In a pep rally-type setting, complete with a jazz band and cheering students, the state’s new PullTogether program was unveiled Monday in the Performing Arts Center at Rio Rancho High School.
In a separate and somewhat dueling news conference, Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester said he wants state leaders to do more than “sing a jingle,” and to find new revenue sources to pay for programs such as state-assisted child care and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or food stamps.
The state’s new community engagement campaign is intended to improve the quality of life for children around the state, and ultimately “make New Mexico the best place to be a kid,” according to Gov. Susana Martinez and Children, Youth and Families Department Secretary Monique Jacobson, who are leading the effort.
Skeptics say that without an actual commitment of funding for children’s programs, PullTogether is nothing more than a slick public relations campaign that is being paid for with $2.7 million in taxpayer dollars. More specifically the money comes from reverted early childhood funds unspent by contractor providers, Jacobson previously told the Journal.
A centerpiece of the campaign is a website, PullTogether.org, that provides information on community and CYFD programs and services by breaking them down for those who need help and those who are offering help. The campaign also includes a resource and referral phone line, informational pamphlets distributed through community hubs, and statewide advertising in a variety of media reminding people that a child’s health, safety and well being is everybody’s concern and everybody’s job.