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The "issue" is CIVIL RIGHTS / Congressional Meeting

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Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 10:09:34 EDT

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Good People,

This message contains info on:
1. The "issue" is Civil Rights.
2. Meeting results with Congressman Walsh's Staff.
3. Mother's Day Plans.
4. Comment at our Forum.
5. Being a "not-for-profit" group.

1. The "issue" is Civil Rights.
Many of you may remember Bill Clinton's first Presidential
Campaign. His manager had taped the following message on the

This was to remind everyone what the primary issue was.

To all the mothers & fathers out there who are involved in Family Law

A recent meeting (details below) with a Congressman's staff made very
clear this should be our message. It is NOT: money, the divorce
industry, corrupt judges and lawyers, the battle of the sexes, or
about being a victim -> "IT'S CIVIL RIGHTS FOR FAMILIES"

It is hard to know what to do or how to fix problems with court
procedures, corrupt officials, bad state law, or the "divorce
industry" -- EVERYONE knows what to do when your Civil Rights are
threatened. You protest, you write letters, you go to Court, you get
a Civil Rights law passed in Congress. Let us know what you think of
the Family Rights Act,

2. Meeting results with Congressman Walsh's Staff.
Three dads and a mom sat down across from his staff to talk about
reform. We were ALL surprised to hear the Congressman had NEVER been
approached regarding reform AND there was NO pending legislation in
Congress. We hope to fix that soon!

We want to share with you some of the "reasons" we heard why he
couldn't help us -- and what our response was. We think many of you
will hear the same thing:

1. "We haven't had a lot of interest in this type of legislation" --
We explained we were going to try to create interest by getting folks
to contact their representatives. A National effort is being planned
for Mother's Day. has a growing list of
parents who plan to contact their representatives on the Friday before
Mother's Day.

2. "This is not an issue for Congress. Family Law has traditionally
been done by the States ..." -- We explained this was about Civil
Rights, the rights of parents and children to be together. Very
similar to slaves winning their freedom, or women winning the right to
vote. It should not matter what State you live in.

3. "Lower courts have already decided on this, it is an item for the
Judiciary to decide" -- In the early 1800's U.S. Courts had held,
including the US Supreme Court, that slaves were "property". In the
1900's Courts had ruled that women did NOT have the right to vote --
again, the issue was one of Civil Rights.

4. "This would be handled by the House Judiciary Committee, and
Congressman Walsh isn't on that committee." -- We told them that
Congress Walsh was our local representative, he was the person we VOTE
for to represent our interests. He could certainly introduce a Bill
and contact the Judiciary committee members himself is he had a strong

At the end of the meeting, they appeared to just want to dismiss us
with no follow up. We asked them "Do you mean to say that Congressman
Walsh is NOT interested in at least learning more about the issue of
CIVIL RIGHTS FOR FAMILIES?" -- this caused a pause -- they told us
they would check with the Washington office. For complete details

3. Mother's Day Plans.
In the next few months we will be making a push to get parents to go
to the offices of their Congressional Representative. Both Mother's
Day and Father's Day will be used as focus points for events.

We've had some great response so far in our planning. The Mother's Day
site, has been updated to include a
"Contact Kit" -- which has simple guidance for what anyone can do on
that day. We want members of Congress across the country to see a

Please visit the site and sign-up -- let your voice be heard, others
will join you! Check to see what people in your State are doing.

4. Comment at our Forum.
We try to keep the volume of messages we send over the list low. Most
of you get TOO much email already. Many times we get good feedback
which is difficult to share with others. We have created a special
Forum at our web site to allow anyone to post their comments,

This message will be posted there for your comment.

5. Being a "not-for-profit" group.
Many groups seek "not-for-profit" IRS status as a way to save some
money and for "status". This if fine and good, but it does limit your
group's ability to directly campaign for/against a political

This fall every member of the House of Representatives is up for
reelection. We can guarantee there is NOT one of them which wants a
group of mothers and fathers holding signs outside their local office
about "CIVIL RIGHTS FOR FAMILIES" in the months prior to election day.

The right to VOTE and campaign for/against a candidate is a crucial
part of our political process -- don't give it away!

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