Promise the Children is a community of activists for children within the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. We are a unifying voice for our faith community to speak and act on behalf of children. We advocate for a public agenda that ensures the well-being of all of Georgia’s children. And we put our faith into action through direct service, working with organizations that serve children in need.

We are committed to a world where children are safe, healthy, educated, employable, and connected to their family and community.

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Interfaith Children’s Movement Prayer Breakfast, Wed., Oct. 26

Microsoft Word - 2016 breakfast inviteMicrosoft Word - 2016 breakfast invite

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GA constitutional amendments – Explained!

Early voting begins Monday, October 17…..

At the end of this year’s session of the Georgia State Legislature, four constitutional amendments were placed on the November 8 ballot.    Two affect children in important ways. All four need to be read closely before you decide how to vote.

Here is a “plain English” version of the amendments, with a bit of non-partisan explanation to help you decide!  Please feel free to forward to friends, congregants and neighbors.

Here’s the link:  https://promisethechildrenatuuca.wordpress.com

 

Title Subject Description
Amendment 1 Education State intervention in “chronically failing” public schools
Amendment 2 Gov’t finances Revenue to fund the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund
Amendment 3 State judiciary Judicial Qualifications Commission
Amendment 4 Taxes Use of tax revenue from fireworks

 

Amendment 1:    Authorization of the State Government to Intervene in Failing Local Schools

 

A “yes” vote supports authorizing the state to form an Opportunity School District that would govern elementary and secondary schools determined to be “chronically failing.” Local school boards/districts would no longer supervise these schools

.

Text of measure

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?

( ) Yes     ( ) No

 

Amendment 1 

Overview

Approval of the amendment by voters implements Senate Bill 133 which provides for three governance models of schools under an “Opportunity School District” (OSD) agency:

  1. direct management by the OSD,
  2. transformation of the school into a charter school.
  3. shared governance between the OSD and local board of education and
  4. closing schools as the “intervention of last resort.”

– Up to 20 schools could be taken over by the OSD per year; no more than 100 schools at any one time; and they would stay in the OSD state control for five to ten years.

– The Governor will appoint a Superintendent to head the OSD agency, and the superintendent would report directly to the governor.     By virtue of its creation by constitutional amendment, the OSD becomes a permanent, ongoing entity of the governor’s office, separate from the GA Dept. Of Education.

– The OSD would select, or remove school principals, transfer teachers, control the school property and their budgets and modify education content.

Pros and Cons

Both proponents and opponents of the Opportunity School District idea concur that Georgia’s failing schools need help – now.

OSD supporters contend that the best way forward toward improvement is to grant the governor and the state power to take control of failing schools.  Supporters of the OSD say the time has come to try bold new approaches, such as increased use of charter schools,

 

Not surprisingly, local school boards have taken umbrage with the OSD concept, asserting that it would result in a loss of local control and accountability.

 

OSD opponents say the state needs to address how schools overall are funded.  Educating struggling kids will take a different allocation of resources that gets troubled schools extra help.

 

 

 

Amendment 2:  Georgia Additional Penalties for Sex Crimes to Fund Services for Sexually Exploited Children

 

A “yes” vote adds monetary penalties in court cases involving certain sex crimes.  The amendment also imposes assessments on adult entertainment establishments.

The revenue provides money for the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund.  This is a separate fund in the Georgia State Treasury.  It will disburse money to provide care and rehabilitative and social services for sexually exploited children.

Text of measure

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow additional penalties for criminal cases in which a person is adjudged guilty of keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, pandering, pandering by compulsion, solicitation of sodomy, masturbation for hire, trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, or sexual exploitation of children and to allow assessments on adult entertainment establishments to fund the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund to pay for care and rehabilitative and social services for individuals in this state who have been or may be sexually exploited?

( ) Yes     ( ) No

 

Amendment 3: Georgia Replacement of the Judicial Qualifications Commission

 

A “yes” vote will replace the existing Judicial Qualifications Commission (created in 1972 as an independent body) with a new commission designed and governed by the General Assembly.

 

Main opposition to this amendment is

1) That the commission would be   appointed by the legislature and become subject to politics.  (The existing JQC members are appointed by the state supreme court, the state bar association and the governor.

 

2) That the legislature has not yet investigated alleged problems with the current and independent JQC body.

 

Text of measure

  Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to abolish the existing Judicial Qualifications Commission; require the General Assembly to create and provide by general law for the composition, manner of appointment, and governance of a new Judicial Qualifications Commission, with such commission having the power to discipline, remove, and cause involuntary retirement of judges; require the Judicial Qualifications Commission to have procedures that provide for due process of law and review by the Supreme Court of its advisory opinions; and allow the Judicial Qualifications Commission to be open to the public in some manner?

( ) YES      ( ) NO

 

 

 

Amendment 4: Georgia Uses of Revenue from Taxes on Fireworks

A “yes” vote would dedicate revenue from fireworks sales taxes to trauma care, fire protection services and public safety.

 

The Georgia State Legislature legalized the sale of fireworks in 2015. The excise taxes from fireworks sale will go to55% the Georgia Trauma Care Network; 40% to improving the equipment and training of Georgia firefighters; and 5% to local government for public safety purposes.   Legislative support for this amendment was almost unanimous.

