By Ted Lempert
January 27, 2023
Top image via iStock from FatCamera
Children Now is excited to share the launch of the California Alliance for Children’s Environmental Health (CACEH).
The launch of CACEH is based on the findings of this landscape analysis—Creating a California Children’s Environmental Health Network—which responds to the urgent need for environmental health policy issues to be addressed as children’s health issues, with a corresponding policy and action agenda. CACEH is a network of local, regional, and statewide organizations that work together to raise awareness of environmental health issues affecting children in California. CACEH will identify and build momentum behind focused policy priorities to improve environmental conditions for kids, and engage youth in the development of an environmental health policy agenda and advocacy around it.
Children are highly impacted by poor air quality, tainted water, pesticides, and other environmental threats, yet they lack a strong voice in environmental health advocacy. Additionally, while environmental hazards present a risk for all of California’s children, Black and Latino/a children are burdened the most by these exposures, making environmental health a concerning race equity issue.
As California’s only pre-natal to age 26 whole child organization working to improve health and education outcomes and reduce disparities for all kids, Children Now is excited to collaborate in this space. We are bringing well-established expertise in network-building to this work, with a track record of leadership and involvement in over 90 coalitions and networks across California in addition to our coordination of The Children’s Movement of California and its over 5,000 (and growing!) diverse member organizations.
Children’s environmental health had been a critical gap in our game-changing, whole child, connector, anti-racist model, where we have 32 other projects across the early childhood, education, health, and child welfare domains. We held a recent policymaker briefing for legislative staff to share information about how environmental hazards like lead and pesticide exposure impact kids’ learning, well-being, and lifelong health outcomes, and to offer some potential policy solutions for our state leaders.
If you are interested in learning more or joining the network, please contact Children Now’s Senior Managing Director of Health, Kelly Hardy, at [email protected].
Stay tuned for more news on advancements in children’s environmental health from this network!