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100Days/100Voices: What has changed for kids and families in the first 100 days?

To mark the first 100 days of the Obama Administration, the Annie E. Casey Foundation invited concerned citizens speak up and tell us – in 100 words or less, or with a video clip lasting no more than two minutes – After 100 days of the Obama Administration, are kids and families better off? Why or why not? What should be next on the agenda?

We're sharing selected photos, videos and emails collected through the campaign and promoting them throughout the Web. The campaign is designed as the start of a national conversation; we hope the discussion on progress made for kids and families will continue and remain part of the national agenda.

  • Submit your own 100 words and a photo or video.
  • Help us spread the word through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
  • See the terms of our campaign.
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Kathleen Lewis|SafeHome Philadelphia

Philadelphia PA

Jun 8, 2009 | Share This

In the video, Ruth Holland, SafeHome Philadelphia's Housing Advocate, talks about the effects of homelessness on children and the Obama Administration's Homelessness Prevention and Rapid ReHousing Program.

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Tom Grinley

Bradford NH

Jun 8, 2009 | Share This

Sadly, children and families are not better off and things are about to get even worse. Stimulus funds were directed at Wall Street, giant corporations, and infrastructure. Meanwhile, states, where most direct services occur, are still struggling with massive deficits and cutting things like education, social services, health care, etc.

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kyla pelletier

knoxville tn

May 19, 2009 | Share This

Here's a PSA I recently made for the Knoxville Youth Summitt competition for kids to address apathy in schools -- mine was to focus on foster kids who also needed families to grow and be involved in activities -- none of us are too busy to show we care!

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Trudy Bradley|Clarke County Mentor Program

Athens GA

May 19, 2009 | Share This

While the premise behind much of the Obama agenda, my heart aches when I think of what our children are being saddled with. To have decided on such a wide, sweeping agenda in such a short time makes me hesitant to agree that enough thought was put into it....frankly, it takes me longer than two months to make up our family budget! We all must learn to live within our means....and our leaders need to set the example and really LEAD. God bless our kids....they are going to need all the help they can get!

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Ginny Deerin|WINGS for kids

Charleston SC

May 13, 2009 | Share This

Declaring a “moon-shot goal” of reversing the alarming high school dropout rate was a bold move on behalf of children and families living in poverty. By underscoring the goal with a commitment to fund smart ideas and fresh approaches, this administration signaled a clear and convincing commitment to change. We salute the president for acknowledging that the dismal dropout rate – which has tripled in 30 years – is “our collective responsibility as Americans.” Next on the agenda? Replicating innovative models with a proven track record for improving student success where traditional approaches have failed

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Mark Scoffield

Fresno CA

May 13, 2009 | Share This

I am greatly saddened by the comments I have read about the President's first 100 days in this website. It seems as though the idea that one can believe in himself/herself and rise above personal circumstances to improve their lot in life has been lost! Certainly the majority of comments in this site exemplify that position. Our politicians in general have become masters at "feeding us the candy"! However, the "candy" they are feeding us will also be our downfall. President Obama is the master at "feeding" us! We as individuals need to solve our own problems, and then help our neighbors in their struggle as well. All of these programs and promises will do nothing more than eventually create greater and greater problems for us all. Our individual freedoms are being taken away and we all seem happy to allow it to happen!

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Keith and Cynthia Thomas

Florence SC

May 8, 2009 | Share This

It’s still very early in the new administration, but we were happy to see that President Obama and his team have at least put together a clear agenda for families. During the campaign, he talked a lot about personal responsibility and empowerment. Their agenda reflects that stance, but shows there’s also room for communities to help each other’s kids and families. The most important thing we – and they -- can do for kids is make sure their parents have financial, emotional, and social resources to give them proper care.

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Thomas BC Rogers|Project Community, Inc.

Richmond VA

May 8, 2009 | Share This

As most of the postings stated, it’s too early to voice if the Obama agenda has helped youth and families or not. As a youth and family serving organization, I can say that I’ve noticed an increasingly large amount of grant opportunities for nonprofits. They are still competitive and made for larger organizations, however, they could make them for all size organizations with less limitations and more government intervention to ensure funding and proposed activities are being fulfilled as requested. Overall, that’s a big difference in just 100 days moreso than the duration of the creation of our organization.

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Aaron Weaver

NE

May 8, 2009 | Share This

In video, Weaver talks about children's health insurance and changes to the foster care system that he'd like to see.

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Andre

MD

May 8, 2009 | Share This

Baltimore student talks about what Obama has done for kids and families in the Administration's first 100 days.

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Kelly Ruffing|DREAM

MI

May 8, 2009 | Share This

An important thing the Administration has done for our children, youth and families was to send funding to Michigan for summer jobs and job training (something like $73 million) and to allocate money for mentoring (some of which we hope to receive) through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Next on the agenda would be funding for housing, higher education, career development and mentoring for youth aging out of foster care. This is important because with the state of the economy in Michigan, competition for these services and resources is very high and young adults with little or no family support are at an extreme disadvantage.

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Andrea Hall-Bell|Judith P. Hoyer Center, Silver Spring

Silver Spring MD

May 8, 2009 | Share This

I am so proud to be an American citizen. The first 100 days has been so complex for President Obama yet I see a man of great stenght and wisdom tackling all the nation problems. He has inspired home in communities and world leader around the globe. Yet, one still get the feeling that he is able to meet the needs of his our family first. I strongly believe that we will be in an even better place in the next 100 days. Our program will have a full-day Head Start class and more funding in Title I for staff you may have lost their jobs.

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Robert Dottin

Irvington NY

May 7, 2009 | Share This

As a parent and a black scientist, I recommend prioritizing a science-based universal health care system. It would, relieve our college-aged kids and the underinsured of the financial burdens of decent health care, and encourage sick people to seek early treatment rather than risk community contagion, like H1N1. It should also emphasize preventive medicine, not just drug development, to reduce obesity, heart disease and stroke, that disproportionately afflict minorities and the poor. Our nation ranks far below the top twenty countries by most health criteria. Let’s support President Obama’s agenda to improve the health of our people.

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L. Carter

Vallejo CA

May 7, 2009 | Share This

The first 100 days to me, are still filled with excitement and jubilation for our first African American President. My concerns are with the same structures: organizations, agencies, and the government making sure that the economic well being of all citizens are being met. Too often, U.S. citizens are not qualifying for health coverage, food stamps, and other basic needs due to the same ole' poverty guidelines that are outdated.

