I am totally mindful that I have only one shot to make a first impression as a new blogger.  Excuse me if I’m a little nervous.  I know I can master the technology.  But this needs something more.  A blog needs your heart and your soul, not just your technical know how.  I’ve made the commitment.

As the Executive Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children I am just one of the Voices staff that will engage you on this blog.  We have an extraordinary group that brings deep knowledge of how children in Georgia are faring, of who does what to deliver services to kids, and how to make sure your voice is heard as an advocate.  I see my own role both in the organization and on our blog as the one who asks “Why?”  Why do children need advocates?  Why should you step out of your comfort zone?  Why will decision makers be persuaded by our arguments?  Why might our position not resonate with certain stakeholders?

Today I want to pose the question “Why must you speak up for children?”  Obviously they don’t vote and are not in the halls of power to speak for themselves.  More importantly, without you, children’s interests cannot compete with the many other issues that are so much better funded.  I believe in our state’s need for transportation, real estate development, utilities, and business.  But these interests have resources at their command that we can only dream of:  legions of corporate experts, armies of industry employees, and decades of political relationships.

Legislation is one way to make change for kids and your contact with those who represent you is a powerful way to advocate.  Many legislators tell us that 10-15 personal contacts on an issue will make them pay attention.   Children may not have money for PACs and entertainment and publicity campaigns, but collectively we, adults who care about kids, have a voice and have the power to vote.   These resources will help children’s interests to compete.

Voices is ready to keep you informed, to alert you to advocacy opportunities, and to share the results.  Children need your voice.  Please join us.