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D.C. COALITION TO SAVE OUR CHILDREN

 

Press Release               D.C. Coalition To Save Our Children   

CONTACT:           Harold Brazil 202.429.1727
September 17, 2008       3:30 P.M.           brazillaw@msn.com  

PROTECT OUR CHILDREN NOT PREDATORS

Press Conference

 SEPTEMBER 17, 2008

Council of the District of Columbia

On Steps of Wilson Building

 

 

Today, September 17, 2008, D.C. COALITION TO SAVE OUR CHILDREN

 

held  a press conference on the steps of the Wilson Building along with dozens of supporters consisting of victims of child sexual abuse and heads of local, national, and international organizations who are against child sexual abuse and who support Bill 17-146, “Childhood Sexual Abuse Prevention Amendment Act of 2007,” introduced by Councilman Marion Barry on March 20, 2007.

Bill 17-146 would eliminate the civil and criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abusers and their facilitators and create a two year “window” in which a child abuse victim can initiate litigation against his or her perpetrator. The purpose of Lobby Day is to urge legislators and the mayor to stand up in support of the bill and voice their support. Seven council members signed on as cosponsors of the bill, but little action has been taken.

Councilman Barry (D-Ward 8) opened the press conference by stating “the time for talking is over.”  In his patented rhetorical style as a former community organizer, he energized the group with chants, “move the bill, pass the bill.” He urged Councilman Phil Mendelson to mark-up and pass the child sexual abuse bill in the judiciary committee of which he is chair. But, he urged Mendelson “to pass a meaningful bill; not a watered-down, milk toast, vanilla wafer bill.” And, he emphasized that he wanted a “window” included in the bill passed (which would allow all victims, even the ones whose statute of limitations had run).

Councilman Kwame Brown (At-Large-D) spoke next in favor of the bill; he is one of seven co-sponsors of the bill. He exhorted, “the time to move the bill is now” to urge Mendelson to get the bill out of committee. He stated that “he has a 5 and 7 year old and “I dare you to say they do not have a voice.”

Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, stated that “we must stop the ring of those who cover-up child abuse…too much power corrupts. We must fight this scourge.” Joining in to express the support of the D.C. Rape Crisis Center for Bill 17-14 was Santa Molina.  She stated forcefully that this (child abuse) is “a generational issue and  . . . women must be allowed to speak up against their perpetrators”.

Bob Stewart of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown spoke in favor of the bill on behalf of Voice of the Faithful, a group of 30,000 Catholics nationwide. He served “notice to predators that you can’t get off scot free.”

Three survivors of child sexual abuse also spoke in favor of Barry’s legislation. Kevin Flood, a D.C. resident, stated that he was 55 years old before he realized that he was a victim of child abuse. Kevin Quick, an African-American resident of the District told the crowd that he was victimized from age 8 to 11. Finally, Al Chesley, a former Philadelphia Eagle linebacker, and S.E. Washington, D.C. resident was sexually abused as a 13-year-old by a DC Police officer.  He stated that” it has only been in the last 12 months that I could publically talk about it.”

Other speakers included Dr. Faye Williams, the National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.; Ruby Harris, the head of African American Advocates for Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse; and, Barbara Blaine, President of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).  

Lobby Day was held to urge Judiciary Chairman Phil Mendelson to hold a mark-up of the bill by October 6th, or in sufficient time to have the bill approved by the full Council this year. Bill 17-146 has languished in committee for over a year since a hearing was held on June 1, 2007; and to urge committee members and other council members to support the Barry bill against child sexual abuse.  

            Photographs are attached. Video available on request.  Please contact Harold Brazil at 202.429.1727, 427.3232 (cell) Aimee Occhetti, 202 716 7466 or Barbara Blaine at 312.399.4747 for further information. 

NAPSAC    www.napsac.us                SNAP            www.snapnetwork.org

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Posted September 17, 2008

It's time for Lobby Day. The schedule and details are below. Look farther down the page for more explanation of our goals for the day.

Where: District Building, (aka Wilson Building) 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Room 104
 
When: 9:00 a.m. Arrive in Room 104 (Have some doughnuts, coffee & juice) 

We can get ourselves organized here. Get last minute updates and brief description of the bill.

We will divide into groups. Get a button to wear throughout the day.

10:00 a.m. Groups start out going to Councilmembers offices.