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Patricia Bartik

Shoreham NY

May 7, 2009 | Share This

100 days is only a very small fraction of what 4 years will bring. I thought that President Obama's expansion of health care, more americans could be eligible for health care. I am a single parent of a 19 year old bi-racial son, I have only recieved 3 child support payments in my son's lifetime and now my son just lost his health insurance coverage from my employment because he is not a full time student (does attend a BOCES training solar energy class 2 times a week. My son did not qualify because I earn too much money according to the Federal poverty guidelines. Why is it that border babies get free healthcare and my son can't get it or he just showed up at a clinic and lied about where he lived he may be able to get some access to care. I have been penalized because I am a responsible parent that has worked hard all of her life and worked my way off government assistance. This is a systematic health problem since many youth ages 19-25 or 30 have no health insurance. They should expand access to care for every american born citizen especially since my tax dollar contribution pays for it.

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Doris G. Walker

Decatur GA

May 7, 2009 | Share This

Not only is President Obama making a great effort to follow through on his campaign promises to families and children, his wife should be commended for being bold enough to plant a garden at the White House and enlist help of children. What a wonderful impression the First Lady has made on kids with that gesture. Now children can understand the importance of growing fresh vegetables and self-reliance. Health care, insurance, Employee Free Trade act will affect all Americans. Mr. Obama has his work cut out for him and needs our support.

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Chandra Larsen

CA

May 7, 2009 | Share This

In spite of the inspiration President Obama has invoked, it is evident that key aspects of his education agenda do not stray far from his predecessors. In looking at the historical influence of unfettered, global capitalism, we continue to see movement towards privatization of schools initiated in the 1970s. I hope for changes in education that address the complex social and ecological issues that go far beyond economic competitiveness. We must hold President Obama accountable to his education policies and respond to his call to action, actively engaging in shaping our democracy. See my thesis on this topic at http://www.bnyee.com/obamaeducation.htm.

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Amy

Minneapolis MN

May 7, 2009 | Share This

I am a grandparent with custody of my 2-year old grandson due to his mother's mental illness and drug addiction. There is very little in place to offer grandparents or any kinship provider any type of assistance – financial, healthcare, legal, daycare. Also, the costs to gain permanent custody so I have legal rights to make simple decisions such as school, health, etc. requires an attorney which most grandparents can't afford either. Much needs to change in kindship care rights/aide and foster care and I don’t see that being addressed.

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Dr Peter Lyons|School of Social Work, Georgia State University

Atlanta GA

May 7, 2009 | Share This

Children and families are significantly better off now for myriad reasons. This is far from an exhaustive list. 1) We now have a President who is competent. 2) We now have a Vice President who is honest. 3) We now have an administration with an interest in pushing policies that support kids and families, 4) We now have a role model of intellect, competency, honesty, and compassion to which young people can aspire.

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Jan LightfootLane|Hospitality House Inc

ME

May 7, 2009 | Share This

I love Obama. But I know of nothing Obama has done to improve lives for kids. His promise to raise the minimum wage to $9.40 by 2011. Falls way short of Curing poverty. The average wage required to pay all the bills is $19.90 an hour. I ask everyone to give Mr. Obama a yell twice a month and ask for livable wage to be the new poverty level

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J Pence

Ca

May 7, 2009 | Share This

No! we are not better off. Our children's future of debt has been sealed. Obama's policies remove personal responsibilities, choices and his policies punish the primary contributor's of big donations to charities and social programs, and we are all at a greater risk of attack. He releases intelligence information to the world and our enemies but refuses to release the pictures of his publicity stunt of flying a plane, at a low altitude over NY, terrifying the public. His moderate campaign position was a ruse to cover his ultra liberal world view. I do not think that we are better off.

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Marilyn Sutherland

Dallas TX

May 7, 2009 | Share This

My daughter cannot find a job. She just got her Pharmacy Technician certification in Fall, 2008, but no one is hiring - and she has 3 children age 5 and under. It's unrealistic to expect Obama to turn things around so quickly. I do have more hope now than ever. Poor children will do better now than under the Bush Administration. We need support for single mothers to have daycare, health insurance, Head Start, and other support. How can you job hunt with small children without daycare?

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Stephanie Halpin

UT

May 5, 2009 | Share This

Obama is inspired and inspiring. He doesnt mince words about the road ahead but rather speaks to the hope that people have and need. I personally had to close a business... which was hard after almost 6 yrs of hard work. But our other business is coming along and I feel like people are working to turn things around everywhere and in their own personal situations rather than staying in "victim" mode. Staying grateful is key and I think that Obama speaks to that gratitude.

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JJ Hitch

MI

May 5, 2009 | Share This

In video, Hitch discusses changes for kids and families in the first 100 days, specifically for foster youth.

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Ashlynn

MD

May 5, 2009 | Share This

Baltimore student talks about what Obama has done for kids in the Administration's first 100 days.

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Glenn M. Melton|U.S. Army (RET)

Alpharetta GA

May 5, 2009 | Share This

The Obama administration has maintained a strategic view regarding the initiatives they've started to improve the quality of life for families! The administration has continued to keep the public informed, accepted responsi-bility for mistakes made - but has not yielded from its viewpoint that our families MUST NOT become the victims of political agenda or more corporate misconduct/irresponsibility. Anything less than adherence to a strategic plan would be catastrophic to the families he has sworn to protect.

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Kurt Saberg

Baltimore MD

May 5, 2009 | Share This

After 100 days, children and families are indeed destined for a state of involuntary servitude. The Obama administration continued the enormous debt of the Bush administration by introducing its own stimulus package. This unlimited government spending is harmful to future generations and will only secure additional debt. The certainty is that trillions of dollars of debt and interest will be passed on to our children and future generations without their consent. The extreme burden of taxes due to debt will afflict families and children to the equivalent of slavery. “The essence of freedom is the proper limitation of government.”

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Marc Homer|Wyoming Children's Action Alliance

Laramie WY

May 5, 2009 | Share This

There was a lot of bi-partisan support behind CHIPRA, the bill designed to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). President Bush vetoed the measure and the future of this successful program was in jeopardy. One of the first things President Obama did was to sign the bill and reauthorize SCHIP. There are 46 million Americans without health insurance and 8 million of them are children. There's still a lot of work to be done.

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Dukuly S. Mambu|Youth for Empowerment and Development

Monrovia CA

May 5, 2009 | Share This

Yes we know that one day we all will sat and enjoy the work of this great president. To my fellow citizens i will lake to tell you that let us be patience until we see the outcome of his first terms in office.

