The Congressional briefing on Pioneering Change: Innovative Ideas for Children and Families, which took place Friday, May 15, offered a platform to hear from three Big Idea authors on their innovative concepts about how to tackle systematic poverty and ensure every child reaches his or her full potential. The three authors were Matt Bruenig, a blogger who writes about politics, the economy, and political theory, with a focus on issues affecting poor and working people; Ezra Levin, Associate Director of Government Affairs at the Corporation for Enterprise Development; and Mitria Wilson, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Center for Responsible Lending.

Innovative Ideas for Children and Families

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) co-sponsored this bipartisan briefing and both made appearances. Both are longtime recipients of the First Focus Campaign for Children Champion for Children award and were presented with these awards at the briefing. Both congresswomen have done exceptional work to help improve the lives and futures of our children.

Matt Bruenig proposed implementing a universal child allowance, similar to those that exist in other countries.  He suggests that replacing the Child Tax Credit with a $300 a month child benefit to every family in America would reduce the child poverty rate by 42 percent.

Ezra Levin discussed how the goal government spending on low-income families is to help them just get by, while it spends even more to help high-income families get further ahead. He proposed a reform of the tax code and government spending to expand economic opportunity and empower poor families to save and build wealth..

Mitria Wilson’s big idea is to use federal housing policy to address education inequalities. By channeling resources to low-income neighboors, families build wealth an tax bases increase.

Their papers and presentations provide in depth information on the issues and concepts discussed during the briefing:

Big Ideas

Pioneering Change: Innovative Ideas for Children and Families (PDF)


Tackling Poverty through the Implementation of a Child Allowance Program by Matt Bruenig

Ending Poverty Isn’t Enough: A Piketty-Informed Policy Agenda to Expand Economic Opportunity by Andrea Levere and Ezra Levin, Corporation for Enterprise Development

Success Starts at Home: Using the Federall Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule to Tackle Education Inequalities for Minority Children by Mitria Wilson, Center for Responsible Lending


Matt Bruenig, Blogger (PDF)

Ezra Levin, Associate Director of Government Affairs, Corporation for Enterprise Development (PDF)


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