The Public Policy and Advocacy group works with lawmakers and leaders at the federal, state, and local levels of government to mobilize their support for critical legislation and policies that serve to advance playspace equity.
We work in collaboration with other NGOs, grassroots organizations, and coalitions to secure public commitments to fund playspaces for kids that need these spaces most. This means making sure that lawmakers, at every level of government, understand the importance of playspaces perform in the areas of advancing better health outcomes for children and building vibrant neighborhoods for their constituents. We accomplish this goal through effective advocacy strategies like sharing our mission and stories of impact, publicizing our achievements, providing resources to policymakers, and mobilizing the communities we work alongside.
Our advocacy efforts range from the nation’s Capitol, to statehouses to city halls. In DC, we believe it is vital that lawmakers hear from a diverse group of stakeholders on the importance of racial equity, access to the outdoors, and promoting and protecting the health and wellness of children. While at the state and local levels, we push to see policy translated in the areas of government that impact people the most, which means better quality playspaces, greater access to green spaces, and more attention paid to the social determinants of health that negatively impact BIPOC communities.
Playgrounds are a Bipartisan Issue
Have you ever wondered how elections impact our work to end playspace inequity? Our Policy, Advocacy, and Impact team wrote about what changes are expected after the recent midterm elections.
White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
KABOOM! CEO Lysa Ratliff facilitating a panel discussion at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The panel discussed supporting physical activity for kids through providing greater access and the power of play.
Listening Session in Baltimore
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises joined KABOOM! at Park Heights Academy to hear from kids and discuss the important role playspaces have in supporting the mental health of children. Read
IIJA Bill Signing
NIC cochairs, KABOOM! CEO, Lysa Ratliff and former Independent Sector CEO, Daniel J. Cardinelli, attended the White House signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a victory for nonprofits and communities across the country.
We work in collaboration with other NGOs and lawmakers, at every level of government, to secure support and understand the importance of playspaces perform. Explore our most recently statements, comments, and letters on some of the important policies impacting playspace inequity.
Submitted Comments on SB 482/HB 694 The Engaging Neighborhoods, Organizations, Unions, Governments, and Households (ENOUGH) Grant Program Act of 2024
Submitted Comments on the Creation of an American Climate Corps
Testimony in support of Maryland SB 151- Prince George’s County Workgroup on Health and Wellness
Submitted Comments to the USDA Regarding Revised Community Facilities Program Eligibility
Letter to Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure advocating for child-centered traffic policies
Submitted Comments to the President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Submitted Comments to Internal Revenue Service in Relation to Section 6417 Elective Payment of Applicable Credits
Letters to House and Senate on Farm Bill
Letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee Hearing to Examine the American Youth Mental Health Crisis
Letter acknowledging Sen. Cornyn for his support of Uvalde
Submitted Comments on Transgender Student Athlete Regulations
Letter to Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry in Support of SNAP
Testimony in support of Maryland HB 546- Service Year Option Program
Letter to California Senator Newman in support of Mandatory Recess Policy
Letter to President Biden on Food Insecurity and the role of playgrounds as community wellness hubs
Submitted Comments to EPA on playgrounds and climate resiliency
Statement to House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Hearing on Back to School: Meeting Students’ Academic, Social, and Emotional Needs.
Every child should have high-quality places to play, learn, and thrive. High-quality playgrounds afford children safe and engaging ways to play. Every child, regardless of race, should be able to reach one easily.
Numerous studies show the physical and mental health benefits of play and physical activity, which is why the government needs to invest more in the health of the next generation.
Nonprofits are on the front line of delivering vital social, human, and financial services to America’s most vulnerable residents and should be strongly supported by the government.
Open spaces where people can gather, learn, and play are critical to a community’s quality of life but also to sustaining our democracy and the free exchange of ideas.
Nonprofit Infrastructure Coalition
In 2020, Independent Sector and KABOOM! formed a coalition known as the Nonprofit Infrastructure Coalition (NIC) to identify, and advocate for, the essential federal investments needed to rebuild the nation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, and ongoing racial injustice.
Percent for Place Coalition
KABOOM! is one of over two-dozen nationally and locally-oriented organizations participating in this coalition that advocates for additional federal funding and policies that will ensure an equitable amount of public space is reserved for civic participation and engagement for the purposes of play, learning, entertainment, and exploration.