Children’s Advocacy Day
Child Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Frankfort is January 14, 2016.
This is a day when all of the agencies in Kentucky which work toward better conditions for the children come together at the Capitol to impress on our Kentucky Senators and Representatives that the needs of our children must be met and to inform them of the most pressing needs this year. United Methodist Women is the only faith based organization which is part of this group except for the Kentucky Homes for Children and Youth in Versailles and Owensboro. We pay a yearly fee to help support the preparations for this day, and we lend our support in every way that we can. Participating in this event is the one big Social Action event promoted by the entire conference United Methodist Women.
We begin with a meeting at St. Paul UMC, 1800 Louisville Road (US 60 W), at 9:00 a.m. (EST). There is adequate parking, and restrooms are available. The ladies of St. Paul graciously provide coffee and muffins. At this meeting representatives from the Methodist Homes share with us their most pressing needs and the numbers and content of some of the bills which they want to see passed. Now we are informed visitors with specific goals to promote. Following this meeting we travel by vans and busses to the Capitol for the Rally held in the Capitol Rotunda at 10:00 a.m. You may take your car if you wish, but it is difficult to find parking near the Capitol on rally days. The Rally includes motivational speakers and performances by children’s groups, and it usually lasts about 30-45 minutes. Following the rally, we have several options.
Our main goal should be to talk to our Senator and/or our Representative. However, you must make an appointment to see your legislator!!! These are busy people! They have bills to read, committee meetings to attend, and calls to make. If you don’t have an appointment, you may be standing in masses of people waiting to learn if he/she has time for you. The second thing you can do is to attend committee meetings. This can be really interesting as you listen to them deliberate; other times they are taking time for rewording or some other laborious task. Last year many of us attended the meeting where the bill which the Methodist Homes were promoting was passed. It also passed in the House, but the budget committee didn’t fund it. Check out the Kentucky Legislative Homepage (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/) and track at least one of the many bills that pertain to families and children, our environment and justice in our community.
Lunch is available in a cafeteria in the basement of the Capitol Annex, and there is a snack bar in the basement of the Capitol. If you live far away from Frankfort, you may want to tour the Capitol or maybe the Governor’s Mansion. The vans usually pick us up about 1:30 p.m. If you wish to stay to witness one of the Legislative sessions which begin at 2:00 p.m., you will need to take your car.
To make an appointment, call 502-564-8100 and ask for the office of the person you want to see. One of the assistants can give you the appointment. Plan now to attend this special day. Ask people to go with you. We need to be advocates for the children of Kentucky!