Save the Children, Leading Children's Organizations Urge President Obama to Protect U.S. Kids

Save the Children, Leading Children's Organizations Urge President Obama to Protect U.S. Kids

Expected to reach 100,000 signatures by the State of the Union address, a new petition demonstrates growing demand for a National Commission on Children

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Wendy Christian 203.465.8010 (M)
Ajla Grozdanic 202.262.7171 (M)

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 11, 2013)—In advance of the State of the Union address, Save the Children—together with Children's Health Fund, Every Child Matters, First Focus, Harlem Children's Zone, Share Our Strength and The Center for the Next Generation—has launched a petition urging the Obama Administration to establish a National Commission on Children. The petition is expected to reach 100,000 supporters by the time the President addresses the nation tomorrow.

"Now is the time for the country to come together to find bold, new ideas to ensure all of America's children are safe and protected," said Mark Shriver, senior vice president of Save the Children's U.S. Programs. "We can do more, and we must do more. We're asking everyone to join our urgent call for a National Commission by signing this petition today."

The new Commission would be tasked with creating a national policy on children and setting goals for reducing childhood poverty, obesity, illiteracy, and violence. The petition, launched in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., counts more than 40 prominent organizations among its supporters, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Catholic Charities USA , Child Care Aware® of America, Girls Inc., KaBOOM!, National Association of School Nurses and the YMCA of the USA.

The first National Commission on Children was formed by President Reagan and Congress in 1987 and ultimately led to the enactment of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the creation of the Children's Health Insurance Program, among other important initiatives. Twenty-five years later, it's time for another Commission to develop new solutions to today's challenges.

While Save the Children endorses the President's proposal to curb gun violence, as well as measures to expand mental health services, these are just the first steps toward addressing a very complex issue: the safety and well-being of all children in a country where nearly one in four lives in poverty. Proactive policy initiatives that protect our nation's children are critical not only to a child's development, but to the health and stability of our country.

Child protection has been a top priority for Save the Children throughout its nearly 100-year history. The organization's programs in the United States and across the globe focus on the needs of the most vulnerable children, while aiming to keep all children free from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. Immediately following the Dec. 14 tragedy in Newtown, Conn., Save the Children—headquartered in nearby Westport, Conn.—deployed staff to provide emotional support to the children and parents in the affected community.

To sign the petition, visit www.savethechildren.org/protect or Text KIDS to 69866. Message and data rates may apply.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in more than 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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