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Don't Forget the Kids!

PHOTO: "Strong Kids, Strong Virginia" wants to make issues affecting kids the focus of statewide elections this year. Photo credit: Strong Kids, Strong Virginia Campaign.
PHOTO: "Strong Kids, Strong Virginia" wants to make issues affecting kids the focus of statewide elections this year. Photo credit: Strong Kids, Strong Virginia Campaign.
June 3, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. - In just six months, Virginia voters will elect a new governor, lieutenant governor and a host of other state and local officials. And even though children are not allowed to vote, a coalition of advocacy groups is promising to give them a voice.

From quality child care and health care to food on the table, the nonpartisan "Strong Kids, Strong Virginia" campaign will demand that issues affecting kids get attention, promised Holly Coy, program director, Virginia Interfaith Center, one of the organizations supporting the campaign.

"We have a relatively wealthy state," Coy said, "but that doesn't mean we don't have poverty in our midst and that there aren't families and kids going hungry every night."

The campaign will focus on educating candidates and voters about the issues affecting children, and the importance of holding elected officials accountable for their actions, she said.

Some 280,000 kids in the state live in poverty. Coy said candidates for state offices must explain what they will do to help boost family incomes and ensure the well-being of all Virginia children.

"Next year is a budget year in Virginia, so our elected officials will have to jump right into that process and make decisions about how we're allocating our resources as a society," she added.

The campaign is calling on all Virginians to get involved and ask candidates what they will do to help children in the state.

More information about the campaign is available at www.strongkidsstrongvirginia.com.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - VA