Beyond Thoughts and Prayers
Welcome Tracy Nájera
We are pleased to announce that Tracy Nájera, Ph.D, MPA,
joined CDF-Ohio on March 5th as Executive Director.
Tracy began her career with CDF-Ohio as a
Research Fellow. She went on to work in the Ohio Office of Budget and
Management, during which she served as Section Chief for Education, managing
policy and budget priorities spanning early childhood education through
workforce development. Tracy joined the team at Battelle for Kids serving as Senior
Director of the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative where she managed a $54 million
5-year federal grant to improve education outcomes in rural school districts.
However, Tracy found a way to once again work with CDF-Ohio while at BFK by supporting
the development and release of the 2016 report Ohio’s Appalachian Children at a Crossroads: A Roadmap for Action. Most recently, Tracy was a Senior Consultant
for Education First Consulting, a national firm working with schools, states
and foundations with a focus on improving college and career readiness for all
students, particularly low income students and students of color. Tracy brings
a long-standing commitment to improving the lives of children and their
families to her new role.
Please join us in welcoming her to CDF-Ohio.
Protect Children, Not
Last month, unspeakable violence stole the lives of 17
people—precious children and school staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
School. Gun violence is robbing children throughout our state of
safety, innocence, emotional and physical wellbeing, and, ultimately, life. This
latest tragedy represents one of 14 school shootings already reported in 2018. So many
children’s lives lost, families in pain, and communities traumatized - it’s
time to move beyond “thoughts and prayers.”
Our children demand protection from gun violence and their
voices and activism are fueling growing momentum across state governments and
at the federal level. Congress is currently debating at least seven different
measures. Florida’s Governor
Scott recently signed legislation raising the minimum age to purchase a
firearm from 18 to 21 and imposing a three-day waiting period on gun purchases
while providing new funding for mental health counselors and law enforcement. Though
the legislation includes promising steps in the right direction, a troubling
provision for certain school personnel to carry guns in schools remains in the
signed legislation. Our schools need fewer guns – not more.
The question at hand
- What will Ohio do protect our children
and communities from violence? Last
November and in response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Governor
Kasich convened an eight-member bipartisan gun policy group to propose a
package of common-sense measures to reform Ohio’s gun laws. Two weeks ago, the Governor
proposed six measures that will be introduced as a policy package for the
general assembly’s consideration and includes the following recommendations:
courts and new legal protections to keep firearms from potentially
domestic violence offenders and individuals with a protection order filed
against them from obtaining firearms.
timely and accurate information updates to close gaps in the
background check system.
straw firearm purchases for third parties—matching federal law.
the sale of armor-piercing ammunition.
the sale of bump stocks and other accessories.
These proposals give us hope that we can make meaningful
progress to protect our children, and they represent steps in the right
direction. Further, we are encouraged by Governor
Kasich’s recent comments and support for common-sense gun policy reforms.
The lives and loss of those 17 people and the nation’s collective loss in the
sense of safety in our schools has made a lasting imprint on our families &
communities. It’s time to make a lasting imprint on our public policy.
The 2017 County Fact
Sheets are Here!
Are you a researcher looking for data on child well-being in
our counties? A county administrator seeking information on child Medicaid
enrollment? A local chamber of commerce looking for a snapshot of education
outcomes in your area? Check out our new Ohio
KIDS COUNT 2017 Fact Sheets full of county-specific data on demographics,
economics, education, health, and safety. Interested in more in-depth data
insights? Check out the KIDS COUNT
Data Center, a premier source of data on children and families with tables,
trend graphs, side-by-side state or county comparisons, and much more.
Fund-Ohio’s 2018 Advocacy Day
Join Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, this May, for our
upcoming Advocacy Day. Our Advocacy Day is a critical opportunity to place the
needs of Ohio’s children and families before key decision-makers in the Ohio
legislature. A host of policy and legislative decisions are made each
day—decisions that affect the safety of our neighborhoods, the quality of our
schools, the availability of high-quality healthcare, and equality of
opportunity for all Ohio children.
Our children need a voice. Yours. Children can’t vote or
lobby for themselves. That is why it is important for advocates, youth, providers,
and families to join us at the Statehouse, meet with their legislators and
their staff, share their experiences, and encourage our state’s leaders to
invest in Ohio’s future—our children.
Watch for upcoming details about this event.
SAVE THE DATE
Friday, September 14, 2018
Beat the Odds®
Please join us in September as we showcase the
accomplishments, adventures and challenges of our Beat the Odds alumni. We’re so proud of this ‘group of 25’,
originally recognized for their ability to Beat
the Odds of their early circumstances, who now are forging amazing paths as
they maneuver through college, graduate school and early careers. Hear the continuation of their stories, learn
of the hardships they’ve encountered and overcome, and commit with us that no
one should EVER give up on a child.
They’re beating the odds.
Help us improve the odds.
Aisha Allen joins CDF-Ohio Advisory Board
We welcome Aisha Allen to the
Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio Advisory Board. A human resource executive, Aisha
has worked with numerous central Ohio Fortune 500 companies, including Nationwide
and Cardinal Health, specializing in training, sales coaching and
organizational effectiveness. Aisha sees her work with CDF-Ohio as a way to be
more impactful in the community and sees as an opportunity the local and national platform that
the Children’s Defense Fund impacts. Aisha currently serves as Director, Change
Management Programs for OhioHealth and is a member of the Board of Directors of
the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio.
Put Your Faith Into Action
home! Every July hundreds of child advocates from across the
country hear these words as they gather at the annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor
Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry (The Proctor Institute).
The Proctor Institute is hosted at the CDF Haley Farm in Clinton
Tennessee from July 16-20, 2018. Register now for CDF’s Proctor Institute,
“Realizing Dr. King’s Vision for Every Child: Ending Child Poverty.”
us for an unforgettable week of preaching, teaching, workshops, singing,
strategizing and building the movement for children. We will build skills and
share success stories in dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline®,
ending child poverty, and improving the lives of children in our communities.
We will renew our spirits, refocus our vision, and strengthen the movement
for all children in America!