I am a pediatrician and I vote. I vote on behalf of kids who cannot speak up for themselves. I vote so that the needs of children are prioritized by our elected leaders. I vote on behalf of the children I see in my clinic every day.

In a few short days, all of us will have the opportunity to make a difference by casting our votes, and I plan to use my vote to support our country’s future – our children. They need our votes more than ever, and I hope you will join me.

In the United States one in five children live in poverty. One in five children live in homes where food is scarce. Seven children and teens die every day in our country from gun violence. Thirty percent of Connecticut’s children live in poor or low-income families.

There is so much at stake in this election and these children need a voice – that’s where we come in.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is leading a Get Out the Vote campaign, #VoteKids, with the goal of making children a meaningful part of the 2016 election conversation. Improving the lives of children is integral to the mission of the AAP, and one way we can do that is by voting with their needs in mind on November 8.

As pediatricians, we are urging elected leaders to invest in programs that keep our children, families and communities safe and healthy; focusing on vital areas such as health care, accessible early education, clean water, the reduction of gun violence and family medical leave, just to name a few.

Everyone who cares about children should vote for candidates in national, state, and local elections who prioritize their needs. Children make up 25 percent of our population and 100 percent of our future. They will be our leaders of tomorrow, and if we are to keep our country strong, we must ensure our youngest generations have what they need to thrive.

Please join me in voting for those candidates who will promote healthy children, support secure families, build strong communities, and ensure that the United States is a leading nation for children. Together, we can make a difference for children in Connecticut and across the country.

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