As the November election draw near, some (especially those in swing states) may be starting to feel election fatigue. Tiring of the back and forth barbs, the never ending media coverage, and the ads as the candidates vie for your vote. Despite being a bit of a political junkie I rarely bring up politics via social media and never share my opinions in clinic. But, I do feel compelled to bring it up here now. Because there is a group of people that are rarely mentioned in the campaign. A group of people who can’t vote and need you to stand up for them. Children. The results of the election have important implications for kids. Today, I’m writing a prescription to all of my readers. Rx: Vote! I’m urging you, whatever your political bent, to read up on the issues and decide how you’ll vote with kids in mind. Whether you’re a parent, a health care provider, or an advocate for children, we have an obligation to speak up for kids at the ballot box.
Here are a few resources that I hope will help.
When it comes to the presidential election, two of the most important issues pertaining to kids are education and health.
- Health Care
- Mitt Romney’s published position on education
- Barack Obama’s published position on education
- Comparison of the candidates education policies from PBS
- Time for Kids review of candidate positions on education
State and Local Elections:
The presidential election may be getting all of the press, but it is not the only game in town. And, it is definitely not the only election that will impact children. Many states and local jurisdictions have candidates and issues on the ballot that will affect kids. Learn about these issues and decide for yourself what would be best. The Smart Voter Guide from the League of Women Voters is a great place to start. Just type in your address and you’ll be provided with a list of all candidates/issues on your ballot and quick links to pro/con arguments on these issues.
If you are a child health care provider, check out the AAP’s Get Out the Vote campaign and the Academic Pediatric Association’s Prescription to Vote resources to learn about additional ways you can help.
If you are a parent, involve your child in the election process. Take them with you to the polling place. Talk about why voting is important. Check out Kids Pick the President from Nickelodeon for kid-geared information regarding the election.
Finally, after the election, regardless of who wins, continue to let your legislators know that children must be a legislative priority. Make it known that in order to gain your vote, they must work towards policies that support a healthy and happy future for our kids. Let them know, “I care for kids. . . and I vote.”
I will continue to add resources here until the election.