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John Kerry on Families & Children

Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President


2004: Campaign event featured Mayor plus a single mother

As a presidential candidate, John Kerry was constantly touting single mothers, using them in his campaign ads and giving them speaking time at campaign rallies. The week he announced he was running for president, Kerry held a campaign event at Faneuil Hall in Boston. Three eminences spoke on his behalf: the mayor of Boston, Senator Ted Kennedy, and... a 20-year-old single mother. It's hard to say whose reputation suffered the most from this joint appearance.
Source: Guilty, by Ann Coulter, p. 48-49 , Nov 10, 2009

Care for our children and protect the neighborhoods

Values spoken without actions taken are just slogans. Values are not just words. They’re what we live by. They’re about the causes we champion and the people we fight for. It is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families. You don’t value families by kicking kids out of after school programs & taking cops off our streets, so that Enron can get another tax break. We believe in the family value of caring for our children and protecting the neighborhoods where they walk and play.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention , Jul 29, 2004

Fighting for America’s Children: insurance & care for all

Each and every child in this country is valuable because they are our future as a society. We cannot afford to lose a single child to ill-health, under-education, abuse, addiction, jail, or gun violence. America’s highest goal should be for every child to grow up to be a successful young adult -- healthy, educated, free, secure, and a good citizen. [My program for children includes:]
  • Quality Care so Children Start School Ready to Learn
  • Increases in Head Start
  • A Real Deal for America’s Public Schools
  • Health Insurance for Every Child
  • Providing After-School Care to Every Child
  • A New Kids Safety Effort at the FDA
  • Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Mandatory full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
    Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, JohnKerry.com, “Issues” , Mar 21, 2004

    Fully fund Head Start for all 3- and 4-year-olds

    John Kerry has fought for increases in Head Start, child care and early education and will continue to do so as President. John Kerry will work to fully fund the Head Start program, so that every 3- and 4-year-old in poverty can receive the comprehensive cognitive, social/emotional, health, and parent education services needed for success. And he will never block grant Head Start like President Bush has proposed doing, putting at risk an important and proven successful program.
    Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, JohnKerry.com, “Issues” , Mar 21, 2004

    Supports Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act

    Kerry will make preventing instances of abuse and neglect a major priority. Kerry will support programs such as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, and expand the primary federal child welfare program to include prevention services rather than just placements after the abuse or neglect has occurred.

    Kerry believes every child in America should have health insurance coverage. Children with health insurance receive the preventive health care that avoids expensive emergency room visits.

    Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, JohnKerry.com, “Issues” , Mar 21, 2004

    New “Kids Safety Effort” at the FDA

    John Kerry proposed a New “Kids Safety Effort” at the Food and Drug Administration that would require testing for prescriptions used for children and require any food containing a major allergen to be labeled clearly and consistently.
    Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, JohnKerry.com, “Issues” , Mar 21, 2004

    Fund Head Start to leave no child behind

    We need to guarantee that our children are not made the abused of political slogans, Leave No Child Behind. You have to fund education, and you have to guarantee that we’re not content to just spend $50,000 a year on prison. Head Start needs full funding, children need to be funded in this country.
    Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico , Sep 4, 2003

    Voted YES on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors.

    Vote to kill an amendment that would prohibit the distribution of violent video programming to the public during hours when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience. Voting YES would kill the amendment proposing the new restrictions. Voting NO would suport the amendment proposing the new restrictions.
    Reference: Bill S.254 ; vote number 1999-114 on May 13, 1999

    Give parents tools to balance work and family.

    Kerry signed the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

    Strengthen America’s Families
    While the steady reduction in the number of two-parent families of the last 40 years has slowed, more than one-third of our children still live in one- or no-parent families. There is a high correlation between a childhood spent with inadequate parental support and an adulthood spent in poverty or in prison.

    To strengthen families, we must redouble efforts to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, make work pay, eliminate tax policies that inadvertently penalize marriage, and require absent fathers to pay child support while offering them new opportunities to find work. Because every child needs the attention of at least one caring and competent adult, we should create an “extended family” of adult volunteer mentors.

    Family breakdown is not the only challenge we face. As two-worker families have become the norm, harried parents have less time to spend on their most important job: raising their children. Moreover, parents and schools often find themselves contending with sex- and violence-saturated messages coming from an all-pervasive mass entertainment media.

