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Volunteers needed: Meeting with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to discuss reform.

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From: Webmaster (webmaster@AKidsRight.Org)
Date: Fri Mar 22 2002 - 20:36:41 EST

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Good People & People of Faith,

[Before getting into the main part of the message, I wanted to
remind everyone of our next meeting in Plymouth, Mass, on Sat.
April 6th.  Would like to meet you -- find details/directions at
the site http://www.AKidsRight.Org/meeting.htm]

The subject of this message says it all: Volunteers needed for private
personal meeting with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (Former First
Lady, Globally recognized leader in Children's issues, and Author) to
discuss National Family Law Reform.  A tentative planning date for the
meeting is in September.  I expect we'll have at least one hour, and
we are looking for a small group of 4-8 mothers and fathers to attend.
Interested? Please review the details below.

I guess I should say that Senator Clinton currently has no plans on
her schedule for such a meeting with concerned parents, nor does
Senator Schumer (NY), Congressman James Walsh (NY), or Senator Kerry
(future Presidential Candidate from Massachusetts) -- but I think that
will happen soon.  As a matter of fact, I hate to go "out on a limb",
but I would say its almost a certainty.  Why?

The Political Process
Because she is going to be convinced that it is in her political best
interest to do so as an elected Representative of the people of the
United States.  That is how our "republican" system of government was
designed to work.  Like many of you, I have been a bit surprised at
the "run around" and lack of response (other than polite letters),
that we get from elected officials.  It seems difficult to engage them
or their staffs in a serious dialog.

We are not lobbyists, or corporate presidents, who have hundreds of
thousands of dollars to contribute so we get "access" to talk about
out important issues. It is also "safe" for them to ignore us and take
care of higher priority items -- and PLEASE understand. We are really
not trying to call them "bums" or say they are for sale to the highest
bidder.  For the most part, they are people like us, just trying to
keep a job.  We have had good meetings with some staff members and
felt that they really cared about the issues -- but it wasn't
practical for their member of Congress to act.  They have so many
demands on their time.

It is "safe" to ignore us because what will the consequence be?  What
are you going to do about it?  Well, just go on with the life I
guess... other things come up, we get busy, forget.... Many of us have
issues we are concerned about: the environment, schools, taxes -- but
are we going to make them the focus of our lives?  For the most part
-- no.

But people have gotten excited in this country in the past, against
segregation, against the War in Vietnam -- it can become a focus.
A critical issue.

What is Different Now
We are blessed with one of those issues, our right to be a parent and
nurture our very own children.  You can see things across the Country
where some people are defiant and risk jail; on a more somber note you
also have those who take their own lives in despair.  Tremendous
sacrifices, but not all pointed in the same direction. But certainly
we all know this is a serious National issue.  The system does not

Many of you are aware of what I and others have done trying to
influence Senator Clinton: http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionb_syr I had
suspended my efforts trying to "walk" in petition outside her offices
after her Regional representative said our issues would be addressed
from the Washington office.  So far we have written many letters, but
not received any serious reply.  I hope we will soon.

What will Happen - NonViolent Action
But if not, I plan on returning to the Syracuse Federal Building in
late July, and resuming my efforts outside her specific office.  I
will continue those efforts until a time/date for a meeting between
parents and the Senator has been established. Now, I normally wouldn't
be so presumptuos as to 'demand' a meeting with anyone, but this
situation definitely calls for strong action. Her staff has handled
this matter in an awful manner, we have been delayed almost a year!  

Each of you knows how long that is when you are not seeing your child.
We need to make her feel that same sense of urgency!  Not by talking
about it, but by showing it.

Will it Work
I'd love to get your feedback and predictions. Will there me a meeting
in September between Senator Clinton and between Mothers and Fathers
of AKidsRight.Org?  I have to say yes.  I have a lot of Faith that
only good things can happen when people make a positive sacrifice.
If there is a group of just two moms and dads -- will the Senator
be able to ignore that type of tremendous effort, I don't think so.

