MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: 'The Closest Thing to a Panacea'

Marian Wright Edelman | 10/9/2013, 3 p.m.
This week there is some good news from Washington amid all the dismal Congressional news on the shutdown.
Marian Wright Edelman (Courtesy of childrensdefense.org)

Mayor Gray said most D.C. residents supported these new investments in children because they knew something different needed to be done and understood this was a prudent use of city resources: “Being able to move systems in that way is a very difficult and painstaking progress, but it will never happen until you conceive of it, and then you start to try to make it happen … I know there is no panacea to any of this, but frankly, it is the closest thing we have to a panacea, and it amazes me that jurisdiction after jurisdiction does not invest in early childhood education — or hard times hit [and] it’s one of the first things in which jurisdictions disinvest. That is a huge, huge mistake.”

Imagine what could happen in America if many of the dysfunctional self-serving members of Congress had the common sense to focus on what is truly important: investing in rather than undermining America’s children and future with cheap fleeting political posturing. Communities and governments all across the country can learn from the strides Washington, D.C. is making for its young children. And I hope they will.

Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.