Skip to content

Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act

Dear Friend,

For years, I have been calling on policymakers to alter the way that we think about service delivery to families who want to achieve economic security, educational success, and healthy outcomes. It starts with taking a two-generation approach that meets the needs of children and parents together.

Today, I joined my Republican colleague, Senator Susan Collins, to reintroduce our bipartisan legislation, the Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act to increase opportunities for families living in poverty. Our bill aligns and links existing systems and funding streams to target both parents and children with support aimed at increasing economic security, educational success, social capital, and the health and wellbeing of whole families.

PHOTO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich visits with staff and families at First Born Program in Farmington, a home visiting program for first-time parents to build healthy family relationships through development of parenting skill and goal setting, May 2, 2018.

I’ve met with higher education leaders in New Mexico who are providing parenting students with childcare services so they can finish their degrees. I’ve also visited full-service community K-12 schools that provide comprehensive academic, health, and social services for their students and for their students’ families. Last year, I sat down with community organizations like Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, which is using a two-generation approach to help parents and children Albuquerque, and Taos County’s “Paso a Paso Early Childhood Network,” which is working to link many disparate local health, education, and social services together to make it easier for parents and children to find the support that best meets their needs.

VIDEO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich addresses intergenerational poverty and the two-generation approach at the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, February 15, 2022.

Earlier this year, I delivered a keynote address to the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, where I called on local government leaders from all around the country to take a two-generation approach. Through my new role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I also delivered millions of dollars in key funding support for a number of locally-driven two-generation, early childhood, and education programs in New Mexico. That included $950,000 for Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors to advance its two-generation strategies.

As our economy continues to grow— thanks in large part to historic legislation like the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—we can open doors for American families – especially in New Mexico – to escape poverty and access new economic opportunities. When we meet the needs of children and their families simultaneously, we can help them overcome intergenerational poverty and achieve success together.


United States Senator