III. Advocating for Legislation and Public Policies that Improve Children’s Lives and the Lives of Poor
Goal: To engage in programs and activities aimed at improving life for children and for poor people in the neighborhood around the church as well as in nearby communities.
Engage in child advocacy work.
- Join a child advocacy network.
- Publish child advocacy information and legislative alerts in your church newsletter.
- Sponsor a forum on state and federal legislation, and have a monthly “offering of letters” to congresspersons, governors, the president, etc.
- Set up an advocacy center or bulletin board in the church that provides information about pending bills affecting children.
- Send out postcards to legislators.
Encourage voter participation in elections.
- Hold a community-wide voter registration drive.
- Arrange transportation to voting polls for all local, state and national elections.
Challenge all candidates for public office to “put children and their families first” by asking them to respond to the following questions and holding them accountable for answers:
- Are children‟s needs and well being considered first in evaluating health and welfare reforms of any new programs or policies? How will state and federal budget proposals effect children?
- Will this program or policy make fewer children poor and increase the likelihood of children growing up healthy, educated, and prepared to work?
- Will this program or policy support families in providing care, nurture, safety, and stability to children?
- Will this program or policy refrain from punishing children for the actions or inactions of their parents or guardians?
- Will this program or policy actually save money in the long run, rather than gain a shortsighted savings that leaves the next generation to pay the price?