This week, the First Focus Campaign for Children, a national, bipartisan children’s advocacy group, recognized Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, as a “Champion for Children” for her leadership on issues important to children during the 112th Congress (2011-12).

This is the third year in a row that Capps has been recognized.

“Investments in our children are investments in our future,” Capps said. “That means ensuring they have access to quality health care and education, safe places to live, and access to opportunities to help them now and as they grow. And these investments have a ripple effect, strengthening families and engaging communities.

“As a mother, grandmother and school nurse, I have made our kids a priority during my time in Congress. It’s an honor to be recognized by First Focus Campaign for Children.”

“Lots of politicians talk about kids’ issues, but few back it up,” said Bruce Lesley, president of the First Focus Campaign for Children. “Rep. Capps delivered for kids.”

First Focus Campaign for Children recognized as “Champions for Children” 50 members of Congress whose extraordinary efforts to protect and improve the future of America’s next generation. An additional 50 members were recognized as “Defenders of Children” for their support of policies that advance the well-being of children.

In selecting Champions and Defenders, the First Focus Campaign for Children noted leaders who introduced, co-sponsored and voted for legislation to meet children’s needs. In addition, the organization considered members who demonstrated extraordinary initiative by spearheading activities such as sponsoring hearings or garnering the support of their colleagues to improve the health and well-being of children.

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.