74 Interview: Save the Children’s Mark Shriver on Creating a Powerhouse Lobby for the Powerless

There have been remarkable expansions in early childhood education in the U.S. in recent years, but young kids need a real lobbying force to rival the top influence groups, argues Mark Shriver, president of the Save the Children Action Network.

“What I like to say is we want to be the NRA for kids,” Shriver said, referring to the National Rifle Association, the political powerhouse whose legislative positions and lobbying muscle have been criticized, even as it has managed to keep new gun rules off the books despite a wave of mass shootings.

“Whether you agree with the NRA or not, they’re politically relevant … There isn’t that voice for kids. Kids don’t vote, kids don’t give campaign contributions, and politicians don’t make them the priority they should,” Shriver said.

Most know Save the Children for its international humanitarian aid work. Though that makes up the bulk of its work, it was founded in the U.S. and still works in 16 states.

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