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Rep. Rosenthal ruins Sunday with retweet on poor care for U.S. children

Author: Joey Bunch - June 12, 2017 - Updated: June 12, 2017

Save the Children
(Courtesy of Save the Children.)

I had barely gotten over being bummed out by the sad news Rep. Paul Rosenthal retweeted out Saturday evening about activists in Hong Kong wearing bloody costumes protesting the practice of cutting fins off sharks. That’s harsh, even for sharks.

But on a beautiful Sunday one of the most upbeat and likable legislators around retweeted more buzz-killing news: The U.S. isn’t a great place to be a kid. They’re better off in Bosnia. According to National Public Radio, the U.S. ranks 36th, one spot behind Bosnia and Herzegovina. America is just one skinny point ahead of the Russian Federation on the list compiled by Save the Children.

Just two years ago the Connecticut-based charity dropped the United States from 31st to 33rd in a similar ranking that examined maternal health.

The index on the treatment of children examined 172 countries, using data from the United Nations and other government sources on everything from child labor to  education and early marriage.

At the top of the best places for children is Norway, a country with a kind named Harald and universal health care. Niger is last, and, in fact, seven of the bottom 10 are in western and central Africa.

“The study shows what we’ve known for some time, the United States doesn’t invest enough in our children,” Rosenthal said in an e-mail Sunday while on a trip to Thailand. “In Colorado, we’re doing some great things, but sadly we’re about to have TrumpCare-less, with cuts to Medicaid that children rely on, and TrumpStarve, a slash and burn of food assistance, which is especially distressing due to the number of children in the U.S. who live in poverty.

“The U.S. also doesn’t invest enough in ECE and kindergarten, along with first through 12th grades.  We can also do better to create more pleasant and safer communities.  Too many children don’t have a park to play in, a library to read in, or a community with affordable housing and a living wage that families can thrive in.  Finally, is bewildering to me how many children are killed each year by guns–that number should be zero, but we read stories about it every day.  We can and must do better.”

Rosenthal is the statehouse’s most attuned member to the role Colorado and U.S. occupy in the international scheme of things. He’s the chief legislative advocate for Denver Sister Cities International program and last session sought to create a sister city program within the Colorado Office of Economic Development.

House Democrats passed House Bill 1154 on a party-line vote in February, but Senate Republicans sentenced the legislation to the chamber’s kill committee, and that was that.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.