People of faith are called by that faith
to speak for all children.
February 26, 2009
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN
SB 69 Moves to Senate Rules CommitteeAccording to A Future.Not A Past., SB 69 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Senate Rules Committee, which is chaired by Senator Don Balfour. "The Senate Rules Committee decides which bills will reach the Senate floor for a vote."
This does not mean that we can sit back and watch from the sidelines. Please contact Senator Balfour and request that he bring SB 69 to the Senate floor for a vote. Also, please contact your senator and encourage him or her to vote "Yes" for SB 69.
SB 91 Still Under Review (No Movement is not Good Movement)
With the abbreviated schedule of the General Assembly this session, no movement on SB 91 is not good movement. As we reported last week, SB 91 provides for a $5 per person adult entertainment surcharge that will go into the Crime Victims' Emergency Fund to help commercially sexually exploited children recover.
This bill needs our full support. So, we're asking you again, to take a moment to send a personally-addressed letter to our leaders in the Senate and to Lieutenant Governor Cagle.
The letter below has been drafted for your use. Thank you for your help in this effort to make Georgia's children safer and healthier.
Senator Chip Rogers - 236 State Capitol
Senator Mitch Seabaugh - 421-D State Capitol
Senator Bill Heath - 109 State Capitol
Lt. Governor Casey Cagle - 240 State Capitol
Senator/ Lt. Governor
Atlanta, GA 30334
RE: SB 91 (Murphy)
Dear Senator /Lt. Governor [Last Name]:
Research conducted by the A Future.Not a Past.Campaign shows that at a minimum 250 girls are prostituted in Georgia each month. That could be 3,000 girls per year. And since this count does not include boys and certain ethnic minorities, the number of children in Georgia being sold for sex is even higher. This is why I am asking you to support SB 91.
The harm done to children who are victims of prostitution is clear and indisputable. The toll it takes upon their young lives requires years of counseling and rehabilitation. The state's current services for these children are inadequately funded and not widely available.
Currently Georgia taxpayers pick up the tab for serving children exploited by adults looking for profit or pleasure. SB91, proposed by Senator Murphy, seeks to hold strip clubs accountable for the secondary effects they have on the community. The adult entertainment surcharge, or "user fee," of $5 per patron will go into the Crime Victims' Emergency Fund to specifically to fund services for minors who have been commercially sexually exploited.
Well-documented research has proven that a spatial relationship exists between the location of adult strip clubs and the prostitution of children. [If your faith community is located in an area which has experienced this situation, please give a personal account.]
Sen./ Lt. Governor [Last Name], your support for SB 91 is urgently needed. Just think, that in the time that it takes you to read this letter, a child is being sexually exploited. Therefore, at this time and on this issue, we need you to work for our children.
We will no longer tolerate the rape of our children for profit. Not anymore. Not in our state.
City, State Zip
ON OUR RADAR:
SB 92 - Medicaid and PeachCare ConversionThe Senate Insurance & Labor Committee has SB 92(Hill, 32nd) on its agenda. The bill attempts to change Georgia's cost-effective Medicaid and PeachCare coverage into a premium assistance program, requiring the state to purchase "benchmark" plans for many members.
A committee hearing was held Tuesday, February 24, on SB 92. Another meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, March 3 at 2:00 p.m. to continue the presentation of testimonies.
From the information presented in SB 92, implementation of this plan would reduce the proportion of taxpayer money that is actually spent for much needed healthcare, decrease public accountability, add confusion and administrative burdens for providers and potentially impede overall patient care.
Click here for I & L Committee members. Please contact them now, and ask them to vote "NO - DO NOT PASS" on SB 92.
Revenue Solutions to Help Fund Children's Healthcare Voices for Georgia's Children "supports revenue solutions to ensure sustained funding of Medicaid and PeachCare including the Governor's proposal to extend the Quality Assessment Fee and the potential increase of the tobacco tax."
Faith United Against Tobacco Coalition has put forth a campaign that supports HB 39. The bill calls for a $1 per pack tax increase on cigarettes sold in Georgia. In these hard economic times, the revenue generated from this tax increase could be a vital source of funding for children's healthcare, such as PeachCare. ICM has joined the Coalition and supports this effort to protect children on PeachCare and Georgians who rely on Medicaid from being cut off from the health care they need and aid working families seeking health coverage.
On February 25, Rev. Byron E. Thomas, ICM Chair, gave testimony before the House Public Finance & Policy of Ways & Means Subcommitee in support of HB 39. "Our position is that we must do what we are called to do, what we are able to do, and what must be done to guarantee that all children in this state are afforded the opportunity to live healthier and longer lives," stated Rev. Thomas.
