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New York Times Columnist Charles Blow to Discuss Child Poverty at 2016 Children’s Budget Summit

Children on the Ballot
Early Childhood
Federal Budget
Juvenile Justice
Poverty & Family Economics
Racial Equity
Tax Policy

Washington – New York Times columnist and CNN contributor Charles Blow will talk about the intersection of child poverty and race at the 2016 Children’s Budget Summit, an annual event hosted by First Focus, at noon Thursday, July 7, at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Held annually to discuss the effect that current federal expenditures have on the impact of programs and policies that benefit the wellbeing of children, the theme of this year’s Children’s Budget Summit is “Place, Race and Economy: Closing the Gap for Kids.”

“We’re very excited to welcome Charles Blow to talk about his perspective of the challenges that children in America face today,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus. “For many years, Mr. Blow has contributed insightful and poignant commentary on the state of children, the politics of investing in children, and the intersection of the wellbeing of youth, race, and social justice.”

According to the 2016 Children’s Budget Book – to be released at the Children’s Budget Summit – Congress has disproportionately cut funding to children’s programs to just 7.83 percent of the federal budget in fiscal year 2016, a continuing downward trend in investment for children that could be exacerbated by the nation’s growing racial generation gap. Already, states with the highest racial generation gaps have fared poorly in investing in children’s programs, such as education.

“When you take into account a state’s wealth, it is clear that states with a high racial generation gap provide far less effort in funding and support for their state’s public schools than the rest of the country,” Lesley writes in the 2016 Children’s Budget Book. “We must examine a range of public policy choices to redress the generational compact between generations, along with policy decisions in areas such as housing and education that have the negative consequence of creating a greater generational divide.”

The Children’s Budget Summit will feature a diverse panel of speakers who will discuss the state of children in the context of today’s politics, the current economy, and racial equity, including:

  • William Frey, Demographer, The Brookings Institution
  • Kristen Grimm, President, Spitfire Communications
  • Bruce Lesley, President, First Focus

Several members of Congress – 2015 First Focus Campaign for Children “Champions and Defenders of Children” – have also been invited to attend. Past Children’s Budget Summit speakers have included U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan-Grisham, D-N.M.

The Children’s Budget Summit is open to the press and public, but seats are limited. A networking session with complimentary beverages will follow the summit from 4 to 5:30 p.m., at the Press Club. RSVP today.
What: 2016 Children’s Budget Summit, “Place, Race, and Economy: Closing the Gap for Kids.”

Who: New York Times Columnist and CNN Contributor Charles Blow, Spitfire Communications President Kristen Grimm, First Focus President Bruce Lesley

When: Noon to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7

Where: National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

RSVP: Click here or e-mail


First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit