EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)-- With child poverty numbers on the rise in the Chippewa Valley, Citizen Action Wisconsin and grass roots group JOHAH joined together Thursday to help launch the End Child Poverty Campaign. The effort is modeled after success reducing childhood poverty in Great Britain.
"There has been a lot of research that has been done on poverty and its consequences. There can be a lot of consequences including health effects and reduction in longevity," JOHAH member John Wagner explained.
The campaign aims to inspire Wisconsin to set a goal of eliminating child poverty. Their initial goal is to reduce childhood poverty by half in the next decade and cut racial disparities in half too. From this grass-roots effort, the group hopes to spread their message over the next few months. From their they plan to take this message down to lawmakers in Madison
In attendance at the campaign launch event held at Delong Middle School were dozens of community leaders including members of the Eau Claire City-County Health Department and the Eau Claire School Board.
"For me, speaking as an individual board member, this information impacts our public schools every single day," school board president Chris Hambuch-Boyle explained.
Leaders behind the campaign say having community support will be crucial in moving this message forward and seeing policy change in Madison.
Personally, for Hambuch-Boyle, discussions like the ones had on Thursday are an exciting step toward impacting future generations.
"There are ways to do this and these are the deep conversations that we have to have with our community, and with the people that are going to take this on and make this be a focus for our state and for our country," Hambuch-Boyle added.
On top of the event in Eau Claire, Citizen Action also launched the campaign at events in Menasha and Wausau.