New administration, new opportunities for Colorado kids
Wednesday’s inauguration not only ushered in a new administration, but also a chance to further help us meet the needs of kids and families in Colorado. Shortly after being sworn into office, Biden issued a number of executive actions to set the government in motion to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, provide economic relief to working families, and support underserved communities, among others.
With this comes a number of wins for kids. President Biden plans to begin working with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in order to help the country move toward a more collective response to COVID-19. The faster we mitigate the spread of the virus and get our child care providers and teachers vaccinated the sooner kids can return to school, parents can return to work, and the economy can begin to recover.
Now more than ever, students need a safe space to learn as they continue with remote education. In the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis, Biden has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the existing federal eviction moratorium until March 31. He has also called upon Congress to provide rental assistance. These actions will not only provide crucial assistance to families across the state and nation, but also ensure that kids have a safe place to call home throughout the persisting public health emergency.
Throughout the pandemic, low-income communities and communities of color have been disproportionately affected. This is largely due to past and current racist policies and practices that have created health and social inequities, ultimately leading to increased rates of infection in these communities. President Biden has rooted his administrative agenda in advancing racial equity and building back communities who have been historically underserved, underrepresented and harmed by federal policy. Already, he has signed an executive order that begins embedding equity in federal policy making and rooting out systemic racism from federal institutions and programs. His proposed plans include:
- Directing all federal agencies to conduct a baseline review of the current state of equity within their agency, and requiring the delivery of an action plan within 200 days to address existing barriers to opportunity in their policies and programs
- Establishing a new equitable data working group to ensure federal datasets adequately reflect the diversity of America
- Ensuring families of all backgrounds can access opportunity by improving the delivery of government services and benefits
Photo by CDC
By working toward racial justice and equity, the new administration could help broaden opportunities for children who have been systemically harmed by existing policies. While the changes put in place by the Biden administration are a first step to address the numerous inequities in the U.S. that have been deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is still much more work to be done. We must continue our work towards equity and child well–being as the new administration begins its term.
The aforementioned policies are just a glimpse of what we can expect to see within Biden’s first 100 days of presidency. Click here to learn more about Biden’s day one executive actions.