Arkansas just finished our first session under Republican control of the legislature and the executive branch. Through bright spots and disappointments it illustrated the importance of getting the public involved.
2014 opens with the Arkansas Legislature deciding the fate of new health care coverage for 250,000 low income Arkansans and it closes with the November elections, which will help shape the state’s politics for the next decade. Citizens First Congress leaders are expanding the CFC’s influence, growing its base of leaders and continuing to push solutions that improve the lives of all Arkansans.
The stakes of the 2014 elections are high, and South Arkansas residents are preparing to make their voice heard. Building on unprecedented successes holding candidates accountable in the 2012 elections, leaders are focusing on local and state level races coming next year.
“It’s time to take charge and meet today’s challenges.” “This is our vehicle, it’s a vehicle that empowers people.” “We have to be able to come together to work towards solutions.” “Get up, stand up, raise your voice, and don’t ever sit down.” With these words, leaders from throughout the Panel’s history called for a renewed commitment to social change in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Citizens First Congress came out of the 2013 General Assembly stronger than ever, helping pass crucial legislation including health care expansion, education reform, an energy package, election reform, landowner notification in the Fayetteville Shale, and more.
The stakes are high for all Arkansans as the 2013 General Assembly of the state legislature moves into full swing. Legislators’ decisions over the next few months will have a huge impact on our schools, our health care system, our environment, and our future elections. Now is the time for Arkansans to speak up to ensure they have a voice in this process!
Advocates from all corners of Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana will gather at the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn (OTL) Summit in Little Rock November 30 to share experiences, learn about ways they can help improve schools, and kick off their education reform efforts at the Capitol. With successes under their belt from the 2011 legislature, and growing momentum for progress at the local level, they are ready to expand opportunities for all Arkansas students.
We are Family! – Sister Sledge’s anthem to solidarity echoed through the halls of the Arkansas 4-H Center as over 140 representatives from 54 Citizens First Congress member groups...elected a new agenda for 2013 to improve schools, protect the environment, help struggling families, fight discrimination, and ensure accountable government and fair elections
“What other state besides Arkansas has made so much progress so quickly over the past decade? We’ve transformed our education system. We’ve kept a balanced budget and avoided painful cuts in the social safety net that have crippled other states."
“There’s a need for political awareness within our communities, especially in the South. We’ve been left out for so long, and it’s partially our fault, but we’ve got to move forward.”
For seven years, members of the Gould Citizens Advisory Council have fought for their city. They have engaged citizens in keeping their city safe, clean, and moving in a positive direction.
When the Arkansas General Assembly convenes in January 2011, the state will be emerging from the worst recession in recent history and legislators will be facing tough decisions...
Every child deserves the opportunity to a world-class education regardless of race, income or region. Education is the foundation of democracy and opportunity.
When the Arkansas legislature convenes in January, it will have about three months to take care of the state’s business for the next two years. The Arkansas Citizens First Congress will be there, pressing lawmakers to make the right decisions for all Arkansans.
Many people involved with the Arkansas Citizens First Congress over the last 10 years agree with the organization’s co-chair Bruce Lockett, who calls its work “community-based activism at its highest level.”
Members of the Arkansas Citizens First Congress are still celebrating the coalition’s most successful legislative session in its nine-year history. “It was a great agenda, backed by a lot of Arkansas people,” said a smiling Bruce Lockett, co-chair of the coalition.
On August 25-27, 2006, the Arkansas Citizens First Congress held its annual convention to debate and vote on its legislative agenda for the upcoming 86th General Assembly. More than 100 people from 45 Arkansas organizations...
Arkansas’ working families won a hard-fought, crucial victory with passage by the Arkansas General Assembly of a $1.10 an hour increase in the state minimum wage.
Its that time again! The Arkansas legislature convenes in January and legislators will be making laws that affect you - - the environment, civil rights, economic development, taxes, education and more. That means that its time for Arkansans to get ready with a Peoples Agenda for Arkansas.
The fiery debates on education reform have subsided for now, but not before over 1000 Arkansans joined in to influence the outcome. Many are now back at work in their hometowns, applying the new rules in their schools.
The newly-formed Arkansas Farm-Community Alliance (AFCA) is plowing ahead with a campaign to create an Arkansas Department of Agriculture. Arkansas is currently the only state in the country without a department or similar agency.
A coalition of farmers and rural families is launching the Arkansas Farm-Community Alliance (AFCA). AFCA is a new voice representing everyday farmers around Arkansas. “Seems like everyone is setting farm policies in Arkansas except farmers."
The citizens movement in Arkansas was in full force on a rainy weekend in Hot Springs. The Arkansas Citizens First Congress met at the Majestic Hotel to network, share stories, and - most of all - debate a new agenda for 2001.