© 2022 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Advocate for Ohio Children Puts Forth Children's Budget Agenda

Tracy Najera
Tracy Najera heads the Children's Defense Fund of Ohio

Advocates for children are praising what they see in Governor Mike DeWine’s first budget, but they said kids need more. And they’re cautioning lawmakers who may decide to cut the budget based on forecasts of economic growth. 

Fifteen children’s advocacy organizations have put together what they’ve called a children’s budget agenda, building off the money in DeWine’s budget for children services, home visits, lead paint abatement and other children’s initiatives. Tracy Najera with the Children’s Defense Fund of Ohio said lawmakers need to consider the future if they plan to make cuts to these programs.

“We all owe it to our children. Others took care of us, generations ago. And they set the groundwork. It’s our turn now to do the same," Najera said. 

The Ohio Children’s Budget coalition also wants more money for anti-hunger programs, an increase in eligibility for public child care, paid family leave, changes to the earned income tax credit and outreach efforts to make sure the US Census count next year is accurate.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.