Putting kids first means demanding more of Texas and more of ourselves when it comes to a precious resource: the children of our state. People who put kids first say, "Are we doing our best for our children? Are we rejecting the excuses and declaring instead that, not only can we get it done, we must? Are we looking at what works and committing to replicating it?" Until there is a resounding 'yes' on all of those fronts, Texas misses a chance to shore up its future.
In good budget years and bad, putting kids first emphatically does not mean putting vital services for adult Texans on the chopping block, nor does it suggest our obligation to our fellow humans somehow ends when they turn 18.
Rather, to put kids first is to put a check on ourselves and our elected leaders when decisions are made that affect children, thereby affecting us all. To Put Kids 1st is a reminder to challenge our leaders, businesses, community organizations, and families with the idea that, simply charting the path of least resistance is not enough when it comes to the bottom line, our future.
These are our children. If we are not doing what's in their best interest--what will foster their success and, therefore, one day Texas's--we need to go back to the table and try again. Each of us has within us the capacity for what Thomas Friedman once termed "the quiet heroism of millions" who do put kids first and champion the best for children so that kids thrive. Our state needs more quiet heroes with the will to keep Texas:
strong,by supporting children's health;
safe, by protecting children from harm;
prosperous, by promoting financial security in children's homes;
prepared, by seeking success for all children, even those in trouble; and
whole, by fostering a sense of wellbeing and healthy development in children