Louisiana Early Childhood Advocates Are Celebrating a Big Win for Little Kids

Early childhood advocates are celebrating a big win for little kids. We provided our lead ally, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children (LPIC), with a full range of Alliance supports to make early childhood a top priority during their legislative session and this year’s state elections. 
LPIC received:

  • An ongoing grant for legislative advocacy and to make early childhood a priority with all candidates in the gubernatorial and legislative races
  • A one-time supplemental grant to engage grass roots advocates through the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, who received part of the funds
  • National technical assistance (TA) support on campaign strategy, Op-Ed development, and for a statewide poll to assess voter attitudes on early childhood education 

So,what happened? The incumbent governor, who ran on a campaign with early childhood front and center, was re-elected with the help of targeted outreach by grassroots organizations.
Check out this clip from the Governor’s acceptance speech. As a preview: 
“… we made a $20,000,000 down payment on my number one priority for the second term, and that is early childhood education. Over the next four years, we’re going to increase workforce training, and invest more in education at every level beginning with early childhood.” 

Check out this snippet from an article in The Guardian. 
“The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, a group of progressive community organizations in Louisiana, contacted 900,000 voters in the fall elections – mostly in communities of color - through door visits, phone calls and text messages. National Groups like Black Voters Matter raised visibility about the elections in African American communities. The Power Coalition's success is also another example of what happens when Women of Color build and lead social justice movements, especially in the South. 

By focusing on statewide coalition-building, direct contact with voters, and outreach to HBCUs and faith communities, PCEJ is building a foundation for long-term progressive change in Louisiana that's led by the people who are most directly impacted by bad policy and traditional power dynamics, namely, People of Color.”

We don’t often toot our horn. When we do it’s to share how Alliance leadership, together with partnering and supporting state and national allies, gets the biggest impacts. Our wild goal: Every Child. Every State. 

Check out this note we received from LPIC.

“This happened through the work of grassroots organizations such as the Power Coalition, who we partnered with and will continue to partner with during the 2020 legislative session. The GOTV (get out the vote) action was critical, particularly in urban areas. New Orleans showed up and showed out, which was wildly helpful.
We would not be in this place if it were not for countless years of advocacy. Governor Edward's number 1 priority is early childhood education, which is remarkable from where he started in his first term when he would not even say preK. 
We could not do this work without the support from Alliance. Through not only your investment in us financially, but through the investment of national technical assistance, we thank you for allowing us to make children in Louisiana a priority.”

Libbie Sonnier-Netto, Executive Director
Louisiana Policy Institute for Childre

This is just one example of what can happen when we smart folk come together and can use resources at the exact time they need them. 
The elevation of early childhood in the Louisiana governors race is just the latest dividend of the work of LPIC and their partners. Take a look and the 2019 legislative wins in Louisiana that also show the rising priority birth through eight. 

Kudos to our friends and colleagues in Louisiana and beyond for your outstanding work!

Onward Ho.