Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty: Where 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand

By Equal Voice Action | January 10, 2020

Are 2020 presidential candidates committed to reducing child poverty? Learn about a detailed plan for cutting child poverty in the U.S. in half, and view the End Child Poverty U.S. scorecard of where candidates stand on this vital issue.


As we ask #WhatAboutUs in the 2020 elections, we need to know where presidential candidates stand on an issue at the core of our mission: reducing child poverty. 

To break the cycle of poverty, we need policy changes that support our youngest generations in their efforts to grow and thrive long into the future. And to do that, we need elected officials who are committed to understanding the root causes of poverty and taking effective action.

A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty

In 2019, the National Academy of Sciences released a landmark report identifying evidence-based programs and policies for reducing the number of children living in poverty in the United States by half within 10 years.

A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty highlights programs and policies that we know can reduce poverty and help families make ends meet.

Many of these programs are already in place and are helping families now. But if they were strengthened and expanded, they could reach many more people, with greater impact. And that impact could be felt soon, affecting the lives of not just tomorrow’s but today’s children.

Among the report’s program and policy recommendations are vital family-friendly supports and legislation including:

  • expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • expanding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • expanding childcare subsidies like the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
  • setting higher minimum wage standards
  • increasing access to public benefits (such as SNAP and Medicaid) for immigrants

The report also proposes new, targeted programs, like a monthly child allowance, that could address child poverty more directly and deeply. From improving existing programs to developing more targeted approaches, we need policies like these that help sustain families with dignity and expand opportunity for those who have been left out.

The current administration is not only failing to strengthen or develop programs that are proven to reduce poverty – it is actively working to limit their reach and impact. Its indifference to the needs of struggling families is clear in its repeated attacks on SNAP, its attempts to curtail public benefit access for immigrant families, and other cruel measures

As we look to Election 2020, we need candidates who will push back against these assaults on the poor and push forward policies to repair and expand our most effective anti-poverty programs.

Where 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand

End Child Poverty U.S., a national campaign led by the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group and launched alongside the Roadmap to Reducing Poverty report, is tracking how 2020 presidential candidates are addressing child poverty.

The campaign is collecting information on each candidate’s attention to the issue of child poverty based on these questions:

  1. Do they explicitly mention child poverty on their website?
  2. Do they include policies modeled in the landmark National Academy of Sciences study, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty?
  3. Do they include other relevant policies on their website?
A snapshot of the End Child Poverty U.S. scorecard for 2020 candidates. Click through below to view the full scorecard.

Click here to view the up-to-date scorecard of where 2020 presidential candidates stand on child poverty, as well as links to their specific and relevant policy plans.

Click here to read the “10 Policy and Program Approaches to Reducing Child Poverty” from A Roadmap for Reducing Child Poverty

Share your questions for 2020 presidential candidates with us here, and learn more about other ways to get involved in our #WhatAboutUs campaign.


End Child Poverty U.S. is a national campaign led by the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, a partnership of leading anti-poverty organizations, including Equal Voice ally UnidosUS. Their goal is to create a national target to cut child poverty in half within a decade, creating a mechanism to hold the government accountable to making child poverty reduction a priority. 

End Child Poverty U.S. launched its campaign to time with the release of a landmark study on child poverty in February 2019 from the National Academy of Sciences. Written by a committee of the country’s leading experts, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty puts forward an evidence-based policy agenda that, if prioritized and implemented, could cut our national child poverty rate in half within a decade.

Equal Voice Action’s #WhatAboutUs campaign calls on policymakers, media, and voters to focus on the critical issues facing poor and low-income families in America. Learn more

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