Hillary Clinton on Families & Children

Democratic Jr Senator (NY)

Leave no child behind; it still takes a village

When I worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, we had a trademark: Leave no child behind. We’ve made great progress in the last eight years, but we still have a lot of work to do. Because when a child can’t go to school without fearing guns and violence -- that’s a child left behind. When a child’s illness is not treated because a hard-working parent can’t afford health insurance -- that’s a child left behind. When a child struggles to learn in an overcrowded classroom -- that’s a child left behind.

What will it take to make sure no child in America is left behind in the 21st century? It takes responsible parents who put their own children first. It takes all of us -- teachers, workers, business owners, community leaders and people of faith. You know, I still believe it takes a village.

Source: Address to the Democratic National Convention Aug 14, 2000

Leave politics out of Elian decision

I wish everybody would take a deep breath and step back, and let’s try to get this child into a safe, permanent, loving unexploited home and family as soon as possible.
I believe personally that this little boy should be with his father, but I also believe this is not a decision politicians should be making.
Source: New York Times, Page A25 Apr 4, 2000

Governments can’t love child; but it can help families

No government can love a child, and no policy can substitute for a family’s care. But at the same time, government can either support or undermine families as they cope with moral, social and economic stresses of caring for children.
Source: New York Magazine.com Apr 3, 2000

Decide Elian’s fate via ongoing INS legal process

Hillary Clinton today opposed congressional action to make Elian Gonzalez a US resident, putting herself at odds with Vice President Gore. “Hillary knows that we must take politics out of this decision,” said her campaign spokesman, echoing President Clinton’s position. “Elian’s future should be determined as quickly as possible through the appropriate, ongoing legal process.” The Immigration and Naturalization Service has ruled that Elian belongs with his Cuban father.
Source: Associated Press in Washington Post, p. A3 Apr 2, 2000

Caution in treating preschoolers with psychiatric drugs

Hillary Clinton announced a new federal program that cautions parents about giving preschool children Ritalin and other psychiatric drugs meant to treat attention-deficit disorders. The first lady said the effort, involving four federal agencies, is not “to bash” the use of such drugs but to provide more information to parents, school officials, social workers and health-care providers. Citing a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Mrs. Clinton said that from 1991 to 1995, use of Ritalin among US preschoolers increased 150% and antidepressants like Prozac went up more than 200%. “Some of these young people have problems that are symptoms of nothing more than childhood or adolescence,” she said. She emphasized the need to determine whether family therapy and behavior-modification treatment should be used in conjunction with the drugs to help children who exhibit disruptive emotional or mental problems.
Source: CNN.com Mar 20, 2000

Caution in treating preschoolers with psychiatric drugs

that from 1991 to 1995, use of Ritalin among US preschoolers increased 150% and antidepressants like Prozac went up more than 200%. “Some of these young people have problems that are symptoms of nothing more than childhood or adolescence,” she said. She emphasized the need to determine whether family therapy and behavior-modification treatment should be used in conjunction with the drugs to help children who exhibit disruptive emotional or mental problems.
Source: CNN.com Mar 20, 2000

Parents’ dedication improves kids’ lives

My father was a small businessman, who taught us by his example the values of hard work and responsibility, Hillary said of her parents. “My mother organized our daily lives and fed us with her devotion, imagination and great spirit. I learned from them the importance of families: how parents through their dedication enable their children to have a better life. I think that’s the most important lesson I’ve ever learned.”
Source: www.hillary2000.org “About Hillary” Jan 1, 2000

