January Actions | January 2015

Ending Child Poverty Report Cover

On January 28, the Children’s Defense Fund released a groundbreaking report, Ending Child Poverty Now, with a road map for reducing child poverty by 60 percent, Black child poverty by 72 percent, and bettering the economic circumstances of 97 percent of all poor children.  At a press briefing:

  • Marian Wright Edelman, president of CDF, spoke about the moral imperative to act now.
  • Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former economic advisory to Vice President Biden, said the report expands programs that are “tried and true,” that we know lift children out of poverty and improve their future earnings. 
  • Dr. Tina L. Cheng, Professor of Pediatric Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and representing the American Academy of Pediatrics, emphasized the lifelong harmful health consequences for children growing up poor.

Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman

Jared Bernstein
Jared Bernstein

Dr. Tina L. Cheng
Dr. Tina L. Cheng

Spread the word and share the report with your networks and your members of Congress.  Sign up here for actions to build the will to finally put a real plan in place to end child poverty in America.
The report has garnered significant attention in the press, including:

A companion report by the Children's Defense Fund‒California (CDF-CA) presents key state policy recommendations for how California can reduce child poverty now, including enacting a refundable state Earned Income Tax Credit, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and expanding child care subsidies. California cannot afford to continue allowing 1 in 4 children to grow up in poverty, harming their health and well-being and undermining their academic and future economic success. CDF-CA’s state policy recommendations provide a roadmap for how California can end child poverty by investing in programs and policies that work.

Happy 20th Anniversary CDF Freedom Schools® Program

Close your eyes and imagine a room full of bright-eyed children clapping, chanting, singing, laughing, and learning to fall in love with books and reading. You just imagined what more than 125,000 pre-K-12 children across the country have experienced, thanks to the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program and the hard work of more than 15,000 college students and young adult staff trained by CDF to deliver this empowering program. For 20 years the CDF Freedom Schools program has helped prevent summer learning loss, build literacy skills and ignite the spark to help children love reading! Through partnerships with community-based organizations, faith institutions, municipalities, schools, colleges and universities, the CDF Freedom Schools program boosts student motivation to read, generates positive attitudes toward learning, and connects the needs of children and families to resources in their communities. Last summer CDF Freedom Schools partners served over 12,745 children at 202 program sites in 107 cities, 28 states and Washington, D.C. A new class of CDF Freedom Schools partners will soon begin training. Please join us in welcoming our new class of CDF Freedom Schools partners — true child advocates who are working to #MakeADifference for our nation’s most vulnerable children.  

CDF State Offices Lead the Way in Juvenile Justice Reform

CDF-NY Finds Success to “Raise the Age”

The Children’s Defense Fund-New York, along with other child advocates, has stood on the front lines and advocated to Raise the Age so children and teens can’t be tried as adults in the criminal justice system. After years of tireless work the efforts of CDF-NY Executive Director Melanie Hartzog (who served on the Governor’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice) and staff were rewarded when Governor Cuomo announced a new package of juvenile justice reforms that would raise the age when youths would automatically be charged, tried and incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system from 16 years old to 18 years old. CDF President Marian Wright Edelman applauded Governor Cuomo in a recent statement: "On this day of remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- I commend New York State, Governor Cuomo and the Commission for proposing a package of reforms that bends toward justice for children and youths by treating them as children and youths and ensuring that they have the chance to turn their lives around and become productive citizens. The Governor and state Legislature now have the opportunity to enact this long-overdue proposal, which would make New York State a leader in juvenile justice."

California Youth Rise Up and Speak Out

It is the responsibility of every American to ensure that children and teens placed under the custody of the juvenile justice system have the opportunity to heal from past victimization, build healthy relationships and develop the skills necessary to successfully transition back into their communities. Far too often these vulnerable children and teens end up in juvenile detention facilities where they are re-traumatized and deprived of both a quality education and support system. A new policy brief, Rising Up, Speaking Out: Youth Transforming Los Angeles County’s Juvenile Justice System, co-written by researchers from CDF-CA and formerly incarcerated youth, provides a roadmap for the establishment of a juvenile justice system more focused on rehabilitation – and less on punishment. The policy brief calls for Los Angeles County to move away from the overly punitive, decades-old juvenile justice model that has had a devastating impact on the health and well-being of youth in its custody. Learn more about the recommendations for more positive and developmentally appropriate approaches that emphasize rehabilitation, skill- and relationship-building and healing.

The Fight for CHIP Funding Continues

CDF continues to work hard to ensure funding for the very successful, bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is extended for four more years. For nearly two decades, CHIP has been an essential part of the health coverage system for children, ensuring children in working families access to high-quality, affordable, child-appropriate health care. Together with Medicaid, CHIPhas helped cut the children’s uninsurance rate by half, bringing the percentage of uninsured children in the U.S. to an all-time low.  However, without prompt congressional approval of four more years of funding for CHIP, millions of children and hundreds of thousands of pregnant women will lose coverage in the fall.  CDF urges Congress to take action now in this first quarter of the year to maintain coverage for children.  How sad it would be, as the Washington Post noted in a recent article, if CHIP children ended up the only group of Americans to see less coverage, in the new Affordable Care Act era, not more.  Please take action now. 

Ending Child Poverty Report Cover

Oprah Winfrey Honors Legends Who Paved the Way

Oprah Winfrey recently hosted a number of events honoring some of the legendary men and women of the Civil Rights Movement who spurred change and redefined the future for generations to come. CDF President Marian Wright Edelman, Ambassador Andrew Young and Congressman John Lewis were among the honorees. The wonderful OWN TV special event, “Legends Who Paved the Way,” aired on January 18, 2015. Check out a clip from the show and tune into the OWN network to view the entire show.

25 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 | Tel: (800) 233-1200
Children's Defense Fund© 2014 All rights reserved.
FOLLOW US: Follow Us on Twitter Join Us on Facebook
powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software