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Posted:  -  By: Voices for VA's Kids

This is an exciting time for Voices! Now, more than ever, Voices for Virginia’s Children is speaking up for kids across the state in variety of ways. One way we expanded our reach efforts this year was by increasing our electoral advocacy.

Virginia has just elected a governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, as well as all the delegates in the House. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, Voices does not endorse candidates and works with elected officials on both sides of the aisle. We believe that one of the most important ways to advocate for children is to educate all candidates and voters about critical issues facing Virginia’s children and families.

For the first time, Voices held a gubernatorial candidate forum focused solely on children’s issues. On September 8, Ed Gillespie and Ralph Northam answered questions about a variety of topics affecting children and families. We selected student moderators who were connected to specific issues to ask the candidates about these issues: mental health, foster care, child poverty, and the achievement gap in schools. This forum was a great way to educate candidates and voters about critical children’s issues not usually discussed during campaigns.

Voices also empowered partner organizations and voters by developing a comprehensive election guide. Based on our extensive KIDS COUNT data, the guide provided users with key information and questions to ask candidates about specific issues. Voices staff traveled the state throughout the summer and fall educating hundreds of child advocates on the use of the guide.

Now that the election is over, our focus turns to the new governor’s administration and the 2018 General Assembly session. You have helped us get to this point; now we must continue our work to prioritize children’s needs for Virginia’s new and returning policymakers.

Voices needs your support to keep up our work in the areas of children’s mental health, early childhood education, foster care, and family economic success:

  • Will families in all communities in Virginia be able to get help quickly for their children with mental health needs? Or will it continue to depend on where they live?
  • Should grandparents and other relatives raising children in kinship-care arrangements receive assistance as they take on additional responsibilities? Or should those children be swept into the foster-care system?
  • What kind of help do pregnant women and new mothers with substance-use disorders and their babies need?

These are a few of the important public policy dilemmas we know we will be working on in the upcoming session.

It is only through the generous gifts of donors like you that we can champion public policies that dramatically improve the lives of Virginia’s children.

Today, we ask you to make a financial commitment to Virginia’s kids by sending a gift to Voices for Virginia’s Children. Make a donation today to speak up for kids!

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