Sunday, June 20, 2010
Today was a historic day in the life of our organization. Today, Illinois Fathers was graced with, who can be considered the pioneer if not the father of our movement, Dr. Stephen Baskerville. Dr. Baskerville was the keynote speaker of Illinois Fathers 2nd Annual Fatherless Day Rally. His speech focused on the causes of fatherlessness and some of the issues that prevent us from reversing this dilemma. He also stressed establishing a relationship with the media and making sure you are a part of an organization. One telling remark he made was that government was funding unconstitutional laws like VAWA ( the Violence Against Women Act).
There were many other speakers who gave very moving and passionate speeches as well. There was Mike Doherty of CRC who stated that fathers have been relegated to a position of uncle. Carrie Adams spoke about not seeing her kids in six years and all she had been put through and there wasn’t a dry eye in the area. Tony Taylor of Fathers for Justice spoke about the corruption in the system and that there are judges and legislators who know these things are going on and refuse to do anything.
Our hats go off and we give a big thank you to the two candidates who showed up, Lex Green, Libertarian candidate for Illinois Governor and LeAlan Jones, Green Party candidate for U.S, Senate. Both of these candidates were for Equally Shared Parenting and for less government involvement in family matters. Mr. Jones is the father of two boys he adopted and Mr. Green has been through the divorce process and understands our issues as his ex-wife gave him problems with their children in the divorce. These are two gentlemen you may want to find out more about.
We also want to thank the media that came out and covered the event. TV News Stations 17 out of Decatur and Channel 20 from Springfield were there early to cover the rally. An IRN Radio reporter and State Journal – Register newspaper reporter was there to cover the candidates’ forum that afternoon. We appreciate them taking the time and also for making this issue of fatherlessness a priority. We are making changes.
I guess the one factor that lets me know this was a success was not all the people who showed up in attendance, not all the media that covered the events nor the candidates who showed and the others who didn’t but claimed they wished they could. What makes it all worthwhile is after we were finished, a man that worked for the state Capitol Building came up and grab me by the arm and said, “Thank you for not letting this issue die and keeping it going. I went through this same thing with my ex and had to spend five days in jail because the judge took everything from me and wanted me to still give my ex-wife half my pension when she had 50,000.00 dollars in the bank saved up, gave me her 17,000.00 dollar lawyer bill and our kids”. Knowing that we just gave somebody else hope gained another voice, that’s what lets me know we were successful. There were also numerous motorists, bus drivers, and truck drivers who would honk their horns and give us a thumbs up as they drove by our Rally at the Lincoln Statue.
If you weren’t there you missed it, but we have a lot coming up. On July 3, the Illinois Family Law Committee will be voting on everything. Custody, Child support the whole works. We may not get 50/50 split, which is what Illinois Fathers wants when it’s all said and done, but judging from the votes of last week’s meeting, we will still get a minimum of 35% time. The board of Illinois Fathers was taped for television show Captions in Peoria, IL with shows that will air on July Fourth and July Seventh. Board member General Parker will be in Washington, DC next week to lobby against VAWA and reforms to repeal mandatory arrest. On November 16, mark your calendars. We want as many members as possible to show up in Springfield to lobby our legislators to accept the Illinois Family Law Committee’s recommendation for the increase in custody time for non-custodial parents. We will keep you apprised of any other events as we are made aware of them.
We want to thank all you have contributed to our fundraising campaign and want you realize all the work we do for you so you know your support is being put good use and is effective. If you have not yet contributed, please consider visiting our website and contributing today. We want to thank Mike McCormick and ACFC for the leadership and support they give us. A special thanks goes out to Mike Doherty and CRC and Carrie Adams with Laps for Love. All these organizations working collaboratively with Illinois Fathers helps us to achieve our goals and get these courts turned around and our kids back where they belong. And its going to take the efforts of all us working together, not apart, to win this battle. Just like the civil rights struggle in the 60’s and Equal Rights for women, we need the efforts of all these organizations to help fight on all fronts to be victorious. And people, we will be VICTORIOUS!!! Have a blessed day.
Despite all of the positives from our Fatherless Day Rally, we must admit that more attendance from our membership would have made the event even more successful. Our turnout was respectable, yet it paled in comparison to the crowds we have seen from various groups such as the Tea Parties, The Gun Rights people, and others. If you have not yet attended an Illinois Fathers event, please try to do so during the next 12 months. If we could all show up for just one event a year, it would go a long way towards educating the general public, the media and our elected officials that something is very wrong with the family court system.
The link below is a recording of our own Mr. General Parker being interviewed on Peoria's main talk station, WMBD.
Go to June 3, 2010 and click on podcast 3