• Engage: #2Gen

Two generations. One future.

2Gen Bill for Families: Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act

US Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Susan Collins (R-ME) Introduce 2Gen Bill

Watch the videos of their remarks:

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is pleased to announce that the Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act, a bipartisan bill, was introduced yesterday in the Senate. The Act is the culmination of several years of collaborative policy and practice work spearheaded by Ascend at the Aspen Institute, national network partners, and providers and community leaders from New Mexico and Maine.

The bill will increase opportunities for families living in poverty through programs targeting both parents and children with support aimed at increasing economic security, educational success, social capital, and health and well-being. By aligning and linking existing systems and funding streams, the bill will lead to improved outcomes for parents and children together while improving the effectiveness of service delivery.

“While we've seen signs of economic recovery, far too many families in New Mexico and across the nation are still struggling to make ends meet and can’t escape multigenerational poverty,” said Senator Heinrich. “I’m proud to partner with my Republican colleague from Maine Senator Susan Collins to introduce this bipartisan bill to give states, local governments, and tribes more flexibility to develop innovative programs that really work to help families find a way out of poverty. By helping families pursue their dreams together, we can make the Land of Enchantment a land of opportunity for everyone.”

“More than 50 years after President Johnson declared a “War on Poverty,” millions of Americans still struggle to find the resources they need to meet the basic necessities of life,” said Senator Collins. “Our bill proposes a new approach to fighting poverty, one that focuses on addressing the needs of children and their parents together – two-generations – in order to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. It marks an important first step toward reevaluating our approach to poverty-reducing programs and encouraging innovative, more effective uses of taxpayer dollars.”

“The Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act represents the enduring values of the Aspen Institute in bringing together diverse leaders to come up with creative solutions for the educational success and economic stability of children and families,” stated Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute.

"All families want to thrive and reach their full potential. Unfortunately, far too many families face barriers and systems that work against them. We know that if we support families holistically and reduce the barriers they face, both children and parents will be more successful. Senator Heinrich's and Senator Collins' bi-partisan leadership on the Two Generation Economic Empowerment Act is a positive and concrete step forward to ensuring that the American Dream of opportunity can pass from one generation to the next,” said Anne Mosle, vice president, policy programs, the Aspen Institute, and executive director, Ascend. "This effort builds on an exciting movement of innovation and collaboration bubbling up in communities and states across the country -- that is focusing on serving children and parents together and more effectively combining key services such as child care and work force."

A fact sheet is available here and a copy of the bill is available here. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #2Gen.