In June 2008, Governor Ritter and the Colorado Children’s Campaign worked to release a report on the current state of well being of Colorado children.
Quite literally, the information is stunning. I’ve lived in Colorado all but five years of my life and I never would have thought the following was true:
“Poverty is the biggest obstacle to opportunity for children, and between 2000 and 2006, the number of children living in poverty in Colorado increased by 73 percent – the highest increase by far of any state in the nation. At the same time, the total number of children in the state only increased six percent.
The numbers behind this statistic, and the children they represent, are even more troubling. Current estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that more than 180,000 of Colorado’s children, or 15.7 percent, live below the federal poverty line, defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as $21,200 for a family of four.”
I have never seen anything close to this statistic during my time in Colorado. I don’t debate that it’s untrue. It’s just shocking that this portion of the population, more than 1 in 8 children lives below the poverty line.
Who knew it was this big a problem in Colorado? I guess I just don’t pay enough attention to the right media channels. It’s not something that’s discussed regularly on the evening news or on the front page of the newspaper. But with the national and local economies floundering, this will only get worse.
How do we solve this problem?
According to the Colorado Children’s Campaign, we can address the problem in a number of ways:
- Make poverty and education a priority by urging our lawmakers to make it a priority and then voting on issues as we get them on the ballot.
- Stay informed through the Colorado Children’s Campaign website (it provides a number of newsletters via e-mail) and listen when stories are broadcast through the popular media – TV, radio, and newspaper sources.
- And donate! Time and money are both great to help out the CCC and other worthwhile charities in Colorado helping those affected by poverty, neglect, and health issues.
We must do what we can to try and help. Other states have seen declines in these issues over the last 6 years. Colorado isn’t one of them. Let’s fix that.