Text of measure

  Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the proceeds of excise taxes on the sale of fireworks or consumer fireworks be dedicated to the funding of trauma care, firefighter equipping and training, and local public safety purposes?

( ) YES          ( ) NO

 

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Filed under Ending Childhood Sexual Exploitation, The Informed Advocate

UUCA Family Event: Join Us for the 2.5 Mile Hunger Walk Sunday, March 13

UUCCA Walk Flyer_Final

For more information go here, and check out the post immediately below.

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Filed under Events, Help for Homeless and Struggling Families, The Informed Advocate

Walk for Hunger on March 13

walk for hunger

Best reason to Walk for Hunger on Sun. March 13?

  1. a) The festive food & fun (esp. for kids).
  2. b) The money raised for our YO Boulevard! Food Co-op.
  3. c) The chance to support a good cause even if you can’t walk!
  4. d) All of the above.

Info: Call Annie at (404)373-0434. And Sonya at (404) 293-3883. Stop at the Promise the Children social hall table this Sunday (March 6) for a flyer.

Act fast! The walk is after church on March 13 (soon!!!!)

Here’s the Story

Next Sunday after church, UUCA families and friends are joining the YO Boulevard! Food Co-op to walk or run in the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s WALK for HUNGER at Turner Field (March 13). It should be a lot of fun for the UUCA team, and it’s for a very good cause.

UUCA helped start this food co-op in the Old Fourth Ward three years ago. It is run by seniors living in the low – income Cosby Spears Tower on North Avenue.

The goal is to raise $5,000 via walkers and runners (and donations!!) to provide more fresh fruits, vegetables and protein to the co-op.* The money will be banked at Atlanta Community Food Bank to provide much needed food support to the original co-op group AND a new group of 20 families.

Register / donate online at: www.hungerwalkrun.org. Very Important! First find and then register under our team: “Hot Sauce in the City” in the list of teams . . so the money goes to the YO! Boulevard Food Co-op.

Quick facts…. Food and entertainment start at Turner Field from noon – 2. Walk/run starts at 2 and is 2.5 miles thru downtown Atlanta, then back to Turner Field. It’s all over before 4 p.m. Strollers ok. If you plan to go, coordinate with Sonya and Annie to find the UUCA banner at the field.

* The difference between a food pantry and a food co-op is important. A food pantry gives the food away.   A co-op has limited membership (about 20), who pay a small monthly fee ($5) , and who bag and distribute the food to themselves. (This is called “learning how to fish”!!!)

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Filed under Events, Help for Homeless and Struggling Families, The Informed Advocate

2-Minute Advocacy Asks for February 24-29

Feb 24 1

Don’t know your representatives? To find your elected officials, go to: Open States. Remember to include Gov Deal!  http://gov.georgia.gov/webform/contact-governor-domestic-form

Feb 24 2

Microsoft Word - 02_24_16 ask _ kin care, children w disabilitie

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2 Minute Advocacy Ask for this Week

and yes – it really only takes 2 minutes!

be a voice for children



the askThe “Ask”:  Use the MOMS Demand Action for Gun Sense in America form (see link below) to send a message to your Georgia Representative to tell them Campus Carry is a bad idea for Georgia. Ask them to vote “NO” on HB859.

 

 

the whyThe Why:  The National Rifle Association (NRA) is trying to pass a dangerous bill that would force Georgia colleges to allow people to carry guns on campus.

The vast majority of campus police chiefs, college presidents, students and faculty oppose this idea – and if this bill passes, Georgia will be one of the only states in the country with such a dangerous policy.

 

 

the messageThe Message:

“Dear Representative,

I’m writing as a concerned Georgia resident to urge you to vote ‘NO’ on HB859.

This bill would force colleges and universities in Georgia to allow guns on campus – even though stakeholders including campus police chiefs, college presidents, students and faculty oppose this dangerous policy.

Allowing guns on campus is a dangerous and expensive choice for Georgia. For these reasons, I urge you to stand up for public safety and vote NO on HB 859.”


the howThe How: Join Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety in America.  Click here  to contact members of the House Appropriations Committee to send the above message. If you prefer, call or email them with the same message.

 

 

 

Moms

 

 

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2 Minute Advocacy Ask for February 5 – 12

voice

2 Minute Advocacy Ask for February 5 – 12

 

  the askThe “Ask”:  Start or build upon a relationship with your own state representative or senator.

 

 

 

 

the whyThe Why:  Advocating is made easier by nurturing respectful but clear communications with elected officials.

 

 

 

 

the messageThe Message: “Hi – My name is __________ and I live in your district. Issues such as child health, child welfare, juvenile justice, child care and learning are important to me.  Please be sure to ask ‘Is it good for kids?’ as you study, develop and vote on legislation and budgets of all sorts.  Thank you for your time and your dedication to public service. I look forward to more opportunities to work together for the children in our district and in our state.”

 

the howThe How: To find your elected officials, go to: Open States  and then call or email them with the message above.

 

 

 

 

Remember to include Governor Deal! (http://gov.georgia.gov/webform/contact-governor-domestic-form)

 

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