Q: What is The Children's Movement of California?
A: The Children's Movement of California is an organizing effort dedicated to empowering organizations and individuals resolved to see all children's basic developmental needs met to improve the lives of children and the prosperity of our society. It is open to everyone.
Until now, the voices of those concerned about children's well-being have been disconnected, making it unnecessarily difficult for children's policy issues to get the attention the public desires vis-à-vis the many other better organized and more powerful interest groups vying for policymakers' attention. The Children's Movement of California is connecting all those who want to change this unfortunate dynamic by leveraging their collective force to generate the major policy changes kids need.
Q: What is the core strategic insight behind The Children's Movement of California?
A: It boils down to this, there are really only two levers driving policy adoption: money (lobbying dollars and/or campaign contributions) or popular pressure. Children don't have enough of either one of these things behind them now. Relative to pharmaceuticals, financial services, tobacco, beverages, labor, the gaming industry, trial lawyers, prisons, seniors, and others, interest group representation for children's causes is sorely outmatched. That's why they're in such bad shape. That's why we need The Children's Movement of California.
We aren't big fans of the growing influence of campaign contributions and lobbying dollars, but we still believe in the power of people-based advocacy that's the foundation of our democracy.
And, an unprecedented amount of untapped people-based advocacy power exists for children. In addition to extraordinary voter support, countless organizations serve or support stronger childhood development. Engaging and organizing this existing support in The Children's Movement of California will provide children and the people who care about them with the leverage they need to bring about big policy changes for kids.
Q: To join The Children's Movement of California, do I/does my organization have to support all of the items on the Agenda?
A: No. By joining The Children's Movement of California you are simply showing your support for the basic idea that children need to be a top priority of California policymakers. You can then participate only in the campaign activities for the specific issues that you support.
Q: Who started The Children's Movement of California?
A: Children Now, the leading multi-issue research, policy development, and advocacy organization dedicated to children in California, started and is coordinating The Children's Movement of California. The organization spent several years analyzing the children's advocacy field and developing a strategy to make it more effective. McKinsey & Company and others assisted in this strategic planning.