How do you know if your representatives are voting for and pushing legislation that is helping our kids? Common Sense Kids Action is a nationwide organization that tracks measures in the legislation, and how they will affect kids, either positively or negatively. They are also involved in media and education, helping parents and teachers make informed decisions about media and technology.
In May, Jeri Viera Dahlke, an American River Democrats club member, who is also involved with Moms on the Left and Indivisible, spoke at our club meeting about her involvement with Common Sense Kids Action and how we can use it to make a difference in issues affecting children and teens in our area and state.
Dahlke said that her husband had been a teacher in Watts, and she soon learned that the life of kids in school is not nearly the same across the state, despite funding goals. Access to books and facilities, and parents with little time to help made the differences stark from one district to another. She felt she needed to be more involved to make a difference for kids and their families who need support. She began working with Common Sense Kids Action, to help make it easier for people to understand what is going on and how it impacts children. She said “Doing good things for kids helps others—the benefits expand.”
Common Sense Kids Action serves by rating legislation, proving voters’ guides, educating and advocating. Advocating begins with visiting legislators at the Capitol, sending emails, making phone calls, and sending cards and letters. Every measure should be evaluated for its direct impact on kids—is it a good benefit? Common Sense Legislative Ratings allows you to choose Federal or State, and find a list of bills pending, with their positive or negative impact on kids. (California currently has 62 positive, one negative—not bad!) This guide can help you determine which bills you want to encourage (or discourage) your representatives to vote for, including Senator Richard Pan and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia’s Bill of Rights for Children and Youth (SB 18 and SCR 41.)
The Bill of Rights for Children and Youth states that all children deserve:
- High-Quality Early Learning and Care
- High-Quality Education Opportunities
- Supportive Family Environments
- Preventative, Accessible, and Comprehensive Health and Dental Care.
You can join Common Sense and sign up for email notifications of actions. Common Sense Kids Action will send you periodic email alerts on legislative activity that impacts your community; You will have the opportunity to share your actions and these issues with your friends by sending them Common Sense Kids Action alerts and issues; Common Sense Kids Action may share with our affiliates and like-minded coalitions working on behalf of children the email address and/or zip code that you provided to us when you signed up to participate in Common Sense Kids Action.
Common Sense want to help you “Get inspired, get the tools, get to work on behalf of kids.” In addition to their website, you can follow on Facebook or Twitter at CSKidsAction.