Kids don’t vote. Kids don’t write campaign checks. Kids certainly don’t have super PACs.
That is why I hope you will take just a couple minutes and watch this video. Democracy Prep’s amazing fourth grade citizen-scholars want you to VOTE this November 6th! And so does EVERY kid in Kentucky! Kids have a lot riding on this Tuesday – in the Presidential race; in Kentucky’s Congressional contests; in school board votes; in the judicial match-ups; and in key county-level leadership face-offs.
As crucial as those federal and local races may be, nowhere is there more at stake for kids than in the Commonwealth’s legislative races. Frankfort is the place where the bulk of the key policy decisions that directly affect kids are made. The good news is that our leaders in Frankfort have a rare spectrum of opportunities in the 2013 session to make a difference for kids. The question then becomes, “Will voters elect leaders who will seize those opportunities?”
When that candidate knocks at your door – when you see that candidate handing out the election literature at this Friday night’s football game or at Wal-Mart on Saturday morning – or (better yet!) when you reach out and make that call or send that email to the candidates battling to be your legislative voice, make them ask answer your questions on behalf of children and youth. And don’t let them get away with a simple declaration that, “I love kids.” Instead, ask what they are specifically going to deliver for our young people.
I just happen to live in a hotly contested House race. When I vote on Tuesday, I am going to know the answers from both the incumbent and his challenger on this list of questions:
- More than one in four kids in Kentucky live in poverty. What is one policy or budget item you will champion to battle poverty?
- Kentucky’s juvenile justice practices currently are the most expensive and least effective in the country. There is good bipartisan support from both the Senate and the House to make fundamental reforms in this area. What are the key elements of the juvenile justice system you want to see for Kentucky?
- There is a lot of spin about education reform in Kentucky. There is precious little substance. What is your one big idea to improve Kentucky’s schoolhouses?
- By all accounts managed care across the Commonwealth is simply not working for kids and families. What should we do about it, especially as sixteen new counties are added to the plan?
- You cannot have read a single newspaper in the state over the last year without being shocked at stories about children dying from abuse. This responsibility to protect our children clearly falls in the lap of every legislator. What are you going to do to better protect children from abuse?
Now maybe neither you nor I are going to get every one of those questions answered. But I bet that you can get at least one inquiry answered. You know my hot button issues for kids. What are yours? Choose one of those and make that call or send that email. That simple act will remind those candidates that kids will count in the vote count on November 6!