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Join dedicated child advocates across the country and speak up and speak out to champion policies and programs that lift America’s children out of poverty, protect them from abuse and neglect, and ensure their access to healthcare, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation.

Together our voices will make a difference to ensure every child a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start and a moral start in life and successful passage to adulthood.

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There Are Many Ways to Support CDF!

Every dollar donated helps the Children’s Defense Fund champion policies that will lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.

Learn how you can help improve the lives of America's children!

Speak Up

Protect Babies, Not Billionaires; Children, Not Corporations: Speak Up Now!


President Trump signed into law the harmful $1.5 trillion Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22nd. Those who voted yes turned their back on millions of poor children and other low and middle-income families to give the wealthiest households and powerful corporations instead $1.5 trillion in tax breaks over the next ten years. Leaders in Congress already are talking about cuts to Medicaid, SNAP, and housing, education and other programs (that they disparagingly refer to as “welfare” programs) to offset the $1.5 trilion dollars added to the deficit by the new law. Consider a few facts about the new law:

  • 83% of the tax cuts will go to the richest 1% of taxpayers by 2027, according to the Tax Policy Center. The tax cuts for these richest households beginning in 2018 will average $51,000 while the bottom 60 percent of tax payers will get about $1 a day.
  • 57% of all households making less than $200,000 a year will pay more in taxes beginning in 2027.
  • 13 million fewer American will be covered by health insurance and millions more will see their premiums increase, due to the new tax law’s elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and penalty. 
  • Millions of low income working families will receive only $75 or less a year from changes to the Child Tax Credit. An estimated one million hard working immigrant families will lose eligibility for the credit. But at the same time, the new law expands the credit to reach higher income families for the first time.

Speak up about this harmful new tax law! Don’t let Members of Congress pay for this harmful law and balance the budget on the backs of babies and children. You are not alone in this fight. Recent polls show more than half of those polled disapprove of the new tax plan and people have joined together to make their opposition known in Congressional districts across the country. Keep the pressure on. Catch them at home or when they return to Washington on January 3rd. Don’t let Congress harm children to help millionaires, billionaire and corporations!


Tell Congress: Co-Sponsor and Support the Child Care for Working Families Act

Legislation was introduced in September – the Child Care for Working Families Act (S.1806/H.R. 3773) – in both the Senate and the House of Representatives that would ensure all families have access to safe, affordable and high-quality child care. The Children’s Defense Fund supports this bill and now we need you to add your voice in support and ask your members of Congress to support this important new legislation.


Protect Children, Not Guns

A child or teen dies from gun violence every 3 hours and 8 minutes in the United States, but in December the House of Representatives passed The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 that would weaken states’ abilities to protect their residents from gun violence. The bill would force each state to recognize every other state’s laws that allow individuals to carry concealed firearms, even when those states have far weaker standards on who can carry a concealed weapon. For example, if this law were to pass a person from Mississippi, which does not even require a permit to carry a concealed weapon, could travel with his weapon concealed to New York or California, both states that require applicants for concealed carry permits to first demonstrate good cause or justifiable need to carry the weapon This bill would be a disaster for child and public safety and must be stopped in the Senate. Tell your Senators that you oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. We will send an additional update if this dangerous legislation begins moving forward in the Senate. Continue your good work to Protect Children, Not Guns in your own communities too. 


Share Your Story

How have you or someone you know been affected by child poverty, budget cuts to federal programs supporting poor and low-income families, or harsh school discipline policies or racial bias and ended up in the juvenile justice system? Use the power of your story to make a difference. Congress listens to stories, and if we would like to share yours, we will follow up to ask permission.

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CDF Events

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Child Defender Fellowship

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is launching the Child Defender Fellowship to offer community leaders and activists an opportunity to build skills, influence local systems impacting children, and build communities that will further social justice to ensure all American children have a fair start and equal opportunities in their lifetime. From October 2017 to June 2018, fellows will gain critical knowledge on policy and legislation, learn about the history and tactics of nonviolent organizing, and practice using these tools in your community. Fellows will meet in a virtual learning space over the course of nine months to participate in approximately 20 sessions covering six core themes.

Learn more about the Child Defender Fellowship.


Spread the Truth

Distribute fact sheets and information about the truth about guns and sensible gun safety legislation and policy opportunities in your state and in Congress to protect children, address their unmet mental health needs, and reduce gun violence. Partner with grassroots movements like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which has nearly 100 chapters in 40 states to engage lawmakers on the national, state, and local level online and in person.

Raise Awareness

Organize a Child Watch Site Visitation Program to raise awareness of the epidemic of gun violence in your community. To highlight the problems of violence, choose sites like morgues, emergency rooms, or juvenile detention centers. To highlight healthy development and violence prevention, choose sites like schools with conflict resolution and/or restorative justice programs, community mental health centers that provide prevention and 24-hour crisis response services for children and families, and early care and education programs that offer mental health consultation services.

Plan a Community March

Partner with as many local organizations as possible to organize a community march and vigil. Gather the names of children and teens lost to gun violence in your community. Choose a community location that highlights the toll of gun violence on children. Then remember each one lost to gun violence with poems, prayers and song.

Join the Children’s Defense Fund for the Proctor Institute in July

Come to the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute on Child Advocacy Ministry at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee and learn with clergy, seminarians, and concerned people of faith how to work more effectively to end the violence of guns and child poverty in your community. Great preachers and great teachers will help you hone your skills at workshops. Learn more and register today.

Host a Children’s Sabbath Service in October

Each year in October, thousands of Houses of Worship of all faiths lift up children’s needs by hosting a National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® celebration. This year’s theme is: Beating Swords into Plowshares: Ending the Violence of Guns and Child Poverty. Hold a “Turn Off Violence and Turn In Guns” Day as part of your Children’s Sabbath weekend activities. Check out the resources including a step-by-step guide on organizing a Children’s Sabbath weekend.


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About CDF Action Council

The CDF Action Council is an affiliated 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization of the Children’s Defense Fund. We champion policies and engage in legislative advocacy and lobbying that will lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.

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