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To Washington Lawmakers, a Healthy Lunch and a Note from Mom: Don’t Forget the Needs of Children and Families

NEWS RELEASE

January 11, 2010

CONTACT: Gretchen Wright, 202-371-1999

To Washington Lawmakers, a Healthy Lunch and a Note from Mom: Don’t Forget the Needs of Children and Families

Washington moms were at the capitol building and Governor Christine Gregoire’s office today to deliver healthy lunches with an encouraging note tucked inside on the first day of the new legislative session. The messages, collected from concerned parents throughout Washington State, asked lawmakers to remember family- and child-friendly policies in a time of budget cuts and frugality. Several mom representatives, organized by MomsRising, an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization with more than one million members supporting family-friendly policies, delivered the lunches.

"This legislative session is starting in an economic downturn that’s putting increased pressure on Washington’s families, so it’s critically important to remind the Governor and Washington State Legislature today that babies and children need strong starts now more than ever, including access to affordable, high-quality early learning opportunities,” said MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “With the majority of two-parent families now needing the pay of both parents to make ends meet, having access to early learning opportunities is not only important for kids to have a healthy start, having access to high quality early learning opportunities for children also helps parents go to the jobs they need in order to keep their families financially afloat.”

The notes remind legislators that policies that help children are important to Washington families and cannot be overlooked. They encourage lawmakers to support initiatives including those addressing early learning, that not only support children in a crucial period of development, but also provide returns to the community and the economy.

“Fortunately, giving kids a strong start is also good for taxpayers,” added Rowe-Finkbeiner. “Leading economists estimate that when we invest in high quality, comprehensive early learning programs we see lasting taxpayer returns. Every one dollar invested will return seven dollars to society by reducing the need for remedial education, welfare, and criminal justice services. That’s one of the reasons why MomsRising members from all over the state have contributed notes that MomsRising representatives delivered to the Governor and legislature today.”

The messages MomsRising collected from Washington State parents included:

Happy first day! Please eat all your lunch before you eat your cookie and be sure to remember kids and quality early learning programs. Love, Mom

Jennifer Scott, Seattle

Just some encouragement---you are doing a great job! Please keep children on your list of priorities. It's a difficult world but the future will be brighter if you continue to make kids of primary importance. Thank you.

Nancy Davis, Spokane

Thinking of you as the session begins. Thank you for making kids and caretakers a priority. Family Leave, education and health care for all is proactive and a fiscally sound means to take care of us and our nation. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication.

Gretchen Hormel-Tomkins, Walla-Walla

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MomsRising.org is an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all families in the United States. MomsRising is working for paid family leave, flexible work options, affordable child care, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination which penalizes so many mothers. MomsRising also advocates for healthcare for all, toxic-free environments, and breastfeeding rights so that all children can have a healthy start. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America's families.