Dear Friends of The Children’s Agenda,
All of us are facing a great deal of stress and anxiety these days, locally and around the globe. Like you, your families and workplaces, the spread of COVID-19 has created new challenges, both practical and emotional, for The Children’s Agenda — and all of us who are part of it.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke to this moment: “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny.”
Our interdependence is not just during a virus. It’s about needing each other, depending on each other — as families do — to blunt crises and get back on our feet.
To blunt this crisis — for all of us who work from home, that’s made possible only by those working at the hospital, keeping our power and light on, stocking our grocery store shelves, delivering what we need to our homes. It’s only possible with government support for those folks and all of us, especially those of us who are laid off, missing school breakfast and lunch, or lacking health care. We need each other, like a family, to keep going.
Businesses, nonprofits, and individuals — we all play our parts. To get back on our feet, through the medical, economic, social and emotional consequences of this crisis, we need our governments to act. Only government can channel public resources into the things we all need — whether that’s vaccines and ventilators or paid family leave and child care. We need action that makes the biggest difference for all of us. Only our public institutions can protect us from physical harm and economic hardship at the scale we need it to: for our survival and our path forward.
While the spaces in which we do our work may have changed, The Children’s Agenda’s work itself has not. We are committed to the children and families of this community and our state, and we are also committed to our team members, partner organizations, and the stakeholders who make this work possible.
The Children’s Agenda is focused both on the immediate COVID-19 crisis — including all the dangers to kids and a few unexpected opportunities — as well as the long-term system building now required. This isn’t a distraction from our work; this is our work. Our research, collaboration and advocacy is needed to make systems work for kids — both to blunt the crisis and to rebuild. We call on agencies at every level of government to deploy every policy tool at their disposal – and to do it now. And we call on citizens to stay informed, stay engaged, and hold their representatives accountable for doing the right thing.
Especially now, we will:
So what can you do right now? Here are three ways that you can step up to help from the comfort of your own, socially distanced home.
1. Join hundreds of others in our online Advocacy Network. We’ll occasionally contact you with opportunities to get public officials to help our kids — on what they need most and what works best. We need your voice now more than ever. And you can stay informed with our fresh news updates, blog entries, reports, Facebook and Twitter feeds. We are constantly adding new content to our website to keep you better informed.
2. Help shape New York State’s response to the crisis in ways that help kids, for instance by not cutting Medicaid by passing on costs to counties.
3. Find things to share and do with your children as they’re home from school.
We know the road ahead will be challenging. To stay up to date on the virus here, we recommend you check with Monroe County’s COVID-19 resource page. If you have questions or concerns for the team at The Children’s Agenda, please contact us at email@example.com.
Together, we will continue our work to make Rochester, Monroe County and New York State the best places to raise – and to be – a child.
Larry Marx, CEO
And the entire team of The Children’s Agenda team (pictured below, via Zoom.)
The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.