Alliance Symposium Series 2 April 2009 - Speech by Ted Lempert, President of Children Now, California

Published date: 
Monday, June 15, 2009

Ted is President of Children Now, a California-based research and advocacy organisation. Ted talks about his organisation's Report Card and how the results are unfortunately very similar to our own. He recounts how during his childhood, he benefited from California's investment in children, with the creation of a public education system that was a model for the world. However, the child poverty rate has increased over the decades and is now double the adult poverty rate. Ted has worked in the Californian legislature and experienced the challenges, as a child advocate, of prioritising children against other competing interest groups.  Ted reminds us that children's advocates need to realise that people care about children. Ted tells us that 1 in 8 US children (10 million) live in California and that Caucasian children make up only 30% of this ethnically diverse population.  Almost half of California's children are not enrolled in an early education programme and one in five are early school leavers. Children Now's Report Card also reflects poorly on California's health and mental health services for children. He also tells us that one out of three young people in California report that they do not have any caring relationships with adults.