We did it! We showed up and we clearly represented Arkansas children and families, programs and centers and our profession WELL!

I want to share a few moments that I will not forget!

Our day began in the beautiful Rotunda where we heard inspiring, motivating yet heartbreaking stories from other advocates who, although representing other advocacy efforts, share the same heart as we for Arkansas children and families!

We successfully delivered 135 packets to each of our State Senators and Representatives. For those of you who participate in social media, you may notice that senators and representatives are already sharing “thank yous” and posting photos of their Valentines! We even delivered a Valentine packet to our new Governor’s office. Although we did not meet with her face to face, her assistant was welcoming, kind and curious to know more about our profession and concerns. One of the Valentines in the Governor’s packet included a beautiful photo story of a multigenerational family from Romance, Arkansas where father and son shared the same preschool teacher. How fun to receive a Valentine from a place called Romance. 💘

We were represented before the House of Taxation and Revenue Committee by our own Genia Dickey as well as Representative Julie Mayberry! Thank you also to Amanda Baldwin for testifying and sharing her story before the committee as well. The conversation was polite, truthful, and straightforward. I am even more proud of our Democratic process and the opportunity we have to be heard. 

What a wonderful lunch! We were provided lunch by Kids Count and had the opportunity to visit with our legislatures. I witnessed much conversation and connection. 

After arriving home, I began receiving emails and texts which included photos and takeaways and I am sure this day will be memorable for a time to come. While the day was full of conversation and connection, it is only the beginning. I am reminded of a lyric from the musical Hamilton, this is not a moment, it’s a movement. ❤️

If you would like to follow up with your conversation with your Senator or Representative or would like to know more about HB1158, visit the AECA Public Policy  page and follow the simple action steps listed. Don’t forget to spread the word to others about how they too can take the next steps. 

Thank you for being kind and thank you for listening while letting your hearts be heard!

And, we made the news! More than once!

Zephonia Avant
AECA Public Policy Chair
Find out more about how AECA advocates for you here

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