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Monthly Newsletter - March 2009

Tell Congress to Pass the Budget Resolution

Take Action Today
Take Action Today!
Last week was the first round of votes on the budget. The Members of the House and Senate Budget Committees each passed their own budget resolutions. Thanks to activists like you, who made calls and sent emails to your Members of Congress who serve on these committees, both budget resolutions support America’s children and families, and help restore our country's economic stability.

This week, the entire Congress is voting on the budget resolutions, which means that all of your Members of Congress and not just the one or two who serve on the Budget Committee, need to hear from you this week!

This budget helps rebuild our economy and focuses on families. It commits to providing health care for all, lifting families out of poverty and helping children start school ready to learn and succeed. These are the goals that you have been fighting for—we must build on the momentum from last week’s victory.

Send an email to your Senators and Representative today and ensure that this budget resolution benefits children, families, and our nation’s future.

Remember, the opposition, including the insurance companies, corporations, multi-millionaires and others, don't want their tax loopholes closed to pay for these national priorities, and they are spending a lot of money lobbying against it. That's why we need you to help us organize in support of the budget!

America's children, our future and our country's prosperity are depending on you and your Member of Congress.

CDF President Marian Wright Edelman Attends White House Health Care Summit

Earlier this month, CDF President Marian Wright Edelman had the honor of serving as a panelist at President Obama's Health Care Summit at the White House.  As one of the few representatives from a child advocacy organization, she had the privilege of speaking for our nation's children and discussing with other panelists the importance of ensuring health coverage for every child this year.

Visit our website to view video clips, share your thoughts on this event and read what others have said.

New Report: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Refund Anticipation Loans

TaxesAs the 2008 tax filing deadline is fast approaching, and millions of families are struggling in the economic recession, CDF has released a report that finds low-income families lose billions of dollars each year to predatory commercial tax preparers and highlights the importance of tax credits for working families.

This report found that in tax year 2006, low-income families lost $3.1 billion of their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) benefits to high-interest, short-term loans, tax preparation fees and other financial products issued by commercial tax preparers.

Visit our website to download the report and find out how much your city, county or state has lost to predatory commercial tax preparers.

CDF President Releases New Book

The Sea Is So Wide and My Boast Is So SmallChildren's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman's new book, The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation, is a call to action for all Americans to address the urgent needs of our country's youths. The book is a series of letters to a variety of audiences—educators, faith leaders, youth, mothers, elected officials and concerned citizens nationwide—that reflects on the social and economic progress as well as the setbacks since Dr. King's death 40 years ago. Mrs. Edelman challenges each audience to step up and take action at this pivotal moment to ensure a level playing field for the next generation.

Purchase your copy today in our online store.


National/California Cradle to Prison Pipeline Summit a Huge Success!

CPP CA SummitLast month CDF and several co-conveners hosted a two-day National/California Cradle to Prison Pipeline Summit in Sacramento, California. Nearly 500 attendees shared promising approaches and developed community action plans to stop the funneling of thousands of children down a pipeline to prison. The highlight of the event was the 150 youths who led and participated in the deliberations of the first day to help define their own involvement in efforts to dismantle the pipeline. During interactive sessions, they shared challenges and discussed their personal experiences in the pipeline and the interventions that changed their lives. Their report and recommendations were presented to the entire summit.

View a photo slideshow from the summit and stay tuned for video clips of interviews and sessions on our web site.

We must mount a concerted national effort to dismantle the pipeline to prison by eliminating its root causes through implementation of promising approaches articulated at the summit. Find out ways you and your community can step up and take action (.pdf) and learn more about children in the pipeline in your state. The policies and systems that fuel the pipeline to prison are strong, but together so are we!

Learn more about CDF's Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign.

Now Online: The New Economic Recovery Law: Resources to Help Children and the Economy

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act helps alleviate the stress on families and communities by investing in improvements for a range of needed services and supports and offering states funds to offset deep cuts. The improvements made in the Recovery Act will not benefit anyone, however, unless they are implemented in a way that effectively helps children, families, and communities. The Children's Defense Fund has gathered useful materials from federal agencies, congressional sources, and advocacy and other organizations that can help you become familiar with the Recovery Act funding and program activities available in states and communities. The New Economic Recovery Law: Resources for Helping Children and the Economy provides links to these materials. This guide will be updated frequently to provide the latest and most helpful resources.

Save the Date: CDF Beat the Odds Awards Program

2008 Beat the Odds Award WinnersPlease mark your calendar for Tuesday, November 10, 2009, for CDF's annual Beat the Odds Awards Program in Washington, DC. Begun in 1990, the Beat the Odds program has awarded hundreds of college scholarships to high school students who have overcome tremendous adversity in their lives and gone on to achieve academic excellence and give back to their communities. With your support, CDF can continue to honor outstanding students who "Beat the Odds."

To learn more about this program or to make a tax-deductible contribution visit our web site. Please stay tuned for future information regarding this year's BTO-DC Dinner.

 Make a tax-deductible donation to the CDF Beat the Odds program.

Last Week for Proctor Institute Early Bird Special. Don't Miss Out!

CDF Haley FarmJoin CDF at the 15th Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, July 20-24, at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee. This five-day "homecoming" provides child advocates with spiritual renewal and skills-building workshops to energize and strengthen their efforts to create real change for children and their families.

Register before April 6th and save $50 on registration.

Engage in creative fundraising by partnering with local faith and community organizations that will benefit from your Proctor experience. For example, last year, members of Mothers in Charge, a non-profit based in Philadelphia working to protect children from street violence, successfully raised enough money to send the two co-founders to this transformative event. Learn more about this year’s Proctor Institute and register today!

Step Forward with CDF-CA and Support Legislation to Improve Outcomes for Foster Youths

California Fostering ConnectionsCDF-California stands in strong support of Assembly Bill 12, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act. Assembly Bill 12 would allow California to benefit more fully from recently passed federal legislation to improve how foster care is funded.

This bill would extend critical support to children living with relatives and older youth in foster care. It would help children living with relatives exit foster care to live permanently with their family and would improve communities by helping to prevent the homelessness, poverty, and involvement with the criminal justice system that currently awaits far too many former foster youths because they are cut from needed support too soon.

Read more from a new report showing the 2-to-1 benefit-to-cost ratio generated for California from legislation like Assembly Bill 12 (.pdf) and then act by signing on in support of Assembly Bill 12.

CDF-Minnesota Beat the Odds Awards Dinner a Success

Beat the Odds Award WinnersMore than 500 people attended CDF-Minnesota's 17th Annual Beat the Odds Awards Dinner on March 12, at the Depot in Minneapolis. Honorees Max Wirt of Minneapolis, and Michael Roberts, Kia Lor, and Edwin Rosas, all from  St. Paul, told their inspiring stories and received $9,000 college scholarships. CDF President Marian Wright Edelman was the keynote speaker, and Mayors R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis and Chris Coleman of St. Paul presented the honorees with their awards. Two former Minnesota Vikings, John Randle and Chris Liewinski, helped with the silent auction and other fundraising efforts.

2009, Children's Defense Fund, 25 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 | 1 (800) 233-1200 | Unsubscribe
The Children's Defense Fund's Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.