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Thank You to Congressman Walsh's Staff (4/17/2000)

Ms. Kimberly Kemp
Office of James Walsh
Federal Building, Room 1340
100 S. Clinton Street
Syracuse, NY 13261

Dear Ms. Kemp:

I wanted to thank both you and Ms. Twomey for taking the time to speak to us about Family Law Reform last Thursday. Hopefully you can begin to see why we are calling this a Civil Rights issue. Someone asked me a very simple, but basic, question as we left the building, "John, how do you know what a Civil Right is?" - I didn't have a good answer, but later that day stopped by an attorney's office who had a copy of the Declaration of Independence on his wall. The answer was in the first few lines:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …

A Civil Right is what we believe. In the early 1900's enough women believed they had a right to vote to begin changing the system. I can only imagine what the first Congressman to be contacted said to them - probably much of what we heard last week … and understandably so! All of us believe in a right to vote. Shouldn't we now officially protect our right to be with our children?

Please pass on our strong commitment to this issue, this year. I hope that by Mother's Day ( Congressman Walsh will not be the only member of Congress to be aware of this. We do not expect blind agreement from you - but a serious set of discussions where we can learn from your ideas and objections.

We have a DRAFT bill at -- it needs a lot of work and we welcome your help. We may be able to end up with something Congressman Walsh can support! In the worst case we hope to have a process we can share with our members and some good examples they can follow.

Please also understand we won't get involved in "name calling." While we may not agree, we are sure Congressman Walsh is concerned about issues affecting children and parents and wants to make things better for them. We look forward to continuing the process!

Respectfully yours,

John Murtari Kids-Right.Org 315-635-1968,x-211