Pediatric Policy Council Action Alert

The APS and SPR are members of the Pediatric Policy Council (PPC) which actively advocates for children and academic pediatrics at the federal level. APS representatives to the PPC are Drs. DeWayne Pursley and Jonathan M. Davis; Drs. Joyce Javier and Shetal Shah represent the SPR.

The PPC also includes representatives from the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) and the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs (AMSPDC). The PPC is based in the Washington DC office of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), who supplies staff and other support.

The latest advocacy developments are summarized by the PPC below

PPC Action Alert

Take Action on National Voter Registration Day to Make Kids Count at the Ballot Box and on the Census

National Voter Registration Day is on Tuesday, September 22. With Election Day fast approaching and the 2020 Census in full swing, this is a great time to highlight the importance of voting and the Census to make sure kids count.

You can make sure you have a plan to cast your ballot and that your colleagues, families, and eligible patients are registered and ready to vote!

You can also encourage families to complete their Census forms by September 30.

Why It Matters

Voting is one of the main ways that citizens can affect policies and laws that govern access to essential resources like high-quality nutrition, education, housing, and health care. Elected officials in Washington and across the country make decisions that impact children’s lives in countless ways. Since children can’t vote, it’s up to us to make sure their voices are heard where the decisions that impact them are made.

The Census is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to make sure the children you care for get their fair share of the resources they need to grow up healthy. From school funding to critical nutrition programs and more, data from the Census determines how trillions of dollars in federal funding are distributed around the country. It also impacts your community’s political representation in Congress and in state capitals.

What You Can Do

  • Share the Rx to Vote & Fill Out the Census (English and Spanish versions) with your patients’ families. Print out this “prescription” to share with families in your practice, encouraging them to register to vote and complete the census.
  • Check your voter registration status and know your options for casting your ballot by visiting, which has this information and more on state deadlines and requirements.
  • Encourage eligible patients and their families to register to vote or request to vote by mail using tools from the nonpartisan voter registration effort VotER. Remember adolescent patients who will be old enough to vote! Here is a list of state voter registration age requirements.
  • Organize an event at your institution to promote voting and the Census on National Voter Registration Day.

Thank you for your help to make sure children count!

PPC Action Alert

Tell Congress: Don’t Cut the Census Short

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed major operational challenges in the administration of the 2020 Census. From conducting in-person enumeration to reach households who have not yet completed the Census to compiling and analyzing the data, the work of the decennial Census is an enormous and time-consuming undertaking. The disruption to everyday life caused by the pandemic has delayed key activities necessary to conducting an accurate count.

However, the deadlines for reporting key data, including the data used for apportioning seats in the House of Representatives among the states, are set in law, and initial data is due December 31. Census Bureau officials requested that Congress extend these deadlines by 4 months, but now reporting suggests that the White House has walked back that request and will push the agency to deliver the data on the existing timeline. Census Bureau officials have now announced they plan to end Census operations by September 30, a month earlier than planned. This has raised concerns among advocates about the potential that rushing Census operations poses to conducting an accurate count, including efforts to count all children.

While the House of Representatives included a 4-month extension of the Census reporting requirements in its latest COVID relief legislation, the Senate’s proposal does not include this extension. It is critical that Congress act to extend the Census reporting deadlines to make sure every community gets counted.

Please consider contacting your senators to urge them to extend the Census reporting deadlines in the next COVID relief legislation. You can find your senators by going to and clicking “Find Your Senators.” You can contact your senators directly through their websites using the form email below.

Email form letter:

Subject: Don’t Cut the Census

Dear {Insert Name of Senator}:

As an academic pediatrician and a member of the {Academic Pediatric Association/American Pediatric Society/Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs/Society for Pediatric Research}, I am urging you to ensure that the Senate’s next COVID relief package includes language to extend the statutory reporting deadlines for the 2020 Census by four months.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life for all Americans, and the operations of the Census Bureau in conducting the decennial count are no exception. Public health strategies necessary to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus have delayed key Census operations, including in-person enumeration to reach households that have not yet responded to Census outreach. This delay in operations will make additional time to fully complete the activities of the 2020 Census necessary.

Under the current statutory deadlines, initial data is set to be reported by December 31. However, there is significant work left to be done to ensure that the Census is completed fully and accurately, and the Census Bureau now plans to end its efforts to count the population by September 30, a month earlier than planned. A rushed or incomplete Census threatens to undermine key child health programs and exacerbate the historical undercount of young children.

The decennial Census is the only full count of the U.S. population. Census data plays a critical role in large scale longitudinal research conducted by many pediatric researchers, helping elucidate answers to important questions about how to ensure children grow up healthy and thrive. Additionally, Census data is used in the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funds to states and localities annually for critical programs that families depend on for their health and well-being.

The House of Representatives has already approved a four-month extension of 2020 Census operations as part of its most recent COVID relief legislation. I urge the Senate to do the same and ensure that any final COVID relief legislation signed into law extends these key deadlines by 4 months.

Thank you for all you do for children in our state and across the country.