    We should continue public efforts to give parents tools to balance work and family and shield their children from harmful outside influences. For example, we should encourage employers to adopt family-friendly policies and practices such as parental leave, flex-time, and telecommuting. Public officials should speak out about violence in our culture and should press the entertainment media to adopt self-policing codes aimed at protecting children.

    Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC4 on Aug 1, 2000

    Small Business loans for child care businesses.

    Kerry introduced the Child Care Lending Pilot Act

    A bill to create a 3-year pilot program that makes small, non-profit child care businesses eligible for SBA 504 loans. Amends the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to allow the proceeds of loans made through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to local development companies for plant acquisition, construction, or expansion to be used to assist small, nonprofit child care businesses, provided that: (1) the loan will be used for a sound business purpose approved by the SBA; and (2) each business receiving the assistance meets eligibility requirements applicable to for-profit businesses.

    Source: Bill sponsored by 17 Senators 03-S822 on Apr 8, 2003

    Rated 0% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-Family-Value voting record.

    Kerry scores 0% by the Christian Coalition on family issues

    The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.

      Our Five-Fold Mission:
    1. Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
    2. Speak out in the public arena and in the media
    3. Train leaders for effective social and political action
    4. Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
    5. Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
    Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
    Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003

    Call for a White House Conference on Children and Youth.

    Kerry co-sponsored calling for a White House Conference on Children and Youth

    The White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act - Directs the President to call a White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 to: (1) encourage improvements in each state and local child welfare system; and (2) develop recommendations for actions to implement express policy regarding federal, state, and local programs. The Congress finds the following:

    1. In 2005 there were over 3,000,000 reports of child abuse and neglect, and only 60% of the children from the substantiated reports received follow-up services and 20% were placed in foster care as a result of an investigation.
    2. Almost 500,000 children and youth were in foster care at the end of 2004 and nearly 800,000 spent at least some time in foster care throughout the year.
    3. There is an over-representation of certain populations, including Native Americans and African-Americans, in the child welfare system.
    4. The State courts make key decisions in the lives of children involved in the child welfare system, including decisions of whether children have been victims of child abuse, whether parental rights should be terminated, and whether children should be reunified with their families, adopted, or placed in other settings.
    Source: Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act (S2771/HR5461) 08-S2771 on Mar 13, 2008

    Sex Ed including both abstinence and contraception.

    Kerry signed H.R.1551&S.611

    Authorizes grants to states for sex education programs, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Expresses the sense of Congress that states are encouraged, although not required, to provide matching funds to receive such grants.

    Requires the Secretary to provide for a national evaluation of a representative sample of such programs for effectiveness in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse and other high-risk behaviors, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and increasing contraceptive knowledge and behavior. Requires states receiving such grants to provide for an individual evaluation of the state's program by an external, independent entity.

    Source: Responsible Education About Life Act 09-HR1551 on Mar 17, 2009

    Teach teens about both abstinence & contraception.

    Kerry signed Responsible Education About Life Act

      To provide for the reduction of adolescent pregnancy, HIV rates, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Congress finds as follows:
    1. Leading public health organizations stress the need for sexuality education that includes messages about abstinence and contraception.
    2. A 2005 statement [to Congress] urged that 'Sexuality education should be non-judgmental & support parent-child communication & should not impose religious or ideological viewpoints upon students.'
    3. [A Congressionally-sponsored] 2006 position paper that 'Efforts to promote abstinence should include information about concepts of healthy sexuality, sexual orientation & tolerance, personal responsibility, risks of HIV, access to reproductive health care, and benefits & risks of condoms & other contraceptive methods.'
    4. 8 in 10 Americans believe that sex education should promote abstinence and provide information about the effectiveness & benefits of contraception.
    5. There is strong evidence that more comprehensive sex education can effectively help young people delay sexual initiation, even as it increases contraceptive use among sexually active youth.
    6. There is no evidence that federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are effective in stopping or delaying teen sex.
    7. Most young people have sex for the first time at about age 17, but do not marry until their late 20s. Hence young adults are at risk of unwanted pregnancy & STDs for nearly a decade.

