Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - This evening, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) was awarded the Congressional Champion for Real and Lasting Change Award from Save the Children in recognition of his work in promoting the safety and well-being of children both in the U.S. and abroad. Below are his remarks, as prepared for delivery:
"Thank you so much. I am humbled and honored by this award. Few awards are as meaningful as for work done to protect our children and expand the opportunities they deserve to succeed in life.
"Too many children in America and throughout the world wake up each day suffering from want, fear, and danger. The world’s greatest beacon of democracy and human rights has a moral responsibility to protect the most vulnerable from hunger, illness, and abuse. That’s why I have made it a central focus of my tenure in Congress to support and work to advance legislation that will help children grow up healthy, safe, and able to pursue happy and productive lives.
"Inspired by my wife, Judy, who made early education and family services the centerpiece of her career, I have been working to pass legislation that would expand full-service, community schools like the 'Judy Centers' in Maryland that offer low-income families a full range of educational, medical, dental, and counseling services all in one place.
"I will continue to fight for these priorities as well as for critical programs like Child Care And Development Block Grants, the S-CHIP program, and Head Start. This includes pushing for a big and balanced agreement on deficits that can turn off the sequester that is already hurting Head Start and other programs that serve children from low-income families.
"There is a wonderful saying by Frederick Douglass – a great American and great son of Maryland – that encapsulates why nurturing our children, keeping them safe, and opening doors of opportunity for them is not only beneficial to the children themselves but to society as a whole. He said: 'It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.'
"The work of Save the Children and its allies is truly to build a stronger society from the roots up. Doing so will yield a more productive, more just, and more secure future for America and the world.