We Never Give Up | March 2017

Huge Win for America's Children


Last week’s failure of the U.S. House of Representatives to bring the Republican health repeal bill to a vote was a huge victory for 37 million low-income children and children with disabilities, their parents and millions of other vulnerable adults. In addition to gutting the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies and requirement to cover essential health benefits, the bill would have destroyed Medicaid — millions would have been hurt, and tens of millions would have lost coverage.  We’re including this excellent New York Times article that underscores the critical role Medicaid plays, “In Health Bill’s Defeat, Medicaid Comes of Age,” in case you missed it.

Thanks to a strong coalition of advocates across the country, America’s children can continue to rely on the ACA, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to get a healthy start in life — for now. With your support, CDF promises:

  • To keep pushing to ensure every child in America has the health coverage they need to thrive, strive and succeed in strengthening our great nation, and 

  • To continue to resist harmful policies like those averted last week.

Please help us by continuing to educate your Senators and Representative about the benefits of Medicaid, and also the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which sits on the shoulders of Medicaid and provides health coverage to more than 8 million children. Check out some of our advocacy this month to protect children’s health coverage: 

Leading Children’s Health Groups to House of Representatives: Keep Medicaid Strong

Ryan’s health care act would put 59,000 Merced kids at risk

‘Keep Kids Covered’ forum addresses children’s health care

GOP health plan bad for Texas kids

President's "Skinny" Budget Hurts Children and Families


President Donald J. Trump’s budget blueprint for fiscal year 2018 would be devastating for the most vulnerable children and families across our nation. Part I of the budget, AKA the “skinny” budget, proposes a $54 billion increase in spending for national security, and to pay for it, $54 billion in draconian cuts to non-defense discretionary program that would only increase historic high levels of inequality in America. Learn more in CDF’s fact sheet, “The President’s FY 2017 Budget Blueprint, Part I: ‘Skinny’ in Stature and Details, But Huge in Harms for Low-income Children and Adults.”

Community Mass Rally for Equity in Public Education Funding

SRO Seat at the Table_2017Marchnewsletter

Hundreds of concerned citizens from across Mississippi took over the State Capitol this month for “A Seat at the Table,” a community mass rally in support of equity in public education funding. Students, parents, business and faith leaders, elected officials, educators and others came together to raise their voices to try to level the educational playing field for children left behind. Everyone was there to resist legislative efforts to rewrite Mississippi’s education funding formula that could hurt the poorest school districts. Advocates demonstrated their commitment to public schools and to advocacy for the equitable funding of public education. “A Seat at the Table” is a community response birthed from a series of local and regional meetings hosted by the Children’s Defense Fund-Southern Regional Office (CDF-SRO), and the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative (SRBWI) and Equal Voice for America’s Families — both initiatives of CDF-SRO.

Raise the Age New York


On March 7th, CDF-NY, along with Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, organized more than 250 people to gather in Albany for a state-wide Advocacy Day to urge passage of comprehensive legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility.  Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Democratic Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, impacted youth and others spoke passionately in support of raising the age. Rally participants met with 145 members and staff of the General Assembly and Senate. New York is one of only two states to automatically prosecute youths age 16 and older as adults regardless of the severity of offense.

In 2016, nearly 25,000 16- and 17-year-olds were arrested in New York State — the majority, about 70 percent — for misdemeanors. Their parents are not notified of their arrests; they are held in adult jails; their cases are heard in adult courts; and if convicted they have records for the rest of their lives. Youths in the adult jails and prisons are more likely to be abused, experience harmful solitary confinement, and more likely to commit suicide.  Tragically these youths are also more likely to recidivate than youths served in the juvenile justice system continuing to feed the Cradle to Prison Pipeline® crisis. This is the time for action!   

Child Welfare Leadership Prize


Congratulations to MaryLee Allen, CDF Director of Policy, for being recognized with the Juvenile Law Center’s Child Welfare Leadership Prize! Held at the inspiring National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — child advocates gathered for an evening of inspiration and celebration of progress for children. Lauded for her mentorship of many in the child welfare field, including former CDF intern and now Juvenile Law Center Executive Director, Susan Vivian Mangold, MaryLee Allen was introduced by CDF Alumna Ann Rosewater who met MaryLee while working on CDF’s first report, Children Out of School in America. Her moving introduction included the fact that MaryLee Allen’s vision and fingerprints are on 20 federal child welfare laws passed with bipartisan support in Congress that have strengthened protections for abused and neglected children and children in foster care. We are so proud of Ms. MaryLee Allen. Progress indeed for America’s children!

Early Bird Discount Ends April 15, 2017


You still have time to register for a reduced price for CDF’s 23rd Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, “Hope for Our Children: From Weeping to Working for Justice for Our Children.” Take advantage of Early Bird Registration before it ends on April 15, 2017. Register Now!

When you attend CDF’s 2017 Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, you will discover strategies, skills and effective models to equip you in your faithful work to improve the lives of all children in your community and across the nation. Join us at CDF Haley Farm July 17-21 to be inspired by phenomenal preachers and teachers, including Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK, Brittany Packnett of Teach for American and Black Lives Matter, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn of The Ohio State University, Dr. America Bracho of Latino Health Access, Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and many others. Check out our full lineup of Great Preachers and Speakers.

Learn more about CDF’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.

May 10, 2017 - Building a Community of Hope

2017 GrandRally_Newsletter

CDF is a co-sponsor of the 5th National GrandRally: Building a Community of Hope on May 10th in Washington, D.C. Registration is now open! Join grandparents and other relatives raising children on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol to celebrate the critical role relative caregivers play in providing safe, loving, permanent families for children. For relative caregivers from across the country this is an affirmative opportunity to meet each other and know you are not alone. After the rally, state delegations will meet with their Senators and Representative and to talk about policy help relative caregivers need to effectively support children. We hope you and others from your community will join us! If you can’t attend, you can still help by supporting a delegation of caregivers and by spreading the word! Here’s the GrandRally’s State Contact page for information on groups traveling to D.C. from your state.  If you have questions, please contact Stefanie Sprow, CDF’s Deputy Director, Child Welfare and Mental Health, at ssprow@childrensdefense.org.  

Or register for one or both of the GrandRally webinars to learn more:

Support CDF-MN's Beat the Odds® Program

2017 CDFMN BTO Winners w names

Tonight at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota will host its 25th Anniversary Beat the Odds® Gala, and celebrate five extraordinary youths from the Twin Cities-area who have overcome tremendous adversity in life to achieve academic excellence, demonstrate leadership in their communities and aspire to attend college. CDF will honor a children’s champion, outgoing St. Paul Mayor, Chris Coleman. If you are in the St. Paul area, please join us for an inspiring evening of true stories. KARE11’s Jana Shortal will emcee the evening and CDF President Marian Wright Edelman will be the keynote speaker. Join us in congratulating these extraordinary youths from Minnesota! Please consider making a donation to support the CDF-MN Beat the Odds program.

Marian Wright Edelman’s March Child Watch® Columns
Marian Wright Edelman’s March Child Watch® columns call for action in pursuing justice for all of our brothers and sisters suffering from the fear of deportation, a broken criminal justice system, bad public policies that would hurt children and move our nation’s health care backwards. This month’s columns are guaranteed to stimulate, inform and inspire you to act for social justice now.

A Time for Penance and Action to Help Our Immigrant Brothers and Sisters

Congress: Don’t Hurt Children

Pursuing Justice in America for Lent

The Children’s Defense Fund is dedicated to work with child advocates like you, policymakers 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.

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