This isn’t just a day of speeches and songs for President Joe Biden. The new president has a lot of work to do to repair this country, and he’s pledged to get to work “on day 1” by signing 17 executive actions, many of which will mean a lot to parents and children in this country. The work of government is often slow and incremental, but these orders have the possibility of doing a lot of good.
Here are some of the most important orders that will affect families:
100-Day Masking Challenge: We have been looking forward to what the Biden administration can do to help parents and families recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and hope he can pass the majority of the $1.9 trillion relief package he proposed last week. But there’s still a lot to do to slow the spread of the virus, and this order asks Americans to take part collectively. It also creates stricter social-distancing rules in federal buildings, on federal lands, and by federal employees and contractors. Other orders, such as the one rejoining the WHO and the creation of a COVID-19 response coordinator, are also working toward eradicating the virus, which is great news for parents, just as it is for everyone else.
Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline: No one stands to benefit more from a renewed effort to fight climate change than our children.
Strengthening DACA: The Dreamers can finally get a path to citizenship, and their families can breathe a sigh of relief.
Ending the Muslim ban: Because all our children deserve to live in a welcoming America that lives up to its promise and thrives because of the immigrants who come here.
Ending the border wall construction: See above.
Counting undocumented immigrants in the census: Trump never got to fulfill his wish to leave immigrants out of the count, but now Biden is making sure the census includes everyone, which means that communities with immigrants get representation, funding for schools, and more.
Canceling the 1776 Commission: If you recall, this was Trump’s idea that the whitewashed history he “learned” as a boy is the only history, and that any attempt to tell the real story of how slavery and racism shaped this country is harmful to children. Buh-bye.
Extending eviction moratoriums and the existing pause to student-loan payments: OK, so these were actually enacted by the past president, but since the pandemic is still going strong, we need these stopgap measures to continue. They’re preventing families from winding up on the street and young adults from going bankrupt or worse.
All of this is just a start. There are more rights to restore (to LGBTQ people wanting to adopt, for example), environmental policies to bring back, and so much work to move this country forward for us and for our kids. With a daunting job like this, it’s a good thing they’re starting right now!
Kick off your 100-day mask challenge with some of these kids face masks: