Advocates, are you feeling tired as we enter the second half of this year’s General Assembly? Do you wonder if your voice really makes a difference? Are you lacking inspiration to continue calling your representative for another 20+ days?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, this is the blog for you!
We are just over a month past Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol, and while we knew that day had some great moments and made an impression on state leaders, we continue to see the positive impact of that day’s advocacy. (And if you want to see some positive images of that day’s advocacy, check out the Children’s Advocacy Day photos here.) If your heart, mind, or phone-dialing fingers are feeling a little sluggish, consider these post-Children’s Advocacy Day facts to keep you going:
Fact: Because of your advocacy, NINE bills related to Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children policy priorities—from child health to juvenile justice—are moving forward in the Kentucky General Assembly. For more information about these bills, and to follow their progress, check out the bill tracker. If you want to take action on these bills, check out the action alerts.
Fact: Youth stand up for their own futures and the futures of their peers. The strongest voices on Children’s Advocacy Day were young leaders themselves (remember the stirring opening remarks from Ana, a former foster youth?), and youth have continued to lead the way on bills that are good for kids. Two youth testified about HB 22, which would eliminate corporal punishment in schools, at the House Education Committee. Tobacco-Free Policy Youth Ambassadors have been writing about the need to address the e-cigarette epidemic and meeting with legislators to ask for their support. If you are a young person reading this, THANK YOU for speaking up for other Kentucky kids. If you are an adult who cares about kids in Kentucky, please join me in rallying behind these young leaders.
Fact: You are in good company. A post-Children’s Advocacy Day analysis of attendees shows that advocates from at least 59 counties and every corner of Kentucky trekked to Frankfort on January 23rd. Admittedly, this is a small dataset in terms of overall advocacy in Kentucky, but please take the data to heart. There are so many other advocates like you who are also looking out for what’s best for kids. Together we can make the commonwealth a better place for our youngest Kentuckians.
If news coverage or political rhetoric has you down, remember that kids’ issues continue to be the common ground in Frankfort. Because of your advocacy, Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children bills have a history of making their way across the finish line. Thank you for your continued efforts far beyond Children’s Advocacy Day, and remember: We must stay strong because one million kids are counting on us.