Petition for a National Commission on Children
1) The Situation:
- Every child deserves a happy and safe childhood and an opportunity for a bright future. But for too many—including the 20 young lives lost in Newtown, CT and the 16 million who live in poverty—that isn’t a reality.
- The challenges for this generation of America’s children are unlike any we’ve seen before. We cannot stand by and let fear, violence and poverty become pervasive parts of childhood in America.
- While Save the Children endorses the President’s proposal to curb gun violence, as well as measures to expand mental health services, these are just the first steps toward addressing a very complex issue: the safety and well-being of all children in a country where nearly 1 in 4 lives in poverty.
2) The Solution:
- Proactive policy initiatives that protect our nation’s children are critical not only to a child’s development, but to the health and stability of our country.
- In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., Save the Children, together with Children’s Health Fund, Every Child Matters, First Focus, Harlem Children’s Zone and Share Our Strength, has launched a petition urging the Obama Administration and Congress to establish a National Commission on Children. The partner organizations will send their signed call for action to the White House prior to the President’s State of the Union address on Feb. 12.
- The new Commission should be tasked with creating a national policy on children and setting goals for reducing childhood poverty, obesity, illiteracy, and violence.
- The support for the petition continues to grow, with more and more prominent organizations joining the cause every day, including the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Catholic Charities USA , Child Care Aware® of America, Girls Inc., KaBOOM!, National Association of School Nurses and the YMCA of the USA.
- The first National Commission on Children was formed by President Reagan and Congress in 1987 and ultimately led to the enactment of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, among other important initiatives. Twenty-five years later, it’s time for another Commission to develop bold, new ideas to tackle today’s challenges.
- Child protection has been a top priority for Save the Children throughout its nearly 100-year history. The organization’s programs in the United States and across the globe focus on the needs of the most vulnerable children, while aiming to keep all children free from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.
- Immediately following the Dec. 14 tragedy in Newtown, Conn., Save the Children—headquartered in nearby Westport, Conn.—deployed staff to provide emotional support to the children and parents in the affected community.
3) Call to action:
- Now, the entire country must come together to find bold, new ideas to ensure all of America’s children are safe and protected. We can do more, and we must do more. We’re asking everyone to join our urgent call for a National Commission by signing this petition today.
- To sign the petition, visit www.savethechildren.org/protect or Text KIDS to 69866.