The Children’s Agenda release 2022 legislative agenda. Over ~120 community partners urge legislators to advance commitments from the 2021 session and address longstanding inequalities towards a more just future for Oregon children and their families.

Portland, Oregon The ~120 member coalition of the Children’s Agenda, convened by Our Children Oregon, released the 2022 Children’s Agenda on Thursday, January 27, 2022. In its 8th year, the Children’s Agenda continues to provide a holistic legislative agenda of impactful, equitable, and community-driven policies and investments to benefit Oregon’s children and families. Over the past six legislative sessions, the success of the majority of items on the Children’s Agenda points to the impact and power of this dedicated coalition of advocates to move forward meaningful change in the state. The progressed items from last year’s Agenda alone resulted in more than $1.1 billion dollars in new investments for families statewide. The 2022 Children’s Agenda builds on these efforts by urging the advancement of unfinished business from the 2021 legislative session, including the implementation of strategies to address racial inequities in health care, ensuring universal representation for all Oregonians, and increasing quality child care and access. Additional agenda items seek expanded health protections and stable housing, wage parity among child and family service providers, and investments in community safety.

The Children’s Agenda’s steering committee made up of state and community-based organizations, reviews and compiles member-elevated items across a range of diverse and interconnected areas that form the foundation for child well-being: climate and sustainability, economic well-being, education, health: physical and mental, and family and community. The items of the Agenda advocate for the needs our communities know are essential for all Oregonians while centering the lives of Black, Indigenous, and children of color, children living in poverty, and children who are immigrants. Throughout our state, these populations continue to bear unequal impacts stemming from existing inequities that have only compounded amid the ongoing pandemic and the historic climate disasters this past year. 

“This year, the Steering Committee received some incredible concepts to formulate the 2022 Children’s Agenda,” shared Children’s Agenda steering committee member and Executive Director at FACT Oregon, Christy Reese. “The Agenda truly shows the intersectionality of children’s needs across Oregon, and partners are working tirelessly to ensure all Oregonian children and families are protected and supported by meaningful legislation.”

standing issues and barriers facing caregivers, providers, and children alike across the state. Research from state universities and national organizations is consolidated in a new issue brief from Our Children Oregon entitled Oregon’s Child Care Conundrum: Hurdles, Disparities, and Opportunities Amidst the COVID19 Pandemic. This brief details how the COVID19 pandemic has further exacerbated issues of affordability and availability for families, capacity and wellbeing of providers, and quality of care necessary for our state’s working parenmy, and society to thrive

The 2022 Children’s Agenda:    

  • Climate and Sustainability* (New category this year)
    • Protect Oregon Workers from the Health and Economic Impacts of Climate Hazards and Disasters 
  • Economic Well-being 
    • Strengthen and Expand Child Care For Oregon [ Priority Item]
    • Expand Oregon’s Commitment to Houseless Youth 
  • Education
    • Ensure Wage Parity for Healthy Families Oregon 
  • Health: Physical and Mental
    • Invest in Strategies to Address Racism as a Public Health Crisis [Priority Item]  
    • Implement Emergency Heat Relief for Communities
    • Fund the Oregon Child Abuse Prevalence Study: Youth Voice
  • Family and Community
    • Institute Universal Representation [Priority Item] 
    • Ensure Wage Parity for Relief Nurseries
    • Invest in Community Violence Intervention Programs

The following three items represent the priority items of the 2022 Children’s Agenda. Passage of legislation on these issues is essential for children and their families to have access to the resources and opportunities for them to thrive:

  • Strengthen and Expand Child Care For Oregon
  • Invest in Strategies to Address Racism as a Public Health Crisis
  • Institute Universal Representation

“The Children’s Agenda is a way for our diverse partnership to come together and advocate for children in one shared space. We collaborate with organizations to center racial equity and targeted universalism to make decisions that positively impact children in Oregon,” says Ivy Major-McDowall, Policy and Advocacy Manager at Our Children Oregon. “This year’s Agenda takes a holistic approach to address the dilemmas children and families are facing today and looks to implement strategic investments to ensure Oregon children are healthy, safe, engaged, and supported.”