Children’s Advocates for Change promotes the needs of Illinois children through public forums, social media, and advocacy work with elected officials. Through data collection and analysis, they consider the whole picture of the whole child including health, education, economic security, family, community – and beyond. With a focus on healing the system, Children’s Advocates for Change utilizes a racial, ethnic, and inclusion lens to advocate for dismantling the discriminatory barriers impeding the well-being of our children. They develop innovative policies, build alliances locally and nationally, and build upon successes to strengthen and multiply. Noting that youth are often under-resourced but overflowing with resiliency, Children’s Advocates for Change equips young people with advocacy skills so they can write a hope-filled narrative for generations to come.
Current projects and initiatives include advocating for Illinois to move from a flat tax that burdens low-income families to a graduated tax, applying a racial equity lens during state budget deliberations, and passing a child tax credit in Illinois in 2024.
In 2021 the federal government added a child tax credit to alleviate financial stress during the pandemic. The credit had a tremendous impact for one year which reinforced the need for its continuation. The current child tax proposal will be to establish a $300 credit per dependent child for households below Illinois’ median income level. Illinois has the second highest tax rate of the lowest 20% of income households, meaning low- and medium-income families pay a larger share of their incomes in taxes compared to upper-income families. Black households’ median income is around $45,000 while white households make nearly double at $80,000. The passing of a child tax credit would contribute to alleviating these financial burdens and lessening the racial wealth gap as is demonstrated in all 10 states with the most equitable tax systems that already offer child tax credits.
The 2024 spring session of the Illinois General Assembly is underway. Children’s Advocates for Change encourages Illinois residents to call their state representative and state senator to voice support for the creation of a state child tax credit. Find Illinois General Assembly representatives by entering primary residency addresses here.