Category Archives: Our Legislative Agenda

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

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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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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

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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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The Georgia Legislature is in Session . . . And your Short Email Makes a Difference for Children!

Advocacy Group PhotoHildegarde Gray, Tricia Stultz & Joy Borra lead the PTC Advocacy group.

“I promise you, legislators listen to citizens,” says UUCA member Nan Orrock, who is a state senator.

A note from UUCA’s Promise the Children advocacy group

The Georgia legislature is in session…. And they’re in a hurry to get their 40 days over with and start campaigning for re-election… That means it is more difficult than usual to stop the BAD bills and get the GOOD bills voted on…

So. Speed is the name of the game for citizen advocates, too!

And our “Two Minute Advocacy Ask” is a speedy way to have your say.

For the next eight weeks, we’ll urge you make children a priority and call or email your state legislator when we ask you.

We provide a short message and contact information for key policy makers who need to hear from you. It will take just two-ish minutes!

Who is this “we”??

UUCA has been an active part of Georgia’s network of child policy & advocacy organizations for more than a decade, and we have watched the power of ordinary voices become (for real!) a powerful voice for the welfare of children.

UUCA’s group is “Promise the Children: Advocacy.” This is the second year for our “Two-Minute Asks.” There’s a social hall table each week thru Easter. There’ll be widely publicized “Asks” linked to the PTC website www.promisethechildrenatuuca.wordpress.com. So speak up with us! Children are a priority!

How do we know our advocacy is effective?

In spite of what you probably think, emailing and calling your state legislators makes a huge difference! Legislators listen to us, and so does the governor.

Last year the legislature passed, and the governor signed, every single piece of legislation that we child advocates worked for.

Some Examples…

In the last 3 years, there have been amazing successes.

Last year, another big bill passed aimed at keeping children away from sex traffickers. This one will come with money to provide services to these young people (It has to be passed by voters in November – so get ready for more “Two-Minute Asks”!)  The legislature began passing important sex trafficking bills a few years ago, when citizen advocates staged a rally at the Capitol and about 500 people showed up! Our voices have power.

Two years ago, Georgia passed one of the best Juvenile Justice bills in the nation after 4 years of prep and bill-development lead by the child advocacy community. The legislation got strong support from a flood of calls from citizen advocates like us. It got a kick over the finish line by Gov. Deal, who came to support it.

The Child Welfare System is another area where there have been changes. For three years, Gov. Deal has included extra money in the state budgets to fund hundreds of new caseworkers…. without them, the other major changes underway cannot succeed. OUR emails to legislators helped keep, and one year to increase, the money in the budget for those jobs.

And next year it will be Education Reform! The Education Reform Commission has reported in, and after the November elections, you can expect to see many “Asks” as advocates work to ensure a good outcome for all schools.

Meanwhile, in November, Georgians will vote up/down the statewide charter school amendment. PTC is promising both “Education” and “Asks.”

So! Local advocacy works! Join your voices, please, to the legions citizen advocates at UUCA and in other communities of faith. Together, we can continue making sure “good” legislation happens for children and families.

RESOURCES/ QUICK Links:

Thanks for making children a priority!

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The final Advocacy “ASK”!

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Now that the Georgia legislative has ended for the year, there’s just one last “ASK”!

Take a moment to write a personal note, or send a personal email , to your state representative and your state senator, to thank them for representing you.

They give a lot of themselves during the session and outside the session. Let them know you appreciate their willingness to work for the people of Georgia, and for their willingness to listen to the voices of constituents like you!

Thank them specifically for passing the Safe Harbor Act and the Child Welfare Reform legislation, which you were particularly interested in.

Remember: Legislators WANT to know their constituents. During the “off” season, they are willing to meet you for coffee or lunch, to get to know you and to know your concerns. Meeting with your legislator is not as “scary” as you might think!

In a few months, Promise the Children Advocacy group will be encouraging you, (and supporting you!!!) in doing just that! Our advocacy voice for children is even more effective when our legislator “knows” us individually, and knows that he/she will get thoughtful recommendations on legislation from you… Stay tuned!!!

Use this website to easily and quickly get contact information for your legislators:

http://www.house.ga.gov/Representatives/en-US/HouseMembersList.aspx

http://www.senate.ga.gov/senators/en-US/SenateMembersList.aspx

Thank you for speaking up for Georgia’s Children.

 You have made a difference!

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Filed under Ending Childhood Sexual Exploitation, Our Legislative Agenda, The Informed Advocate

WHEW!!!! Georgia Legislature – End of Session Update

The current Georgia Legislative session ended in the wee hours Friday morning.

The most important legislation we asked you to “Be a Voice” for, passed!

Here is an update on some of the issues we’ve asked you to advocate for or against since January.

If the advocacy information we’ve provided has sparked an interest for you and you’d like to become more involved, please consider joining us on the Promise the Children Advocacy Team. To sign up, or for more information, email PromiseTheChildren@uuca.org.

Safe Harbor/ Rachel’s Law – SB8, SR7: We asked you to advocate for this bill and resolution. This bill ensues youth who are trafficked in the sex trade are treated as victims, and it creates a “user fee” at strip clubs to fund services for these youths.   PASSED April 2nd

Child Welfare Reform Bill – SB138: We asked you to advocate for this bill to enact some of the recommendations of the Governor’s Child Welfare Reform recommendations. This will carry us a long way to re-making Georgia’s Child Welfare (DFACS) system. Very good news! PASSED April 2nd

Religious Freedom Restoration Act – SB129: We asked you to advocate against this bill. So did other groups within UUCA. STALLED in the house.

Budget: We asked you to advocate for adequate funding for child welfare reform as well as education staff and support for juveniles in the GA department of corrections. Generally, we were happy with the budget that was passed.

Hidden Predator Act – HB17: We asked you to advocate for passage of this act extending the statute of limitations for civil actions for childhood sexual abuse. PASSED on April 2nd

Legalize the sale of explosive fireworks in Georgia – HB 110: We asked you to advocate against this bill. Unfortunately, this PASSED on April 2.

The final step for most bills that passed is for Governor Deal to sign them into law. In some cases, part or all of the intended laws will be on the ballot to be voted on by Georgia voters in the next election.

Thank you for speaking up for Georgia’s Children.

 You have made a difference!

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Filed under Ending Childhood Sexual Exploitation, Our Legislative Agenda, The Informed Advocate