"Syracuse Five - parents arrested because Senator Clinton is unwilling
to address their requests for National Family Law Reform."  -- That is
a headline she does NOT want to see.  That is what makes our system

A Self Selecting Group to Attend the Meeting
We talk a lot about NonViolent Action, and Faith, and Love of our
Children.  A while back someone had an interesting comment about the
people that get involved -- we are a "self selecting" group. To
participate in one of our "events" is a good indicator of similar

If these actions in July can result in a meeting with Senator Clinton,
who should attend?  Obviously, you get an "automatic" invitation if
you're willing to carry a picture of your children outside her offices
(and risk being thrown in jail).

Because you see -- no one likes to go to jail (most of all me!).
People wonder how I can have a positive view of Senator Clinton and
these other politicians, and what they will do -- well, it's in my
best interest to treat her that way.  I am going to work as very hard
as I can between now and then to arrange a meeting "the regular way"
and I think any of you that are serious about joining in this would
have the same feelings.  She's a good person, and if we can just make
her see us as good parents who have had some basic Civil Rights
violated -- we have won a very powerful friend.  Even if she does not
agree, we will have won some valuable publicity for the issue.

The sacrifice of our freedom is a last resort, but one we are willing
to take to make a Member of Congress take notice. This is an important

Take some time to think and reflect.  If you are interested in joining
some Good People and People of Faith in July, please send me an email,

We will change history.  (a few more comments follow)

Why not Now
At times I feel so much frustration and pure "indignity" at the way I
have been treated through all this...the pain I have seen my son go
through -- that I want to go there now.  At times the anger is just
overwhelming. I'm tired of it all. Time's a wasting!

I think I was ready to do that earlier, but when Senator Clinton's aid
came down to talk to me.  I had to give them a chance for at least a
few months.  Many of you haven't spent time just sitting in a jail
cell -- but let me tell you -- you get a lot of time to think about
alternatives!  You know how hard we have tried to get people to write
to the Senator's Washington office and we still encourage you to do
so (follow the link above for details).

But on a serious note, by early May it will have been two months. The
time would be right -- why wait till July?  Well, it gets back to the
Faith thing I talked about in my last message.

Faith & Results
You see, I have about $1200 in plane tickets that I need in the next
week. I'm flying out west tomorrow to pickup Domenic and bring him
here for the Easter break.  I already know I should have him on June
6th for 6 weeks (till July 18th) for summer vacation.  He has already
told me he'd like to see me again in between, and I plan on going out
the first week of May.  I'm driving an 88 Dodge Caravan with 203,000
miles -- but I count myself a very luck man, I can see my child and he
loves me.  A luxury so many of you don't have.

You see, part of me thinks I shouldn't wait, that I should have the
Faith to carry it through sooner. But I'm just a little afraid. I
really want to see Dom -- you know.  Sit in a jail cell when I could
be with him, I don't think I can do it....

I said this earlier, and I will say it again -- some of you folks are
going to do amazing things to make this happen. You will make greater
sacrifices and demonstrate a greater Faith than I am capable of doing.
You see, I have the chance to see MY SON, NOW, for a few weeks -- and
for those of you who don't even have that option, I'm sorry -- I can't
move up the schedule (obviously every week we wait for a reform, is
another week thousands and thousands of parents and children wait, and
even more families that are plunged into this awful system).

Faith, yes, I've got the faith to try this in July and accept whatever
the consequences are.  Do I have the Faith to try it now; no I don't.
I don't just say this for effect, it is an awful thing and one that
troubles me.  ME/MINE comes before you/yours.  Some people wonder
why I don't get that mad at the system -- well, I find if I look in
the mirror first, there is a lot of improvement work there....

Oh yes, I have rationalized it all pretty well, wait a few more
months, try to go to a few more meetings, spread the word, get a few
more people involved -- then we can succeed.  Boy, I think of the
story of David and Goliath -- who is going to win the battle? We
have a powerful and loving God who will help us, just got to have
Faith.  As a former military officer I enjoy military history -- the
greatest weakness in a leader, never quite finding the "right" time
to act.  Is there every a "right" time to join a battle where you
could be killed?  Military history and life is full of opportunities
lost because of hesitation.

Some of you, I wish I knew who you are, will have the Faith to
do even more. To be willing to sacrifice YOURS, so that all of US
will have a better future.

I look forward to meeting you and shaking your hands.  From the
deepest depths of despair to the joy of the resurrection.

Best Regards and my Best Wishes for a Happy Easter!

John Murtari

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