Send a Valentine to Congress
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Show Kids the Love!
Join First Focus and United Way in showing kids the love this Valentine's Day by sending a valentine to your member of Congress urging him or her to invest in kids and reject proposals that will harm our nation's most vulnerable.
Current funding for children makes up less than 8 percent of the federal budget. And if sequestration goes into effect, investments for kids will be cut by an additional $4.2 billion in the current fiscal year alone. Your letter to Congress using United Way's easy online tool is an important message to our country's leaders to hold kids harmless in any future deficit agreements.
President Obama's Commitment to America's Most Precious Resource--Our Children
Joint Statement from: Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children's Zone; Bruce Lesley, First Focus; Ann O'Leary, The Center for the Next Generation; Michael Petit, Every Child Matters; Irwin Redlener, Children's Health Fund; Billy Shore, Share Our Strength; and Mark Shriver, Save the Children
Tuesday night President Obama took a strong stand for America's children - laying out a broad agenda focused on "opening the door of opportunity to every child across this great Nation." From calling for an investment in the foundations of education with a commitment to universal preschool education, to recognizing that America's children will only thrive with strong communities and strong families, President Obama's State of the Union was a thoughtful call to action on behalf of the next generation of Americans.
Read the full article at The Huffington Post.
As a Percentage of Income, Who Pays the Most Taxes?
The DC-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has released its 2013 edition of “Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States.” And while at first glance, some might consider this a boring read, they would likely agree that the conclusions of the report are most interesting indeed.
“… all states have regressive tax systems that ask more from low- and middle-income families than from the wealthiest.” [emphasis added]
“The average overall effective state and local tax rates by income group nationwide are 11.1 percent for the bottom 20 percent, 9.4 percent for the middle 20 percent and 5.6 percent for the top 1 percent.”
“Ten states with the most regressive tax systems are: Washington, Florida, South Dakota, Texas, Illinois, Tennessee, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Indiana.”
No matter where you live, check out the full report or just how your state measures up here.
Congress Votes, Unheralded, to Stop the Killing of 2,500 Children
Last month, in the final hours of the 112th Congress, the Senate, following a 330-77 House vote, unanimously and quietly adopted H.R. 6655. The president signed the bill into law. National press did not acknowledge the bill's enactment. What accounted for such bi-partisan support from a bitterly divided Congress that otherwise passed very few laws? This law, An Act to Protect Our Children, is meant to stop the killing of very small children.
Click here to read more from Every Child Matters President, Michael Petit
Whose Dream is It Anyway
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“The American Dream is premised on the notion that work will support a family and lead to economic security, but that dream is not a reality for tens of millions of Americans who continue to fall farther behind the wealthiest Americans. And while these trends pose immediate threats to family well being, they pose even greater, long-term threats to children.
“Today, nearly a third of all working families can be considered low-income—defined as earning less than twice the federal poverty income threshold. These are families that have a working adult but still don’t make a family-sustaining income.
--Brandon Roberts, manager of the Working Poor Families Project in Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
EITC is a Boon for Kids
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Did you know that In 2010, the EITC lifted about 6.3 million people out of poverty, including about 3.3 million children? The poverty rate among children would have been nearly one-quarter higher without the EITC. The EITC lifts more children out of poverty than any other program.
According to the IRS, “…workers eligible for EITC, Earned Income Tax Credit, can receive up to $5,891 by claiming the credit on their 2012 Federal tax returns. They can receive even more if they live in a state with a similar credit.”
NY Times Op-Ed: For Obama’s New Term, Start Here
The president said equality for all is a main goal of his second term. He could begin by helping to make sure a child's potential for success isn't limited by a ZIP code.
To read more click here...
An Inaugural Address From Kids to the President: Watch & Share
The 2013 Children's/Youth Inaugural Address features the unscripted voices and experiences of young Americans who know they have a stake in the next four years. Children and youth ages 5 to 25 from across the country share their raw, powerful ideas for what the nation needs to get back on track and ensure every kid in the U.S. grows up healthy, safe and productive. Watch it, add your voice at sparkaction.org/inaugural and share it!
Produced by the Children’s Leadership Council, of which ECM is a member, and SparkAction, the video is debuting this weekend at various Inauguration events in DC and around the country.
Your Signature Can Make a Difference
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Save the Children asked, and we answered. Along with First Focus, HarlemChildren’s Zone, Children’s Health Fund, and Share Our Strength, we are calling on President Obama and Congress to establish a new National Commission on Children to ensure the safety and well-being of every child.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. Please sign the petitionSave the Children has created.