Treat kids as “child citizens” not “minors” under the law

Her work with Marian Wright Edelman she now calls a “personal turning point.” Hillary spent the summer of 1970 in Washington working on behalf of poor families, some of them in migrant labor camps. Under the tutelage of Edelman, Hillary published her first scholarly article“ Children Under the Law.” At the time, children had almost no legal rights. Hillary argued that “categorizing everyone under 18 or 21 as a minor is artificial and simplistic; it obscures the dramatic differences among children of different ages and the striking similarities between older children and adults.“ She advocated abolishing the legal status of ”minor,“ and with it the presumption that children are legally incompetent. Instead, she argued for a new concept of children as ”child citizens“ who should have all the procedural rights granted adults under the Constitution. This was the turning point at which Hillary declared, ”I want to be a voice for America’s children.“
Source: Hillary’s Choice by Gail Sheehy, p. 86 Dec 9, 1999

No dividing line between government vs. parents & children

[While writing “It Takes a Village”, Hillary saw that] what happens between parents and children is not separate from what happens between government and governed. There is no dividing line between foreign policy and women’s and children’s issues, no hard and soft issues. Her book was meant to encourage broad support within communities for raising a child. Hillary knew how vital it was to have teachers and mentors as a counterforce to the limitations a child might be unable to escape at home.
Source: Hillary’s Choice by Gail Sheehy, p.272 Dec 9, 1999

Community support is key to valuing families

The theme of her book, [“It Takes a Village”, is] community support. She [illustrates with] a personal story: “There I was, trying to breast-feed my baby [Chelsea], and all of a sudden she starts foaming at the nose. The nurse surveyed the scene and said, ‘Mrs. Clinton, it would help if you lifted her head up.’ All those years of education, all those degrees, it was no help. For all the talk about family values in this country, we do so little to value families.”
Source: Hillary’s Choice by Gail Sheehy, p.288 Dec 9, 1999

Boycott violent media and products

There is an opportunity for more parents to act as consumers. Let people know you’re not going to buy products that support shows and things you do not believe in. Don’t buy those violent video games no matter how much your child begs.
Source: School safety discussion in Tonawanda NY Aug 5, 1999

Send message: It is the job of children to learn

Our students [should] be given the kind of message my father gave my brothers & me when we were growing up: that school was our work. We were expected to do as well as we could. We need to start with a very clear and unambiguous message-that it is the job of children to learn. It is not only something that they should be doing for themselves, it is something they owe their families & their country. If we send that message, it will break through to families and it will break through to students.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Early-warning hotlines for homicidal & suicidal students

We need more social workers & counselors who are trained to see the early warning signs in the schools. I would like to see nation-wide hotlines where students, and even teachers, can make referrals, anonymously if necessary, to try to bring attention to those students who are on the brink of homicidal or suicidal activity. And we have to do everything possible to keep guns out of the hands of children. There are too many guns & too many children have access to those guns-we have to prevent that.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Society is responsible for alienation that causes violence

Q: Do you hold the parents accountable for the actions that their children have committed in Littleton & Springfield? A: Everyone has to be responsible for his or her own actions, so the individuals who have committed these crimes have to be held responsible. But we have to ask ourselves, what is it that leads a young person to feel so alienated, to feel so much hatred, to have unmet needs that would push them over the brink to do this. So I think we have to hold people responsible.
Source: ABC’s “Good Morning America” Jun 4, 1999

Help “sandwiched” parents care for elderly plus kids

Millions of Americans take care of aged or disabled loved ones every day. Record numbers remain at home with family and friends, putting more and more working adults in the position of nurturing their children while, at the same time, nursing their aging parents. We call this group the “sandwiched” generation.
There is no simple solution to the problem of caring for our aging and disabled loved ones. These initiatives offer a solid first step, and I am gratified by the support they have received from diverse advocacy groups and members of both political parties.
The senior boom is one of the most important challenges our generation and our children will face in the coming century. It is up to us to prove that the infirmities of age need not be the indignities of age. It is up to us to protect our children and grandchildren from the unsustainable burden of caring for us. It is up to us to do everything in our power now to lift the quality of life for every American family.
Source: “Talking It Over” column Jan 6, 1999

