Poverty is the single biggest threat to kids.
One of the biggest challenges facing our nation today is the persistently high number of children living in poverty. Nearly 1 in 5 children are living in families with incomes below the poverty line. Children disproportionately experience poverty in the U.S., while only comprising 23.1 percent of the total population in the U.S., they make up 33.6 percent of the population living in poverty.
Poverty is a particularly serious problem for children, who suffer negative effects for the rest of their lives after living in poverty for even a short time. Yet children continue to be cast aside and there is no national strategy or dialogue to address child poverty.
We need a national commitment in the United States to cut the child poverty rate and reduce racial and ethnic disparities. One important example to look to is in the United Kingdom, which established a national child poverty target and then implemented a mixture of policies including investments for children, measures to make work pay, and efforts to increase financial support for families.
As a result, the British cut their child poverty rate in half within a decade (2000-2010). By contrast during this time, the U.S. child poverty rate increased by over 20 percent, from 16.2 percent in 2000 to 21.1 percent in 2014.
There is work to do.
To eliminate child poverty in the U.S.
To call on national, state and local entities to adopt the overarching goal of cutting child poverty by half in 10 years and developing strategies and policies to achieve that goal.
Develop and inspire a broad-based coalition of non-profit, child-focused organizations and individuals from the national, state and local level dedicated to setting the goal of cutting the child poverty rate in half within 10 years. We encourage partners to contribute policy development, lobbying efforts, grassroots engagement, and communications expertise to advance the goal of reducing child poverty in the U.S. by half in 10 years. We welcome other organizations who are dedicated to reducing child poverty and can contribute resources to the coalition to join our collective effort.
Allow CPAG partners and outside stakeholders the opportunity to sign-on and support individual materials and participate in calls to action. All stakeholders will be given the chance to opt-in, rather than opt-out, of any CPAG advocacy materials. Any advocacy materials that contain the CPAG insignia will list the individual members who have opted to sign on.
The coalition will develop and reinforce messaging strategies, narratives and communication plans to win public support that will encourage lawmakers to act on the recommendations of the coalition.
CPAG partners will serve as a resource for lawmakers, state and local advocates, the general public, and other interested stakeholders. CPAG members will engage in information sharing, policy education and direct advocacy.