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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Filed under About Promise the Children

Atlanta Community Food Bank 5K Walk/Run, Sunday, March5

food-bank

Join Carol Ann Arvan and Annie Archbold (UUCA members) for the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s 5K Walk/Run (most will walk, but run if you wish) for the benefits of exercise and charity. We are supporting the team “Hot Sauce in the City” that feeds low-income seniors and families in the Old Fourth Ward and works in the same community as Promise the Children.

WHERE:  Hank Aaron Stadium (former Braves) in downtown Atlanta on Sunday, March 5th, with start time at 2PM.

HOW:  You can to REGISTER here (cost/donation of $25), select ATLANTA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK, and then join the TEAM “Hot Sauce in the City.”

MEET TIME/PLACE: between 1:15 and 1:45pm. When you arrive at the stadium, go into the gigantic MAIN TENT and look for signs designating UUCA & HOT SAUCE, where you will meet up with the team.

If you can’t walk – make a donation to help us raise $2000. The funds are banked at the Food Bank for the group to use to receive protein and fresh vegetables.

Contact Annie Archbold at 470-223-5833 if you have questions.

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Filed under Events, Help for Homeless and Struggling Families

Make a Dent in Child Hunger: Support Snack in a Backpack

Microsoft Word - Make a dent in child hunger.docx

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February 22, 2017 · 11:16 pm

Be a Witness for Gun Safety, Feb. 22 at the Capitol

The Love & Justice Pledge In Action

– create the world you want children to live in –

 Be a witness for gun safety!

 

UUCA members of MOMS Demand Action invite you to the state capitol on February 22, at 10:00AM.

The Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is headed to the State Capitol in Atlanta to urge our legislators to keep guns off Georgia’s college campuses.    Sounds familiar? You’re not wrong — this is the fourth year in a row we’re fighting this bill, and showing up in massive numbers this year is crucial. We are demanding that public safety take priority over the gun lobby’s agenda in our state. The more people from across the state standing up for public safety, the better!

RSVP link: http://act.everytown.org/event/moms-demand-action-event/5274/signup/

GA Moms Lobby at the Capitol
February 22, 10:00AM to 1:00 p.m.
Room 310 of the Coverdell Office Building

picture1

The Coverdell Legislative Office Building is located at 18 Capitol Square SW, Atlanta, GA 30334. After a short training session in the Coverdell building, we will walk across the street to the Capitol.

UUCA contact: Hildegarde Gray. (404) 556-0553,  grayvacher@yahoo.com

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Filed under Events, The Informed Advocate

2 Minute Advocacy Ask: Support Georgia’s Juvenile Justice System

voice

The “Ask”:  
Call members of the House and Senate (listed below) Appropriations Conference Committee and ask them to: 
the ask1. Support raises for Juvenile Court Judges, and 
2. Add funding for 28 public defenders for juvenile court in the FY 2018 budget so that there is true parity with prosecutors in juvenile court.
The Why: 
 
Georgia has set the standard among states for how to protect public safety by reducing recidivism and pursuing better lifelong outcomes for young offenders. 
We need to support experienced and specialized juvenile court judges who work to determine and improve futures for countless children both in situations of abuse and the whyneglect as well as for children who misbehave.
Additionally, the need for dedicated, specialized representation for children in juvenile court is not only developmentally appropriate policy, but with the passage of the new juvenile code in 2013, it is now required by state law. The Georgia Public Defenders Council currently do not receive enough state funds for juvenile defense work, despite being charged by statute with representing all delinquency cases in juvenile court. Such funding is crucial to continue our record of meaningful juvenile justice reform in Georgia.
The Message:  

“Hi – My name is ___________.  Please support the governor’s request for pay raises for judges the messageserving Georgia’s juvenile courts, and also please add funding for juvenile public defenders when the FY 2018 budget comes before you.  Such funding is crucial to continue our record of meaningful juvenile justice reform across the state.  Thank you for your service and for your leadership for the children of Georgia.”
The How:  

Click below to contact House Appropriations Chairman Terry England and Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill, and call or email them with the message above.

the how>>> HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS  Chairman Terry England  –   404-463-2247

>>> SENATE APPROPRIATIONS  Chairman Jack Hill  –   404-463-2518
 

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Filed under Juvenile Justice--Student Discipline--Keeping Kids in Class, Our Legislative Agenda

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

Microsoft Word - 2016 breakfast inviteMicrosoft Word - 2016 breakfast invite

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Filed under Events

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