RESULTS’ Littlest Advocates Take On Capitol Hill

August 7, 2015
by Rachel Irwin, Senior Writer

During a visit to Senator Chris Coon’s office on Capitol Hill this week, 18-month-old Jack Healy casually removed his tiny straw fedora and handed it to a senior strategist in the Senator’s office. She responded to the gesture by placing the hat on her own head, igniting giggles from Jack and other children gathered round.

While Jack and his peers aren’t habitual visitors to congressional offices, they made a special trip (with their moms) to Capitol Hill on August 5 to urge senators to support the bipartisan Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015, which will pave the way for the end of preventable maternal and child deaths globally by 2035. The bill was introduced on July 30 by Senator Coons (D-DE) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).

Groups of infants, toddlers and small children visited each Senate office carrying brightly decorated chains of “mom” and “kid” paper dolls. Each one featured the name and photo of a senator with the message: “You are a vital link in this chain.”

Upon arriving at Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) office, four-year-old Cleo Papageorgiou walked over to a staffer and gingerly handed him her own colorful, personalized creation. The staffer grinned, as did most everyone who came across the little advocates as they weaved through the long corridors of the Senate office buildings. One toddler helped himself to a handful of granola bars left out for visitors in Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) office, while another enjoyed a photo opportunity with his highly amused staff.

“The Reach Act is a great bill, and we wanted the Senate to pay attention and see that moms and kids here care about moms and kids everywhere,” said Crickett Nicovich, a Senior Policy Associate at RESULTS. She organized the event with a diverse coalition of RESULTS partner organizations, including PATH, where Cleo and Jack’s moms work.

Earlier in the day, as the little ones enjoyed a pregame snack of juice and bunny shaped crackers, everyone gathered together on the steps of the Supreme Court to take a group photo. As the kids smiled (and sometimes waved) to the camera, their moms expressed hope that the Reach Act would help give children all over the world this same chance to thrive.

Take Action: Ask your Senator to cosponsor the Reach Act or write to your local paper.

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