All families matter, no matter how they were formed or who is in them. As I traveled around the U.S. ths year talking to people who want to learn about our work, I have been struck by the resonance of this simple idea. We count.
As the 2010 census reminds us, 4 out of 5 households are redefining family right now: we are multi-generational, we are queer, we are led by single parents or grandparents. We have adopted our children, have biological kids, or decided not to have children. We have many immigration statuses, last names, hopes and dreams living under one roof. Right now, policy often lags behind this reality, creating barriers for families like ours. So we launched the Strong Families Initiative to support families as they actually are.
As we wrap up an action-packed 2011, we are turning our attention to 2012. As the movement of the 99% continues to occupy the public imagination, the landscape for the 2012 elections is changing rapidly. And one thing seems clear. There has never been a better time to bring our issues forward. We know that our families sit squarely in the 99%. We know that the demands and dreams of the 99% are our families' demands and dreams. We need jobs, we need health care, we need schools that work and streets that are safe. And in order to get there, we need to reorder our national priorities to support the many, not only the few.
The groups we work with cover a range of sizes and geographies. All are visionary, creative and determined to win. Working on issues that vary from protecting family unity to reducing infant mortality, from promoting comprehensive sex ed to expanding access to reproductive health care, each of us knows that we are stronger together.
We believe that as part of the Strong Families Initiative, these groups can bring all of our voices to the debate. We believe that with our civic engagement guide, our communications support to members, our training and technical assistance, and our strategic partnerships - alongside our determination and hard work - the voices of low income families, immigrant families, queer families and families of color will be part of this year's conversation.
We need your support. Our staff, our board and our partners have pledged to do everything they can to make this vision real. Now we need you, our supporters, to be a part of this exciting effort. Will you give a gift to ACRJ to ensure our stories are part of the conversation?
Our families are at the core of our lives - whether they are related by blood or chosen out of love and community. Help make our families part of the conversation by supporting ACRJ today!
Labels: Strong Families