Next Governor must represent kids, too

All children are special; they are not a special interest. When every child gets a fair chance at success, Iowa’s families, communities and the economy benefit. Our children have a big stake in every election; they too are a large constituency affected by the decisions of our elected officials. And our elected leaders often hold the key to ensure all kids have the opportunities they need to thrive.

Iowa’s primary election day is quickly approaching, and with all eyes on the Governor’s race, there are still many issues to be addressed before voters can make truly informed decisions on the best person for Iowa’s top job. There has been little conversation around how those running will support and invest in the needs of our citizens under the age of 18 – which must be a priority, even though they themselves cannot vote. Our lack of a statewide children’s mental health system, the many barriers to accessible, affordable, and high-quality child care in both our rural and urban areas, ensuring kids safe in their homes and communities – these are just a few daily challenges our children face that the next Governor must undertake. Safe, healthy, and thriving children must always be a top priority.

As the chairs of Iowa’s Children’s Policy Coalition – a group of almost 30 Iowa organizations committed to raising children’s issues in state and federal elections – we are working to engage with candidates and be a voice for Iowa’s children. Our members are service providers, professional associations, faith organizations, community builders, and advocates. We are dedicated to making children a top priority in our state by educating voters, lawmakers, and candidates for state office about the urgent issues facing our kids and families.

Our current task: asking our gubernatorial candidates how they plan to support and invest in Iowa’s children, and sharing their responses with voters. That way, we can all be confident in choosing a candidate that best represents Iowa’s children when we go to the polls on June 5th.

Jill Applegate, Program Manager for Every Child Matters in Iowa &

Sheila Hansen, Policy Director for the Child and Family Policy Center

on behalf of the Children’s Policy Coalition:

Achieving Maximum Potential

Blank Children’s Hospital

Child & Family Policy Center

Child Care Resource & Referral of Central Iowa

Coalition for Family and Children’s Services

Drake Legal Clinic & Joan & Lyle Middleton Center for Children’s Rights

Early Childhood Iowa of Central Iowa

Every Child Counts

Every Child Matters in Iowa

Interfaith Alliance of Iowa

Iowa Afterschool Alliance

Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children

Iowa Catholic Conference

Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Iowa Citizen Action Network

Iowa Community Action Association

Iowa Head Start Association

Iowa Public Health Association

Iowa State Education Association

NAMI Iowa

National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter

Orchard Place

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa

Save the Children Action Network

Teens Against Human Trafficking

United Way of Central Iowa

United Ways of Iowa

Urban Education Network

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