Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman tell voters incessantly that next week's election is all about California's future.
So it's more than curious – it's appalling, in fact – that the major-party candidates for governor have so little to say about those with the most at stake in that future – the state's children.
Neither has anything resembling an agenda for children, and what they do have to say is vastly unsatisfying.
Brown's campaign says he would protect programs for children and families from budget cuts. Whitman's campaign says the best way to help struggling families is to improve the state's business climate.
Children's advocates have definitely noticed.
"It's disappointing not to see more focus on children and families," says Toni Moore, executive director of the First 5 Sacramento Commission.
"We have been trying to stimulate dialogue on these issues," adds David Alexander, a pediatrician who is president and CEO of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health. The Palo Alto-based nonprofit group sent a short survey to the candidates.
Neither bothered to fill it out.
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