Arkansans with an interest in issues related to children and a desire to engage in the political process and will have the opportunity Tuesday at the state Capitol.
At the beginning of every regular legislative session Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) and the Arkansas Kids Count Coalition organize Kids Count Day at the Capitol. The event is a full day of activities including a rally, meetings with legislators, and information on upcoming bills related to children and families.
Kerri Sernel, the director of outreach for AACF, says "The need for quality pre-k is top of mind with a lot of folks. There are some bills surrounding paid family leave that are of interest to our folks, juvenile justice issues, and, of course, really at top of mind for a lot of people is what’s going to happen with healthcare."
Participants have the option of visiting with legislators and spending time in committee meetings. Also available is a panel addressing the impact of potential changes being discussed as part of the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The day of events is promoted as a non-partisan gathering.
"The issues that we work on are very much not based in one political ideology or other. They really are based on what the data is showing us and what the evidence is showing us and what’s working possibly in other places,” said Sernel.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by a rally in the Capitol rotunda at 9:30. Committee meetings and visits with legislators are scheduled for late morning and afternoon. Children of all ages are welcome to attend and learn about the legislation impacting them. More details can be found here.