Speak Out 4 Children  | January 2017

Protect Our Children's Health


CDF started the year in action, laying the groundwork to protect America’s health coverage for children and families. Today with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) 95 percent of children in America have health coverage, the highest rate on record. But the new Administration and Congress have already taken steps to begin the process to repeal the ACA. The danger is that repealing ACA could double the number of uninsured children, causing four million children to lose the health coverage they need to thrive and survive. 

Thank you for heeding our calls to action this month. We must keep the pressure on. Please continue to call on Congress to put America’s children first and adopt a “do no harm to children” standard as they consider revisions to ACA. The Children’s Defense Fund strongly believes any repeal of the ACA must be accompanied by passage of a full, immediate replacement with better, more affordable care, coverage, and consumer protections that ensure no child or family loses ground. 

Already pressure from you and others has resulted in a significant slowdown of the repeal effort, and growing recognition of the need to replace the ACA with a plan that provides more affordable coverage for larger numbers reflected in a transcript of a session at the Republican retreat in Philadelphia last week. Read this Washington Post article for more information

Dangers ahead also include the risk of losing Medicaid coverage for millions of low-income parents when ACA is repealed, despite clear evidence that when parents have health coverage it increases the odds their children will too. CDF strongly opposes any structural changes and/or cuts to Medicaid. Proposed changes would undermine Medicaid’s critical protections that have allowed generations of America’s children to survive and thrive over the past 50 years.  

There will be many opportunities to weigh in with Congress and the Administration over the next several months as various repeal and replacement proposals are debated. CDF will never give up defending the critical safety net programs like Medicaid for our voiceless, voteless children. We will reach out at critical moments when you are needed to step up and take action, and to organize your networks to ensure progress for children is not reversed. Sign up now for actions you can take today and throughout the year

Learn more and share with others our new fact sheets on the threats to health coverage for children and families:

Together we must speak up and keep the pressure on to ensure all children are covered. Their lives depend on it today, the country will depend on them tomorrow.

Building a Transforming Intergenerational Movement


“There are forces that want to take us back. I don't want to go back. I want to go forward. […] Sometimes when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to stand up and say something and do something. You cannot afford to be silent during these days.” –Congressman John Lewis

U.S. Representative John Lewis inspired college and high school student leaders and all of us at a Children’s Defense Fund two day convening, “Building a Transforming Intergenerational Movement to End Child Poverty and Dismantle the Cradle to Prison PipelineTM” at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C. early this month. Filled with child advocates and thought leaders including CDF Board member Wendy Puriefoy, we heard from an exceptional group of speakers including:  

Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow for Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Angela Glover Blackwell, CDF Board Co-Chair and Founder and CEO of PolicyLink; Brittany Packnett, Vice President of National Community Alliances for Teach for American and Black Lives Matter Activist; U.S. Representative Bobby Scott; and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the Architect of the Moral Mondays Movement in North Carolina.

Rev. Barber said: “So we're in a moment right now. We live in a moment where many people need a government and a society with a heart. Millions of Americans need health care, living wages. Children need to be lifted. We need protection from xenophobia, systemic racism, homophobia, religious bigotry. So why are you here? Because it's your moment.”

Everyone departed with renewed energy, ready to organize and mobilize today and tomorrow.

CDF President in the News
“We don’t need ‘big dogs’... Not everyone needs to be the front leader,” Marian Wright Edelman said during an MLK event at Florida International University (FIU). “We get paralyzed and caught up wanting to make a big difference. But the little things add up... Dr. King never started a single movement in his life. He responded to communities... We need to be bubbling up.”

