Type: Events

Early Childhood Day at the Capitol Advocates for Gov. Hobbs’ $100 Million Proposal

The Arizona Early Childhood Alliance (AZECA) hosted its 8th annual Day at the Capitol for parents, advocates, and legislators to raise awareness of the importance of a child’s earliest years.  Children’s Action Alliance is a member of the alliance.  This year’s event focus was centered around the Governor’s budget proposal of $100 million in child care assistance to stave off a looming funding cliff facing child care providers and parents in Arizona.  Attendees toured the House of Representatives Floor with Rep. Consuelo Hernandez, met with legislators privately on the issue and were encouraged by the bipartisan panel discussion with Rep. Pawlik, Rep. Ortiz and Sen. Bennett with a special welcome from Rep. Alma Hernandez.  The lawmakers agreed child care assistance is a top priority for this legislative session as it intersects with the topic of housing availability and housing costs. Rep. Ortiz sponsored bill HB2266 (Appropriation; childcare assistance) will put the Governor’s plan into fruition by providing funds to the Department of Economic Security to provide child care assistance to eligible families. Also, Sen. Sundareshan is sponsoring the senate bill in support of the Governor’s proposal.

CAA stands with lawmakers and communities who are working on this issue to stabilize Arizona’s early care and education system.  Without child care funding assistance and the federal child care relief sunsetting in September, as many as one-third of Arizona’s child care programs could close and nearly 100,000 children and their families could lose the child care they depend on.

ON THURSDAY: How to Support LGBTQIA+ Youth in Arizona's Child Welfare System

To register, click here.

For the full flyer with information, click here.

Join us for a virtual webinar this Thursday, January 18th, 2024 from 12:15pm-1:30pm! 

Engage with and learn from LGBTQIA+ folks with system experience, LGBTQIA+ community members, caregivers, advocates, judges and DCS about how to help LGBTQIA+ youth in Arizona's child welfare system thrive.

AGENDA

Opening – Molly Dunn, Children’s Action Alliance

Welcome – David Lujan, AZ Dept. of Child Safety

Who, What, Why? – Currey Cook, Lambda Legal

DCS Policy and Practice – Melissa Compian, AZ DCS

Panel Presentation – 

Panelists: TJ Fowler, Lived Experience Expert

Jennie Hedges, FosterEd Arizona & foster parent

Jennifer Redmond, Divine Sisters LLC Group Home

Judge Lisa Bibbens, Pima County Juvenile Court

Moderator: Brooke Silverthorn, Casey Family Programs

 

Certificates of attendance will be made available upon request.

 

For registration, click here.

For the full flyer with information, click here.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Nov. 1 - Through the Eyes of a Child

We can’t wait to gather as a community of champions for children at next week’s 35 YEARS: Through the Eyes of the Child. We want to share a special announcement with you as we prepare for this annual gathering.

Children’s Action Alliance is pleased to announce January Contreras as our new President & CEO. January comes to us from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was the Assistant Secretary at the Administration for Children and Families.

Her heart for service, experience influencing policy, and record of leading change for the well-being of children and families will undoubtedly lead Children’s Action Alliance and the Arizona Center for Economic Progress to new heights.

 

Join us on November 1 at The Children’s Museum of Phoenix to officially welcome January, hear from her, and to honor the Governor of Arizona, The Honorable Katie Hobbs. We can’t wait to join them and you to celebrate 35 years of wins for Arizona children and families!

 

 

Register for our 35 Years: Through the Eyes of the Child here.

 

Leadership Academies applications now open!

CAA and Arizona Early Childhood Alliance (AZECA) Leadership Academies are now accepting applications! 

Both leadership academies are designed to bring community leaders together to amplify their voices in a unique way to influence policymakers on children and health issues.  

CAA's Lived Experience Leadership Academy will focus on health care policies, and AZECA's Leadership Academy will prioritize early childhood issues that affect workforce development and the economy.  

Participants will receive training and tools to advocate for policy changes and solutions.  

*Please note that only current AZECA members are eligible to apply
for AZECA'S Leadership Academy. 

For more information, click below to check out our applications!

CAA's Application.

AZECA'S Application.

Thank you for 35 years and counting....

Our annual gathering, Through the Eyes of a Child celebration, was a big success. More than 120 supporters gathered to celebrate CAA’s 35 years of improving the well-being of children, and the people who have worked to make it possible.  We appreciate all our sponsors, and champions for children, including Governor Katie Hobbs, for her leadership and for officially proclaiming November 1st as Children's Action Alliance Day!

Your continued support is crucial in creating an Arizona where children and families thrive.

