For Immediate Release Contact: Christine Sinatra (512) 473-2274
Child group continues election-year campaign of awareness, advocacy for kids
WASHINGTON -- Voices for America's
Children, the nation's largest network of multi-issue child advocacy
organizations, asked answers from the 2012 candidates and their parties on
pressing issues facing American children.
"More than one in five American
children lives in poverty," said Bill Bentley, president and CEO of Voices for
America's Children. "Now is the key time to get answers from the 2012
candidates on how they'll work to give these children a fair shot."
Voices for America's Children (Voices)
sent letters to the Democratic candidate President Barack Obama and the Republican
presidential candidate Mitt Romney urging them to declare a clearer stance of
child and family issues and to formally seek the advice of child advocates.
Voices also wrote to each party's platform committee, asking that party
platforms review its latest report, Securing
America's Future: Children and the 2012 Election, and consider the federal
policy questions that have so far gone unanswered.
"Children are 24 percent of the
population and 100 percent of our future," said Charlie Bruner, executive
director of Voices member The Child & Family Policy Center. "Yet only a
tiny fraction of our national political debate addresses children's issues."
Only 2 percent of the 2012
presidential primary debates were about children, according to a Voices report
released earlier this year. The report found that out of the more than 1,000
questions asked, only 17 pertained to children's issues. Child welfare, abuse,
safety, health access, early education and other issues were all but ignored,
the authors found.
"On the campaign trail, the candidates
have kissed many babies, yet given few concrete details about how their
policies will benefit children," said Roy Miller, president and founder of
Voices member The Children's Campaign. "Child advocates this year are leading
the charge to get the parties and the media talking about issues like child
health, poverty and safety."
"Prosperity for our country is
meaningless unless we create opportunity for all children to succeed,
regardless of race or income," said Eileen Garcia, chief executive officer of
Voices member Texans Care for Children. "Yet the presidential candidates make
little mention of the ways to close gaps and raise the bar for all children.
We're calling on the candidates to establish child policy committees, seek the
guidance of child experts, and work to improve outcomes for all children."
Voices' nationwide 2012 campaign for
kids has included congressional and gubernatorial candidate forums focused on
children's issues in Georgia and New Hampshire, respectively; launch of the
initiatives "Vote for Kids New York and "Make Kids Matter" in Pennsylvania; op-ed
about importance of electing pro-child candidates published in The Salt Lake Tribune; election advocacy
toolkits developed in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Washington, Wisconsin
and many other states.
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Care for Children is the leader in policy advances for Texas children and a
nonpartisan, nonprofit policy organization working to improve the
all Texas children and youth by improving public policies. Based in
Austin with members statewide, Texans Care does research, policy work
grassroots outreach to improve the wellbeing of millions of children in
Voices for America's
Children (Voices) has been on the forefront of every major child policy victory
for the past quarter-century. With 62 members nationwide, Voices speaks up for
kids, and mobilizes and advocates for public policies to improve the lives of
all children, especially those most vulnerable, throughout the United States.
Voices is a founding member of the Children's
Leadership Council, a coalition of more than 50 leading national policy and
advocacy organizations. www.childrensleadershipcouncil.com.