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2023 Legislative Agenda

Virginia State Capitol Building

Background

Voices empowers children, youth, and families disproportionately impacted by inequitable outcomes as agents in the creation of policy solutions to ignite change in their communities. Through our direct engagement with youth advocates and hearing from the professionals serving families, Voices embraces a variety of perspectives to create trauma-informed and healing centered spaces for advocates to share their stories and reconcile trauma through systems change.

For far too long, policies in our country and Commonwealth have perpetuated racism interpersonally, institutionally, and systemically, known as structural racism. The impact of historical racism and trauma show up in disparities in access and outcomes, including income and wealth, educational opportunities and health. Our young people today still face the impact of historical racism within the systems they encounter and the communities they live. To ensure all children in Virginia have the opportunity to thrive despite race, geography or income, we must focus on the root causes that have produced inequitable distribution of resources, eliminate barriers to fair and equal participation and dismantle social and institutional biases.

Follow legislative progress via our 2023 Bill Tracker.


Health Care Access

All children in Virginia must have accessible health care regardless of income, race, ethnicity or geography.

Our 2023 Health Care Access Priorities


Maternal and Infant Health

The opportunity to thrive begins at birth through improved pregnancy outcomes and infant and maternal health care.

Our 2023 Maternal and Infant Health Priorities


Early Childhood Care and Education 

Promoting accessible and affordable early education and child care helps families work and helps children learn.

Our 2023 Early Childhood Care and Education Priorities


Child Welfare

The child welfare system was created to address family disruptions and to protect children and youth; the future of the system focuses on preventing disruptions and giving youth the tools to succeed.

Our 2023 Child Welfare Priorities


Family Economic Security

Experiencing economic hardship impacts every aspect of a child’s life; a child cannot be healthy or ready to learn unless their family budget can provide for their day-to-day needs.

Our 2023 Family Economic Security Priorities


Mental Health

We will not accept a mental health system that treats children and youth as “phase two” — our system should prioritize children and youth to foster a lifetime of mental health and wellness.

Our 2023 Mental Health Priorities


Food Access and Nutrition Security

Young people can learn and thrive when they are fed and have access to healthy and nutritious foods.

Our 2023 Food Access and Nutrition Security Priorities


Support Student Belonging and Connection

Positive school climates are necessary for students to feel safe, accepted, and connected to their school environments.

Our 2023 Student Belonging and Connection Priorities