 

 

Incoming CEO January Contreras (left), and CAA Board of Directors Chair, Ayensa Millan (right) joined Governor Hobbs for presentation

(in center from left to right) Rep. Schwiebert, Rep. Pawlik, and Sen. Epstein joined CAA staff for the celebration.

CAA STAFF WITH GOVERNOR KATIE HOBBS (CENTER).

 

 

 

 

Governor Hobbs Signs Bill Eliminating Administrative Fees in Juvenile Court 

Persistence pays off! On May 26th, after 3 years of advocacy, Governor Hobbs eliminated the burdensome administrative fees routinely levied on children involved in the juvenile court system when she signed SB 1197 into law.  No longer will youth and their families be charged administrative fees for things like diversion programs, probation supervision, access to public defenders, and even to set up payment plans. No longer will children be saddled with debt stemming from these fees well into their adulthood with devastating consequences to their credit. No longer will they be unable to get the student loans, car loans, and rental leases they need to make a fresh start. Instead, these young people will have a fair shot to learn from their mistakes and move forward without being dragged down by the weight of unnecessary court fees.   

Children’s Action Alliance is grateful to Governor Hobbs, bill sponsor Senator David Gowan, co-sponsor Representative Alma Hernandez, and to the legislature for its strong bi-partisan support. We also thank the broad coalition of advocates lead by STAND for Children Arizona and supported by the Berkeley Law Public Advocacy Clinic for their steadfast efforts and are especially grateful to the Arizona youth and families who told their stories and spoke out against these unjust fees.  

 To learn more: watch an explainer video about the issue.

Arizona's Voters Deserve a Say in the State's Budget

The voices of voters are once again being silenced. After several moves that are undemocratic, lacking in transparency and clearly an attempt to rush through billions of dollars of taxpayer money with almost zero input from the public, the final floor vote is set for tomorrow morning.   

 At 5pm yesterday evening, the state legislature introduced its slate of budget bills publicly. The budget details, negotiated between the Governor’s Office and Republican Leadership, were released and committee hearings were held less than 24 hours later. The public had little to no chance to review the content, synthesize the material or share their feedback on an approximately $17 BILLION budget. This budget is made up of tax dollars paid for by you, the citizens of Arizona. This is a continuation of the pattern of silencing the voices of voters in recent years

 Worse, the House Appropriations committee, in a partisan move, immediately combined all 17 bills into one vote. And then limited members ability to ask questions of staff about the content. They allowed zero public comment on the measures. This even though members of the public had taken time to be present to testify. 

 Questions and concerns from Representatives as well as stakeholders and other members of the public had begun to bubble up, in particular about the long-term budget ramifications of the failure to place a cap or any meaningful oversight on the out-of-control expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA’s).

Rather than hear or work to address those concerns in the only public forum the citizens have once budget bills are released, Committee leadership chose to close ranks and shut out dissent. 

 Children’s Action Alliance and the Arizona Center for Economic Progress believe strongly that citizens should take every opportunity to participate in the process of government and have their voice heard and that lawmakers have a duty to listen to those they represent, even the ones they disagree with.   

 *CAA and the AZ Center will have additional analysis of the budget proposal in the coming days.   

Please Turn In Your Signature Petitions NOW!

In three weeks, Save Our Schools Arizona turns in signatures to stop yet another universal voucher scheme — they need them back ASAP! 

This year’s ill advised, universal voucher expansion already has 6500+ applicants, the vast majority of which have NEVER stepped foot in a public school. Vouchers have never been about “choice”: it’s about subsidizing private education while defunding public schools. This number will expand dramatically over the next few months if we do not turn in 118,823 valid signatures by Sept. 23 — stripping hundreds of millions from our public school classrooms, teachers, and children.  

 We have got to get this job done and stop this horrific bill in its tracks. That means we need every signature and every petition back ASAP. We’ve got this, but only if everyone does their part.  

 Save Our Schools has events all over the state where you can notarize & return signatures: teamsosarizona.com/signature-slam/ 

 Find a notary here: teamsosarizona.com/notary/ 

 Public schools are on the line. Find detailed directions HERE for turn-in.  

 

RESILIENCE Through the Eyes of a Child, Tuesday, October 25

Thank you to all our sponsors and attendees for their support of our mission!

Children's Action Alliance is proud to honor amazing community members and elected officials who support children and families.

2022 HONOREES

Horace Steele Child Advocacy Award Honoree

SHAWN PEARSON, Founder of Zion Institute

Jacque Steiner Public Leadership Award Honoree

SENATOR LELA ALSTON

Jacque Steiner Public Leadership Posthumous Award Honoree

SENATOR DAVE BRADLEY