Letter to Senator Clinton regarding meeting for Family Rights, April 2004

April 7, 2004

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510                                SCHEDULING/HELP REQUEST

Dear Senator Clinton:

PLEASE, At 2 PM today I will be facing jail again for peacefully petitioning you for help. My NonViolent Action will be silently carrying pictures of parents and children outside your office in the Syracuse Federal Building. I have written you numerous times along with other members of the group and we have had no reply?

My hometown is Lyons, New York. I am a lector in my parish and scheduled to do the readings for Easter Sunday (but I may be in jail instead). The folks in my hometown understand my love of family and don’t see me as a criminal. In the past I have been able to walk outside the offices of both Senator Schumer and Congressman Walsh in that same building. It recently came to my attention from the US Attorney’s office that your local staff was actually “asking for prosecution” in this matter. I know you care about family issues and I hope someone can take the time to intervene.

I’m a coordinator for a growing group of loving mothers and fathers who were unjustly separated from their children through divorce, separation, or the action of child protective services. Our group’s name is AKidsRight.Org (http://www.AKidsRight.Org)

Our immediate goal is a local meeting between you and a small group of mothers and fathers associated with our group. We hope that after you have a chance to hear our stories and also from other groups – you will endorse a call for Congressional Hearings and eventually the creation of a Family Rights Act.

An Act to recognize and protect the right of our children to have TWO parents (whether they be good, average, or poor parents) equally involved in their lives AND the right of parents to raise and nurture their own children. That will require parents be found guilty in a criminal court, with jury protection, of being a demonstrated serious threat to their children – before government can interfere in family life.

We can appreciate the busy schedule you and your staff members must have. I can only imagine the number of groups and different causes that must appeal to you for support. I wish our group of parents was better organized, had millions of members, and was better funded – we are not there yet. But many of us believe our cause is important: as much as the right of a black man to sit in the front of a bus or the right of a woman to vote.

Our method and strength is NonViolent Action and we are attempting to follow the recent historical examples of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. That positive social reform can be triggered, not by hatred, revenge, or violence – but by parents motivated by Faith in a Loving God. Parents willing to demonstrate to the public the love they have for their children by voluntary personal sacrifice.

As a coordinator for the group I am attempting to follow some of those goals. To demonstrate that NonViolent Action can work by my willingness to sacrifice one of my most valued rights, my freedom – to regain a more valued right – to be an EQUAL parent to my own 11 year old son, Domenic.

The sacrifice of a few days in jail is minor compared to what people suffered in the past to get basic rights recognized. I am neither a saint or a devil, nor am I trying to become a martyr. Please do not see this as an attempt to ‘black mail’ you into a meeting.

I have no right to demand a meeting between you and parents, but I hope it will happen. As a former Air Force pilot it was not my goal to die, but to serve my country by willingness to sacrifice. As a loving parent I hope I have the courage and faith to show my son that same measure of devotion. Please help!

Sincerely yours,

John Murtari
315-635-1968, x-211
CC: Cathy Calhoun, Syracuse Regional Rep.
CC: Lona Valmoro, Senior Scheduler