Children and the 2018 election
Editor’s note: The Coalition on Human Needs is participating in the Children’s Blog Carnival, hosted and sponsored by the Children’s Leadership Council. Today’s post is authored by Charlie Bruner, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Social Policy and RISE Institute. Previous carnival blogs have focused on the plight of Puerto Rican children in the wake of Hurricane Maria; “grandfamilies,” grandparents or other relatives raising children; the recent March for Our Lives; the importance of dental health for children; the link between quality child care and brain development in infants; the effect of President Trump’s immigration policy on children; the importance of afterschool programs; and the high cost of child care.
By Charlie Bruner
This year, there are an unprecedented number of candidates seeking seats in Congress. In some instances, several candidates are campaigning in primaries for seats where their party did not contest in previous elections. Every speaker of the House, majority or minority leader, or chair of a Congressional committee at one time was a first-time candidate seeking to learn about and develop policy positions on the issues she or he would be facing and being particularly receptive to hearing from voters and advocacy organizations in their districts. The 2018 election offers a particular opportunity to elevate children’s issues that are crucial to society’s prosperity and well-being.
Five national state advocacy and policy organizations – the Children’s Leadership Council, Every Child Matters, the Partnership for America’s Children, First Focus, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy – have collaborated to sponsor Securing America’s Future: Children and the 2018 Election – to serve as a guide and primer on children’s issues that require Congressional action.
This nonpartisan educational document describes six core child issue areas and Congress’s role in each – child health, early learning, school success, child safety, economic security, and equality and diversity. For each, there is information on the needs of children, Congress’s current role in taking action, voter views on the importance of the issue, and key policy decisions facing the next Congress.
Every Child Matters and the Partnership for America’s Children are taking a lead in disseminating this resource to community and state child advocates, along with template materials that can provide state specific information and perspectives. This includes dissemination to candidates, but also to advocates, voters and the media.
Children represent one-quarter of the country’s population but 100 percent of its future. Voters consistently rank addressing children’s needs at the top of their political concerns – but children need strong adult voices to ensure that these issues become part of the electoral discussion. Securing America’s Future offers a common base in taking on this responsibility, opportunity, and imperative.