More funds for after-school programs

As many as 15 million children are left alone at home after school each week, and for their parents at work, these hours are filled with fear and uncertainty. The good news is that funding is now available for hundreds of after-school programs. The bad news is that there’s a long way to go. For every successful program that received a grant last week, seven more applied. Every child in America can be constructively engaged after school. Let’s make sure it happens.
Source: “Talking It Over” column Nov 18, 1998

Keep kids busy from 2PM to 8 PM to avoid trouble

The period between 2 & 8 PM is when children are most likely to get into trouble. This is when most juvenile crime is committed and when a child’s risk of becoming a victim of crime is greatest. After-school programs offer a wonderful opportunity for children not only to be protected and safe after school but to engage in educational activities as well. Successful after-school programs offer children safe places to do their homework, and counseling to help keep them away from drugs and violence.
Source: “Talking It Over” column Nov 18, 1998

Expand Family and Medical Leave Act

In 1993, the first bill my husband signed after taking office went into effect-the Family and Medical Leave Act. I agree that the FMLA should be expanded to include smaller companies because it’s “the right thing to do.” And what about other family obligations? Shouldn’t we recognize the importance of routine commitments, such as parent-teacher conferences or medical appointments? Isn’t it time to expand the FMLA to allow workers 24 hours of leave each year to meet these responsibilities?
Source: “Talking It Over” column Aug 5, 1998

Spend more time with kids to prevent violence

It’s time to turn the TV off & spend more time with our kids. Time is what every child wants and needs. We live in a fast world, where slowing down to spend time with our families is hard to do-unless we make it a priority. Our children are our greatest gift, our greatest responsibility, our greatest test. Never again do I want to wake in the middle of the night to the news that another child has murdered a classmate. It’s time for us to look into our children’s eyes and remember what’s important.
Source: Column: “Talking it Over” Apr 20, 1998

“It Takes a Village” is about relationships, not geography

When I am talking about “It Takes a Village”, I’m obviously not talking just about or even primarily about geographical villages any longer, but about the network of relationships and values that do connect us and binds us together.
Source: Speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Oct 4, 1996

Change what kids see in the media

We are fed a daily diet of sex and violence and social dysfunction and unrealizable fantasies. We live in a disposable, throw-away society, where the yearning for profits and instant gratification overshadows the need for moderation and restraint and investing for the long-term.

I don’t think there is any doubt that if you give children a steady diet of what they get on most programming, it is going to distort their view of the world.

Source: Unique Voice, p.193-94: Brooklyn College Commencement Jun 1, 1995

Men should be full participants in child-raising

I was just so struck by how, in our country, we talk a lot about family values and how we want parents to take care of their children. And yet, [some parents] talk about how they were forced onto welfare because they couldn’t get insurance, and men who an’t take raises because if they do, they lose the Medicaid eligibility for their children. Mothers talked about how they’d be better off if they divorced their husbands, because then they could get government assistance. That is just wrong.

Women and children need men to be full participants in the raising of children, and men need the opportunity and joy of being those participants in their own families.

The primary obligation of both parents is to take whatever gift God gave you in the person of that little boy or girl and pay attention to that child’s needs, to respond to that child, to stimulate that child, to be there for that child, and to learn the kind of personality your child has so that you’re allowing your child to flourish.

Source: Unique Voice, p.177 & 181: Larry King Live May 5, 1994

No tea and cookies for her, but no insult intended

I could have stayed home & baked cookies & had teas, but what I decided to do is fulfill my profession. The work I have done has been aimed to assure women can make choices. whether it’s a full-time career, motherhood, or some combination.

I’ve made my share of cookies and served hundreds of cups of tea. It never occurred to me that my comment would insult mothers who choose to stay home with their children. Nor did it occur to me that the headlines would reduce me to an anti-family “career woman.”

Source: Unique Voice, p. 46: Campaign speech Jul 2, 1992

Rated 0% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-family voting record.

Clinton scores 0% by the Christian Coalition on family issues

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.

    Our Five-Fold Mission:
  1. Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
  2. Speak out in the public arena and in the media
  3. Train leaders for effective social and political action
  4. Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
  5. Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003

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