With the tumultuous presidential election of 2016 behind us, it is critical to focus on the work ahead.
While elections can alter possibilities, they do not alter the immediate day to day needs of working families. The Holland Children's Movement is focused on addressing those needs by continuing our work advocating for children and partnering with the strong network of individuals and organizations in Nebraska and beyond that are looking forward.
As we prepare for a new Congress and a newly elected Nebraska Legislature, we must continue to demand that children and families be a priority in a policy-making. We face new challenges resulting from an economy that is not generating sufficient tax revenue to meet future obligations. The next legislature must set priorities and we believe those decisions should be rooted in providing the greatest good for the greatest number of Nebraskans.
We know that our schools and communities have a responsibility to provide quality care and education and that our pubic schools must be financed and equipped to meet the needs of children from birth.
We know that the success of every child depends on a healthy state in which loving parents have the knowledge and skills to nurture and love their child and the resources to meet their basic developmental needs.
For low wage workers, we must have a pathway to prosperity which does not result in families facing a "cliff effect", or a sharp drop from essential supports at the outset of an opportunity to begin increasing their income. Access to childcare, nutrition, housing, education and transportation are critical. For the long term, we must assure access to:
- Quality employment with living wages;
- Quality health care, including reproductive health care and prenatal care;
- Quality early childhood education for infants, toddlers, and pre-kindergarten; and
- Quality programs like home visiting that strengthen parenting skills.
The value of these investments and the desire of Nebraskans to address these responsibilities should not be dismissed. The very real and immediate needs of children and those Nebraskans who are struggling to survive cannot be abandoned in the shadow of tax cuts for high income earners. We cannot now afford to scale back our efforts or fail to continue to advance sound public policy for the future of our state and our country.
Our children are depending on it.