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Chalk "I LOVE YOU"
Parents Civil Rights Action for a Meeting with
Senator Charles Schumer & Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Syracuse, New York

May 9th/June 20th
 

Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) 315-423-5471
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) 315-448-0470

Our goal is a face-to-face meeting. (Here is our proposed Agenda)

John Murtari has been coordinating this effort. Please send him an email if you can help, jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org.

Facebook Event

 
What - Moms & Dads write "I LOVE YOU" with kids chalk.
Federal Building Plaza, Syracuse
 

Take some kid's sidewalk chalk (your choice of color!), and leave a message of love on the ground of the Plaza. Perfectly harmless (actually upheld by a Federal Court of Appeals to be 'non-damaging'), but a great pulic demonstration that we are willing to risk arrest to send a message: "More than any words, let our actions show how much we love our children and why Family Rights need protection."

We're simply asking for the Senators to make a joint statement calling for the need for Congressional Hearings regarding the Federal recognition & protection of fundamental Family Rights.
 
When/Where - May 9th/June 20th - Federal Building Plaza
Office location of Senator Charles Schumer & Kirstin Gillibrand,
Syracuse 

These dates are the Fridays before Mothers & Fathers day. We'd like to give local and National media a good story. Loving parents writing "I LOVE YOU" to their children with kids play chalk - and risking arrest.

  1. The old saying on Civil Disobedience is, "One person is a potential crazy -- three people are a movement!" We need at least one mother and father to join me. Had a Mother join me in January 2005 - got TV coverage. No arrests that day! I was featured in a documentary: http://TheRomeoDocumentary.com/
  2. If you can't risk an arrest, just come and be a silent witness to what happens.
  3. Can't make it to Syracuse, please call the local offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand on May 9th and June 20th -- let them know Family Rights are important. We can also use your help in ideas, organizing, and publicity.
Please contact John (above), if you can help or are interested in attending. We are there as parents to "petition our government" for change.  For folks coming from out of town we'll have a common hotel arranged  and try to have a get together before the event so people can meet each other

Why a US Senator? - State courts & laws decide family issues (right now).

Without a doubt, all of our families suffered in the different State Court systems.  But as we realize how fundamental Family Rights are -- do you really think the Alabama or New York State Legislature or Courts have the power to define your relationship with your kids?   The US Constitution defines our most valued rights -- and as history shows Federal Action is really the only true path to reform.

We have visited a lot of offices of Members of Congress -- click here for a written response (view image) from former US Senator John Kerry.  He also sees a problem in the current system, but reform will be difficult.

 Goal - Family Law Reform

The goal of this initial meeting is NOT to put the Senators on the spot, or to make him the focus of questions/answers.  It will be an opportunity for a small group of parents to tell their stories, answer any questions they might have, and to highlight some thoughts we have on protecting Family Rights.  After having a chance to talk to more people and study the issues, we hope they will call for Congressional Hearings to further investigate what is happening across the nation and the need for a Family Rights Act.

Draw favorable public and media attention to the need for Federal Civil Rights protection of the parent/child bond.  Also provide an opportunity for many different Family Rights group to gather together for a shared goal. Our first step will be a call for Congressional Hearings into reform and a Declaration of Family Rights Easy for Congress to influence State Legislatures by coupling it with other Federal Funding. Specifically:

  • Presumption of equal physical/legal custody in separation/divorce.
  • Protection of a Jury when the parent/child relationship is threatened by a spouse or child "protective" services.
  • Right to representation by Counsel.
  • Right to speedy trial and cross examination of all witnesses.

Our answer to the question, "Why are you doing this?"  We are parents who LOVE our children and want to be restored to an equal relationship.   We need Federal protection of our Civil Rights and want Congressional hearings into reform.

We won't be there in anger, or to "barbecue" either Senator.  We will be there to:

  • Show the strong love we have for our children. 
  • Plead for their sponsorship of Family Rights legislation. 
  • Demonstrate our willingness to sacrifice.

To get a real Family Rights Act started in Congress, we need a House and Senate Sponsor to introduce the bill.

There are now several groups recognizing parenting as an "inalienable" right, deserving our highest protections. We encourage you to visit their sites, read the draft legislation.  We all have something we can be "for" now!

You can check the Legislative action area of our site, ( http://www.AKidsRight.Org/legislate.htm ), for details. We have made several efforts and while staffs are sympathetic, little action is taken -- the simple reason, "if this is such an important issues -- where is everybody?  Where is the public action?"

