Children First’s Report Series on COVID’s Impact on Children – READ THE COUNTY REPORTS HERE

Cut Through the Elections Jargon – Aug 26, 2022


Are Your Candidates on the Side of Kids?

It’s a tragedy for our democracy that candidates are spending more time spreading poll-tested jargon than being clear with voters about where they stand on a range of issues.

Twitter storms, photo ops, and well-crafted websites and emails have become campaign substance instead of the candidates making themselves available to state their positions and be open to questions. Sadly for Pennsylvanians who value the democratic process, it’s harder and harder to learn how candidates would approach today’s complex issues.

To be sure, the style of modern debating where candidates toss out rehearsed zingers or ignore any sense of decorum is also counterproductive to voting integrity. There has to be an in-between.

Fortunately, Child Care Voters, a project of the Children First Action Fund, is bringing together candidates and constituents to discuss jobs, the economy, child care, and early education. These are the meat-and-potato issues that directly affect how people live now and in the future.

Children’s issues are a top concern among Pennsylvania voters. A candidate saying, “I support children.” doesn’t give voters a sense of what that actually means. Does that mean, “I support children staying home with their mothers while fathers go to work?” or does that mean “I support increased government subsidies so working parents can afford quality child care?” or something else? There’s a lot to unpack behind the platitudes.

We promise that candidates will not be quizzed on veggie tray vs. crudité; they will be asked what they intend to do prioritize our children’s happiness. Members of the public can submit questions, and a nonpartisan moderator will guide the conversations so voters get answers not a shouting match.

You are very welcome to join these discussions! Visit the Children First Action Fund website to see if they’re hosting a candidate conversation in your district. New events are announced frequently so check back often. The first one is Wednesday evening in Chester so if you live in Parkesburg, Phoenixville, or West Chester, please register today.

Last week’s email, What’s the Ruckus in Bucks County, showed how elections matter. The Child Care Voters Candidate Conversations are your tools to knowing where your candidates stand on issues that matter to you. You can also join the Child Care Voters Facebook group – they are bringing together an online community of 10,000 “child care voters” who pledge to make child care a top campaign issue. Join the group here.

(Disclaimer: Child Care Voters is a project of Children First Action Fund, an electoral organization separate from Children First. Children First is a nonpartisan, advocacy organization that does not engage in candidate endorsements or activities.)

Sign up for Parents Empowered for Change, a new Children First program that trains parents to hold decision-makers accountable for kids’ equality, opportunity, and happiness. If you’re raising children in southeastern PA, join the movement!

Philadelphia teacher Jane Fitzgerald keeps a list of South Philadelphia High School students killed by gun or stabbing.

She has written about 50 names over 20 years.

If you’re a young professional in southeastern PA and care about improving children’s lives, join us for a social meet-and-greet. We want to know what you’re passionate about and how we can help you help kids.


True ‘neutrality’ would be accepting that students live in a wide variety of families: a mom and dad, a grandparent as a caregiver, or even two moms. The ‘neutrality’ mandated by this bill instead would leave LGBTQ students vulnerable to harassment and bullying, more than they are already.”

– Nasharie Stewart on the notion of neutrality in PA’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill