The State Legislature is not the only thing that’s off and running in the early weeks of 2023. This year also marks the start of the Minnesota Catholic Conference’s Families First Project (FFP). This multiyear initiative seeks to activate the Church’s public voice in a way that will transform Minnesota into a state where the economic well-being of families is elevated to be the top priority for elected officials.
One of the Families First Project’s foundational goals is to create an appropriate policy ecosystem that supports the creation of stable families and helps them flourish by making it easier to: 1) get married, 2) stay married, 3) have kids, 4) raise kids in economically stable environments, and 5) care for extended family.
The cornerstone of the project is to enact a permanent child tax credit. Other legislative priorities include promoting technical and vocational career paths; creating reading programs for incarcerated parents and their children; creating pathways to homeownership and business ownership; helping new moms purchase a car seat; and helping growing families upgrade to a larger vehicle.
Our lawmakers need to make family economic security the top priority, because families are doing the most important work of raising the next generation amid immense economic pressures. In the Church’s Catholic Social Teaching, the family, not the individual, is the cornerstone of society, and, therefore, sound fiscal policies ensure that the family has what it needs to flourish because of the way it serves the common good.
Minnesota needs more families. The Great Recession and the 2020 Pandemic caused two massive “baby busts.” With deaths set to outpace births in Minnesota by 2040, a nation-leading fiscal commitment to families could encourage new families to be formed or move into our state.
An innovative pro-family policy agenda would help address our state’s long-term workforce and population concerns. It would ratify the role families play in Minnesota’s economic and cultural fabric and send a message to families that they are valued. A robust workforce, vibrant communities, and a sustainable tax base are all produced by economically secure families.
Policy proposals that support parents with young children, policies that support families who may be battling various forms of addiction, and policies that create avenues for home and business ownership are all topics that you can discuss boldly with your legislators. We all come from families, and therefore, we are all subject matter experts.
It is hard to pass even the simplest piece of legislation, but with your help we can create a groundswell of bipartisan support to get pro-family bills enacted into law. The policy ideas, information, and tools you need to start a conversation with your legislators about pro-family policies is available at www.familiesfirstproject.com. Together, we can truly make Minnesota the best place to raise a family.
Join us at the Capitol for these great advocacy opportunities!
United for Life: Feb. 28 — Join pro-lifers from across Minnesota for this pro-life day at the Capitol. Great speakers, a rally in the Capitol rotunda, and time to meet with your legislators. Register today at unitedforlifemn.org.
Capitol Thursdays: The second and fourth Thursday of each month from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. You’ll learn to advocate for policies that pursue a consistent ethic of life, have a Capitol tour, and meet with your legislators.
Adoration: First Fridays January to May any time from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Capitol in the Governor’s Dining Room. In April, Adoration will take place on the 14th due to Good Friday. Pray for our legislators and state to promote the common good.
Head to MNCatholic.org/events for details on each of these events.