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Raising "Virtual" Voices for Ohio’s Children

May 3, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - From Cleveland to Cincinnati, women from across Ohio are speaking up for children today. As part of a "virtual" day of advocacy, they'll aim comments by phone and e-mail at state leaders, asking them to make the needs of Ohio's children a priority. While all women are invited to participate, the event involves groups in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.

The state director of the Women's Advocacy Network, Fran Frazier, says the goal is to make sure policies are in place to protect and support all children in Ohio.

"We want to be making sure that our children have a head start, a fair start, a moral start, a healthy start in their lives. So we're asking women to speak up and move towards action."

According to the Children's Defense Fund, more than 584,000 Ohio children live in poverty and more than 227,000 don't have health insurance. Frazier says these are just a couple of factors that state leaders should consider as they craft policies that affect the state's future, for its youngest citizens.

"We know that our state is experiencing difficult economic times, and we know it's important that we have to share the cuts equally. But we do not feel that we need to cut children's programs disproportionately."

Frazier, whose group is part of the Children's Defense Fund, believes the state has done an excellent job reforming the juvenile justice system, but she notes there should also be continued support of community programs for youth, and of child welfare and mental and behavioral health services.

More information is at www.childrensdefense.org

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH