New Year’s Predictions for Kentucky Kids and Families

crystal ballLast week I wrote about New Year’s resolutions.  This week it’s about New Year’s predictions.

TIME Magazine’s January 13 issue is totally focused on the year ahead.  It predicts all kinds of issues for 2014 in all kinds of areas – power, commerce, innovation, culture and sports.  If TIME is right, then:

  • Janet Yellen may become the most powerful person in the world when she takes over the Fed;
  • The PC will be as extinct as a dinosaur;
  • El Nino will play havoc with our weather;
  • A new genre of daily pills will revolutionize the treatment of diabetes;
  • There will be no American troops left in Afghanistan;
  • The vegetable kohlrabi will replace kale as magic food;
  • And, (Please note:  This is not a Terry Brooks prediction – it is TIME’s … though I endorse it!) University of Louisville’s departing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater “will shake up professional football.”  Go Teddy!

Well, I have a much more targeted prediction to make and it does not involve new gourmet vegetables or football.  It involves kids and families.

If you – if I – if all of us as kid champions sit back and simply hope that the Governor and General Assembly restore the child care and kinship care supports that were slashed last April, then Kentucky families and kids will most likely lose.  If we sit back and simply hope to bring light on investigations around children who have tragically died from abuse, the shroud of secrecy may keep us from improving the system.  If we don’t undergird additional resources for schools with additional expectations for accountability and innovation, then we may not improve education.  If we don’t push the notion that secondhand smoke is a health issue for children, then we will continue to have pregnant women in the workplace and kids in restaurants suffer from the effects of harmful cigarette smoke.  If we don’t speak out in support of a state Earned Income Credit, then working families trying to make ends meet will continue to struggle.  If we don’t reinforce the bipartisan momentum around youth justice, then it can be wrecked on the shoals of the November elections.  Need I go on?

However, my crystal ball also shimmers with a different prediction.  If you – if I – if all of us as kid champions embrace the opportunities before us, then we will see a budget in which kids and families count.  We will see protections in place around abuse and reforms dramatically improving youth justice.  We will create a healthier environment in which Kentuckians can conduct business and savor entertainment.  And we will see public schools that ensure additional resources produce quality results.  And we will see hard working families reap the benefit of a state Earned Income Credit.

Which 2014 will it be?  Maybe the answer to that question lies in the answer to this question – When is the last time you called the Governor, Speaker Stumbo, President Stivers, your state Senator and your state Representative?  It is not about predicting the future for our kids.  It is about inventing it.

All the best to each of you in 2014 – and let’s make it all the best for Kentucky’s kids.

Who is your legislator?

Click here to find your state legislators on the Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission website or call toll free 1-800-372-7181. You can also find your elected officials including your Congressional delegates and learn about upcoming elections by using the following resources:

How should you contact your state legislators?

To leave messages for legislators call: 1-800-372-7181
TTY is available at 1-800-896-0305
Switchboard (ask for legislator): 1-502-564-8100
To fax any legislator: 1-502-564-6543

Online tool: E-mail Members of the Kentucky General Assembly

To send a letter or note to your legislator, use the following address:

Senator/Representative
Legislative Offices
701 Capitol Ave.
Frankfort, KY 40601

How do you contact the Governor?

Phone: 1-502-564-2611
Address: Governor Steve Beshear
Kentucky State Capitol
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Website: http://governor.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx – Click Contact and you can send the Governor a message.

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