community service providers means Apple Health for Kids can cover more uninsured children. In Walla Walla last week, Children’s Alliance presented Rep. Maureen Walsh with a Crayon Award for her commitment to early learning. Recently, we also named Rep. Luis Moscoso a legislative Champion for Children along with 11 other state lawmakers for their work to protect kids. In national news, advocates declare "No Child is Illegal," and celebrate a new law that allows young immigrants temporary protection from deportation.
As the state’s Health Care Authority chief prepares to leave his position, covering all kids and Washington’s health insurance exchange will remain a priority. Sea Mar Community Health Centers will open a dental clinic in Monroe for 1,500 underserved children and adults. In national news, a study finds that poor access to dental care can lead to lower school performance. Another report shows how midlevel licensed dental practitioners can help extend dental care to 6.7 million kids through school-based programs.
In state news, one Children’s Alliance advocate fights for her community as they deal with the loss of half their food assistance. The agriculture industry gives Apple Health for Kids a boost, and Asian Pacific Islander leaders support marriage equality to strengthen families. According to this week’s budget forecast, meeting our constitutional obligation to fund education won't work without new tax revenue.