We all must unite and stand up for children's environmental health.

Elections change the course of our children's lives forever. All children deserve clean air and water, safe food, toys and products, stable climates, and healthy environments in which to live, learn, play, and work. Make your voice heard in the 2022 elections to ensure that political leaders at all levels of government place the health of children, the health of our environment, and health equity at the center of all decision making, especially now as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause physical, economic, and mental health hardship to families across the country.

Check out our Voter Guide for simple checklists to evaluate your local, state, and national candidates by their commitment to our children's health and to social and environmental justice. As you go to the polls, think about the following 6 issues and consider where each candidate stands.

1. Vote for everyone's right to vote. (click to expand):

Voter suppression disproportionately affects people of color and perpetuates and deepens racial and health inequities. Protecting voter rights ensures inclusive public policy, especially at the state level. This improves the health of communities, families, and children.

Vote for candidates who:

  • Oppose voter suppression laws, such as discriminatory voter ID laws
  • Oppose the elimination of voting locations in under-resourced communities
  • Support voting by mail and voting early
  • Champion inclusive voting policies

2. Vote for children's health and equity. (click to expand):

Children are more vulnerable to environmental threats. Children of color and those living in poor conditions are at greatest risk from the negative health impacts of environmental hazards. Learn more.

Vote for candidates who:

  • Support health coverage and access and delivery of quality health care for ALL children
  • Support policies and programs that promote equity by addressing poverty and systemic racism
  • Ensure that communities have a leading voice in decisions that impact their health, their environment, and their quality of life
  • Support access to safe and healthy, high quality, affordable child care and schools for all children
  • Continue to support science and public health best practices to protect children from COVID-19 exposures

3. Vote for climate action. (click to expand):

Children are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. Those most at risk include children of color, those living in poverty, those with pre-existing illness or disability, infants, and pregnant women.Learn more.

Vote for candidates who:

  • Support policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Heed community voices—especially of those most vulnerable and impacted—in efforts to combat climate change
  • Support clean energy alternatives and a just transition away from coal, oil, natural gas, and waste and biomass incineration
  • Support policies to build equitable, climate resilient communities

4. Vote for clean air. (click to expand):

Approximately 30.6 million children live in U.S. counties with unhealthy levels of air pollution. Of these children, approximately 2.3 million have asthma. Learn more.

Vote for candidates who:

  • Support strong and equitable clean air policies, including those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Support active transportation policies and promote cleaner cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships
  • Support reductions in mercury (especially harmful to children's brain development) and other air toxics
  • Support expanded monitoring, especially in communities nearest to polluting industries or high-traffic roadways, and support strict enforcement of standards

5. Vote for clean water. (click to expand):

Many children in the U.S. drink contaminated water, whether from public systems or private wells. Contaminants may include disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli, heavy metals such as lead (which harms children’s brains), and carcinogens such as PFAS and radon. Learn more.

Vote for candidates who:

  • Support policies that promote clean water for all
  • Support investment in state and local infrastructure, including accelerated full lead service line replacements
  • Support a drinking water standard for PFAS that protects children's health
  • Support testing and reporting standards for privately owned water sources

6. Vote for toxic-free environments and products. (click to expand):

Children in the U.S. are exposed to thousands of chemicals every day through food, drinking water, air pollution, and consumer products. Of the over 84,000 chemicals in use in the U.S., many can be found in toys and everyday products, and most are untested for safety. Toxic chemicals and pesticides are associated with a number of children's health concerns, including childhood cancer which has increased by 34% since the 1970s. Learn more.

Vote for candidates who:

  • Support full and transparent implementation and enforcement of chemical safety policy, towards a toxic-free economy
  • Support state and federal bans on toxic pesticides
  • Support the use of science in environmental rule-making
  • Prioritize an end to lead poisoning