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Children's Advocates Gathering Input in Marietta, Athens, To Inform Lawmakers
Posted on: 09/16/2013
By  Andy Rex
An advocacy group called Voices for Ohio’s Children is hosting forums across the state to determine the top issues affecting youngsters. On Friday, they were in Marietta.
WMOA News spoke with the organization's CEO and former Marietta resident, Sandy Oxley…
“We’re meeting with all kinds of folks, including elected officials, to give them updates on some policy issues that are affecting Ohio’s children at both the state and federal levels; doing a state budget recap; health care in Ohio; and probably most importantly, meeting with local providers who deal with children on a daily basis in terms of what the public policy issues that they feel are most important to Ohio’s children.
“The biggest issue that has come to the surface is poverty.  Hunger is coming up, and this is something that we really didn’t hear in our forums last year.  (We’re) definitely thinking that hunger and poverty issues are something that we need to be looking at in terms of what kind of policies that we can be encouraging our elected officials to pursue to make sure that we are having our children be healthy, educated, safe, healthy and employable.”
Sandy Oxley says the group is working with state universities to compile the information they gather, in order to present it effectively to state leaders…
“We’re looking for them to help us identify emerging trends, so we can take the information that we hear at the local level.  If there are issues that impact certain regions of the state, or identifying if it’s a statewide issue.  (We) try to connect local folks on regional issues.  And then, certainly we do have the opportunity to meet with Governor Kasich and his cabinet staff to share with them the findings from the Voices for Ohio’s Children regional forum.”
There’s one more forum in southeast Ohio - this Friday at 1:00 PM at the Athens Community Center on East State Street.
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