April 3, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children, 505-244-9505
ALBUQUERQUE, NM—New Mexico Voices for Children has released a children’s agenda of policy recommendations they hope candidates for state- and national-level offices will adopt. The agenda, “Kids at the Crossroads: A Children’s Agenda for Making KIDS COUNT with Candidates,” contains 30 policy recommendations spanning three categories: economic well-being, education, and health. The group hopes that the agenda will spur candidates to will make concrete plans for improving child well-being.
“Despite children being the biggest priority for every New Mexico parent, policies to improve their well-being are rarely ever mentioned in candidate forums,” said James Jimenez, executive director of NM Voices. “That’s particularly unconscionable when we’ve ranked 49th the nation in child well-being as long as we have.”
Some of the policy recommendations are aimed specifically at working families with children. These include: creating a state-level child tax credit; significantly increasing state funding for early childhood care and learning programs, K-12 and college; and expanding school-based health centers.
Some of the policy recommendations would help many New Mexicans whether they are parents or not. These include: raising the minimum wage; capping interest rates at 36 percent for all loans; and rebuilding the state’s behavioral health system.
“Children do best when their families and communities are strong,” said Amber Wallin, deputy director for NM Voices. “That we rank so low in child well-being is really a symptom of a larger problem. When children aren’t doing well it means their families and communities aren’t doing well either. Many of these policy recommendations would improve the state’s economy and the quality of life for all residents.”
The children’s agenda, which was previewed at last week’s northern New Mexico KIDS COUNT Conference, is available online here
New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities.
625 Silver Ave. SW, Suite 195, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org