Earlier today, the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, GRACE & End Child Poverty California campaign, and the First Focus Campaign for Children hosted a virtual event, Ending Child Poverty at the Federal and State Level

We were joined by six Congressional champions on child poverty — Rep. Karen Bass, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Danny DavisRep. Jimmy GomezRep. Sara Jacobs, and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard — and learned about recent wins across the country and how child advocates can take action to build on these efforts to urge Congress to pass the Child Poverty Reduction Act (S. 643/H.R. 1558) and establish a national child poverty reduction target in the United States.

I also discussed these efforts with an expert panel featuring Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO, GRACE & End Child Poverty CA, Crystal Charles, Policy Analyst, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, and Carmen Isaura Rodriguez, Director of Advocacy, Instituto del Desarrollo de la Juventud (Youth Development Institute).

The recent progress made in reducing child poverty in the United States shows us that child poverty is a solvable problem when there is the political will to address it.  Yet the fact that the 2021 improvements to the Child Tax Credit have yet to be extended, despite their documented effectiveness and popularity, shows that we need to do more to hold our national, state, and local decision-makers accountable for keeping child poverty reduction a top priority.

California provides a strong example for the rest of the country.  After advocates, lawmakers, and researchers came together in 2017 to set a state child poverty reduction target and develop a comprehensive plan to meet this goal, the End Child Poverty in California campaign secured significant policy wins in the past few years that are having a big impact on reducing child poverty and racial and economic disparities. New York and Puerto Rico have recently followed suit with similar efforts.

For those who are interested, here are the few of the resources discussed during the session: