Parents, elected officials, community-based leaders and other advocates for kids gathered in Auburn on Saturday to celebrate a significant victory in the 2015 legislature: the full restoration of food assistance for migrant families. As the photos show, it was a proud moment.
Here’s how our executive director, Paola Maranan, greeted the partygoers:
“I am proud and humbled to be here with you today to celebrate a victory that was only made possible by you. Five years ago we came together to organize and advocate to save State Food Assistance. Through those years you—parents, grandparents and youth who courageously spoke the truth about your own experiences; grassroots organizations that stood in solidarity with families; service providers and food banks that spoke up for equity; legislators who advocated among your own colleagues to right this wrong—you have given your hearts, your time and your voice to this campaign.
“At Children’s Alliance we believe in every child’s potential, and we know that good public policies advance equity and help all kids reach that vast potential. State Food Assistance is one of those good policies.
This past legislative session, Washingtonians spoke up for better access to dental health care for children and families. While the Dental Access Bill was blocked by narrow special interests, advocacy and progress are marching forward outside the legislature.
Passage of the Early Start Act is great news for parents, children, and all Washingtonians who share in the vision of every child succeeding in school and in life.
We applaud the legislative leaders for early learning in all four caucuses—Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle), Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island), Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) and Sen. Andy Billig (D-Spokane)—and the many legislators who supported the Early Start Act. They have acted on the years of research showing that high quality early learning builds stronger families, better schools, more self-reliant adults and safer communities. Early learning is a necessary part of any strategy to close the opportunity gap facing too many of Washington’s children in low-income families and children of color.
Click here for photos of advocates and kids celebrating as Gov. Jay Inslee signs the Act.
Children's Alliance deputy director Jon Gould with early learning leaders Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla, left) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle, right) after the passage of the Early Start Act in the House of Representatives on Sunday, June 28.
Combined with a historic $158 million investment in early learning in the 2015-17 budget, passage of the Early Start Act marks a new level of commitment to early learning in Washington.
It’s the place where her father, Gregorio, a migrant farmworker, bought a house in 1942. There her father grew food and sold it in Seattle’s International District. And he led the family by example. She remembers him saying to her, one time, “I may be poor, but I am rich in value.”