DMI Blog

Elana Levin

Universal Pre-K and Valuing Families

Nathan Newman of Progressive States had a great post up today about legislation in the states that supports families by offering maternity and paternity leave, after-school programs for kids, universal healthcare for kids (and hopefully, soon, for the rest of us). Who knew that state governments were taking such leadership in passing legislation that will actually help families get by? (For some reason I just can't see gay-bashing as a means of getting food on your table or making sure your children can learn).

We're entering a season where voters in many states will be looking at ballot referendums on everything from banning gay marriage to raising the minimum wage. What does it all mean this election season? As Nathan writes "What's clear is that progressives have a broad family-friendly agenda; they just need to promote it more publicly."


Progressives really do have working solutions that work for families. DMI's next Marketplace of Ideas event features a state legislator from Oklahoma who is responsible for passing the best legislation yet providing universal access to pre-kindergarten programs. I can't even fathom what it would be like being a parent struggling to make ends meet with young children and not having anywhere safe and educational for them to be all day. No parent should be forced to choose between working to feed their family and having their children cared for properly. America can't survive if only the richest people can afford to have families.

The universal pre-k legislation that Oklahoma State Senator Penny Williams put in to place in 1998 funded free pre-school for all four-year-olds in Oklahoma. Senator Williams established a program of high-quality early childhood education that ranks first in the nation in student access and enrollment rates. The Oklahoma program has demonstrated a significant positive impact on children’s math and vocabulary skills. Clearly the early investment in educating children pays off in the long run too.

So if you support real family values - do join us on October 30th at 8-10am at the Harvard Club 27 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues).

NY City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will be on the panel.
For more info go here.

Elana Levin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 1:10 PM, Oct 20, 2006 in Democracy | Economic Opportunity | Education | Middle-class squeeze | Progressive Agenda
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