Do you know what a teaching moment is? If you have experience you do; if you are learning it is something that happens that you need to learn from.
When it was announced that a bad magistrate was removed in Ashtabula County Ohio last week everyone cheered and congratulated us for doing a great job. Truth is we played a small part in that and this has been a project that had gone on for some time. There were a lot of other people involved that really need to be thanked. We just gave the direction to those that needed it. It was our experience along with their drive that accomplished.
Ashtabula County’s Juvenile Court has been problematic for many because of the Edith Hogue. She was form my first hand experience and witness a biased and hateful woman that had no business deciding any case that involved the “best interest” of any child. When a judicial officer walks into a courtroom and makes a statement to the parties that are there to get shared parenting of their child and she announces that there will be no shared parenting because she does not believe in it before the case is called, she is stating that she has no intention of acting in the manner which is called for under Ohio law. She is also making it clear that she has no intentions of respecting the bench for which she was hired. By her statement she showed that she intends to play favorites no matter what the evidence is before her.
If you have read what I wrote about that day you will understand the actions of the brute force mentality that she had in her courtroom. This was not the only case that we heard this type of action on. She did what she wanted in children’s services cases and in juvenile criminal cases. She was hired Traci Hunter.
Her reign has ended but it took good work by good people to do it. It took hard work not whining and protesting. It took people that listened to the right way to do things. To all of them that I came upon I say thank for listening.
When I found them they were just complaining and had little direction. They knew there was a massive problem. What I was able to give then was the direction that they needed and people to talk with.
What they did that everyone needs to pay attention to:
1. They listened more that they talked – Two ears, one mouth
2. The recognized there was problem and it was bigger than they were.
3. They recognized they did not understand law or legal procedure.
4. They worked instead of complaining. There were complaints and comments along the way but they got down and got involved.
5. They worked the political process without complaining about their personal problems.
6. They chose big picture over small knowing that solving a big picture problem would solve a lot of their own personal issues.
7. They provided boots on the ground for the candidate they wanted in office. There is a time and place to discuss your problems but you need to show someone running for office that you are sincere and passionate about them before they discuss issues with you. They helped with parades and literature distribution.
8. They took the time to talk with the right candidates. These were local issues, they did not waste time with statewide candidates, and they focused on the commissioners and judicial candidates. When they were told that a problem they knew about should be discussed with someone they did that and they are still doing that.
9. They kept their personal stuff to themselves. Silence is golden most of the time.
10. There stared and finished the project once it began and took the advice given.
Are all the issues finished for these people now? No, many still have personal issues to deal with and those will be ongoing with their cases. They are still feeding additional information to us that we can used to get the laws changed.
I see so-call groups and self proclaimed advocates making mistakes all the time that set back efforts to change the laws. I have contacts all over the country that are working in multiple states and talking with many different legislators. The following came directly from one of them. Pay close attention because this does involve those that start these petitions and or suggest massive email campaigns on particular bills.
This came from the horse's mouth, a legislator in SC whom I follow closely because of her commitment to child welfare reform, (name removed). I'm asking about her opinion on phone calls to support bills.
"Note...When writing your legislator if you want them to read your emails
1. Don't send a Mass form letter
2. Put something in the subject line
3. Don't just say support Bill S... And not say what it is or why
4. Put your name and address
In the last 2 Days I - along with every other Senator, I am sure has received about 2000 Mass emails that all say the exact same thing - Subject Line is exactly alike and they have a name but no address so you have no clue where they are from. To be honest - after I read the first 10 the other 1990 got deleted. Now it wasted a lot of time because I had to make certain I didn't delete any "good" mail in the process but what it did do was make me decide I might not want to support that Bill. Undoubtedly the supporters are not passionate enough about it to write me personally or whoever is sending out these computer generated emails doesn't value my time!
Don’t complain that you are not getting an answer. You just took up valuable time and wasted the effort and in turn may have shot down a bill that would have helped or possible changes that would have helped many. This is why we only make official and concise statements on bills that call attention to problems within the bill or express the reasons why we do support a bill. We have spoken out strongly on bills recently but that testimony was submitted thru the proper channels. A couple bills come to mind and show the approach we have taken OH SB144, OH SB250 and NE LB437.
I will go back to what I said when NPO told everyone to bomb the federal child support office so they could get their child support reduced. This was failure to the maximum and the wrong people to be talking with. This is and was the wrong jurisdiction and the totally wrong approach as proven by what the state senator said. Those that are directing you to the wrong place are the one that hurt efforts to change the law.
Make sure what you are doing is not hurting and listen to those that know and have proven to know what it takes to get the job done.
Ohio Family Rights is a national free association of like minded people that work to comprehensively change the way that states and the courts view custody between divorced and never married people. We have dedicated ourselves to correcting what has long been a major problem of socially engineering fit parents from the lives of their child every day. This goal can only be accomplished by comprehensively correcting the flaws within the “Shared Parenting laws” that are currently in place so that all fit parents and their children can benefit from equal custody. Please join us in our efforts to protect the families of this nation and the future of our children.
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