Starting today, The Children’s Campaign is publicly changing its name to American Children’s Campaign. The announcement reflects a strategic change made by the Board of Directors two years ago to update the official name from The Children’s Campaign, Inc. to American Children’s Campaign. The timing was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Florida is Crucial Swing State
According to Board Chair Leon Russell, who also serves as the Chair of the National NAACP, “Florida will continue to be an advocacy focus for our Tallahassee based organization. The timing is right for a more active advocacy effort with a broader range of partners to support good policy and to fight bad policies impacting all children.”
American Children’s Campaign plans to further build leadership, accountability, and action for all children through expanded strategic collaborations with other like-minded citizen groups who also have a presence or interest in Florida. It does not plan to establish any out of state headquarters or place staff in other parts of the country. The goal is to convene when appropriate and add value where common interests exist to improve the systems of care especially for impacted populations.
Pandemic Has Magnified Inequities
Florida has a long history of over-representation of minorities in out of home child welfare placements, long waits in foster care, school suspensions and school-based arrests due to a lack of mental health services and unwillingness to utilize civil citations, funding levels for maternal health services not reaching all in need, and housing and food insecurity. In recent years, Florida’s children, youth and families have made minimal progress in health, education, and economic well-being, but children of color have lagged behind due to a range of factors. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified systemic inequities tied to income and ethnicity.
According to Census Household Pulse Data (week ending July 5) Florida families are still struggling to meet basic needs during recovery from the global public health crisis:
- About one in three Florida adults (34%) are living in households that are not current on their rent or mortgage and where eviction or foreclosure is likely or very likely. Florida is lagging behind in spending millions of dollars for rent and housing assistance.
- 37.9% of Florida adults delayed getting medical care because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last four weeks.
- 28.4% of Florida adults live in households where it has been somewhat or very difficult to pay usual household expenses in the last seven days.
- Nearly 10 percent of Florida households report they sometimes or often do not have enough food to eat.
- Roughly 13% of Florida adults expect a loss of employment income in the next 7 days.
Additional Action and Accountability Needed
American Children’s Campaign will continue to focus attention on these imbalances as well as collaborate with a broader range of people and groups to ensure the policy agenda of the organization is informed by the diverse perspectives of those hardest hit by the crisis. A separate 501 C 4 called American Children’s Campaign Action Fund is planned to roll out soon to focus on building further leadership and accountability for victories for children.
For more information about American Children’s Campaign, visit iamforkids.org.