Recommit to Children | March 2015
Raise the Age
Last Sunday, children in New York made crucial progress in the fight for juvenile justice reform. The New York State Legislature wrapped up their contentious budget negotiations and set aside $25 million to fund the "Raise the Age" reforms, with details of the specific changes to be determined later in the legislative session. The funding is a critical first step toward passing legislation to provide better outcomes for youth, reduce recidivism, and keep communities safer from violent crimes. We are grateful for your support of CDF-NY’s two year-long campaign to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from age 7 (when children are losing their baby teeth, still believe in the tooth fairy, and are certainly too young to understand a trial) and to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 so New York's children are no longer held in adult prisons and have the opportunity to transform their lives. We are also grateful for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature's support and look forward to working with them to ensure New York pursues justice for children.
On March 16th Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and CDF Board member, members from Governor Cuomo’s Youth, Public Safety & Justice Commission including CDF-NY Executive Director Melanie Hartzog, and community leaders shared insights about implementation of these critical reforms.
For more information read Marian Wright Edelman’s latest Child Watch® column co-written with CDF-NY Executive Director, Melanie Hartzog, “Time for Justice for Children in New York.”
More Legislative Action
We are grateful for your support over the last two years helping us build public and political will to extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). We're almost there. Will you speak up for children today?
Progress for a Healthy
Start for America’s Children
week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill with broad bipartisan
support that takes care of seniors and doctors but leaves low-income children
short. While the
legislation permanently fixes rates to pay doctors for treating seniors, it
only fixes funding for the critically important Children’s Health Insurance
Program (CHIP) for two years.
This is progress for children but short of the
four years of funding the majority of governors believe is necessary to
ensure comprehensive, affordable, age-appropriate care to children in the hard
working families in their states. Congress must stop playing politics with
children and commit to this small but extremely important investment. We hope
when Senators return on April 13th they will act quickly to give children and
states the stability they need by funding CHIP for four years.
to invest in our children’s health if they are going to be able to support the
growing number of seniors in the future.
Tell your Senators you support four years of funding for CHIP and hope they will too!
the Senate and House passed budget resolutions last week that if enacted would undermine
and substantially cut critical programs that benefit tens of millions of
children. The Affordable Care Act would be repealed and millions
of children with pre-existing conditions would once again struggle to gain
health coverage. Medicaid, which together with CHIP helps more than half of
America’s children (44 million), would be block granted and face deep cuts. Millions
more children could go hungry as funding for SNAP, which feeds 1 in 4 children
in America and keeps children and families out of poverty, would be slashed by
33 percent by the end of the decade. Drastically fewer funds would be available
for early childhood programs, elementary and secondary education, and other
critical investments for children. Yet both budgets would increase defense spending, despite the fact we already spend
more on defense than the next eight highest-spending countries combined. The
biggest threat to our nation’s security is our failure to invest in a healthy,
well-educated workforce. These budgets would only make things worse. We can’t
afford to jeopardize our children’s future.
Tell your elected officials to stop
Act Now For Inspiration in July
2015 Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry online registration is now
The 21st annual
Proctor Institute, “How Long Must I Cry for Help?” Bending the Arc Toward
God’s Vision of Justice for Children, will be held July
20-24, 2015 at CDF Haley Farm. We hope you will join us to learn more about
ending child poverty in our rich nation, during what
promises to be an inspiring week of preaching, singing, strategizing,
skill-building, and building a justice movement together.
For Children: Children
of participants may register
for the special Proctor CDF Freedom Schools®
program, which runs during the institute,
and participate in meals and evening worship with their parents.
For Seminarians and Divinity Students: The
Proctor Institute has special opportunities for students at seminaries and
divinity schools. Seminarians who are interested in registering for the
credit-bearing graduate course should contact the Rev.
Janet Wolf, firstname.lastname@example.org,
for additional information. Learn
more about opportunities for seminarians.
The Proctor Institute
is far more than a “conference;” it is an experience of Beloved Community, an intergenerational,
interracial, ecumenical community that gathers to renew and refresh, seek
insight and inspiration, and equip ourselves with
strategies and skills to work together to end child poverty. Register
Let Freedom Ring!
is the rent we pay for living” – Marian Wright Edelman
20 years, the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom
program has served more than 125,000 low-income children. Not only has the
program prevented summer learning loss and strengthened the self-esteem of the
students but it has also given opportunities to over 15,000
college students and recent graduates to engage in mission-driven summer jobs
that make a difference. We now are celebrating 20 years of actively seeking
justice in education through service. In 2010 Sharde’ Chapman joined the CDF
Freedom Schools program as a Servant Leader Intern in Memphis. She has
climbed the ladder of engagement to become a Site Coordinator and an Ella Baker Trainer.
“I have continued to
come back to the program year after year because I believe it provides an
invaluable service to children in communities who may otherwise fall through
Sharde’ has served as a teacher, role model, mentor, and confidant not only to
many scholars, but also to fellow Servant Leader Interns over five summers,
she’s also become a minister in the Baptist Church, and is pursuing her
Doctorate in African American Religion at Rice University in Houston, TX. Read
more about Sharde’s high expectations in her blog post, “Paying Rent Through
Support CDF Beat the Odds® Scholars Now
Beat the Odds CDF-Minnesota
On April 18th CDF-MN will host its 23rd
annual Beat the Odds awards celebration in Minneapolis, MN to honor five extraordinary young
people who have overcome tremendous adversity to achieve academic excellence
and become leaders within the community in the Twin Cities-area.
|(From left to right): Makayla Hout, Martell Peterson,
Randy Matthews, Kao Soua Yang, and Nasro Mohamed
our 2015 CDF-MN Beat
the Odds high school students by donating money or donating to the special
Beat the Odds CDF-Ohio
CDF-OH will host its annual Beat the Odds awards
celebration on April 22nd, in Columbus, OH. This year’s recipients will not
only inspire you with their stories of hardships overcome, but will also remind
you how at least one caring adult can make all the difference in a child's life.
| Ayriq Sims Alberto Jones Walter Thompson Kaylyn Sigman Britiny Lee
Support the 2015 CDF-OH Beat the Odds
Your donation today will help change a child’s tomorrow.
Beat the Odds CDF-New York
On March 4th we celebrated five outstanding high school
students and presented them with college scholarships at The Pierre in
Manhattan. We are grateful to all who gave generously, with time and money, to
help make the event a huge success.
For those of you who couldn’t be with us, here are our Beat the Odds stories from New York.
to support our New York Beat the Odds scholars.