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What next?

Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 12:11 PM Karen Jean Matsko Hood

Results of the 2010 election are in. Congratulations and recognition are due to everyone who took time to speak up, get involved, and get out the vote for kids. The voices we raise to protect kids always make a difference.

Here’s a look at what’s ahead in our work together to protect kids during these tough economic times.

Over 20 newly elected state lawmakers will join the ranks in Olympia in January. Every one of these new lawmakers presents an opportunity. Each one could be a champion for a policy or budget item that kids need. They need to hear from you.

If you live in a district with a newly elected lawmaker representing you, now is a great time to introduce yourself and let him or her know you are counting on their leadership to protect kids from cuts during these tough times. If you’re not sure if you have a new legislator you can check election results at the Secretary of State. Feel free to also contact Children’s Alliance Community Organizer Emijah Smith with questions.

As a result of the passage of Initiative 1053, a two-thirds vote will now be required to raise new revenue, or to close tax loopholes. Initiative 1107 also passed, rolling back a successful campaign last year to protect essential services by taxing non-essentials like soda and candy. The revenue helped protect critical programs like health care for kids from deep cuts. With the passage of these two initiatives, protecting kids just got harder.

The good news is that Initiatives 1100 and 1105 to privatize liquor stores both failed, protecting funds in the budget and low-income neighborhoods. Unfortunately I-1098, which would have raised revenue by enacting an income tax on high-earners, also failed to pass.

Regardless of how elections go, kids will continue to grow up. The laws and policies our leaders make will continue to chart the paths of kids’ lives. Children and families are already shouldering the burden of reductions in critical services. With the weight of the struggling economy bearing down, and falling heavier on children in low-income families and families of color, now is the time to stand strong for every child.

The policies you have helped win are paving a path to success and greater equity for kids in every corner of our state. Every child who eats a healthy school meal, who goes to the doctor for a check-up because of Apple Health for Kids, and who thrives with high quality early learning thanks to Working Connections Child Care is counting on advocates like me and you to fight to protect them.

We’ll fight hard to protect these successes and others. It will take you and thousands more to make it possible.

You can rely on Children’s Alliance to get you information and opportunities so that you can be the best advocate for kids you can. Your next opportunity is coming right up.

You are invited to join Children’s Alliance members and special guests Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown and other state legislators at a Children’s Alliance event in Spokane on Monday, November 29th. This is an opportunity to learn more about what’s on the agenda for kids in the next legislative session, what you can do to protect kids, and ask questions of your lawmakers. Visit Children’s Alliance website to RSVP and learn more.

I hope you can join us on the 29th. Thank you for speaking up for kids.
Sincerely,
Jon
Jon Gould, Deputy Director
800.854.KIDS x19
P.S. We’d love your feedback on how we did sharing information with you about the elections. Please take 1 minute to complete this four question evaluation.

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