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FloCrit Impacts Public Policy Before and During COVID-19

Florence Crittenton Services took an active role in the 2020 legislative session, representing the interests of teen mothers and their families. FloCrit acted as an expert resource to representatives and had a strong advocacy impact with leadership from Board…

August 3, 2020
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Julia Goodman
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In the Community
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Florence Crittenton Services took an active role in the 2020 legislative session, representing the interests of teen mothers and their families. FloCrit acted as an expert resource to representatives and had a strong advocacy impact with leadership from Board member and Lobbyist, Heidi Morgan, and in partnership with the Colorado Children’s Campaign, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, and the Colorado Teen Parent Collaborative.

On February 11, members of the House Education Committee visited the FloCrit campus. This was one of the many highlights of the 2020 legislative session. Legislators visited with teen mothers, heard their stories, and saw their children learning alongside them. Their time on campus allowed them to see firsthand the importance of funding Early Childhood and K-12 learning.

Members of the House Education Committee at FloCrit

FloCrit teen moms and alum were able to participate in advocacy efforts across the legislative session on the annual Day at the Capitol field trip. The morning started on the House floor where students were recognized as guests of Representative Alex Valdez, who represents the FloCrit campus in Colorado House District 5. After a full history lesson and tour to the top of the golden dome, our teen moms got to participate in a personal Q&A session with elected officials from across the state, including Representative Alex Valdez, Representative Monica Duran, Representative Susan Lontine, Representative Jonathan Singer, Representative Barbara McLachlan, Representative Richard Champion, Senator Nancy Todd, Senator Faith Winter, Senator Don Coram, and Senator Larry Crowder. We heard passionate expressions from legislators commending our moms for their resiliency and determination to create a better future for their child. They left with a renewed inspiration to support legislation that will help teen families thrive.

FloCrit teen moms at Day at the Capitol

During this session, FloCrit continued to advocate to strengthen early childhood education in our community. FloCrit actively supported early childhood education (ECE) initiatives, providing testimony on behalf of HB1053 (ECE Workforce), HB1043 (ECE Tax Credit Fix) and HB1006 (ECE Mental Health). Before the bill process was finalized, the legislative session was put on an emergency hold due to COVID-19.

As we shifted to virtual advocacy, Morgan again proved the importance of having a voice at the State Capitol. During that time, she has continued to track legislation and kept in close contact with key elected officials. Her tremendous efforts have provided important insights for FloCrit leadership to consider during these uncertain times. “The school and ECE closures due to COVID-19 and the subsequent re-opening rules highlighted an even greater need to pass legislation boosting Colorado’s ECE workforce, supporting our students’ mental health, and allowing greater flexibility in school programs,” Morgan said when reflecting on the last few weeks. Her work has ensured FloCrit families’ interests are represented during these important conversations and has helped restore funding for prevention, intervention, and education programs in our state. Even under unprecedented state budget restrictions, FloCrit’s lobbying and advocacy efforts helped HB20-1053 pass with bipartisan support to expand opportunities for licensing in the early childhood workforce on Thursday, June 11 before the end of the unique session.