The day features:
- A brief training for new advocates.
- Our 2015 Legislative Priorities.
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.
American Academy of Pediatrics (WCAAP), the Washington Academy of Family Physicians, and the Children’s Alliance are among the expert organizations urging voters to approve Referendum 74 on Nov. 6. “Children of same-sex couples are in schools, playgrounds, and neighborhoods throughout Washington,” said Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance. “We know that all parents want a safe and supportive environment for their children to grow up in. That is why the Children’s Alliance encourages all voters to vote Approve on Referendum 74 and affirm the value of every family and every child.”
The proposed measure has earned some big-name support from rather unlikely folks, including Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington John McKay, public health physicians, professors, prominent lawyers and the Children’s Alliance, a long-time advocate for children’s issues in the state. … Criminal convictions can make parents ineligible for public housing and federal student loans, and make it harder to land jobs that will support their family. …[R]esearch has shown that African Americans are disproportionately prosecuted for marijuana-related offenses, making this a racial issue as well.
In the far-reaching McCleary decision in January, the state Supreme Court ratified the obvious: We are violating our constitution by underfunding education at the state level. Without greater policy flexibility, we will never fulfill the court’s order to equitably address our education deficit. To accomplish that task, we need to substantially increase investment in basic education, but if we pass I-1185 we will make it nearly impossible to do so. The same is true of higher education, where cutbacks continue to deepen and tuition has skyrocketed. If we want to improve our public educational system to create the skilled workforce needed in today’s global economy, we must reject the two-thirds requirement.
Letter: School lunch policy | Tri-City Herald | 10-23-2012
It is not OK to allow students to be hungry at school. I thought schools wanted the best learning environment? Hungry kids do not learn to their full potential.
[O]pponents offer nothing empirical about children having more problems in same-sex households than in dual-gender or single-parent homes. There are more children who need loving homes than there are homes for them, and opponents’ arguments ignore those same-sex couples who now are providing a nurturing environment for children. Having their arrangement recognized as a marriage only strengthens these family ties.
The legislation passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire is honest, true and compelling on a human scale. Allowing same-sex couples to marry is about love, commitment and families. Respect for those basic values, and those who want to formally embrace them with a public and legal covenant of marriage, runs deep in Washington state. … The measure before voters is about family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers, not the poll-tested caricatures of a political consultant on retainer.
The attorney representing a coalition of parents and education groups that sued the state over school funding told the Washington Supreme Court on Wednesday that the Legislature is still avoiding its constitutional duty to school children. In a filing to the court, attorney Thomas Ahearne… said lawmakers seem to think that they can postpone fulfilling the court's order to put more money into education because of the economy, but his clients believe state officials need to obey the constitution even when times are difficult.
States can make the next big leap forward for kids by taking advantage of the generous federal support to extend health coverage to low-income parents and adults through Medicaid. Research has shown that covering parents is good for children as families enroll in coverage together and children are more likely to receive preventive services and other care they need. Let’s double down on our efforts to strengthen Medicaid and make sure younger Americans reach the 99% coverage rate of older Americans. And remember, kids don’t have to wait until 2014 — because two-thirds of uninsured children are eligible but unenrolled in Medicaid or CHIP. States can move forward to reduce red tape and reach out to enroll children today.
We would both come to understand that our most important commonality — the one that would unite us during and after our service on Capitol Hill — was our shared desire to eliminate hunger in this country and around the world. As colleagues in the 1970s on the Senate Hunger and Human Needs Committee, we worked together to reform the Food Stamp Program, expand the domestic school lunch program and establish the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
Together, we can build a path of opportunity that all of Washington’s kids can travel. Give today.
Our priorities for kids in Olympia.
Right now across Washington children are growing up. Right now, you can take action to improve their lives.
Tell your state legislators to act for kids, invest in kids, and protect kids.