On February 4, more than 600 parents, kids and other community and faith advocates from across the state gathered at the state Capitol for Kids and Families Day to advocate for their 2014 Legislative Platform.
“Our Children, Our Future” is a collaboration of over 155 West Virginia faith institutions, chambers of commerce, unions, child and family organizations, service agencies and legislators of both parties fighting to end child poverty. This year the more than 1,000 coalition members voted to tackle some of the state’s most pressing family issues including protecting funding for family support programs, expanding home-visiting, raising the minimum wage, requiring physical activity in schools, creating a Future Fund, and funding substance abuse treatment.
Throughout the day, families like Ray and Nicole from Logan County met with their legislators to advocate for policies to better their families’ future. “What we want most of all is the chance to make our own way; to provide for our son. All we are asking for is a little relief, from the little things that grow into big things.”
Kids and families lined up outside the governor’s office delivering family photos demonstrating the number of people impacted by proposed funding cuts to Family Resource Networks and other family support programs. “A picture is worth a 1000 words. The governor’s proposed budget cuts families deep. It is a tough budget year. In order to set our economy on a path to real recovery, we must protect our state’s most vital resource: our children.” said Stephen Smith, Executive Director of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition.
The day rounded out with a burst of energy from kids dancing through the Rotunda demonstrating the critical need for increased physical activity in schools. While Kids and Families Day is the campaign’s largest annual advocacy event, the coalition now goes back out into the community to rally folks at home.
“Our team has scheduled over 20 community meetings across the state to continually engage folks back home during the legislative session,” Smith said.
For more information on events in your area please contact visit www.wvhealthykids.org.
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