Support CFFO at Ride to Ride

stevemartine

Steve Martine

What: Ride to Ride Event at Oaks Park, Presented by Oregon Wealth Management
When: Sunday, May 31st, 2015 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way Portland, OR 97202 at Area # 1

Ride your bike to Oaks Park and enjoy free food and beverages, discounted ride bracelets, music provided by DJ Justin and a chance to meet with ultra-cyclist/motivational speaker Steve Martine. Mr. Martine is an ultra-cyclist who completed the continental divide ride (4,500 miles on mountain bike) as well as the Trans AM, coast to coast race.

Donations to support Children First for Oregon will be gladly accepted.

Questions? Contact Aleque at Oregon Wealth Management. Phone: 503-635-4055

EmailFacebookTwitterShare

What’s new at Children First for Oregon?

By Tonia Hunt

The answer is: a lot. The last few months at Children First have been a whirlwind.

In February, we launched United for Kids and unveiled the 2015 Children’s Agenda – which compiles the best thinking of 65 pro-child advocacy organizations and coalitions and makes clear to legislators what Oregon’s children need.

As the convener and coordinator of United for Kids, Children First is bringing together a diverse group of voters, child and family advocates, businesses, labor groups, funders, faith communities, and elected leaders to speak with a unified voice for kids.  I urge you to join United for Kids today and add your name to the nearly 5,000 Oregonians who have already signed up to make kids a top public policy priority!

Since the start of the legislative session the Children First staff team has been in Salem every day to support the Children’s Agenda participants and help advance policy items that make kids’ lives better. We have been privileged to work with great advocacy peers to expand access to free school lunch for children from low-income families, health care for all children in Oregon, gun safety to protect children, affordable child care for working families, and adequate school funding – among other issues.  Whether meeting with legislators, offering testimony and floor letters, providing policy and data research, or coordinating behind the scenes with advocacy partners, Children First has been working hard to speak for Oregon’s 860,000 children.

A lot of work remains to make Oregon the best place to be a kid. We can only make that change if you help us. Start today by joining United for Kids, reading our blogs, making a gift, and visiting us on social media. And stay tuned for what we have in store next!

2015 Progress Report Details Challenges – and Solutions – for Oregon’s Kids

CFFO Progress Report cover
Today, Children First for Oregon announces the release our 2015 Progress Report, an annual data-driven analysis on the well-being of kids in Oregon. You can view the full report here and you can explore the data here.

The report shows that Oregon’s children continue to face significant barriers to success. Despite slight improvements in some areas, progress for kids is largely stalled.

Child abuse and neglect in Oregon has declined by only 2% since 2003 – despite falling by 25% nationwide.

A child in Oregon has a 1 in 5 chance of being poor – even if one of her parents works.

Our child poverty rate has increased 10% since the Great Recession ended – and 25% since it began.

Those numbers are daunting, but Oregon has a long history of a pioneer spirit – both in people and public policies. We are trail blazers. And now is the time to be pioneers again. To unite on behalf of kids and make meaningful long-term change. That’s why the report includes concrete policy solutions currently under consideration.

We can enact a $15 minimum wage. We can increase investments in home visiting for at risk parents. We can expand early education. If such solutions are adopted, lawmakers would immediately put thousands of children on the path towards a more prosperous future.

To make true progress we need to work together as advocates and Oregonians, hold lawmakers accountable, and build power for our kids. By highlighting the problem and uniting around these solutions with the urgency and determination shown by so many great pioneers before us, we can and we will make Oregon the best place to be a kid.

Join us if you believe, as we do, that kids should be a top public priority. Visit www.ORUnitedforKids.org/Join and sign up for Oregon’s pro-child movement today.

“More than 60 organizations join to push children’s policy agenda in Oregon Legislature”

By Amy Wang
The Oregonian
February 8, 2015

The lead agency in the movement is Children First for Oregon…

Tonia Hunt, executive director of Children First for Oregon, said Wednesday that the United for Kids movement and the 2015 Children’s Agenda are a natural pairing. “We know that it takes the engagement of Oregonians … to make sure that policy makers enact policies that improve the well-being of kids,” Hunt said.

The new movement has two initial strategies, Hunt said: Providing information to legislators, via the 2015 Children’s Agenda, “about what are the next best moves to make in terms of policy change,” and engaging the state’s voters, business organizations, faith communities and civic clubs with the question of “whether or not they believe kids should be a top priority in public policy decisions.”

Read the full story here and read the full 2015 Children’s Agenda here.

Safety Net Reduces Oregon’s Child Poverty by Half

Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United StatesWithout any government intervention, 31% of Oregon children would live in families that are unable to meet basic needs like groceries, housing, and childcare, according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The KIDS COUNT® Data Snapshot, Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States, also finds that taking the value of social programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) into account reduces this rate to 14%.

The report analyzes the U.S. Census Bureau’s alternate, more accurate, measure of family economic security, the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), to evaluate the effectiveness of the social safety net in helping families meet their basic needs. According to the report, social programs reduced the number of children living in families that are unable to meet basic needs by at least one-third in every state.

However, child poverty remains high in spite of these investments, especially among children of color. Even taking into account the value of safety net programs, 25% of children of color in Oregon live in families unable to meet basic needs, compared to 10% of their non-Hispanic White peers.

“Too many hard working families are struggling to get ahead in this economy, but the social safety net is doing what it was designed to do,” says Children First for Oregon Executive Director Tonia Hunt. “These critical programs are helping thousands of families in Oregon put food on their table and keep roofs over their heads. Now we need to work to strengthen these programs so that no child goes without basic needs being met.”

In Oregon, SNAP illustrates both the success and inadequacy of the safety net in helping families meet their basic needs. Due to extensive outreach within the state, Oregon has one of the nation’s highest rates of participation in SNAP, and the program reduces the rate of children with unmet basic needs by more than 20%. “SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger in Oregon,” says Jeff Kleen, public policy advocate at Oregon Food Bank. “But for most families, SNAP benefits are insufficient to meet basic nutritional requirements for the whole month.”

To create an economy in which all children have the opportunity to grow up healthy, smart, and economically secure, Children First for Oregon has convened 60 pro-child advocacy organizations to form the 2015 Children’s Agenda. The Agenda includes legislative priorities that will reward hard work with family-sustaining wages and make critical investments to strengthen the social safety net, such as:

  • increasing the number of families served by Employment Related Day Care;
  • strengthening Oregon’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; and
  • renewing the Working Family Childcare Tax Credit.

“When we invest in Oregon’s children, we invest in our future,” says Hunt. “As citizens and advocates we must come together to demand policies that make Oregon the best place to be a kid.”

Click here to download the full report.