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Lisa Frack|Environmental Working Group

Portland OR

May 5, 2009 | Share This

As a mother of two young children, I am very concerned about my family's environmental health - specifically industrial chemical exposures. It is expensive and time-consuming to avoid them since toxic industrial chemicals with known adverse health effects are truly everywhere we turn. It is high time to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) - ansd replace it with the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act. TSCA does so very little to ensure that the chemicals in everyday products are safe for the people who use them, and Kid-safe would change all that. I'd like to see the Obama Administration make chemical policy reform a top priority since it affects every American, especially our youngest. The stakes are high and the time for action is now.

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Karen Crompton|Voices for Utah Children

Salt Lake City UT

May 1, 2009 | Share This

Notably, one of President Obama’s first actions was to sign the CHIP reauthorization bill that will make it possible for more kids to count on the health care they deserve 365 days a year. His far-reaching policy agenda for children and families – from expanding early childhood programs to making college affordable for every student who wants to attend – reflects a real commitment to making sure every child has a fair shot at success in life.

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Dayzia Terry

Washington DC

May 1, 2009 | Share This

Barack has accomplished a lot during his first one hundred days in office. President Obama is leading my family through a modern day great depression. Also, Barack Obama has really made an improvement in my life by making me more eligible to receive a college scholarship. To add on, he has broken down racist walls in my and many others lives. Furthermore, my family has no more problems paying our house’s mortgage. As you can see a lot has been done in our president’s first one hundred days. I cannot wait for his 1,360 days to come!

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Susan Stai|YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

Cincinnati OH

May 1, 2009 | Share This

The President has addressed so many of the pressing needs faced by our families with young children--including child care subsidies in the stimulus package and expanding the Children's Health Insurance Initiative. Sadly it will take time to fully implement these expansions. Due to the huge expansion of state controls through block grants, what the President giveth, the state of Ohio is taking away by such tools as changing the structure of payments to child care providers.

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Alan Jenkins|The Opportunity Agenda

New York NY

May 1, 2009 | Share This

In just 100 days, President Obama has put in place important policies to help kids and their families flourish--from expanding child health insurance to preventing teacher layoffs around the country to ensuring that women and men (mothers and fathers) receive equal pay for equal work. Even more exciting, though, is that he is treating increased opportunity for children and families as a goal that should infuse all US policy. Reforms in health care, immigration, education, and even energy policy have the potential to better protect and improve our kids' future. That said, it is up to all of us to hold the government, the private sector, and ourselves to fulfilling that promise.

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Jana Godfrey

TX

May 1, 2009 | Share This

I admire the efforts of Obama to create change especially when it comes to the health and education of our children. But as noted time and time again, this will never happen if parents don't take personal responsibility for their own children. There has been a growing reliance on schools to montior health, discipline, and the psychological well being of our youth. That's fine and dandy, but when parents defend innapropriate acts and sue schools for disciplining thier children when they don't, they indicate poor judegement and lack of oversight of their own children. When parents allow schools to return to their focus of education, and not raising their children we will see some progress. I agree healthcare and education are critical to our youth, but parents still have to step up to the plate and do their job.I am also conderned about the rising deficit and how that will impede our youth, but I will save those comments for another time.

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Uche Anomachi|KIPP DC (Knowledge is Power Program)

Washington DC

May 1, 2009 | Share This

The most important thing the Obama administration has done is help fix the economy. The economy has been declining into a major recession. There are a lot of families losing jobs, homes ,and hope. The Obama administration has passed the Economic Stimulus Package to help fix the economy. The Stimulus Package is helping to create jobs and stop foreclosure. And best of all it has given people hope for the future of the USA.

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Jackie Alston|KIPP DC (Knowledge is Power Program)

Washington DC

May 1, 2009 | Share This

My name I Jacqueline Alston and I think that the Obama Administration has done a lot to support families and children. To start off, as Barack Obama being an African American president, it inspires kids to express their intellectual and intelligent abilities to achieve goals and dreams. Obama has enacted a program to stop foreclosure, and to help keep families from being homeless. Another policy created by the Obama Administration is for education. Obama wants more children to go to college, and younger children to have a better education. One last thing Obama will do is change the way the United States cooperates with other countries so we will not have another economy crisis. The Obama Administration will change our nation during Barack Obama’s presidency.

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Michelle Belknap|Easter Seals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain

Great Falls MT

May 1, 2009 | Share This

Easter Seals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain makes it a priority to take a whole-family approach in all our programs. But you could say we take a “whole-community” approach as well. We are proud to be part of a strong community resource network that helps individuals and their families with housing, health care, clothing, food, child care, transportation, employment and much more. Thank you, President Obama, for taking this concept one step further by implementing a “whole country” approach to helping families who need us most right now.

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Danielle Ewen|Center for Law and Social Policy

Washington DC

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

The souring economy and corresponding increase in unemployment, food insecurity and homelessness have underscored just how fragile the nation’s safety net is. Fortunately, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a much-needed infusion for health, child care and early education, and job creation and training. And the Obama Administration has demonstrated it wants to build on that investment by proposing a federal budget that calls for broad investments in our youngest and most vulnerable children through health care, Early Head Start, home visiting and other effective interventions. By beginning to reverse years of disinvestment in programs that help families get ahead, and by creating opportunity for all to share the benefits of economic recovery, the Obama Administration has demonstrated its solid commitment to the nation’s children.

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Christopher Stocker

MD

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

The best thing the Obama administration can do for kids and families is to solidify their economic futures. We've lost over 12 years of economic growth. I've lost (figuratively) every cent I've ever saved since I started working. I admire the work he's doing in science and I applaud his priorities there, but he’s been going in lots of other directions and I don't think this is a time to be multitasking. I just think we need to let everything take a back seat to the economy.

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Abubakarr Sesay|Administration for Children Services

New York NY

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

My name is Abubakarr Sesay and I am a Sierra Leonean living in America. I came to New York in December 2002 just after my country’s civil war ended as an undocumented and parentless youth. Since I did not have a stable home, I was placed in a boys group-home. Soon after, I started the immigration process to become a Legal Permanent Resident through the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). I received my Green Card in 2006, and I am currently attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice, majoring in International Criminal Justice and hoping to become an International Criminal Lawyer. Thanks to President Obama’s federal economic help to States during his first hundred days, I am now working as a Youth Advocate with ACS’s immigration Services unit, helping undocumented youths in foster care adjust their immigration status through (SIJS), which was partly made possible by the Obama Administration’s economic stimulus package. I am hopeful that President Obama will make immigration reform a top priority and make sure that other immigrants have the opportunity to gain legal status and contribute to America.

