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Have a Heart for Kids Day 2020

Making sure “every single family, every single child” has a strong path forward

charlotte.linton 11/04/22

“We can really change the course of history in Washington state.” These powerful words from Representative Noel Frame epitomize the message we heard at Path Forward 2022. Along with Representatives April Berg, Tana Senn, and Jamila Taylor, Rep. Frame joined Dr. Stephan Blanford at the Children’s Alliance office to talk about advancing racial equity for kids. The lively discussion touched on many of Children’s Alliance’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session, as well as the value of collaborating with community members to create policies that work for those who are most impacted. 

As one of the leaders behind the Fair Start for Kids Act, Rep. Senn focused on the need to maintain funding for the programs put in place by this legislation, and the fact that we must pay early childhood educators a fair wage. Currently, child care professionals are in the bottom 3 percent of earners in our state, yet their work impacts our children for a lifetime. As Rep. Senn stated, “It is a racial equity issue, to make sure that ALL families, ALL kids have that fair start in life.” Children’s Alliance will continue to advocate for policies that improve compensation for our child care providers, who are disproportionately women of color, so that they have what they need to help our kids thrive.  

When discussing progressive taxation, Representative Berg highlighted the importance of making the connection between the policies and programs we want to see, and how we pay for them. “You made it very clear, and you put it in big flashing lights that there is an intersection and that’s really meaningful,” she said. “Because when we do work as advocates for children, as advocates for policies that are pro children, sometimes folks don’t think about the taxes.” Rep. Frame pointed to the wealth tax, which she will reintroduce in the 2023 legislative session, as one of the ways we can get our state’s wealthiest residents to pay what they owe towards the programs our communities need. We’re looking forward to supporting this legislation and will keep shining a light on the relationship between the tax code and our kids’ futures. 

During the closing moments of our discussion, Rep Taylor had this to say about the approaching legislative session: “I feel excited and hopeful... We’re highlighting the solutions that community members have at the ready to make sure we’re going in a direction that supports every single family, every single child.” It’s heartening to hear that our legislators are listening to our communities and using what they hear to help inform policy. It’s also a reminder that YOUR voice counts! We have a huge opportunity to make progress for the kids we care about in 2023. If you’d like more information about how you can advocate for what matters to you, please join our mailing list or contact us at action@childrensalliance.org. When we work together, we can create the change we want to see.