9.21 blogI heard a great quote that has stuck with me for a couple years: “All a leader has to stand on is her results.”

This, to me, was so powerful and resonates with me when I think about my role as a child advocate. As you well know – children are waiting for us adults to get things right for them. They may not know it, but they are waiting for dentists and doctors to see them; they are waiting for their schools to offer healthy options at school; they are waiting to eat at a restaurant without smoke; they are waiting for their parents to value how important brushing their teeth is to overall health. Kentucky kids rely on us adults – namely their parents and kin to get results for them. Parents need the support of public policy to assist them in making a great life in Kentucky.

As advocates approach a new legislative cycle in Kentucky, we have a lot to do to reach our desired results. You will see, in the upcoming weeks, the 2015 Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children. We know that some issues are contentious among policy makers, some are easy wins, and some need to be talked about a lot. This year’s agenda will feature strong public policy proposals to address early childhood, health, education, and child welfare issues.

We (the royal we that is) as child advocates in Kentucky need to keep our eye on the prize – What results will YOU be able to stand on this time next year? What results are YOU going to champion? What are YOU going to do different this time around to get the results for kids? In the time it takes for us adults to figure out the solutions to extremely difficult questions – the kids are still waiting and growing up quick!

As you think about your role in promoting safe and healthy families, ensuring a fair deal for working parents, and ensuring a fair opportunity for every child this upcoming legislative session, think about “uping” your game.

  • What network have you not tapped?
  • What relationships have not been utilized for results?
  • What data have you not shared?
  • What “on the ground” story have you yet to tell your elected leader?
  • How many action alerts will you let pass by unanswered this year?

In this fast paced world there are a lot of competing interests and many options for how we spend our valuable time. Maybe this year, we consider what we can do differently so when preschoolers enter kindergarten they are ready; when high schoolers graduate they have solid options available for their success; and when parents work hard they are able to provide for their kids and pay the bills.

What results will you have to stand on?

Thanks to the Annie E Casey staff and faculty members of the Leadership Institute for State Based Advocates for inspiring the blog post and for sharing their wisdom and expertise.