Child advocates are calling out statewide candidates and demanding they take a stand on children's issues and make them a MAJOR part of their campaigns.
The “Strong Kids, Strong Virginia” initiative was launched after a recent Mason-Dixon survey found that the gubernatorial candidates' views on the matter are murkier than those of current and former governors.
According to the poll, 48 percent of Virginia voters believe children will grow up WORSE off than people are now—compared to 37 percent who don’t. Voters are also concerned about children not having adequate education opportunities, health coverage, nutrition, and protection from abuse.
But former Virginia Association of Early Childhood Education President Mary Landis says each year during the budgetary process, lawmakers skim funding for kids’ issues.
"Investing in early childhood education means that dollars spent in the primary years can be more effective and will lay the groundwork for secondary education. If we let our children fall behind early, they may never catch up, and if they do, it will be much more expensive," said Landis.
The advocates say during off-year elections, voter turnout is suppressed on both sides of the political aisle. That's when groups for labor, military, and tobacco interests are busiest lobbying lawmakers. And that's why an "Every Child Matters" coalition was formed, with plans to rally more voters to call on candidates to take a stand.