By Mayra E. Alvarez, President, The Children’s Partnership
America’s children did not cast their vote on Tuesday but they are the ones who have the most to gain or lose from the decisions we, the adults in their lives, made on Election Day. For many, they will not remember this election. For too many others, they had breakfast with their families or walked to school and asked questions their young minds should not have to think – terrified that their mom or dad will be taken away; worried about what is allowed to be said about their disability; scared they will be criticized or attacked because of their religion, the color of their skin, or who they love.
As a nation, and in most cases, across both sides of the aisle, we believe that children are a priority. We have come a long way to provide children with quality and affordable health care. In many states, we have come a long way to bring undocumented children and young adults out of the shadows to contribute to America, the only home they know. As a community, we have come a long way to create an environment where kids can grow up knowing it’s okay to be who they are, look different, speak a different language, and think differently because that is what America is – a country that embraces our differences and works together to keep this nation thriving.
As an organization based in California, we are hopeful for the role that states play in furthering the progress made thus far for children and families across the country. We are fortunate to have leaders that prioritize community over control; unity over divisiveness; diversity over exclusion. It is this leadership that provides every child in California an opportunity for health insurance coverage. It is this leadership that provides an open door for immigrant families to feel welcome.
As a national organization, we are worried for children and families across the country. We are anxious of what lies ahead for the Affordable Care Act and its extension of coverage to millions. We are frightened about what immigration policy will be put in place that may tear families apart. The Children’s Partnership will continue to stand up for all children, no matter their race, gender, religious background, who they love, what they look like, or where they were born. More than ever, our children need us to serve as champions of an inclusive platform that we must fight for to be part of the New Administration.
Frederick Douglass once said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Today, many men and women feel broken – frustrated, angry, or confused. But, as the President said, we are all Americans. Our shared values as Americans are nowhere clearer than in our love for our children and the time is now to renew our focus to build strong children – for each of them and our nation as a whole.