The day features:
- A brief training for new advocates.
- Our 2015 Legislative Priorities.
Nearly 300,000 children in Washington live in families that struggle to put nutritious food on the table every day. The issues these children face can be complex; the solution to their hunger is not: Feed children three nutritious meals each and every day.
This is the simple foundation of our strategic plan to end childhood hunger in Washington.
One step in the plan is to feed hungry kids during the summer. Currently in Washington State only 11% of children who receive free and reduced cost meals during the school year are accessing free summer meal programs. A small investment of state resources to increase summer meal sites will bring millions in federal dollars to feed kids in local communities.
One of the most treasured parts of our state Constitution is Article IX, section 1, the guarantee for Washington families of a basic education for their children.
As courts, governing officials, parents and policymakers now know, we have fallen short in this promise to kids.
One of the ways that educational inequity shows up in the lives of children is when local tax levies help schools with higher-value property raise more money. America’s legacy of racial discrimination restricted children of color to poorer communities. Because of this, the schools that are financially under-resourced are tasked with educating the children most vulnerable to household hunger. This disparity is another feature of the opportunity gap between children of color and children in low-income families and kids growing up in more affluent school districts.
The New Year brings a new legislative session, with new challenges and new opportunities for Washington’s kids.
In order to make sure kids are put at the center of government’s concern this year, it’s helpful to know who holds power, and how, in the State capitol.
The fall 2014 elections resulted in a state Senate majority of 25 Republicans and a minority of 24 Democrats. In the House, a 51-member Democratic majority holds power, while Republicans hold the remaining 47 seats.
Each elected representative works within the political party of his or her choice. Within the House and Senate, these parties meet as a unit. They are called caucuses. The caucus is a closed forum for discussing ideas and proposing action. One Senate Democrat, Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch), chooses to meet in his Republican colleagues’ caucus. This is the Majority Coalition Caucus.
Gov. Jay Inslee has announced that he’ll protect Washington families from new, harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).
The Governor will adjust the state’s utility-assistance payments to certain eligible households from $1 to $20.01, ensuring that thousands of families get the food assistance they need to feed their children.
Today’s release of the KIDS COUNT® policy report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, unveils the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels. The data can better inform policymakers who create policies and programs that can benefit all children, while targeting strategies and investments where attention is needed most.
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.