Hillary's Record Says It All

I just can't hold it in any longer. As more Americans begin tuning into this election, it is hard to believe my ears when I hear people claim that Hillary Clinton needs to somehow burnish her credentials for promoting equality and fighting for working families. So sit back, and let me give you the view of someone who has watched her lead and inspire this movement for years.

Now, it's true that most recently, Hillary served as President Obama's Secretary of State. That meant her focus was mainly on strengthening our nation abroad - and by the way, she did a great job. Even as America's chief diplomat, she put caring for the least fortunate people of the world - especially women and children - on the top of our agenda.

Maybe that's made it all too easy for some to forget that Hillary has been a leader on the front lines of progressive change for over 40 years. Ever since she went to work at the Children's Defense Fund right out of law school, she's been a tireless advocate for the least fortunate among us. But instead of reciting her entire biography, I just want to focus on one particular example.

There is a special program called Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, though most just call it "HIPPY." Originally designed in Israel, it's an amazing approach to helping parents prepare their children for school, and for life. And it was first brought to Arkansas by Hillary Clinton.

Hillary has always understood what science keeps telling us: that most of our kids' minds have already developed by age four. That means parents are positioned to be their kids' first teachers.

This isn't actually as daunting as it sounds. All you really need to do is talk and play with them in specific and nurturing ways.

But for a lot of parents, especially those juggling classes, full-time jobs, or both - that's a luxury they just can't afford. To make matters worse, many low-income parents never received much education themselves, so they may feel ill-equipped to provide kids with the proper enrichment.

That's where HIPPY comes in. This program gives parents all the materials they need to prepare them for language learning, math, and science, at every age up until kindergarten.

I first learned about HIPPY from my stepdaughter, Kathryn, who spent many years expanding its curriculum over the country - including in Arkansas when Hillary was working on it there too. Today, it's in 23 states, helping the most vulnerable kids in over 15,000 families nationwide.

Kathryn told me what she saw: young students transformed, and parents who discovered a newfound sense of self-esteem. Some of them were even inspired to further their own education.

I was stunned away by these stories, so decided I would check it out for myself. Visiting with HIPPY parents in Bridgeport, it was amazing to see trainers working with parents from the perspective of peers - providing educational materials and a newfound sense of confidence.

Of course, HIPPY is just one of many meaningful social programs that Hillary has championed, and early childhood education is only one of her many passions. From criminal justice reform, to improving access to credit, to pursuing universal health care - she has always worked to even out the odds for the most vulnerable Americans.

So as we watch this election unfold, let's remember that looking out for the least among us is not something Hillary just discovered. When it comes to living and breathing the fight to improve income inequality and economic justice, she's second to none. And she's the only candidate who has the proven ability get these things done in the face of adversity and opposition.

Believe me, that's an important skill. I've had a front row seat in Congress, and I can tell you, the stakes here are higher than ever. Republicans continually seek to cut funding for programs that help working families.

That's why I stood arm-in-arm with President Obama and dozens of my Democratic colleagues to defend these programs. Thankfully, we managed to increase Early Head Start funding to $635 million, enabling the program to help kids and families across the nation.

In the years ahead, if we want to keep prevailing in these battles, we'll need a president like Hillary Clinton. I've proudly endorsed her because I know she'll be right where she's always been - at our side, sleeves rolled up, veto pen in her purse, and ready to fight for our future.

So next time someone raises questions about Hillary's record, now you have something to tell them, okay?!