If you arrive after 10:00 please call David Clohessy at 314 566 9790 to find a group.
 
11:00 a.m. Finish up wherever you are and head out to the steps in front of the building.

11:30 a.m. Press Conference (Those who are speaking have 60 – 90 seconds only)

Noon (Lunch served on the sidewalk outside – Sandwiches, Chips, Drink, Cookies)

12:30 – 3:30 (or 4:00) Return to your groups and visit the rest of the Councilmember Offices

3:30 (or 4:00) Return to Room 104 to debrief and report on results from your groups visits.

We will also hand deliver letters to lawmakers. Their offices are right in the Wilson Bldg. Most likely the Lawmakers will not be available so we will leave the letters with the Legislative Aides. 
 
What To Bring
Survivors: Please bring pictures of yourself as a vulnerable kid (if you feel comfortable). If you have pictures of other victims please bring those too.

If you have additional questions or can’t find everyone on Wednesday please call us!
 
All the best,

Aimee Occhetti 202 716 7466

Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747

Rev Anthony Motley 202 327 4837

Harold Brazil 202 427 3232

**************

September 10, 2008 Reminder:
The Lobby Day in Washington DC is next week! Please plan to be there!
Please stand up to protect children and to help victims heal.
(Since most of you live too far away to attend: Please see below for how you can help from a distance!)
 
Your presence there will help lend support! It will tell the City Council members that folks want them to support the bill.
 
Please plan to bring your family members, friends and colleagues from work. Check the SNAP website for additional details and room #s.
 
Schedule of the Day:
9:00 The Lobby Day will begin with orientation at 9 a.m. (Donuts coffee and juice will be provided.)
10:00 During the morning we will target specific councilmember's offices, divide ourselves into groups and visit the offices.
11:00 Begin gathering on the steps in front of the Wilson Building.
11:30 Press conference
12:00 Lunch: Sandwiches and cold drinks to be served on the sidewalk
12:30 Return to our groups and visit the other councilmember offices.
4:00 Debrief and report back on responses in various offices
5:00 Conclude Lobby Day
 
Please let us know you will attend the Lobby Day and how many folks you will bring with you. Also please indicate which hours you can attend. If possible please plan to stay all day!
 
Please RSVP only if you can come, to Sheena at SNAPadmin1@gmail.com and put Lobby Day in the Subject Line.
 
For those of you who can't make it to Washington DC please consider helping in one of two ways:
 
1. Do you know anyone who lives in or near Washington DC? If yes, please contact them and ask them to attend the Lobby Day. Ask them to bring family members and friends.
 
2. Please write a letter of support to the City Council members. Address letters to: Members of the Council of the District of Columbia, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004 but mail the letter to Aimee Occhetti, 1524 E. Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC 20003. (We'll make copies and pass one to each Councilmember.) In your letter briefly tell why you think they should vote to pass the bill. The bill is #: B17-0146. The letter should be one or two paragraphs.
 
Questions or concerns? Please send email to Sheena or call me.
 
Gratefully,
Barbara Blaine
312 399 4747

******************

Published in August

Dear SNAP Members, Friends & Supporters:
 
A bill pending in Washington DC in the City Council would help adults who were abused as children and would help protect children now.
 
We are writing to ask for your support of the bill. Please plan to attend a Lobby Day at the Washington DC city council. Details below:
 
WHEN:
Wed Sept 17:
                9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. -- Lobby Council members and attend Press Conference
                11:30 a.m.  Press Conference
                (if you can attend only part of the day please come at 11:30!)
 
WHERE:
                Wilson Building, Washington DC, 1350 Pennsylvania NW
 
WHY:
                There is a bill pending that is stalled in the Judiciary Committee. This Lobby Day is being held to highlight the importance of the bill to encourage lawmakers to move the bill. We hope to bring a large crowd to show that many are concerned with the issue of child sexual abuse.
 
WHO:
                Anyone who cares about helping to keep children safe and to help victims heal.  All ages are welcome! Please consider bringing friends and family members.
 
RSVP:
                If you can attend please RSVP to SNAPadmin1@gmail.com  
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
                We will forward additional details when the date is closer. In the mean time if you have any questions/concerns please contact Sheena at: SNAPadmin1@gmail.com
 
Hope you will plan to be there!
 
All the best,
 
Barbara Blaine
SNAP President