East Hawaii News

HCAN Launches Children’s Policy Agenda

January 14, 2016, 10:34 AM HST
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Hawai'i State Legislature file photo.

Hawai’i State Legislature file photo.

Child advocates and lawmakers brought together by the Hawai’i Children’s Action Network came together Thursday morning at the Hawai’i State Capitol, where they launched the state’s first Hawai’i’s Children’s Policy Agenda.

The agenda makes it just in time for the 2016 legislative session and includes policy priorities and needed investments identified by organizations that serve children and their families.

Education, health and wellness, child welfare and safety, economic security, and equity for children and family strengthening are among the agenda items outlined at the State Capitol.

“Hawai’i has fallen behind in areas that measure how well our children are doing”, said Deborah Zysman, HCAN’s executive director. “We created this policy initiative to make sure we’re taking smart steps to get back on track.”

Measures recommended in the agenda includes topics ranging from early education and paid family leave to homelessness.

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“These policy positions come from professionals and volunteers working directly with our kids, from people who know what needs to be fixed and how,” said Zysman.

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At the event, Senator Jill Tokuda, along with Representatives Della Au Bellati and Takashi Ohno, spoke on the topic.

Au Bellati, Ohno, and Tokuda also spoke at the launch event, noting the importance of community organizations coming together to make sure issues like those that involve children are at the forefront.

“As I look through the Hawai’i Children’s policy agenda, what jumps out at me is collaboration, awareness, and action,” said Representative Bellati. “I am struck by the breadth of the agenda and that we are moving on these things. HCAN has done a great first step and we need more advocates to move us legislators to action.”

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