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Advocates Ask Candidates to Make Children a Priority

For Immediate Release Contacts: Linda O'Neal or
September 26, 2008               Richard Kennedy
  Phone      (615) 741-2633

Advocates for better well-being for children, youth and families are campaigning for children and asking the real campaigns, those of our elected officials, to make children a priority. These bipartisan efforts will culminate at a rally on Bicentennial Mall on October 6, the eve of the presidential debate, from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Nashville is playing a role in the historic 2008 presidential election, as one of only three presidential debates will be held at Belmont University. On the day prior to the debate children and families will gather at the Capitol Bicentennial Mall to envision a world that considers children first when decisions are made. They will be encouraging everyone involved in the U.S. political process from voters, to candidates for local, state and national office, to ask, "How will it help children?" before making any decision To vote on a candidate or an issue.

Representatives of local groups (see attached list) are busily contacting sponsors, collecting materials and contacting school bands and youth performers about participating in the event. Agencies are planning information booths to tell families about services available.

The event will include performances by bands and other youth entertainment groups and speeches from youth about what they think candidates can do to help them. In addition to the presentations in the amphitheater, activities involving youth will be presented around the park.

A youth forum is also planned for October 7 at the Legislative Plaza. Essays are being solicited from youth, and selection of youth speakers will be based on the best essays submitted.

Child advocates will also be available to the media on October 7.

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, whose primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families, is the primary local sponsor. It is receiving support from the Every Child Matters Foundation, a national advocacy group.

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is an independent agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly. Its primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families.

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Participants

Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities
Catholic Charities
Tennessee Association of Children's Advocacy Centers
Centerstone
Children's Hospital Alliance of Tennessee
Vanderbilt Children's Hospital
Child Care Resource and Referral Centers
Court Appointed Special Advocate Association
Education Networks of America
Every Child Matters Education Fund
First Steps
National Association of Social Workers - TN Chapter
Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee
Stand for Children
Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children
Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth
Tennessee Education Association
Tennessee Head Start Association
Tennessee Lives Count Project
Tennessee Parent Teacher Association
Vanderbilt Institute of Public Policy Studies – Child and Family Policy Center
Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network
Tennessee Voices for Children