This is the POLITICAL PROCESS, it is our duty to show them how much we care about our position. That the consideration of serious Family Law Reform is the single, most important issue that should occupy their time. To convince them it is in their best interest to call for Congressional Hearings into the need for reform  OR to be fairly labeled a Member of Congress who doesn't think Parents have a Constitutionally protected right to be with their own children.

THE POLITICS OF SPONSORING A BILL

As we all know, news coverage for an event is hard to get. But when your event is outside the offices of elected officials it becomes a dual-edged sword. There is also a chance (which the official must consider), is that a news source will carry the story -- and what a story it must be!

Not one of angry parents spouting off against the corrupt system -- but one of loving parents, respectful, faith filled people, that were trying to convince their Senator to at least talk to them!

Politicians much prefer groups protest "outside" or "in general." Like any of us, they wouldn't want to be the specific target of such an action that would force them to take a public position. A few months ago some groups had a large effort to get parents to join hands for a "Bridge across America." Think how much more effective it would have been to target a few legislators and form a Bridge around the Office of Senator X" -- we'd like them to make a public statement in support of reform!

Those of you who have done "lobbying" have heard the standard answers, "Gee, the Senator feels your pain, but he doesn't sit on the subcommittee that would be responsible for a bill like that. I can give you a list of those members, much better if you contact one of them. Bye, bye!"

We have to be firm and acknowledge all that, but know that "The Senator still has the power to introduce the bill" and the "Senator, if he feels strongly about it, can talk to colleagues on the committee and convince them to support it. You see, we don't vote for those other people -- BUT WE DO VOTE FOR THE SENATOR. We have a Family Rights Act we would like him to introduce, we'd like to start a dialog with our Senator and get his help with making a good bill. Will he or won't he?"

United States Senators Charles Schumer & Kirsten Gillibrand - Influential on Rights...

I think we've all heard both namea in the news.  They are influential members of the Senate and sensitive to issues of Civil Rights.  But they haven't been separated from their kids by Court order ...

REMEMBER - how many of us were concerned about "Family Law Reform" until it happened to us?  We may have even had friends talk about it, but we never thought it would happen to us.  We really didn't spend any time trying to change the laws -- till it happened to us.  So many people get frustrated when politicians don't drop everything they are doing to respond to them?  They haven't been through it.

The goal of this initial meeting is NOT to put the Senators on the spot, or to make them the focus of questions/answers.  It will be an opportunity for a small group of parents to tell their stories, answer any questions and highlight some thoughts we have on protecting Family Rights.  After having a chance to talk to more people and study the issues, we hope they'll call for Congressional Hearings to further investigate what is happening across the nation and the need for a Family Rights Act.

Method - NonViolent Action

We will begin by giving the system a chance to work:  we will call his offices, write letters, meet with this staff.  If we can get a public face-to-face meeting and the Senator's help in calling for Congressional Hearings -- it would be a great accomplishment and a tribute to his leadership & sensitivity.

If he is not willing to respond, then we will need to increase our peaceful efforts and get more parents involved.

NonViolent Action.  For all parent's who have been denied an equal relationship with their children. If you want to make a stronger statement and risk arrest in NonViolent Action. You can carry a picture of your children outside the offices of our Federal Representatives, who refuse to acknowledge that parents have a Constitutionally protected "Civil Right" to be with their children, John Murtari, a coordinator, is ready to join you. .Again, we are trying to keep a positive and courteous attitude at all times. These are good people that we are dealing with (certainly no worse than any of us are!). They may have trouble understanding our situations and goals. We will help them understand, NOT by insults, but by demonstrating OUR willingness to sacrifice for the sake of our children.

See this effort as an example that can be used by other parents as part of a "grass roots" effort across the nation.  We can all share lessons learned.

REMEMBER - Again, we are trying to keep a positive and courteous attitude at all times. These are good people that we are dealing with (certainly no worse than any of us are!). They may have trouble understanding our situations and goals. We will help them understand, NOT by insults, but by demonstrating OUR willingness to sacrifice for the sake of our children.
http://www.AKidsRight.Org/civil_back.htm
  

 Not Goals

For this effort we will NOT make issues of child support, judicial conduct, or other professional conduct.  These are valid issues in their own right, but are just not the focus or the message to be heard from this effort.