Parenting Advice and the California Legislature
I’ve been reading a lot of parenting books on discipline lately. (Don't ask!) Across all of the methods, one piece of advice is the same – praise your child when they do the right thing.
This rule doesn’t apply just to four-year-olds – we all like to get noticed and praised when we do the right thing. And, not surprisingly, getting praise makes us more likely to repeat the positive behavior again.
Recently, four California legislators did the right thing for children in our state and they deserve a big “Thank you!” from all of us.
During the intense California budget negotiations recently, Assemblymembers Mendoza, V.M. Pérez, Portantino, and Swanson bravely spoke up in favor of protecting the state’s Healthy Families Program.
Their leadership should be recognized. Assemblymembers Mendoza, V.M. Pérez, Portantino, and Swanson spoke out and voted against the proposal to eliminate the successful Healthy Families Program and transfer all children to Medi-Cal.  These Assemblymembers listened when doctors, insurance companies, consumer groups, and children’s health advocates raised concerns about this transfer. Their support was particularly courageous because the votes for the transfer were already secured; instead of doing the easy thing and letting the transfer go through, they did the right thing and stood up for the policies that are best for kids.
During the floor debate about the budget, Assemblymember Swanson said, “It is irresponsible for us to not evaluate all the consequences that are involved here. These are our children; our most vulnerable children. So I cannot support this bill. You should not support this bill.”  Similarly in his speech, Assemblymember Pérez highlighted how the change would impact children, “We’re talking about 409,000 Latino children that will no longer have access to Healthy Families. We’re talking about youth from rural areas [and] urban areas that will no longer have access to health care because of the transition from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal.” 
By thanking these legislators, we will let them know that their support for children’s health was recognized and appreciated. MomsRising staff, members, and partners will deliver a “Thank You” card with your signatures directly to these leaders next week before the legislature returns to session.
It doesn't matter if you are a constituent or not - these legislators spoke up for all of California's kids and so all Californians should thank them for this!
Unfortunately, these legislators’ opposition was not enough to protect the Health Families Program. The proposed transfer did get enough votes to pass and the children enrolled in the Healthy Families Program may be shifted over to MediCal beginning in 2013. To learn more about these changes, check out this one-page overview.
These upcoming changes mean our voices are more important than ever. We have many crucial children’s health issues before us in the coming years and recognizing and developing leaders on these issues will be crucial to protecting our children’s health!
Together, we are a powerful force for children and families!
-- Ashley and the whole MomsRising team
 Press Release, "California Health Advocates Commend Assemblymembers V. Manuel Pérez and Sandré Swanson as Children’s Health Champions," July 13, 2012.