Election Day is just a couple weeks away! In this issue of eAdvocate, we dive into some voting and registration tips and resources to make sure you are well prepared when you step into the ballot box on November 6.
Elected officials pay attention to who votes. An important step to being a voice for early care and education is registering to vote and voting! As an advocate, you can increase voter and civic engagement by registering the families and the communities that you already serve. IAFC’s goal is get 1,000 providers and parents registered to vote. We hope you help us get there!
Throughout this campaign season, we have will several videos coming examining who is on the ballot and what’s at stake in this election. Videos to watch for in the coming weeks include:
Illinois Action for Children needs your help to elect candidates that will advocate for equitable early child care and working families. We have created a Voter Registration Toolkit that you can find here or on our website. In the Toolkit, you will find how to register voters, ideas for engagement, and ways to plan an event. Do you have questions? Contact Tommie Robinson, Community Engagement Associate, at 773-564-8873 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Illinois Action for Children convenes early childhood community leaders and advocates every year for an early childhood policy caucus. At this caucus, you will learn about upcoming state and federal early childhood policies, the Early Childhood Lead Testing Rule, voter registration, the upcoming election, and more! The focus will be on your community as well as statewide affairs. You will learn about and discuss policy issues that matter to you and help inform Illinois Action for Children’s policy agenda for FY2019. The Regional Public Policy Caucuses are also a great way to network with other early childhood professionals.
Each policy caucus will include a presentation from Elevate Energy about the water testing and lead removal process so that license child care facilities have the information necessary to comply with the new lead testing rule.
Register for a policy caucus near you! The content for each caucus will be the same – simply pick the one that works best for you! Registration is $15 and lunch is provided.
What is Public Charge?
“Public Charge” is a term used by U.S. immigration officials to refer to a person who is considered likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence. Under current policy, only the use of a few public programs can impact a person’s application for a visa to enter the U.S. or become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Those public benefits include cash assistance programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); and government-funded institutionalized care.
A draft proposed rule was recently published, which would expand the number of benefits included in the public charge test and provide immigration officials with more discretion to deny immigration applications based on the use of these programs. Programs considered under the proposed rule include Medicaid, SNAP, and housing assistance.
What does the new proposed rule mean for Children?
By forcing families to decide between risking their immigration status and accessing food, health, and housing assistance programs, this new rule would jeopardize the health and well-being of millions of children across the country.
Furthermore, while the use of programs, such as CCAP, Head Start, and WIC would not count against a child or parent’s immigration application under the new proposed rule, many families will likely be afraid to enroll in any of these programs.
What can Child Care Advocates do?
Providers and advocates working in communities with immigrant populations can help make sure families have the right facts so they don’t unnecessarily remove their kids from important early learning programs. To learn more about public charge, refer to this Protecting Immigrant Families backgrounder.
Once the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, the public will have an opportunity to submit comments before it is fi¬nalized. Let the government know that this rule would harm you, your family, your community, and the country. Join us in submitting comments to oppose this proposed change. We will be in touch as soon as the public comment period begins.