HB 37 - Parent Protection Act
HB 37 dropped with four Democratic and two Republican signers. It has been assigned to the House Industrial Relations Committee. Please contact the members of this committee and let them know that you support HB 37 and that they should, too. More information on what you can do and say is contained in the following link: Support HB 37.
What's going on under the Gold Dome?
Daily Legislative Updates
The following links take you to Web sites that provide daily updates on the legislative activity at the Capitol. Check out these sites to find out how your legislators are addressing your needs and the needs of Georgia's children.
Voices for Georgia's Children
Spiritual Witness for Children
One of the most important things faith communities can do for children is to pray for them.
Every child is a child of God and deserves justice and compassion. Every child deserves our prayers.
ICM encourages every faith community to become a spiritual witness for children. Hold a worship service in your church, synagogue, mosque or temple and invite others to join in praying for the well-being of all children.Mark Your Calendar Worthwhile Events by ICM,
ICM Partners & Others
Deadline February 27 (Date Correction)
The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund [GLCDF] are requesting participant applications for the Spring Community Leadership program. Classes start in March, and the sessions meet every two weeks for 5 weeks. Application deadline is February 27. Visit http://www.galeo.org/institute4leadership.php for details and/or enrollment, or call José Blanco at 404.745.2546.
WIPI Conference 2009--Working in the Public Interest presents its 2009 conference at the University of Georgia in Athens. Please contact Jamila Montaque at email@example.com for more information.
Monday, March 2
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
GA Job Family Collaborative meeting in room 230 at the Capitol. Help plan our next action steps and to hear developments on HB 37 - Parent Protection Act.
Tuesday, March 3
9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
A volunteer action distributing white roses in support of the commercial sexual exploitation study commission bills will be held March 3rd at the Capitol. A Future. Not A Past., StreetGRACE, and WellSpring Living are coordinating the White Rose event.
Advocates can come to the 1st floor snack bar between 9:30 and noon to pick up a free white rose to deliver to your legislator(s). Template messages will be available to attach with ribbon. For more information, contact Janice Barrocas firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, March 3ABLE's Day at the Capitol.
Tuesday, March 3 10:30 a.m. Faith United Against Tobacco press conference at the Capitol.
Wednesday, March 4
Women's Capitol Briefing - Women's Policy Group at the Capitol.
Thursday, March 5 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. ICM Volunteers Training at Central United Methodist Church, 501-7 Mitchell Street, SW, Atlanta.
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.ICM Volunteers Training at Central United Methodist Church, 501-7 Mitchell Street, SW, Atlanta.
Please RSVP by March 3 at email@example.com.
Thursday, March 5 2:00 p.m. Street GRACE meeting on the commercial sexual exploitation of children at North Avenue Presbyterian Church located on the corner of Peachtree Street and North Avenue in the Broyles Conference Room.
Friday, March 6
Church Women United Atlanta Observe World Day of Prayer, at Peachtree Road Christian Church (chapel), 1580 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, Georgia. For more information go to http://rccatl.wji.com/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=181.
Wednesday, March 11 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. By the People/Women in the Halls Lobby Day at the Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Room 306.
Thursday, March 12
Catholic Day at the Capitol at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Georgia State Capitol. For more information visit ArchAtl or contact Veronica Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-978-2766.
Saturday, March 14 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Children's Defense Fund Atlanta Katrina Citizens Leadership Corp invites you to attend a "FREE" Human Rights Advocacy Training; facilitated by Monique Harden, Esq. Advocates for Environmental Human Rights and Tracie L. Washington, Esq. Louisiana Justice Institute. Event will be held at the Alice Towers Community Center, 5470 Hillandale Drive, Lithonia, GA 30058. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP via email at email@example.com by Friday, March 6 @ 5:00 p.m. Please note only three persons per agency with the exception of DFACS and GA Disaster Preparedness Agencies.
Tuesday, April 7
6:30 p.m. ICM Advocacy Committee meeting at Frazier, Soloway & Poorack, P.C., 1800 Century Place, Suite 100, Atlanta.
Tuesday, April 21 6:30 p.m.
ICM General Membership Meeting at Druid Hills United Methodist Church, 1200 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta.
ICM Mission and Goals
The Interfaith Children's Movement was formed in 2001 as an intentional association of individuals and communities of faith from all religious traditions.
The Interfaith Children's Movement strives to be a voice for all Georgia children, but especially the poor and marginalized whose voices are often unheard.
ICM works closely with Georgia's policy-oriented child advocacy organizatons, such as:
Voices for Georgia's Children,
The Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic at Emory University,
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia and
A Future.Not a Past. (child prostitution prevention).
These organizations set the agenda for our advocacy work for children.
ICM's faith community members provide a megaphone to the legislature about what needs to be done for children.
Send this publication as a Web link
Doing what we are called to do.
Doing what we are able to do.
Doing what must be done!