January 20, 2017
It is an uncertain time for Illinois and the nation. The new administration in Washington is certain to make decisions at the federal level that will reverberate in Illinois. As the Illinois Legislature makes tentative moves toward a resolution to the 19-month budget impasse, localities and non-profit organizations are still in dire need of resources to provide services and help residents meet their basic needs.
Voices has a role to play in addressing these challenges and offering solutions to some of today’s most intractable issues. This year as Voices celebrates our 30th Anniversary, we will be bold, courageous, and unshakable in our commitment to children, their families, and communities.
Informed by our Agenda to Build Better Lives, Voices will:
- Demand the passage of a complete State budget that invests adequate and expanded public resources towards programs that support children and families.
- Champion amending the state constitution to make Illinois’ tax system fairer.
- Propose a model for Racial Equity Assessments at the state-level that considers the equity impacts of policy proposal and funding decisions and call for the model’s enactment.
- Push for juvenile justice reforms that put less money in costly prisons and more resources into community-based alternatives that strengthen the communities where youth live.
- Give all children a promising start in school by building the early math skills in kids birth to age 8.
- Give you the data and tools to advocate for programs, policies, and investments that support all youth in Illinois, regardless of race, gender, household income, or zip code.
My first year at Voices have been a gratifying experience. I look forward to keeping you updated on Voices’ progress and invite you to join us in our efforts to give every Illinois child the opportunity for a brighter future.
Tasha Green Cruzat
President, Voices for Illinois Children