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My iCAN New Year's Resolution
Tomorrow is January 1, 2010 and this year my New Year's Resolution is to advocate on behalf of Minnesota's children and defend their rights to healthcare, education, safe home and neighborhoods, and a better future!
New Year's for me is a time to look back and remember the year we are finishing and look ahead to how we can make the next year even better. In 2009 12% of Minnesota's Children were living in poverty, about 148,389 children. 7%, about 88,000, are living with no access to healthcare coverage.
But during the 2009 session we made some headway. With threats of cutting healthcare and social services to balance the budget, health and human services bills expanded MinnesotaCare coverage to 20,000 children and support for child care increased by $8 million. There has also been a 37% decrease over they past 7 years in child abuse rates. In 2007 there were 6,277 reported cases, compared to 10,000 in 2002. We know our advocates’ e-mails and phone calls to their legislators helped preserve programs that help our youngest citizens thrive and we expect you to keep up the good work in the year to come!
Looking ahead to 2010 we really have our work cut out for us. With the current economic crisis and a glaring state budget deficit we will need to work hard to defend the funding for programs that ensure our children bright futures. The iCAN Advisory Council recently passed our 2010 Legislative Goals, and we will be busy! We are particularly concerned with ensuring that parent's have access to quality and affordable childcare and jobs that pay a living wage, children are enrolled in good schools, and have access to comprehensive and quality healthcare.
Thank you to all of our iCAN Advocates, our work could not be done without your commitment and support. I look forward to working with you all in 2010 to make Minnesota a great place for children!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! (Photo Credit - http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumb_295/1217642359U2qGo2.jpg)