Hundreds rally for 'Campaign to End Child Poverty' in Charleston - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds rally for 'Campaign to End Child Poverty' in Charleston

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Tackling child poverty; it's a complex issue that people from across the state are trying to solve together.

On Tuesday, kids, parents, and advocates gathered at the State Capitol for a statewide campaign called "Our Children, Our Future: Campaign to End Child Poverty".

The campaign focuses on ten key points that supporters believe needs to be addressed by state lawmakers.

The issues including expanding Medicaid, increase funding for efforts to prevent family violence, stopping child care cuts, promoting healthy foods in schools, bi-partisan prison reform to address prison overcrowding and cut waste, expanding successful truancy programs, support parent-led support programs, help teen moms receive their education, expand health services statewide, and stop doctors from over-prescribing prescription medications, according to a news release.

Jasmine Murphy spoke in front of a crowded room at the State Capitol during the event.

"My dad got in jail, went to prison when I was 3-years-old. I never got a chance to really be around him. He missed so much of my life," she said.

Murphy said prison reform is just one of ten ways state lawmakers can help stop an endless cycle of parents who aren't in their child's life.  She said it's the children who suffer as a result.

She said she wished her father got the rehab treatment he really needed behind bars.

"I'd like to see change, like for people to get help instead of everybody spending money on prisons. It costs so much money to build more prisons and put money into it when they should be helping others in prison instead of helping them locked up for so long."

For Heather Miller, she's fighting for Medicaid expansion. She said it's been rough on her family to pay for medical bills out-of-pocket.

"Buying groceries, groceries are outrageous. Gas prices have gone up. It's just really hard when it comes to every day living," she said.

Supporters of the campaign said the next year will be crucial to making sure children in the state have a fair shot.

"What I want to see done mostly is a change of, basically a change of perspective. What I would like to see is each and every piece of legislation that passes, I'd like to see legislators see that legislation through the eyes of a child," said Senate Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley.

This spring, there will be eleven regional forums to address these issues with the public and try to come up with some solutions.