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Children's Movement Launches Bipartisan Effort

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-917581.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – A children's advocacy effort modeled after the tea party movement launched Monday in Florida, with rallies across the state. As Margie Menzel reports, it calls itself the "Milk Party."

The Children's Movement of Florida is calling for greater commitment to pre-kindergarten, child health care, prenatal care and mentoring programs. Indicators of the state's investment in kids show Florida in the bottom third of states for child welfare. David Lawrence, former publisher of The Miami Herald and co-chair of the Children's Movement, said the effort is backed by about $1 million in private funding and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, policymakers, businesspeople and advocates.

"We believe that children must become the first priority in decision-making in this state," he said, "if this state is going to be a safe, secure, well-educated place. And if we do not, we are deeply unable to compete in the 21st century."

The group has recruited 20 full-time organizers, hundreds of volunteers and 15 regional steering committees. Backers hope the Florida endeavor spreads nationwide.