To the editor,
The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development is joining with Groundwork Ohio to raise our voices to ensure that all communities and all young children and their families have a fair chance at success.
Groundwork’s important new report, Drafting a New Blueprint for Success, addresses the crucial areas of policy that must change to end Ohio’s longstanding geographic and racial inequities. For too long, the success of children and families has depended on their zip code or their race.
To that point, too many families in southeastern Ohio lack access to the resources that allow them to support their families and ensure their infants and toddlers are healthy. They struggle to be on the job because they don’t have quality child care that’s within their financial reach. They can’t find safe and affordable housing. They are denied affordable health care. They need broadband access.
Decisions emanating from all levels of government have made these problems worse. Now COVID-19 is compounding already crushing hardship.
COAD is particularly focused on expanding high-speed Internet service to our region. This is a must-have resource to live, learn and work in today’s world. Families need this technology to apply for jobs, help their children learn at home, stay in touch with support networks, use tele-health and pay their bills. Small businesses, like child care, need it to be competitive and create jobs.
We’re asking our lawmakers, candidates and policy leaders to help make life better for our families, children and communities.
Editor’s note: Megan Riddlebarger is the executive director at the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development, with offices in Athens, Ohio.