    Source: S.611&HR1551 2009-S611 on Mar 17, 2009

    Fund 2,500 Boys and Girls Clubs in underserved areas.

    Kerry co-sponsored a Bill to open 2,500 Boys and Girls Clubs

    Amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to make grants to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to establish and extend club facilities where needed, with particular emphasis on establishing clubs in and extending services to public housing projects and distressed areas. Redefines the term "distressed area" to include an Indian reservation with a population of high risk youth of sufficient size to warrant the establishment of a BGCA. Earmarks specified funds to provide a grant to BGCA for administrative, travel, and other costs associated with a national role-model speaking tour program.

    Corresponding House bill is H.R.1753. Became Public Law No: 105-133.

    Source: Bill sponsored by 10 Senators and 24 Reps 97-S476 on Mar 19, 1997

    Other candidates on Families & Children: John Kerry on other issues:
    MA Gubernatorial:
    Charlie Baker
    Dan Wolf
    Deval Patrick
    Marty Walsh
    Tom Menino
    MA Senatorial:
    Ed Markey
    Elizabeth Warren
    Gabriel Gomez
    Martha Coakley
    Mo Cowan

    MA politicians
    MA Archives

    Retiring in 2014 election:
    GA:Chambliss(R)
    IA:Harkin(D)
    MI:Levin(D)
    MT:Baucus(D)
    NE:Johanns(R)
    SD:Johnson(D)
    WV:Rockefeller(D)

    Retired as of Jan. 2013:
    AZ:Kyl(R)
    CT:Lieberman(D)
    HI:Akaka(D)
    ME:Snowe(R)
    ND:Conrad(D)
    NE:Nelson(D)
    NM:Bingaman(D)
    TX:Hutchison(R)
    VA:Webb(D)
    WI:Kohl(D)
    Senate Vacancies 2013:
    HI:Inouye(D,Deceased)
    HI:Schatz(D,Appointed)
    MA:Kerry(D,Resigned)
    MA:Cowan(D,Appointed)
    MA:Markey(D,elected)
    MA:Gomez(R,lost special election)
    NJ:Lautenberg(D,Deceased)
    NJ:Chiesa(R,Appointed)
    NJ:Booker(D,running)
    NJ:Lonegan(R,running)
    SC:DeMint(R,Resigned)
    SC:Scott(R,Appointed)

    Senate races Nov. 2014:
    AK:Begich(D) vs.Miller(R) vs.Treadwell(R) vs.Sullivan(R)
    AL:Sessions(R) vs.Bright(D)
    AR:Pryor(D) vs.Cotton(R)
    CO:Udall(D) vs.Buck(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Baumgardner(R) vs.Stephens(R)
    DE:Coons(D) vs.O`Donnell(R)
    GA:Gingrey(R) vs.Nunn(D) vs.Perdue(R) vs.Handel(R) vs.Broun(R) vs.Kingston(R)
    HI:Schatz(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Cavasso(R)
    IA:Braley(D) vs.Whitaker(R) vs.Ernst(R) vs.Clovis(R)
    ID:Risch(R) vs.LaRocco(D)
    IL:Durbin(D) vs.Truax(R) vs.Oberweis(R) vs.Hansen(L)
    KS:Roberts(R) vs.Tiahrt(R)
    KY:McConnell(R) vs.Bevin(R) vs.Grimes(D)
    LA:Landrieu(D) vs.Cassidy(R) vs.Maness(R)
    ME:Collins(R) vs.D`Amboise(R) vs.Bellows(D)
    MI:Land(R) vs.Peters(D) vs.Wiedenhoeft(R)
    MN:Franken(D) vs.Abeler(R)
    MS:Cochran(R) vs.McDaniel(R) vs.Childers(D)
    MT:Edmunds(R) vs.Daines(R) vs.Bohlinger(D) vs.Walsh(D)
    NC:Hagan(D) vs.Tillis(R)
    NE:Sasse(R) vs.Osborn(R) vs.Stenberg(R)
    NH:Shaheen(D) vs.Martin(R) vs.Brown(R) vs.Smith(R) vs.Rubens(R) vs.Testerman(R)
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    Contact info:
    Fax Number:
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    Page last updated: Dec 23, 2013