December 30, 2020

Sharing Good News of Legislation For Early Childhood Development

To the Editor:

With 2020 about to be in the rear-view mirror, Princetonians and the nation could use some good news. The Global Child Thrive Act should become law any day now with the help of members of our community and our congressional delegation. The bill requires the administration to integrate early childhood development techniques into all child-focused international aid programs, activities like reading and singing with children, playing with colorful objects, and providing better nutrition. The kinds of things we would do with our own children and grandchildren can make a world of difference for children globally. Here’s where we came in.

In a September 2019 letter published in Town Topics I invited Princetonians to urge Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman to cosponsor the bill and our congresswoman was an initial cosponsor when the bill was introduced the following month. In a November 2020 letter published here, I urged readers to call our U.S. senators and ask them to support the bill’s inclusion in the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Global Child Thrive Act was included and the larger bill passed both the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities. Sadly, President Trump vetoed it on December 23, but Congress is expected to override the veto any day now. 

Successes like these don’t happen overnight or because of one person, they happen as a result of ongoing communication with our members of Congress. We could start 2021 by advocating for more good news and by thanking Representative Watson Coleman and Senators Menendez and Booker.

Sam Daley-Harris
Dorann Avenue

The writer founded the anti-poverty lobby RESULTS, the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and Civic Courage and is author of Reclaiming Our Democracy.