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Advocates Want Candidates To Address Childhood Poverty

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A coalition of advocacy groups for children is urging presidential candidates to address issues of poverty in early childhood, especially among kids of color. 

A report from the philanthropic Annie E. Casey Foundation shows half of the nation’s children younger than five are either African-American or Hispanic.

In Iowa, it’s around 17 percent.

Advocates for children of color say many of these kids are living in poverty, and yet policymakers and presidential candidates are ignoring the problem.

An associate director with Casey, Dennis Campa, says if he were moderating presidential debates, he’d have one question.

“What are they willing to do to ensure all kids and families in our country have the ladders to opportunity, and when will that begin?” he asks.

Campa says while Iowa generally gets high marks for child well-being, it’s falling behind in efforts to improve life for young blacks and Hispanics.

It’s estimated some 40 percent of them are living below the poverty line.