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As the 2012 presidential election nears, it is critical that child advocates hold the candidates accountable for putting forth their policy positions regarding children. With 22% of U.S. kids living in poverty and millions still uninsured, one of the key areas of focus on the presidential campaign trail should certainly be children.
Earlier this month at the Republican National Convention, Governor Mitt Romney stated that “his children deserve better” than the country’s current trajectory. He went on to say that if elected he would create an America “where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads to a good job and a bright horizon” and that “if every child could go to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family and God's love, this world would be a far more gentle place.”
Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention President Obama stated that over the next few years major decisions will be made “that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children's lives for decades to come.” He said he believes “that a little girl who's offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the founder of the next Google, or the scientist who cures cancer, or the President of the United States” and that he will “refuse to ask students to pay more for college or kick children out of Head Start programs”.
The candidate’s broad statements provide insight into their vision for children but now we need to know more details. It is critical that we hear from them—through speeches, policy proposal documents, debates, website content, and media interviews— on how they specifically plan to address some of the most pressing and urgent challenges facing our nation’s kids. It’s up to advocates to speak up and let the candidates know that we want to hear their plans for kids. This is why Children’s Health Fund’s president and co-founder Dr. Irwin Redlener recently led an effort to reach out to President Obama and Governor Romney asking them to outline how they plan to address the urgent short- and long-term needs of America’s children, particularly the underserved.
Children's Health Fund will continue to press the candidates to focus on this important issue but we need your help. Join us in our efforts to make kids a priority in this election cycle. Write the presidential candidates now and ask them how they plan to invest in America’s most precious resource, our children.