Connecting community work to state policy

Woman speaking at a podiumAlbuquerque residents taking part in the early childhood development initiative “Strong Starts for Children” joined legislators and early childhood advocates from around the state of New Mexico in a policy forum in Santa Fe, N.M., on Jan. 24. Participants explored the state’s policy options and budget trade-offs and made recommendations to be presented to the legislature.

“People in government and organizations from across New Mexico have been talking about how to help our youngest children thrive,” says Martha McCoy, executive director at Everyday Democracy. “Now the conversation is happening in local communities, giving everyday people the chance to weigh in. The forum provides the chance for these people and legislators to talk about the hard trade-offs that need to happen for the sake of our kids.”

In small-group discussions, participants in the Strong Starts for Children Policy Forum explored policy ideas around helping low-income families, providing local communities with resources and support to carry out plans for their young children, and investing in more childcare programs and pre-school. Participants also grappled with the budget implications of such ideas.

>Click here to see more photos from the Strong Starts for Children Policy Forum.

Three people sitting at a table talking

The Strong Starts for Children Policy Forum builds on the work of five organizations in the greater Albuquerque area to bring people together in dialogues, exploring ways to help kids thrive. The fall dialogues covered issues such as school readiness, linked systems for health and education, childhood homelessness, access for families to development and training for employment, financial literacy and educational opportunities. Following the dialogues, the five groups hosted “action forums” creating a platform for dialogue participants to share ideas for creating brighter futures for kids.


February 1, 2011

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