Have a Heart for Kids Day is your day to speak up for kids. Right now, your voice matters. Join hundreds of child, youth, and family advocates from across Washington State and speak up for kids!
Tuesday, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler released a report outlining losses for Washington’s families if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act. In other state news, a small business owner from Seattle speaks up for health care in Congress. In national news, child care cuts and proposed food stamp cuts in the Farm Bill put our economic stability, and kids’ futures, on the line, and 15,000 diverse voices across the U.S. convened to vote on what our country’s priorities should be for families in the 2012 election.
Last Saturday was no ordinary one for the Children’s Alliance.
At their Bloom Gala Saturday night, International Community Health Services (ICHS) honored us with a Bamboo Award for “tough, resilient” advocacy for children’s health. We were humbled to be receiving the award from and among such stellar advocates who have taught us, informed our work and joined the fight to cover all kids in Washington state.
Times continue to be tough for thousands of Washington families. Long-term unemployment is still rising, and now, more than 10,000 Washington workers have come to the end of their unemployment benefits. One in eight children in our state live in households where someone is experiencing unemployment.
Yet Congress is breezing through a series of budget bills, and the 2012 Farm Bill as though the future of our kids and our nation's ability to feed them were not at stake. They are wrong.
One in four Washington children struggle against hunger. In these families meals are skipped, food is rationed, cheaper but less healthy food is purchased, and choices are made between food, rent, medicine and the gas needed to get to work. These families face the dilemma of “heat or eat” every day.
During the long stretch of budget negotiations in Olympia -- from late November 2011 to mid-April of this year -- parents, aunties, and community leaders acted to protect kids in the state budget. Their work ensured that lawmakers preserved vital programs and investments for kids, rejected unfair cuts that threatened children’s futures, and adopted new solutions that were better for Washington children and families.
A recently released report reveals that a new kind of health care provider, like the one proposed in the state Legislature last session, can effectively serve children and families who have a hard time getting affordable dental care.