* The following e-mail appears to be in response to comments on this post from yesterday. Ms. Meyer makes some good points here, and they’re made with respect (it’s not often that a large and influential group responds to blog comments, after all), so keep that in mind when you comment, please…
I see we’re a hot topic of conversation on your comments [yesterday]. It seems a lot of your commenters are wondering what we’ve been up to and questioning how effective we’ve been during this budget crisis.
I thought I’d chime in to help with those wonders and questions.
· The Ounce has been publicly opposed to changes the governor has announced in child care and in other areas of the budget beginning with his budget address and as recently as Tuesday on your blog.
· We have participated in and helped organize action days, attended hearings, issued numerous calls to actions and have worked closely with all of our program and advocacy partners
· We have also kept in constant communication with the media to highlight the impact these cuts and restrictions are having on children and families throughout our state
· And, we have countless meetings with all levels of the government advocating for our cause – and yes, this includes Diana Rauner and all members of our Illinois policy team
· In addition to our advocacy work, we’re also service providers and as such our organization and the programs we support are affected
We continue to fight for child care and other early learning programs with both the governor and the legislature. Our message has been consistent and clear - the governor should repeal the child care changes and both the governor and legislature need to put aside their differences and resolve the 2016 budget impasse, including revenue to fund priorities like child care, home visiting and preschool.
The Ounce has been doing this good work for over 30 years. Our priority is to the children and families we serve. We’re working hard to make a difference for them. Do we feel our message is getting through in Springfield right now? I don’t think any of us in the early childhood field feel we’ve made a breakthrough…but we’re not giving up.
Manager, Marketing Communications & Media
Ounce of Prevention Fund