URGENT NEWS: Peril and Progress for Children | April 2017

New Assault on Children's Health Coverage


We urgently need your help now to defeat the new, worse version of the disastrous Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Republican leaders and the White House failed to get a vote this week, but the terrible bill is not dead yet. We need to keep the pressure on! The Republican bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would leave 24 million more people uninsured, and destroy Medicaid for 37 million children while giving a huge tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.

House Republican leaders and the White House made it even worse this week with a harmful new amendment that would effectively deny health coverage to millions of children and adults with pre-existing conditions. The bill could be voted on next week.

Thanks to your calls, tweets, and resistance at Congressional town hall meetings and district offices, the terrible AHCA never made it to the floor for a vote in March or this week, and we urgently need your help to defeat it again now. Your Representative needs to hear from you TODAY. Urge him or her to vote NO on all efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to dismantle Medicaid.

The important message to Congress remains the same: “Do No Harm” to children’s health coverage. Please call (877) 233-9025 NOW.  Here's what you can say.

New York Raises the Age

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (bottom), Counsel Alphonso David (right), and Raise the Age Advocates.

This month on April 10th New York took a monumental step forward in pursuing justice for children and youths. Legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility to age 18 means thousands of 16- and 17-year-olds will no longer be automatically prosecuted as adults. The vast majority of youths arrested each year (nearly 25,000), mostly for misdemeanors, will now have many more protections and social services that are built into the juvenile justice system with its goal of rehabilitation. Years of advocacy by the Children’s Defense Fund-NY, Raise the Age-New York Campaign partners, faith-based and other child advocates helped push this critical initiative into law. We applaud the Governor and State legislators for finally taking this important step. CDF-NY will vigilantly monitor the implementation and roll out of this reform. CDF-NY Director of Youth Justice, Elizabeth Powers, was present at the bill signing and featured in the New York Times article about this historic legislation.

CDF President in the News


“Be confident that you’re doing the most important work that you, as a caring American, could be doing,” said Marian Wright Edelman during an awards ceremony at Georgetown University. “Just keep your eye on that child, stand up and fight and don’t go backward. Don’t get discouraged.”

As the inaugural recipient of the Janet Reno Women’s Leadership Award, presented by McCourt’s Center on Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University, Ms. Edelman was recognized this month for her unwavering commitment and ability to effect change to benefit youths at-risk of entering the juvenile justice or child welfare systems. During the ceremony, President John J. Degioa called Ms. Edelman “a transformative leader and tireless advocate whose dedication to our community, city and nation is strengthened by her commitment to the common good. She has sought to ensure children across our country live with dignity.” 

Protecting Affordable Housing


Ending the affordable housing crisis and child homelessness was the subject of the “Building an Expansive Housing Movement” panel at the National Low Income Housing Coalition 2017 Housing Policy Forum held in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. CDF National Executive Director Richard Hooks Wayman and other panelists spoke about the connections between health, education, homelessness, and children’s development needs at the intersection of our nation’s affordable housing crisis. The panelists agreed cross-collaboration was a necessary strategy to expand public and political will to increase the nation’s supply of affordable housing. Hooks Wayman emphasized the need to build broad partnerships with advocates working to end poverty and create more equal opportunities for all children in America. He encouraged everyone to work urgently towards building an effective inclusive movement to prioritize affordable housing and services to end child and youth homelessness. Children have only one childhood, and it is today.

No Place for Children
Children do not belong in immigrant detention centers. In Texas, the Children’s Defense Fund has aggressively advocated for years against the abuses children suffer from this practice and successfully against past efforts to license detention centers as child care providers. When 98 percent of these refugees represented by legal counsel show up for hearings, there is no need for prison. Children’s Defense Fund-Texas Deputy Director Dr. Laura Guerra-Cardus spoke with Public News Service after testifying before the Texas State Legislature against renewed efforts to license federal immigrant detention centers in Texas as child care providers. The facilities primarily house refugee mothers with young children seeking asylum as they wait for court hearings. "There's very well-documented research," said Guerra-Cardus, "that shows that detaining children, especially already traumatized children, is incredibly harmful for their physical and psychological development…You can’t fix the harm from these detention centers.” Learn more about this important work.

Building Hope

2017 GrandRally_Newsletter

Did you know Grandparents raising grandchildren save taxpayers more than $4 billion each year by keeping these children in the family and out of foster care? Please join the Children’s Defense Fund on May 10th at the 5th National GrandRally: Building a Community of Hope to elevate the critical role grandparents and other relatives play in providing safe, loving, permanent families for children whose parents cannot. The GrandRally will educate members of Congress and the public about the unique needs of “Grandfamilies,” and create momentum to maintain and expand critically needed federal supports. Come rally with us May 10th from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and celebrate our “Grandfamilies!” If you are part of a “Grandfamily” and coming to rally, you’re invited to a complimentary dinner celebration the night before. Register today and visit the GrandRally’s State Contact Page to find groups travelling to D.C. from your state. If you can’t make it, please reach out and sponsor relative caregivers from your community. Contact CDF Deputy Director of Child Welfare and Mental Health, Stefanie Sprow if you have questions.

Support Texas Youths May 18


You’re invited to the 18th Annual CDF-Texas Beat the Odds® Awards Luncheon in Houston on May 18th. CDF President Marian Wright Edelman, CDF-Texas Executive Director Patrick Bresette and honorary co-chairs Licia A. Green and The Honorable Rodney Ellis hope you will join them in celebrating five outstanding young people from the greater-Houston area who, despite tremendous adversity, are excelling academically and leading in their communities. Each receives a scholarship to attend college, and an invitation to join CDF’s youth leadership development programs. Dr. Susan Tortolero Emery and Dr. Peggy B. Smith will also be honored as 2017 Champions of Children for their trailblazing leadership and actions to change the odds for youths. Reserve your tickets now for an inspiring and uplifting luncheon with stories of child courage and caring the adults in our community who make a difference. If you cannot attend, please support CDF’s vital work in Texas by making a donation to the CDF-Texas Beat the Odds program.

Join Our Beloved Community this July


Last chance for Early Bird registration for CDF’s 23rd Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, “Hope for Our Future: From Weeping to Working for Justice for Our Children.” Make sure to register today to take advantage of our special discounted rate. Don’t miss our Beloved Community of child advocates this July 17–21 and discover great teaching and preaching, new strategies, skills and models to equip you and your community in your faithful work to improve the lives of all children across the nation. Hear from Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK, Brittany Packnett of Teach for America and Black Lives Matter, and many others from our phenomenal line up of great preachers and teachers. Select from 24 interactive workshops to deepen your understanding of how congregations can help transform communities to better nurture and protect all children. We hope to see you and your congregation at the 2017 CDF Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, July 17-21, at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, TN. Register today!

Marian Wright Edelman’s April Child Watch® Columns
In her April columns, Marian Wright Edelman remembers key battles fought fifty years ago to overcome racial injustice and urges resistance to efforts today to turn back progress. The time to break silence is now.

The 5th National GrandRally: Building a Community of Hope

The Continuing Scourge of Poverty, Hunger and Hopelessness in Rich America

A Time to Break Silence

The Children’s Defense Fund is dedicated to working 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.

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