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Janis Richter

VA

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

Our Virginia county is rural but our kids are learning to eat more out of a box than out of the garden, and their health is suffering. We want to protect our productive land and re-connect our kids to fresh-grown food, so we have started a community garden with free garden plots for families and youth groups to grow for themselves or for our food pantries and schools. In attracting volunteers to help guide novice gardeners and business donations, it hasn't hurt to have the Obamas' kitchen garden highlight the importance of locally grown, fresh vegetables for a healthy diet.

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Joseph Cuozzo

Chalfont PA

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

The most important thing the Obama administration has done in the first 100 days is to give children and families debt through government excessive spending that this country can't afford. The potentially tripling of the national debt does not provide a good financial example to children and their families. Next, they should rethink their budgetary priorities and pass budgets, plans, and health care that make fiscal sense, not government bailots, forced national health care and unbalanced budgets that we can't afford.

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Richard J. Carlson|Goodwill Industries of West Michigan

Muskegon MI

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

The best thing that the new administration can do for working families is to support increased funding for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs and services. As a certified one-stop center, we have seen a ten-fold increase in enrollments and job placements. Because of this funding, we’ve been able to add a new No Worker Left Behind college-level training program. We encourage the Administration to keep successful family-strengthening programs like ours going through adequate WIA funding.

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Elizabeth Burke Bryant|Rhode Island KIDS COUNT

RI

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

President Obama hit the ground running and has made enormous progress for children and youth by signing into law both the Children’s Health Insurance Act (CHIP) and the National Service Act. CHIP, with strong bipartisan support, will extend high quality health insurance coverage to 4 million more children and will ensure that they get the doctor check-ups and preventive health care they need to stay healthy. The National Service Act triples the number of young people who’ll have the opportunity to serve their country through community service programs like Amricorp. It is my hope that this rapid progress will continue as the President moves ahead with his education agenda, including early childhood.

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Nick Conger

Washington DC

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

Since his Inaugural address when he called for a "new era of responsibility" to just last week when he signed the "Serve America Act," President Obama has made civic responsibility central to his presidency. Further, the recent recovery package is now starting to fund important initiatives at the local level that helps strenghten the foundation for many community-service opportunities. While I don't have data to demonstrate how this has already inspired more Americans to give back to their communities, I can speak from personal experience. This past weekend I participated in Hands on DC, a local volunteer day to help clean up and rebuild local inner city schools. We had 15 people from my office wake up on a Saturday morning to lend a hand to improve a school in Northeast DC. This was the largest turnout my office has ever had in 4 years participating in the program. I believe the President's call to service, at least in part, helped make this happen.

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April Asuncion Higgins

MD

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

In regards to education it is my special interest that my son and all American children’s education are the foundation to a successful and healthy future and I feel that it is also a priority to this new administration. A leading nation like our own should be producing the brightest, most innovative and creative minds in the world. After all we are our greatest asset. Barack Obama has opened the doorway, a point of reference, a light of hope to so many young and older, but especially for the children the message is…you have a future, with the right choices you can be whatever you dreams maybe. Whatever may come from this administration, that single point of light is enough to turn the country in the right direction.

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Jim Allen

Marietta GA

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

The most important thing Obama and his congressional allies have done for children and families in the first 100 days is mortgage their future to the point that it may take an entire generation to undo the harm these people have done to the working, producing taxpayers of this country. What should the next step be: Wake up to reality and stop this madness before the United States is driven into the equivalent of national bankruptcy and the future opportunities of our children and grandchildren to enjoy the kind of life my generation worked and fought to achieve is lost!!

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George Wenschhof |www.airitoutwithgeorge.com

Frederick MD

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

The positive impact of the election of President Barack Obama on the well being of children was felt soon after his Inauguration. Within two weeks, Congress had presented to him and he had signed into law, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). This bill had been vetoed twice by former President George W. Bush. The bill not only ensures the continued coverage of 7 million children, it added coverage to 4 million children in need across the country.

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Nancy Waddell

MD

Apr 30, 2009 | Share This

I really don't do good when I talk about these things but from what I see I think Obama is doing his thang in there....I did notice when we did our taxes this year we got an extra deduction because of him. From our stimulis check he apparently signed a bill to release the rest for the people who didn't get the whole amount. Well that was cool. So it seems like it is getting better in time. I am one of those Americans who wanted change so I hope this helps. He seems really down to earth and ready to fight for true america and their causes.

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Michael Wallace

VA

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

I honestly have no idea if "kids and/or families" are better off, now. My gut instinct is "yes, they are" but that is entirely based on my wishful thinking and because I voted for the guy. I know my son's mother got laid off, which is NOT better for him. I don't put the blame on Obama for this, it is just the way it is. I know that my company has laid off about 10 or 15% of its workforce since December, which I also don't blame on Obama. This also has a possible negative affect on my son (certainly a negative impact on me). Of course, that is specifically for my family. I think to answer your question - I would say, "It is far too early to tell." Maybe in a couple of years I can give you a more thorough answer.

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Clinton Macsherry|Maryland Committee for Children

Baltimore MD

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

"It's only money." That phrase is usually uttered dismissively, but I mean just the opposite: in terms of putting child-serving policies into practice, often "it's only money" that matters. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama's stimulus package, includes lifelines for critical children's programs that faced severe cutbacks or extinction in many states. New funding for schools serving poor children, for Head Start, for children with disabilities, and for families struggling to afford child care will keep children in safe, nurturing environments where they can grow, dream, and achieve. Money means more than survival. It means hope.

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Children's Defense Fund Minnesota

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

Children's Defense Fund Minnesota asks citizens what has changed for children and families during Obama's first 100 days and what should be next on the agenda. This is the third of three videos.

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Dainian Smith

Baltimore MD

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

I’m not a parent yet, so I can’t say whether kids are better off at this point. But, as a homeowner, I was anxious to see how the Administration would handle the foreclosure and credit crisis. My wife and I just bought a house last summer. Right after we went to closing, the bottom fell out of the market. I think there are three foreclosed houses on our block TODAY. We’re doing our best, but I don’t want to know how much the value of our house has dropped in the last six months. I was glad to see that the Administration had a plan for protecting homeowners. Like I said, we’re okay, but the more financial options my neighbors have, the better our options will be.

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D.Y. Singleton

Capitol Heights MD

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

It's been exciting to watch the President and administration take charge and support working families. We're especially glad that we finally have health insurance for all kids. We have two babies under age 6. Healthcare can be a huge financial burden to a family; when parents have to juggle the cost of housing and utilities, the additional expense of immunizations or checkups can push the most careful budget over the edge. What’s next is to make sure that parents are given time from their employers to actually take their kids to the doctor. Having coverage means nothing if the child never makes it to the doctor's office.

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Michael DeGood

CA

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

Just for starters the SCHIP legislation or the reforming of No Child Left Behind or even the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit gives our children continued healthcare and begins to ensure proper education, essential for building a future for America that promises smart and healthy leadership. But more importantly, what Obama and his administration has done is give hope to any child that America has finally turned a corner. When it comes to choosing the leaders of our country we no longer base or judgement on race, namesake or rhetoric but, on Tuesday November 4, 2008, the people of this great nation - white, black, Latino, Aisian - entrusted a black man with a Muslim name to lead us into the future.

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Kelly Grace

GA

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

In video, Grace describes her views on Obama's first 100 days.

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Bradford L. Smith III

GA

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

It’s difficult for any administration to get a tremendous amount done in the first 100 days. The best you can hope for is the implementation of new ideas, which typically have been worked on for months and years ahead of actually assuming office. A good example is the Homeownership Affordability and Stability Plan, the goal being both to address the current mortgage crisis which effects us all while at the same time addressing the effects this crisis has had on our children. One of the most important parts of childhood is having stability in the environment and reliability in the people around you. Although we cannot truly know what the effects of this program will be for probably several more years it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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Jennifer Martin

MD

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

I wish I could say he's done great, but unfortunately he is just like any other politician. An example, the stimulus package. He adds about $13.00 to our paychecks but when you have a job only making $11.00 an hour because its all you can find, it doesn't help. That "extra money" will be taxed at the end of the year, so how does that really help anyone? I am truely worried about my unborn child's future as well as the rest of my family. Now he wants to put a device in our homes to regulate the amount of energy we use. I think the cost of my electric bill is high enough, to the point we can barely afford to pay for it now. And we save energy. He needs to stop the government from bailing out the big corporations and sending money overseas that we don't have. Actually help those that deserve it. The citizens that put him in office.

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Lisa Crum

WI

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

I felt for the first time in 8 years inspired and hopeful that a real change was about to happen when President Barack Obama spoke about education and how its time for a change. As some one who works full time to be able to pay for college, I was very impressed to see that during Obama's first 100 days he included college affordability in the stimulus bill. I hope to see Barack Obama follow through on his plains with revamping education in this country and the no child left behind act.

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Bob Glasner

Baltimore MD

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

By their example the President has shown us the power of Hope. He and his wife have shown that hope is a real tangible thing and if you and your support system (family, community programs) have hope and are willing to work hard, then just about anything is possible. He has shown that it’s just not about money and federally/state funded programs for social reforms, but that the bedrock of hope is built upon a stable family life or lacking that, a stable community environment.

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Children's Defense Fund Minnesota

Minneapolis MN

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

Children's Defense Fund Minnesota asks citizens what has changed for children and families during Obama's first 100 days and what should be next on the agenda. This is the second of three videos.

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Philip Bransdorf

Milwaukee WI

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

As a representative of the generation that has always had a computer, Barack Obama has proved to me that knowledge and education are the only ways to combat poverty. With Barack Obama signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he is giving a real chance to those who struggle or wish for their children to have better options than they had. Giving tax credit and Pell grant increases will make quality education more readily available for all.

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Denise McKizzie

Baltimore MD

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

Baltimore students tell the President what has changed in the first 100 days.

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Libba Fennell-Johnson

Washington DC

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

The Obama Administration has given me and my family a great sense of accomplishment and pride. In his short time in office, President Obama has already shifted the worlds perception of America and made it positive. As a young African American family, we make it an effort to stay informed of current and world events. My 10 year old son greatly admires the President and the First Family and even talks about them amongst his young peers. The greatest impact is that of personal accountability. This administration makes me want to be a better person and now we are volunteers.

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Janice Kushner

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

Deficits are so large that I dare not spend for fear of the horrendous inflation that is coming.

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Michelina Frix-Scotto

MD

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

I am a 35 year old business woman who is self employeed and lives in Maryland. To focus on what Obama has done for this country and for the “real people” that live in it is simple for me, he has brought hope and humanity back. In my opinion this is the most accomplished task he has performed so far. When I found out Obama was running for president the first thing I did was buy his book “The Audacity of Hope.” On November 4, 2008 my mother and I hosted an election party for the first time ever. For hours we sat around thinking of this “hope” and celebrating the victory of the critical states, especially Virgina. We all celebrated and cried and felt this is a leader who we can be proud to call our president and friend.

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Gray Griffin

NC

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

In video, Gray provides her take on Obama's first 100 days.

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Nancy Bledsoe

Lufkin TX

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

Goodwill Industries applauds President Obama and his commitment to expanding critical federal programs like AmeriCorps. At Goodwill Industries of Central East Texas in Lufkin, we’ve used AmeriCorps funding and a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to train volunteers to provide essential community education on social security benefits, access to food and nutrition resources, and money management training. More than 4,700 individuals and families are better off because of AmeriCorps. Keep up the good work!

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Jacqueline Y. Melton

Baltimore MD

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

The fact that there exists an administration that makes family a priority, not because it’s about the politics but simply because it’s important will have a longer lasting impact on children and families than any legislation that has been passed or meeting that has been held. When the most powerful man in the world relishes the roles of and makes sure to fulfill his obligations as husband and father before anything else, there is no excuse for every other husband and father to not do the same. Challenge on!

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Dan Holler|Heritage Foundation

Washington DC

Apr 29, 2009 | Share This

A Devastating 100 Days for America's Children: President Obama said, "This is our time -- to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids." Our kids may look back at those words and wonder why the doors are closed. The first 100 days have sent the message to our children that choice in education and health care is only for the rich. Expensive, unreliable energy, massive debt and a hollow military will accompany that lack of choice. President Barack Obama has undermined America's future prosperity, putting us in danger of breaking one of our country's fundamental promises: to leave our country better for the next generation. Read the full column: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31621

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Children's Defense Fund Minnesota

Minneapolis MN

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

In this video, Children's Defense Fund Minnesota asks citizens what has changed for kids and families in the first 100 days of the new Administration. The video was filmed in Minneapolis. This is the first of three videos.

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Shelley Waters Boots

Washington DC

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

In the first 100 days, President Obama has followed through on his promise to champion children and their families. One of his first prioritiesas President was to expand children's health insurance, delivering an important down payment on the health of our most vulnerable citizens. The recovery package also provided unprecedented investments in children and their families, with an estimated $142 billion for children. I hope in the coming months he will continue to shine a light on children’s needs and work to address key policy promises in early childhood education, paid family leave and K-12 education reform efforts.

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Jason Rosenbaum|The Seminal

Washington DC

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Economic recovery. Children's health care. No more Guantanamo. Ending the war in Iraq. A lot's been done in the last 100 days, more than in the last eight years. Here's to more to come.

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Andrea Edelman|Goodwill Industries International

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Goodwill Industries International is pleased to celebrate the hope and opportunity created by President Obama’s many initiatives -- including his far-reaching economic recovery package – that will support families and get the country working together again. Goodwill® stands ready to expand existing successful programs and services, and start new programs, that will reach even more youth and adults. A family strengthening philosophy, which focuses on improving the well-being and economic success of families, inspires the work of 167 Goodwill agencies. It’s time for all of us to get behind families, our President and our country.

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Marilyn Harmacek

CO

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

I belong to an Organizing for Change local group in Colorado, formed before the Inauguration. We strongly believe health care coverage is a massive stumbling block for families and our bi-weekly meeting focus has been on community-wide health care. Our group recommendations for accessible and sustainable health care coverage have gotten noticed by administration officials. That, in and of itself, has been a breath of fresh air! In addition, the continuation of SCHIP and the funding of COBRA are making a difference now as uninsured children and unemployed families have a chance to maintain health care coverage until reform is possible.

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Steve Kaiven|Goodwill Industries of Central Texas

Austin TX

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

President Obama’s message of hope and change has inspired to communities to work together, combining critical resources for the greater good. At Goodwill Industries of Central Texas in Austin, we’re committed to working with local partners to serve people where they live and work. Goodwill staff members provide services on-site at 23 area organizations, homeless shelters, high schools and housing developments in addition to Goodwill’s own centers. From GED tutoring and free tax preparation to fatherhood-focused programs and afterschool youth vocational training, Goodwill is joining President Obama in proving “Yes, we can!"

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Jennifer LaForce Plantinga

CA

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

More than any of the official policies that the Obama Administration has passed, it has been example set by the Obama family that has made the greatest positive impact U.S. families. The Obama family is the living example of a supportive, loving, responsible, functioning family system. At the foundation of this families' success is a sense of humility which seems to underpin their life. It is this because of this humility that their success feels like our success. Perhaps it is because the Obamas feel accessible, that we celebrate rather than fear their power and influence. Despite their address, they remain like a family who might live across the street. A family that would show up to a neighborhood cookout. A family that give you their undivided attention during a conversation without assessing your standing in a social pecking order. It is this example that gives American families a little extra clarity in the type of family, community and country we aspire to be.

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Josh Nelson

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

In the first 100 days of the Obama administration they have: expanded children’s health insurance, expanded the child tax credit, fought for global warming and clean energy legislation, overturned antiquated mining laws that were polluting our waterways, provided additional unemployment funding through the recovery act and started the process, through the budget blueprint, of making affordable health care available for every American man, woman and child. All of this while dealing with the worst financial crisis in nearly 70 years.

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Kathy Groth

Aurora CO

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

I just read the Agenda on the White House site. If these programs can be enacted and then supported, disadvantage children will have a better chance to emulate Barak Obama's life story. My first thought when I read about the 100 Days/100 Voices was this: When kids hear others put them down because they are poor, or different, or know a different definition of "family," they can remember our President, and say to themselves that nobody should tell them what they can or cannot achieve.

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Daphne

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

I am so proud of President Barack Hussein Obama, our first African American president. He has not only helped children and their parents with his health insurance, education, and economic changes but he, First Lady Michelle, and their daughters are a wonderful role models for all. As very busy parents juggling the world's needs, they take time and are dedicated to their daughters. Their daughters are happy, well behaved and smart little girls. I thank the Obamas for showing it is possible to raise children today that are not an embarrassment to and shame of our nation.

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Keith Brewington|Community Development Corporation of Marlboro County

SC

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

I would like to thank President Obama and his administration for changing the tax codes for working families. This step has and immediate impact on our purchasing power.

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Michael Finley|W. Haywood Burns Institute

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

The Obama Administration has already accomplished two things that benefit juvenile justice involved youth. First, President Obama’s election provides a tremendous opportunity to ensure that the Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act is strengthened to maximize protections provided to youth entangled in juvenile justice systems nationwide. Second, the Administration is explicitly welcoming national, state and local juvenile justice leaders to introduce new and creative ideas to address previously under-served areas such as reducing racial disparities on a national scale. This type of forward thinking, in a time of such national malaise, is critical to protecting the future of our children.

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Mandy Ableidinger|Action for Children N.C.

NC

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Supporting state services for vulnerable children and families with federal dollars through SCHIP Reauthorization and the Recovery Act have been the Obama administration's most important actions so far. With state budgets reeling in the current economy, children and families are paying the price as state and local services are cut or eliminated. Federal SCHIP and Recovery dollars are helping the situation. But more needs to be done. The recovery from this economic crisis will not be quick, and more stimulus funds will be needed to help states maintain education, health care, child welfare, child care and other crucial services for vulnerable children and families.

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Bruce Lesley, President|First Focus

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

The first 100 days of the Obama Administration saw the President and Congress join together to achieve historic funding increases for children’s programs. This is largely due to the passage of the economic recovery package and the fiscal year 2009 appropriations legislation. The measures have yielded boosts to education grants, foster care/adoption assistance, nutrition services, the Head Start program and improvements to the Child Tax Credit, among others. These investments ensure that every child growing up in our nation has a chance to achieve their full potential.

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Ruffin Chip Brown

MD

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

I have four kids. Brian (20), Blake (12), Parker (11) and Lyndsey (6). They're all securely wrapped in a cluster of three blended family structures that work amazingly well. Brian is a product of a single parent household like Barack Obama. His mother and I got divorced when he was 6. My stepson Blake is bi-racial like Barack Obama. My stepdaughter Parker is 11 and is talented and beautiful like Malia Obama. My daughter Lyndsey doesn't seem to have any obvious connections to Barack Obama and his family except that he is the first President that she will remember in her lifetime. I say all that to make the point that the mere presence of Barack Obama as president of the United States has changed my kids lives forever. Hopefully other kids and families in America will see him as great example of what is possible.

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Mary O'Connor|F.A.C.E.S.

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

The Annie Casey Foundation statistics show a tremendous increase in children living in single parent homes or with grandparents since the 1990’s. We work with single parents and children. They are having a hard time paying even $20 a session for counseling. Through the President’s recovery plan, we will find technical and infrastructure support to sustain our programs. Though F.A.C.E.S. provides services for families in crisis, we cannot generate outcomes and attract strong funding for our programs without technical assistance. President Obama knows what families need. We applaud the plan. We want to empower families and keep children safe.

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Susan Phung

Toronto, Canada

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

A citizen of the Great White North, I have been following my American neighbor’s political tactics for the past 100 days. Also a children’s advocate, I was impressed that the Obama/Biden campaign pledged $10 billion dollars for early childhood education. After all, it is in the earliest years of life that brain functions are established, setting the capacity for each next stage of lifelong learning. However, 100 days have passed, and I am disappointed that there has been so little action on this matter. The importance of teaching young children is often underestimated and I hope that the Obama administration will effectively work on addressing this issue.

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Ryan Montgomery

CA

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Waiting for California’s politicians to pass a budget this year was an unnerving experience. Many people became disheartened as we heard how our state’s programs would suffer from cuts. Under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, California schools have already seen an influx of federal funds. Many other programs are waiting for their portion of the stimulus package. I hope that the investment in our local and national future continues. It seems that spending our tax dollars on hard working Americans and their children through job creation and education is the only way to see tangible and far reaching results.

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Gary Brunk|Kansas Action for Children

KY

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

The Obama administration's support for reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)will make possible increasing the income eligibility level for our HealthWave program in Kansas. Over the next couple years thousands of additional children will have access to health care - and a better start in life!

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Michele Derogatis

MD

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Soon after his win was announced, Obama said we are a "changing America". You asked for an overall feeling: my 2 1/2 year old and 4 year old can pick Obama out of a crowd! And when they see him, they cheer like he's a superhero. (That would be a good vid for ya!) I don't know how many other Presidents were popular in the toddler circuit, but I think this is just a tiny little hint at all the changes ahead of us!

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Helen Szablya

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

For my grown children who are working hard to build their lives for themselves and now, for their own child, the tax cuts that Obama has instituted have helped tremendously. They have more in their paycheck and their tax return is much healthier than before. Thank you Obama!

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Judy Watts|Agenda for Children

New Orleans LA

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

President Obama is truly OUR President.His priorities offer new hope for children and families - health care, child care, affordable college tuition, and all the things it takes to provide our kids with the support to grow up strong and ready for a successful future. Most of all,he is a beacon of promise for kids who never before looked in the mirror of leadership and thought "this could be me."

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Michelle Moran

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

I am most interested in watching President Obama’s Zero to Five Initiative. I am a well educated English speaking single mom and I struggle to pay for quality child care for my girls. I am hopeful to see that his administration has listed Early Childhood as an ‘urgent challenge’. I feel passionately that our country’s future global competiveness can be traced back to how well we provide for the families of young children. I do believe in expanding Early Head Start and further funding of Head Start. Research shows that children who enter kindergarten ready to succeed are better citizens. An investment in early care will pay off in much larger dividends. I am hopeful to watch the new administration meet their goals. I can only imagine the despair of a mother who loves her children more than herself who must knowingly leave her child with unqualified providers due to lack of options.

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Lisa Bransdorf Napoles

NY

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Day after tomorrow, my husband and I go to meet with the Committee on Pre-School Special Education about our son. I want to know that Obama will come through with real funding of Pre School and Special Ed programs (like actually funding Head Start, like living up to the so far empty promises of “No child….”) I guess I am a little gloomy, but I hope that this President – who has not really talked about Special Ed – will be able to see that even with the “extra” investment that these kids need – they are worth being part of the “Human Infrastructure Investment” that he has pledged to America.

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Richard Clark

NC

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

President Obama has moved in the proper direction when it comes to families and children, but he still has an enormous road ahead. The President’s willingness to move on such items as family medical leave, children’s health insurance and tax breaks for home owners, college tuition has been a breath of fresh air. However, with such gargantuan tasks on his plate as the economy and the war, President Obama has not been able to focus his unbridled attention on these matters thus causing these items to, at least perceptionally, to fall to the rear. Worst yet, the President has had to make concessions for his stimulus bill setting the stage for potential forced compromise, or even abandonment, on some of these issues down the road. The hope is President Obama can put out some of the fires that were there when he took office and aim the full weight of his office on these social programs that benefit families and children. Also, the President’s eagerness to help home-owning families refinance could aid many struggling parents such much-needed wiggle room.

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John Fowler

Baltimore MD

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

At first I thought I'd find it difficult to pick a single best from the littany of things Obama has done to enrich the lives of Americans. I then remembered a segment I'd caught on the news of school children being interviewed and expressing how much they had been inspired by Obama's win. The idea that these children could make something of themselves, let alone achieve what once seemed to be a lofty and unattainable goal was something that now seemed far more grounded and possible. The added benefit being once these children act on their inspiration and bring light to stories and voices long overlooked.

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Kristen Grimm

Washington DC

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

On February 4, 2009 President Barack Obama signed a reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) into law. The signing of this bill was a victory for policymakers, advocates and especially for the 11 million children and their families who will receive health insurance coverage through this cost-effective and popular program. By giving kids the care they need and parents peace of mind during these tough economic times, President Obama delivered on his campaign promise and showed that now more than ever, his administration is committed to issues that matter most to kids and their families.

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Joan Benso|Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children

PA

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

What a difference this time in our nation's history has made for the well-being of children! As the boxes were still being unpacked in the White House, the President was signing the long overdue reauthorization of the State Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) into law. In a simple stroke of a pen our nation took a critical step forward to provide health insurance to millions more children. We now have a president who leads with children in mind rather than speaking to their needs when someone reminds him to do so. I am still glowing from the night of the State of the Union when we heard about the opportunity of early learning and the challenges facing high school dropouts.

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Jana La Sorte

NY

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

In 100 days, President Obama has changed the psychological landscape of our country by increasing our confidence and hope with the integrity of his actions on issues he campaigned on. He moved to close Guantanamo; agree on a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq; increase our presence in Afghanistan; lobby for equal pay with the Lilly Ledbetter Act; open discussions with nations such as Iran; address the Muslim world and create a dialogue; lower barrier of entry to education for Americans; tame the credit vulture economy; protect the environment and our future by pushing for green jobs and infrastructure overhaul. And there’s so much more.

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Miriam Calderon, VP, Early Childhood and Immigrant Policy|First Focus

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

In just 100 days, the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress accomplished more for children than lawmakers have in a generation. Paramount among these achievements are significant strides to improve the lives of immigrant children across America. President Obama and the Congress eliminated a law that imposed a five-year waiting period on immigrant children who are here legally before they are eligible for health care programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program. These children now have access to preventive care such as vaccinations and regular check-ups as well as treatment for health problems such as asthma or cancer.

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Fouad and Joanne Tawfilis|Art Miles Mural Project

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

The most important thing that the Obama administration has done for children is to INCLUDE them and their families with his interactive communications and outreach stategies, This is a unique phenomena from the Head of State and his willingness to collect information, questions, suggestions from the general public has helped change attitude about GOVERNMENT. In the children's murals, this attitude is clearly recognizable. Next on his agenda should be a specific streamlining of issues and possible resolutions with an "open door" policy to all those who can offer constructive and viable resolutions to issues at hand.

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Hathaway Ferebee|Safe and Sound Campaign

Baltimore MD

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

President Obama stated in his inaugural address “The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart, not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.” The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act is our road map. It is our state and local official’s job to see we get there by investing stimulus dollars in affirmative opportunities to ensure children and youth have a fair chance - their constitutional right - to reach their full potential.

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Rosalind Norrell-Nance|AtlantiCare Behavioral Health Family Centers

NJ

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Stimulus money has been allocated for preschool and as a result the school district in which my agency provides school based social services will open four new preschool classes. Help with saving homes has been an important initiative, but there are still a lot of people out of work. The request for food baskets is more than I have ever seen in the 12 years I've worked here. So more needs to be done to get the stimulus jobs in our area. Help for students who want to go to college has also helped several of my students maintain their dreams of going to college. I want to see the President really move forward with health care. This is a critical issue and needs to be a major priority.

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Joey Rich

CA

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

There are one hundred different ways to express myself on what it means to me regarding President Barack Obama’s first one hundred days in office. But it is with one hundred words that I will use to describe what I’m feeling. I feel like I have been granted the ability to take one hundred deep breaths of fresh air. And one hundred of my friends feel the same. And the one hundred people that I pass everyday as I walk to work, with their huge smiles on their faces, send one hundred warm sweet shivers down my proudly straightened spine.

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Susan Kolesar

NJ

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

President Obama had restored my hope in the future of this country. He serves as an outstanding role model for what a leader should be. He listens, is accountable, flexible, able to tackle more than one issue, and of course, is extremely intelligent. He does all this while still maintaining a connection "to the people". I can only imagine the good things yet to happen to this country under his calm and assertive leadership.

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Richard and Brenda Bransdorf

Celebration FL

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

We're not certain if the things that have been accomplished to date mean more than the fact that something has been accomplished. There had been a pervasive malaise that had captured the country, and it feels to us that that fog is lifting. Things are not great yet, but the hopelessness seems to be fading, and we think this is in great part due to the fact that Mr. Obama seems to have a clue about how people are feeling and doing. It is refreshing to know that the leaders care about the peoples' struggles, and are interested in making positive change.

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SueEllen Jackson|Aware Central Texas

TX

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Obama has created a debt that our children and grandchildren will not be able to pay.

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Wilma L. Sorrell|Washington County Heartland Youth Coalition/Washington County Community Prevention Center

Washington County KY

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Our organization is in a small rural KY community that brings groups together for the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs among the youth in our community. The first 100 days of the Obama administration, we were worried that funding might be cut for valuable programs such as ours. But, President Obama did the opposite and kept the funding available and in doing so, we are able to keep programs in our community going. Next on the agenda is to ask President Obama and his administration to be involved in helping large cities to small rural towns (such as ours) to be actively promoting our idea of "Safe Town Springfield" and "Safe Towns America!" We need to work on the meth, tobacco, underage drinking and other harmful substance issues that are plaguing the United States. The only way to do that is through educational programs as well as better police enforcement laws.

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Rachel Magnuson

Hyattsville MD

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

We all understand the gravity of the challenges before our nation, but there is newfound hope in America, a new sense that our America is on her way back. In the past 100 days, President Obama has begun to rebuild America’s strength and economic prosperity. The President’s goals are nothing less than audacious – new global economic might; affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans; a 21st century education system; American energy independence; and a renewed standing in the world. There will be long days and tremendous struggles ahead of us – but from small towns to the largest cities to suburban neighborhoods, we are pulling together as a country.

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Willliam Pakula

Chantilly VA

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

President Obama's administration immediately brought our national science and health programs back to the the rescue of families and kids, both at home and overseas! It has restored funding for research that can help children and families, opened the spigots of family-friendly medical information on the web, and stopped political considerations from interfering in how we provide family-planning assistance to poor families overseas. This administration has brought kid- and family-friendly science and health research out of the basement and back into the light!

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Micki Steele|CASA of Linn County Inc.

OR

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

What should be next is funding the CASA program across the United States. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is an advocacy agency for abused/neglected children in foster care. It is entirely volunteer based; children with CASA's are 50% less likely to return to foster care, spend less time in foster care, have greater self-esteem, do better in school and are placed in safe, permanent homes quicker. CASA is a cost savings; it costs $19,000 a year for a child in foster care; it costs $1,500 for a CASA per month. This is a federal mandated program that is not fully funded. Kids need CASA.

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Eben Burnham-Snyder

Washington DC

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

By enacting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and keeping a strong focus on helping states meet their immediate financial needs in several programs, President Obama helped avert budget crises across the country. And while many of us with children would like to think education comes first in our lives, unfortunately it often rarely does within the confines of a state budget office or in legislative negotiations. So, by investing in everything from infrastructure to energy to, yes, even education, during these difficult times, he has staved off potential educational disaster for a mini-generation.

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Kristen Kemp|BaristaKids.com

Montclair NJ

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

I believe, quite simply, that Obama has offered us hope.

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Kasey Snukis Songster

Washington DC

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

The President's renewal this February of the State children's health insurance program is important to me. I work for social services and it is truly amazing how many children (and their families, too) do not have adequate medical coverage if any at all. It is also his push toward making sure that all US citizens get insured.

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Jim Bransdorf

FL

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

I followed the elections this year more intently than at any time in memory. After the inaugural festivities, one of the first things I recall President Obama doing was signing an initiative regarding equal pay for women. Leading us in this direction will have a tremendous impact on families and children, for working moms, and for showing an interest in fairness and equal rights in a tangible way. Just as important, it was heartening to know that change really has come, and that the promise and hope of the campaign can be real.

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Jackie

Apr 28, 2009 | Share This

Well in my community not alot has been done. I am a former foster youth and I need to see changes. We done have the support like many youth have when a steady family raises them. Just yesterday I saw a former youth walking down the street and well he didnt look good at all. I need to see something happen for us. We have nothing when we get kicked out on our 18th birthday. ABSOLUTLEY nothing. If people want to change things bless them. Think about this next time you go to the store and there is a old man asking for money, think..could he have been in care? Why could he just never get his life together? Come on America lets change this lifestyle now! Lets take care of our own kids now!!

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