Maine Leaders to Urge Obama, McCain and News Media to ?Step Up? for Kids, Focus on Plight of Most Vulnerable Mainers

September 16, 2008

WHAT: Press Conference urging political leaders and the media to focus on the issues important to Maine?s children

WHO: Attorney General Steve Rowe, Laurie LaChance of the Maine Development Foundation, Dr. Chris Stenberg of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, youth speaker Amy Princiotta together with attendant candidates and children

WHEN: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:00 AM

WHERE: Front Steps of the Maine State Capitol Building

On September 16th and 17th local news events will take place in every state as part of a several ?Step Up for Kids Day? activities. Maine?s event is September 17th at 10:00 AM - the same day as the popular Bug Maine-ia event at the Maine State Museum. The Museum event typically draws hundreds of kids and teachers ? a perfect backdrop for the call to action going out to candidates, the media, and individual voters to remember the value to our economy of keeping our kids safe, healthy, and engaged.

Students and teachers who choose to attend the Step Up Event as part of their day at the State House and Museum will also be able to send a message directly to presidential candidates by filling out an ?I?m voting for kids? ballot and casting a ?vote? for the presidential candidate of their choice. All ballots collected will be delivered directly to the Maine campaigns of both presidential candidates.

In 2007 the State of Maine received more than 19,000 reports of alleged abuse or neglect, more than 11% of Maine high school students thought about committing suicide, 20% of Maine children live in poverty, and Head Start does not currently have slots for nearly 70% of eligible children. Many Maine children face dire situations, yet these issues are receiving little attention from political candidates or the media in this the 2008 campaign.

The national Step Up for Kids Day kicks off at the National Press Club features: Dr. Renee R. Jenkins, president, American Academy of Pediatrics; Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, executive director, National Association of Social Workers; Michael R. Petit, author, ?Homeland Insecurity? and founder/president, Every Child Matters Education Fund; Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, author, pediatrician and founder, Brazelton Touchpoints Institute; and James M. Hmurovich, president and CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America.

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MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Aymie Walshe, Kids First (207) 735-5222 David Loughran, Office of the Attorney General