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
National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter
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