CDF-NY September 2018 Updates

September 27, 2018 | New York

We can and we must provide enough for our young who have too little instead of padding the pockets of millionaires and billionaires who have far more than their fair share of public welfare. No child in our nation should live in poverty.
Marian Wright Edelman

New York’s children and families continue to come under assault as the administration attacks the universal values that make us a nation of strong families and communities. The latest is a new public charge proposal which was released this weekend and could deprive struggling New York families of basic necessities – plunging more children into poverty.  Time and time again, New York’s families have been attacked by the policies of the Trump administration.  By inhumanely separating children from their parents, implementing a Muslim/travel ban, severely limiting the number of refugees/asylees, rescinding DACA and prioritizing arrest, detention and deportation, passing a House Farm bill that cuts benefits and introducing a new round of tax cuts that help the wealthy at the expense of children and families, the values that we stand for are at risk. This latest move by the Trump administration represents another immoral and indecent act against children and families

The details of the public charge proposal have evolved and won’t be final for public comment until they are officially published in the federal register, but the bottom line is that soon many New York children and families will be forced to choose between whether they make their health and well-being a priority or stay together as a family in the United States.

This is a choice no parent should ever have to face and it doesn’t need to be this way. We know that children who can see a doctor or have enough food to eat will thrive  and produce better outcomes.   We ask everyone to join us and submit public comments when they are posted on the federal register sharing your thoughts about what these new rules will mean for New York’s children and families.  We urge the administration to pull back on theses new rules that will target vulnerable children and result in a weaker nation.  We are better than this.

Naomi Post
Executive Director


Students Learn about “Power Speaking” for Success

The Children’s Defense Fund-New York’s Beat the Odds program kicked off their fall series of workshops.  Special guest, Leslie Cornfeld – former special advisor to the U.S. Secretaries of Education Arnie Duncan and John King, Jr. and former CDF board member – led a “Power Speaking” public speaking workshop.  We thank Leslie for leading this successful workshop!

Children’s Defense Fund-NY Joins Friend of the Court Brief in Supreme Court Case Challenging Excessive Fines in Youth Justice

CDF-NY joined an amicus brief authored by the Juvenile Law Center, arguing that the Constitutional prohibition on excessive fines applies to the states, and to argue that children across the country will be at risk of serious harm and disproportionate penalties if the Excessive Fines Clause is not found to apply. Juvenile justice fines are prolific, imposed against children and their families in all 50 states. They include traditional monetary sanctions, imposed solely as punishment for a young person’s conduct, as well as penalties that ostensibly serve in remedial purposes in part. Regardless of their form, juvenile justice fines devastate children and their families, resulting in deprivation of liberty, interference with family property, and infringement on family unity. The impact is felt by children, as well as their parents, siblings, and family members—who lack any culpability for the underlying offense.  Without a constitutional prohibition on disproportionately harsh punishments, states have little motive to reel in juvenile justice fines.

NYC Deputy Mayor Dr. Herminia Palacio participating in Crossroads’ Freedom’s School Harambee program.

Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools at Crossroads’ Juvenile Detention Center

This summer, the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) hosted the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools program at the Crossroads Juvenile Justice Detention Center in Brooklyn.  We were thrilled to be working with ACS this summer and look forward to our continued partnership in the future. Rooted in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1964, the CDF Freedom Schools program is a six-week summer literacy and cultural enrichment program designed to serve children and youth in grades K–12 in communities where quality academic enrichment programming is limited, too expensive, or non-existent. By partnering with schools, faith and community-based organizations, municipalities, colleges and universities, and juvenile detention facilities, we are able to offer this program in these communities at no-cost.

New York has passed the Raise the Age law, which means that by 2019, 16- and 17- year olds will no longer be automatically charged as adults no matter what the offense.  The law gets phased in and this year on October 1, 2018, the first round of the law goes into effect with 16 year olds!

The Children’s Defense Fund’s 27th Annual Children’s Sabbath Celebration takes place this year On October 19-21st.  The multi-faith Children’s Sabbath weekend engages places of worship across the country in focusing prayers, worship, education programs, and action on learning more about the urgent problems facing our nation’s children exploring sacred texts and teachings that call us to love and protect children, responding with outreach and advocacy, and—most importantly–inspiring new, year-round action to improve the lives of children. Some Children’s Sabbath celebrations are community-wide, multi-faith gatherings, others take place in individual places of worship. Together, we are inspiring change that will improve the lives of children!

For more information about the Children’s Sabbath Celebration, please visit our website.

Save the Date
February 25, 2019
Please join us at the CDF-NY Beat the Odds® Gala
at The Pierre, NYC
Honoring Eric H. Holder Jr. and others
For additional information

Support our work as advocates for and with children and young people. Donate to CDF-NY.

 As always, register to vote at