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Alcohol and drug abuse are factors in the placement of more than 75% of the children who are entering care.

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Parent Climbs Artwork at Federal Building

New York Parent Climbs Artwork at Federal Building Seeking Help From Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

August 18, 2005

Syracuse, NY (Hanley Federal Building) - At 2 pm a lone parent, John Murtari, climbed the 20 foot sculpture in the Federal Plaza. He unfurled a banner and also carried pictures of various parents and children. The message was "Senator Clinton - Please help us!"

He was not dressed as a superhero, but wore a white shirt & tie and represented the group AKidsRight.Org. He spoke of the need for Family Law reform and protecting the Civil Right of mothers, fathers, and children to be secure as family. A need to control the ease of parent/child splits that presently occur due to divorce, separation, or the actions of social services.

The group hopes that a local meeting between group members and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) may be near. Local and national members have been calling and faxing the offices of Senator Clinton regarding the recognition and protection of their Civil Right to raise their own children.

The group hopes this simple act will demonstrate their love for the kids and their deep convictions that serious reform is necessary. The National Parent's group (AKidsRight.Org) is attempting to use the methods of Martin Luther King in its search for reform. The Group would like Senator Clinton to respond to their petitions for Congressional Hearings into the need for National Family Law reform and potentially a Family Rights Act, by meeting with local parents.

The Group's web site highlights the NonViolent philosophy and practice Martin Luther King used to break the grip of segregation. It hopes a similar attitude will help bring reform and also healing to parents who are often involved in bitter child custody disputes with each other or social services. If the nation can observe loving mothers and fathers making personal sacrifice to call attention to their unjust separation from their children - positive reform can happen.

Mr. Murtari, a native of Lyons, New York and a former Air Force pilot and Academy graduate is a local coordinator for the group. He is the President of a small Internet startup company located in Baldwinsville, NY.

In contrast to the bitterness and anger which is normally associated with protest efforts and family issues -- Murtari plans a positive attitude. He says they are not there to condemn Senator Clinton as a "bad person""or as someone who doesn't care about family or children's issues; however, as a natural part of the political process they want to show their concern over the issue and to increase her sensitivity to their cause. The Group is hoping for Congressional Hearings into Family Law reform so that group members affected by the present patchwork of laws across the nation will have a chance to tell their stories.

For more information:

  • John Murtari,
    AKidsRight.Org coordinator:
    (office: (315) 635-1968,x-211)
  • Mr. Richard Southwick,
    Asst. US Attorney Northern District of NY:
    (315) 448-0672
  • Mr. Charles Keller,
    SU Law School Prof. familiar with case:
    (315) 443-9552
  • Ms. Cathy Calhoun,
    Regional Rep. for Senator Clinton:
    (315) 448-0470

Background information at the web site: AKidsRight.Org

John Murtari returned today, unannounced, to the Syracuse Federal Building to continue our effort in NonViolent Action. The action was coordinated with Cathy Hughes who began contacting local media the moment John reported he was in position.

Please distribute this News Release far and wide. We still don't know if John was taken into custody or what he might be charged with. Our web site will have details as they become available

To Help:

Please send a fax or make a phone call to the Senator's offices both in Washington and Syracuse. They are paying attention to what is going on here.

You don't have to be a resident of New York to call her offices.

Syracuse Local Rep., Cathy Calhoun, tel: (315) 448-0470,
fax: (315) 448-0476

Washington Scheduling Office, Lona Valmoro
(Senior Advisor to the Senator), tel: (202) 224-4451,
fax: (202) 228-0121

Most of all, you don't have to express anger. Just let her staff know that you care about Civil Rights protection for families and the Senator should meet with parent's groups regarding the need for National reform... Let them know being a parent is one of our greatest rights. It needs official recognition and protection.

John Murtari,
Coordinator AKidsRight.Org
"A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)

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