Children First for Oregon has released the 2019 Children’s Agenda, a legislative agenda of nearly 60 policies aimed at addressing the most pressing problems facing children and families in Oregon.
Through the United for Kids initiative, Children First for Oregon convenes the state’s leading advocacy organizations and coalitions to speak up for children in the Oregon Legislature. The 2019 Children’s Agenda compiles policy concepts from over 110 partner organizations, all united by the goal of building a strong foundation for Oregon children. Policies range from reducing the copay for subsidized child care, an equity fund for culturally specific early learning, universal school meals, expanding CASA services to serve more foster youth, reforming juvenile sentencing and more.
“Children’s needs are not only diverse, they’re deeply intertwined,” explained Chris Coughlin, United for Kids Director at Children First for Oregon. “Kids need quality education, adequate nutrition, stable housing, health care and mental health supports. The absence of just one can put a child’s future success in jeopardy.”
Concepts in the Children’s Agenda span across multiple policy areas impacting child well-being and were proposed for their benefits to the health, safety, education and economic security of children. Four of the 59 policies have been prioritized due to their targeted impact on children in communities that have historically been underserved, including children of color and children experiencing disabilities.
“It’s time for Oregon to close gaps and end disparities,” said Jenny Lee, Advocacy Director with the Coalition of Communities of Color, a partner of United for Kids and Steering Committee member. “We’re asking legislators to prioritize policies that rectify inequities and create a level playing field for children.”
Prioritized policies on the Children’s Agenda include basic protections for families who rent their homes, expanding transitional services for foster youth, universal home visiting for newborns and parents and increasing access to early learning programs.
In the past four legislative sessions, the majority of policy items in the Children’s Agenda have been successful. To download the 2019 Children’s Agenda, click here.