THE BLOG
10/07/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Third Convention Yields Ambitious National Family Platform -- Attendees Discuss

Low income families from across the country gave up their weekends to brave long-distance travel, storms, and the financial hardship of taking time off from jobs to discuss and ratify a National Family Platform. In the short video below attendees share about the process. The platform and call to action are below.

From the Platform and Call to Action:

Economic status at birth (or gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality) should not predetermine ultimate achievements.

Here's the Equal Voice for America's Families Campaign National Family Platform adopted today in Los Angeles, Birmingham and Chicago:

Child Care
Increase the supply of quality child care that is affordable for families of all economic backgrounds. Invest more money in child care subsidies and early childhood education.

Criminal Justice Reform/Opportunities for Ex-offenders to Rebuild
Make it easier and less expensive to get criminal records expunged. Help ex-offenders rebuild. Support children of incarcerated parents. Automatically reinstate voting rights for ex-offenders upon their parole.

Education
Promote accountability in education and early education. Reform the way children are taught so that their skills fit society's needs. Offer bilingual education and culturally relevant curricula for students. Provide more recreation, sports, tutoring, literacy and cultural history resources for high school students. Bridge the gap in technology access and readiness between low-wealth families and wealthier families. Involve parents in school decisions and in their children's education.

Employment/Job Training
Bring manufacturing jobs back to this country. Pass living wage laws. Enforce labor laws. Protect retirement incomes. Provide training that will help people access jobs with living wages so that parents will need to work only one job and will be able to spend more time with their families.

Healthcare
Provide healthcare for all. Provide better health and dental care. Provide medical help for elders. Enact price controls on healthcare and medicines. Provide healthcare education. Promote healthy living and good nutrition. Ensure mental health services are available to all and the needs of people with disabilities are met. Improve public programs, such as Medicaid, by making them simpler to apply to, easier to access and delay-free.

Housing
Build quality and safe affordable housing. Bring prices down so that poor families can afford rent or can purchase a first home. Help people feel secure in their housing. Prevent families from being displaced by development and gentrification.

Immigration Reform
Educate immigrants about their civil rights. Pass immigration reform, and provide more opportunities for immigrant families to become citizens so that their contributions can be recognized. Create a support system for children whose parents have been deported. Separate the responsibilities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the police. Provide education for immigrant children. Allow immigrants to carry a state driver's license.

Safe and Thriving Communities
Make all communities safe and vibrant with strategies to address violence, drugs and decay. Invest in infrastructure and resources to help all people thrive.

This National Family Platform is accompanied by a Call To Action that includes:

No family should live in poverty. Everyone who works hard should be able to advance and participate fully in the economic, political and cultural life of the nation - that is, every person in America should be able to fulfill his or her full potential. Economic status at birth (or gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality) should not predetermine ultimate achievements.

We take responsibility for ourselves, for our neighbors and for contributing to a better society. We are engaging in efforts to create change and will hold everyone in our communities accountable. We call on the nation to join us in supporting America's families.

Later attendees from South Texas, Fresno, Seattle and New Mexico talk about the job ahead... mobilizing their communities to speak up and getting national and local candidates to begin a real dialogue about family policy - a dialogue that includes the voices of working families.