It is a tough time for America’s children. The opioid crisis is driving up the number of children entering foster care, thousands of immigrant children remain in detention facilities, and government cuts to basic nutrition, health and anti-poverty programs put hundreds of thousands of kids at risk.
And our political system has for decades been indifferent. It doesn’t matter who is in the White House, who has the majority in Congress or who occupies the state house. In red states, blue states and purple states the lack of meaningful and sustained investments to prevent harm to children goes back a long way. We spend less on children than almost any other developed nation. One-fifth of American children live in poverty, and they account for more than one-fifth of the homeless population. Each year about 2,000 American children die from child abuse or neglect and, on any given day, nearly half a million children are living in foster care.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, let’s make 2019 the year we take this personally. Let it be the year we each say: “I am committed to children. I will hold my government accountable.”
If we do, we can build a movement that will transform millions of young lives. Together we can build the just, compassionate society that our children so richly deserve.