Yet it's critical to remember that, although this law is a significant victory for Utah's families, it's also just the first step. As the required data begins to become available, we must go beyond simply supporting the law. Advocacy groups in particular have an important role to play in driving policymakers to use the data and develop evidence-based solutions.
Fortunately, Reid's invitation to advocates to continue working closely with him moving forward gives us hope that the law is the beginning of a conversation, not its end. Now we need people like Reid to continue to go down the path they began with this landmark law. While there may be short-term benefits to children from this new law, particularly in the fields of education and health, the big gains for our communities and families will take additional effort. Only when we have created the conditions for the next generation to escape poverty will we know we have succeeded.
The focus on improved data is an important first step in rescuing our children from intergenerational poverty. Now we must continue to find partners in the fight against poverty, even when they appear in the least likely places.
Karen Crompton is the president and chief executive officer of Voices for Utah Children. This op-ed was originally printed in the Spotlight on Poverty (www.spotlightonpoverty.org.