It was an eventful year for your association in the advocacy world. In a prior post, we’ve outlined what we attempted and what we’ve achieved, so I will not reiterate that here. But I would be remiss if I didn’t publicly thank the terrific work of the consultants that helped lead the work.

  • Andrea Ball did an excellent job helping us navigate the halls of the state capitol and coordinating meetings with legislative and administration staff.
  • Bethany Snyder’s guidance in messaging and grass-tops and grass-roots strategy was awesome.
  • Jacob Asare successfully reached out to poverty and health advocates, expanding the circle of allies that share our mission of poverty eradication.

This team was great to work with because not only did they work well together, but they really believe in the Head Start mission.

Now it’s time to look forward. Moving the needle on budget and policy issues takes a lot of effort and resources. Sustaining the kind of efforts we initiated this year should be our number one goal — because advocacy is the core value of our association.

For this reason, I am dedicated to re-focusing our efforts on the $2 per child campaign — now branded as the Power of 2. I believe we can apply the crowdfunding methodology to our fundraising efforts. Every one of your staff across the state, and every Head Start parent knows at least two people that are not from Head Start, but who believe in Head Start. These families could:

1. contribute two dollars.
2. contact two friends.

We know this works. Because not long ago, our association received a donation of $100 from a single individual — in Texas. Clearly, somebody in our statewide community knows somebody in Texas. They were asked. They responded. But I bet that if they had not been asked, nothing would have happened.

We need to become fearless in asking. Some will give and some won’t. Each will respond with their capacity, each according to their gifts. Some will say no. But some will say yes. What you create in your community, the value you bring to our highest needs children, is worth $2 from everyone. The kids are worth it.

Here’s where you can lead by giving.

Christopher Maricle
Executive Director
Head Start California