She was the keynote speaker at the school’s 25th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Breakfast, and spoke with more than 500 FIU students, faculty and staff, and community members. Read more from the Miami Herald: Wright Edelman says she’s looking for activism, not leaders, at FIU MLK breakfast – January 15, 2017  Miami Herald

On the eve of the Trump inauguration, black people came out in style, and gathered at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, nicknamed the Blacksonian, to attend the inaugural Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance, a “gathering to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the past four years and the vow to continue to be the change we want to see in the world.” Children’s rights activist Marian Wright Edelman led a fiery prayer and urged the assembled guests to “go out there and cause a movement.”  Read more from BuzzFeed: The Road Women Marched On This Weekend Was Paved By Black Resistance – January 23, 2017 BuzzFeed

Juvenile Justice in Los Angeles
CDF-California launched a new report capturing nearly two years of thought and collaboration by more than 100 stakeholders to reimagine the nation’s largest juvenile justice system in Los Angeles County. The result, A Culture of Care for All: Envisioning the LA Model, describes a new approach for treating youth who are incarcerated. Written by Hailly T.N. Korman (Bellwether Education Partners) and Carly B. Dierkhising (California State University – Los Angeles) the report articulates a shared vision of a new model of juvenile justice known as the LA Model. The LA Model has ten essential elements and is replicable across the country. It is both informed and innovative: It is built on the latest research and draws on promising practices across the country. Please read and share with others.

Celebrate Five Extraordinary Youths from New York


Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman, and CDF-New York Executive Director Naomi Post cordially invite you to the 2017 CDF-New York Beat the Odds® Gala at The Pierre in New York on February 28. Join us and celebrate five outstanding youths from the Greater-New York area who have overcome tremendous adversity to excel academically, be leaders in their communities and desire to go to college. ABC News’ Deborah Roberts and NBC Today Show’s Al Roker will also be honored at this year’s celebration. Please purchase tickets for a night of inspiration as you hear from these young men and women and some of the caring adults who made all the difference in their lives. If you cannot attend, please show your support by making a donation to the CDF-NY Beat the Odds Program.

5th National GrandRally: Building a Community of Hope

2017 GrandRally_Newsletter

CDF is thrilled to announce plans for the 5th National GrandRally: Building a Community of Hope on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on May 10th, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The National GrandRally is a celebration and highly visible gathering of grandparents and other relative caregivers raising children — often referred to as “grandfamilies” — and their fellow advocates to elevate for Members of Congress and the broader public the critical role these caregivers play in providing safe, loving, permanent families for children and the policy help they need to effectively support them while building and strengthening a community of hope. The relative caregivers from around the country who gather also provide enormous support and reinforcement for each other. If you are a relative caregiver, we hope you and other from your community and state will join us in D.C. in May. If you know relative caregivers in your community, please help them be able to make the trip by offering support of various kinds. Cosponsors of the GrandRally include AARP, Casey Family Programs, Children’s Defense Fund, Foster Club, Generations United and GrandFamilies of America. Learn more about the GrandRally, see our GrandRally FAQs and start planning your trip to D.C. today!

Thanks to You, CDF Met Our Challenge!

EOY ThankYou_Masthead

Thanks to your overwhelming support in 2016 CDF met our year end challenge to match $450,000. We cannot thank you enough for your commitment to improving the lives of all of America's children. We never give up in our fight to ensure every child in America a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and a successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. Together we can and will continue to make a difference in the lives of America’s children.

Marian Wright Edelman’s January Child Watch® Columns
Marian Wright Edelman’s January columns empower and prepare us for the struggles today and in the months ahead to keep making progress for children with a new administration and Congress. This is not a time to stand on the sidelines and Mrs. Edelman reminds us to stand up for what we know is right and to not give up despite how rough the road ahead may be.

Leslie Dunbar: An Indispensable One

Scott’s Story: Lessons Children Teach Adults

Moral Courage: Standing Up for What is Right

Keep Your Hand on the Plow! HOLD ON!

Prayers for the Work Ahead for Our Children

The Children’s Defense Fund is dedicated to work with child advocates like you, policymakes and others to ensure all of America's children remain a top priority in 2017.

Please show your support by giving as generously as you can and encourage others in your network to join our community.

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