Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The politics of helping hungry kids

You’ve probably noticed that the media these past few days has been reinforcing the conventional wisdom with new polls and projections of Republican gains in both the House and among Governors races. The Cook Political report shows a near record 87 house seats that would be considered competitive or toss-ups.

I think almost any variation of this likely outcome in November means at least three things for our Share Our Strength’s childhood hunger strategy:

 To the extent that we have been political but not partisan, and reasonably moderate in our approach so far, our anti-hunger advocacy may be better positioned to succeed on Capitol Hill.

 In the next Congress when any initiatives that require new spending will face a very steep climb, and many programs will face cuts, our strategy of focusing at the state level and increasing access to existing food and nutrition programs may have more appeal than ever. Particularly as the impact if the recession lingers, Governors of both parties may be attracted to programs that bring badly needed dollars to their states.

 The Obama Administration will be forced to work more closely with the opposition party and because food and nutrition programs have a track record of bipartisan support, they may represent a common ground on which we can achieve surprising progress on behalf of America’s kids.

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