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Every Child in America deserves an equal opportunity to succeed in life. It’s part of our national identity: we want all kids to be able to thrive. And when every child does get a fair chance, we know families, communities and the economy benefit.

Yet there is a measurable likelihood today that up to a third of American kids who face social and economic barriers won’t have the same chance at success in life as those not facing such barriers.i They’re missing the fair chance that the American Dream has traditionally held out as a universal promise. Robert Putnam, author of Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, calls this “opportunity gap” a dagger to the heart of the American Dream.ii

The children’s advocacy organizations presenting this short report believe our next president and Congress, as well as leaders and citizens on Long Island and in New York State, must take action to eliminate that gap. The remainder of this year’s election campaign season is an ideal time to remind office-holders and office-seekers how important children are to voters.

We call on citizens on Long Island to make sure such leadership occurs at all levels. Wide disparities in opportunities for success don’t only harm kids, communities and the economy. They weaken democracy. When families lack confidence that their children can achieve their full potential and contribute according to their gifts, they lose faith in their political system. We see this occurring in today’s America.iii iv 

Click here to read the full report