NASW is sending this e-mail along from one of our partners, Every Child Matters Education Fund.
After a smashing success with Step Up for Kids Day, Every Child Matters is now targeting the upcoming 3 official presidential debates and 1 vice-presidential debate as the next opportunities to spotlight the needs of children and families--and to press for new investments in a wide array of social programs. With thousands of organizations and individuals participating in Step Up for Kids Day, we want to direct the emergence of a new national children's movement at all those seeking office, especially the two presidential candidates.
Here's what you can do to help make children a political priority right now:
*1. E-mail Senators McCain and Obama and urge them to address the two questions below at their first debate*-this one on foreign policy-onSeptember 26 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. (We'll be in touchwith other questions to ask at the remaining debates)
*Question 1:* According to a UNICEF report the U.S. ranks 20th out of 21 rich democracies in child well-being. What would you do to close this gap in order to maintain our global economic competitiveness?
*Question 2:* In perhaps the ultimate measure of homeland insecurity, 28,000 U.S. children have been killed since the start of the Afghanistan/Iraq wars as the result of suicide, homicide or child abuse. What would you do to reduce the violence experienced by children and make our homeland more secure for them?
To send this message to Senator McCain, *Click Here*<http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=elFz5Cgez6zR4XRjfJtpBLWKfot5VGeb>*.*
To send this message to Senator Obama, *ClickHere*<http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=c7V2rh2YmUMLcuBtwwNZ7eqf3teINhtF>*.*
*2. **ClickHere*<http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=XPZjVJYJVZ6edajK91MnEbWKfot5VGeb>* to send a message to PBS's Jim Lehrer*, who is moderating this firstdebate and urge him to pose both questions to the candidates.
*3.* *Forward* this message to your friends, family, and colleagues and urge them to do the same.
If you agree that the candidates and media should be addressing these and similar Q's, please e-mail them now. In addition to this grass roots e-mail, ECM is purchasing advertising to raise the visibility of children's issues during the debates cycle. We also are organizing events in proximity to each debate site which will bring together up to 1,000 children, families and friends to urge the candidates and media to speak to children's issues. The obstacles that children and family issues face during an election are formidable. But with your help we can convince the candidates and the media that these are serious issues that demand their attention right now.
Thank you for your help to make children a political priority.
Please contact *ECM@everychildmatters.org
You can visit the Every Child Matters Web site at www.everychildmatters.org