People of faith are called by that faith
to speak for all children.
March 10, 2009
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN
SB 91 - Bill Must be Placed on Legislative Calendar by Thursday, March 12, by Senate Rules Committee to Survive
SB 91 has been sent to the Senate Rules Committee, the body which determines whether or not a bill is placed on the legislative calendar. As we have reported, this bill 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. Well-documented research has proven that a spatial relationship exists between the location of adult strip clubs and the prostitution of children.
For SB 91 to pass into law this session, the bill must reach the Senate floor for a vote no later than Thursday, March 12. If your legislator is on the Senate Rules Committee, please contact him/her personally and stress the importance of this legislation to children who have been victimized by commerical sexual exploitation.
Also, please e-mail a letter to Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams expressing support for SB 91 and ask them to stand with you.
Their contact information is as follows:
Lt. Governor Casey Cagle
240 State Capitol Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams
321 State Capitol Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Letter for your use:
Lt. Governor / Senator
Atlanta, GA 30334
RE: SB 91 (Murphy)
Dear Lt. Governor / Senator [Last Name]:
Credible research has proven that there is a direct relationship between adult entertainment clubs and the sexual exploitation of children. And we know that approximately 3,000 girls are prostituted in Georgia each year, at an average age of 14.5 years old. This is why I am asking you to support SB 91.
1. The proposed surcharge fees collected will go directly into the state Crime Victims Emergency Fund to help these children recover.
2. The fund is for victim assistance only, and it will help Georgia taxpayers who now shoulder the entire burden of any assistance these children receive.
3. Sexually exploited children consume state resources disproportionate to their numbers because of their circumstances. State resources include the juvenile justice system, social services, remedial education for those not on grade level, and the long-term outlook predicts a low employment rate due to untreated post traumatic stress disorder and related mental illnesses.
Please support SB 91 for the sake of our most vulnerable of children and the future of Georgia.
City, State Zip
ON OUR RADAR:
SB 92 - Medicaid and PeachCare Conversion Moves to Senate Rules Committee
SB 92 (Hill, 32nd) has moved to the Senate Rules Committee, the body which determines whether or not a bill is placed on the legislative calendar. This 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.
As we have reported, the implementation of SB 92 would reducethe 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. It should concern all of us when those who already have little may have even less.
Numerous child-oriented organizations have spoken out against this bill. Please add your voice to the chorus. Contact your legislators and let them know 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."
HB 39 - $1 Cigarette Tax
ICM supports HB 39. This 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 Faith United Against Tobacco Coalition in support of 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 March 3, Rev. Byron E. Thomas, ICM Chair, reiterated ICM's support at a press conference at the Capitol.
"A $1.00 increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes would bring in at least $449 million in new revenue: monies that can be used to not only treat tobacco related illnesses, including those suffered by our children from the effects of second-hand smoke, but insure the viability of those programs that help to promote the well-being of Georgia's children. We encourage lawmakers to seize this opportunity to bring in new revenue to the state and ensure the viability of these programs. As people of faith we ask that you would "pass the buck," stated Rev. Thomas.
HB 37 - Parent Protection Act
Why should your legislator support HB 37?
- With unemployment soaring, working families are under increased pressure to keep jobs they need while caring for children and elderly parents who depend upon them. HB 37 allows limited, unpaid, job-protected leave.
- HB 37 would provide 24 hours a year of unpaid leave to attend a child's school conferences or for medical appointments for an employee, their child, spouse or elderly parent.
- Georgia law includes at least a dozen mandates on parents to attend school conferences or meetings and to make sure their children receive immunizations required for school attendance.
- Georgia law ensures job-protected leave to vote or serve on a jury.
- Family leave actually strengthens families AND business. Leave for school functions has been shown to reduce unscheduled employee absences.
- Student achievement improves when parent involvement in school increases.
Parent Protection Act Lobby Day, March 11, 2009 in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building Room 307, at 8:30 a.m. Here is another opportunity to contact your legislators ask them to vote "Yes" on 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.GPB LawmakersVoices 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
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, March 17
9:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
ICM to present at 5th Annual United Methodist Day of Love and Justice at the Capitol "STOP the Cycle of Poverty Now!"
Participants will gather at the Capitol at 9:45 a.m., then proceed to Trinity United Methodist Church for workshops and complete the day by speaking directly with their legislators about social issues adversely affecting children.
Please go to the Full ICM Calendarto view the full schedule.
Friday, March 20
ICM featured on S.E.G.W.A.Y.
Watch an interview with Rev. Byron E. Thomas, ICM Chair, on S.E.G.W.A.Y. "A Bridge into Community Engagement" on March 20, 2009, at 12:00 p.m. on Comcast Channel 24.
Tuesday, March 31
Deadline for submissions to "THE PRAYERS PROJECT."
For more information, please contact Pamela Ayo Yetunde firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 216:30 p.m. ICM General Membership Meeting at Druid Hills United Methodist Church, 1200 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta.
The following topics will be presented:
"Children in Foster Care"
(invited to present, Tom Rawlings, Georgia Child Advocate)
"Children with Disabilities"
(presenters Jo Ellen Hancock and Sharon Jones, Parent Mentors, Cherokee County School District); and
"Prevention of Child Abuse"
(presenter DePriest Waddy, CEO, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia)
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.
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Doing what we are called to do.
Doing what we are able to do.
Doing what must be done!