Consider the state of America’s children:

  • The U.S. government spends less than 8% of its budget on children.
  • Five million children risk losing a parent to deportation, while others languish in family detention centers
  • Children continue to drink lead-contaminated water, experiencing physical and mental health side-effects.

There’s also the issues of food access, high-quality early education and children’s health insurance to consider – the list could go on and on.

“A grownup is a child with layers on,” actor Woody Harrelson once said.close up of chinese child face

It’s an interesting metaphor, given our nation’s current climate. What kind of layers are the grownups on Capitol Hill wearing? Perhaps the layers represent partisan baggage, or an aversion to compromise. Most likely, these layers serve only to distract and divide them from the one issue most critical to our nation’s future – children.

Elected officials will need to remove layers of this baggage if they’re going to make a difference for kids in 2017. Maybe then they would be free to think more creatively about how to improve the lives of our youngest citizens. They could, essentially, think like children.

At First Focus, we know what needs to be done. Our policy experts represent kids on Capitol Hill, working to keep our lawmakers accountable to prioritizing them. This means fighting for increased federal investment for children, stopping the use of detention centers for families, ensuring that no more children are exposed to lead– and more.

The new year provides an incredible opportunity for a call to action. Instead of getting bogged down by other issues, what if Congress  thought like children? If they did, just imagine some of the radical possibilities for 2017. Policymakers could:

  • Adopt a child poverty target, as the UK has done, to cut child poverty in half within a decade
  • Ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and
  • End child labor, once and for all.

As First Focus President Bruce Lesley wrote recently, “progress is best made for children on a bipartisan basis.” It’s advice well-taken for the members of Congress, and for members of any community.

Help us bring these possibilities to life. Join fellow supporters today, Giving Tuesday, to help us realize the best future for our kids.

Let’s think big. Let’s think of what’s possible. Let’s think like children.
Join the Giving Tuesday campaign by donating here.
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