Advocates to Deliver 660,000 Petition Signatures to Congress Urging 'Hands Off PBS Kids!'

Polling continues to show PBS as the most-trusted national media institution and PBS Kids as the #1 educational media brand for children
Contact Info: 

Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

WASHINGTON — Kids and parents will rally on the steps of Capitol Hill with well-known PBS characters at 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday to deliver more than 660,000 petition signatures urging Congress to reject Donald Trump’s efforts to eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Following a press conference on Capitol Hill, the advocates will walk to Senate office buildings to deliver the petition signatures.

The advocates represent the groups MoveOn.org Civic Action, ParentsTogether Action, Avaaz, Free Press Action Fund and Creative Majority PAC.

“PBS Kids includes so many great shows, like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Thomas and Friends, Dinosaur Train and Sesame Street,” the petition reads. “PBS Kids and other public media reach 68 percent of all kids ages two to eight. These shows are especially important for low-income and underserved children who do not attend preschool. PBS funding is a minuscule fraction of the federal budget. We should be expanding our investments in early childhood education, not cutting proven supports for our littlest learners. Donald Trump can’t make these cuts unless Congress agrees. Let’s make sure they hear from millions of parents and others who know the value of PBS and CPB.”

WHAT:

“Hands Off PBS Kids! Fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting”

Delivery of 660,000+ petition signatures to Congress

WHEN:

Tues., March 21

Press Conference: 11 a.m. EDT

Petition delivery to Senate offices: 11:30 a.m. EDT

WHERE:

Upper Senate Park, near the corner of Constitution Avenue NW and Delaware Avenue NE

WHO:

Bethany Robertson, ParentsTogether founder

Iman Elkoustaf, advocate, age 9

Craig Aaron, Free Press Action Fund President and CEO

Ben Wikler, MoveOn.org Washington director

Additional parent advocates from ParentsTogether Action

Advocates will be joined by well-known PBS Kids figures and a face painter, and will carry petition boxes and wear “Hands Off PBS Kids” T-shirts.

The petition delivery and press conference comes after Trump unveiled his proposed federal budget last week, which would eliminate all of the $445 million in annual funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which supports local PBS and NPR stations. Congress created the CPB through the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

A new public poll released in January found that PBS was, for the 14th consecutive year, “the nation’s most-trusted institution,” and that parents ranked PBS Kids as “the most educational media brand.”

“Parents love PBS Kids because it makes our children love learning,” said ParentsTogether Action’s Justin Ruben. “We teach our kids that if they hurt others, there will be consequences. And if Congress goes along with Donald Trump’s plan to cut PBS, the consequences will include an angry army of parents and toddlers in every district across America. These cuts would make our beloved Daniel Tiger an endangered species.”

“If President Trump thinks he can force his anti-democratic agenda on the tens of millions of people who rely on public broadcasting every day, he’s in for a surprise,” said Free Press Action Fund President and CEO Craig Aaron. “This move was expected from a president who believes the media are enemies of the American people. But members of Congress should do themselves a favor by listening to the voices of their many constituents. These people believe in overwhelming numbers that funding for NPR and PBS programming, including PBS Kids, is taxpayer money well spent. Public broadcasting is a treasured national institution that is far more popular than Congress or this president — as they will soon be reminded.”

“More than 660,000 people are urging Congress to protect PBS, the nation’s largest classroom,” said Dalia Hashad, campaign director for Avaaz. “Shutting down this critical source of preschool education won’t make America great; it will make America dumb.”

“I can’t help but remember the famous clip of Mr. Rogers successfully defending PBS to Congress decades ago — fighting the exact same battle that we’re here fighting today,” said Ben Wikler, Washington director for MoveOn.org Civic Action. “The GOP has tried and failed miserably to strip funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for more than 50 years. They lose every time. And they’re going to lose again.”

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good