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Syracuse Update - Welcome Progress with Senator Clinton

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Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 10:49:38 EST

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Good People:

This message contains some GOOD news after some unexpected
progress in our goal for Federal Legislative Reform.  You can
expect a more detailed message next week. If you are new to the
list, you can check the background on these items at:

Senator Clinton's staff willing to discuss need for reform.
On Tuesday, the day after Martin Luther King Day, John Murtari went to the
Federal Building and was stopped by officers on the first floor. He
was asked to come with them to the their office.  He asked if he was
under "arrest" or being charged with a crime, they said no.  He
politely refused to follow their instructions and said he was going
upstairs to continue his efforts outside the offices of Senator
Clinton.  They told him that was not allowed -- and without any
physical contact being made they placed themselves between John and
the elevators. John was finally stopped between a couple of elevators
with two officers on either side.

It was a "standoff", they would not initiate any arrest action and
John was ready to wait for a couple of hours. There was no hostility,
the officers and John knew each other from other encounters and
everyone was doing their "duty."  It appears the Senator's staff was
aware of what was happening in the Building Lobby.  After about an
hour Cathy Calhoun, the Regional Representative for Senator Clinton,
came down to talk to John (they had met during an earlier meeting last
Spring) and after some conversation told John she would give him the
name of a Legislative Aid from their Washington office who would be
able to follow up with the group on the issue of reform.  This was
certainly good news and John left the building.

What this means
We are certainly happy to see some progress here and appreciate the
response from the Senator's staff (PLEASE, we know that many of you
are skeptical of politicians and their intentions. There is a long way
to go and we are going to try to keep a positive attitude.)  At this
point we are not asking Members of Congress to agree/disagree with the
need for a Family Rights Act (FRA), but to set a timely schedule to
investigate the matter.

As the group continues to grow we will make organizational changes and
encourage more participation -- expect messages on this also. We are
moving toward the day when many of you will have an opportunity to
tell your story to Members of Congress and see real reform happen. The
speed with which this occurs will be related to our ability as Mothers
and Fathers to demonstrate Faith, Love, and a willingness to make
personal Sacrifice for the sake of our children (and those of others).

Other Groups 
This is certainly not just a "AKidsRight.Org" effort.  This list
reaches members of many different groups doing good work to make
reform happen by working through Court Action and also local State
legislatures.  But we encourage everyone to consider more focus on
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (especially those in New York State).
She is a National figure. She wrote the book "It Takes a Village." She
has identified herself with family issues.  Most importantly -- there
is little doubt she has a strong desire to be the first female
President of the United States.

Whether she is "for us" or "against us", her involvement is sure to
help bring National (Global) attention to the reform effort. We hate
to use a cliche, but this is "democracy in action."  More than
anything else, this is what the Founding Fathers would have expected.
We need to help her see the political advantage of becoming a
proponent of reform. Senator Clinton is one of the few political
leaders who would be able to exercise real leadership on this issue.

We encourage everyone to keep a positive attitude and to focus on the
love of your children and the basic Human Right you have to an equal
relationship.  THAT IS VERY HARD TO SAY NO TO.  Many of us are angry
at what has happened (and rightfully so), but angry demonstrations and
angry mother/father bashing is going to make any such group very easy
to ignore as a political power.

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