October 2007

Thank you to Ike and Julie Broaddus for hosting our October meeting at your lovely home (and a special thanks to Julie for providing the fascinating history of “Tranquility Post”).

Minutes from the Sunday Supper Club – 10/14/07

The meeting was called to order by Ike Broaddus.

5 Minute Flash Reports

Treasurer’s Report:

We’re in the red due to our recent payment for the next year’s hosting of our web site. Any and all donations would be much appreciated.

Campaign Reports:

Albert Pollard- candidate for the State Senate in the 28th District
(Report by Andrea Martens)

Pollard’s campaign reports that with 25 days left until the election Albert’s campaign is in full gear, running with good spirits and great energy. He only regrets that his opponent has taken to distorting his voting record. If you have any questions regarding Albert’s voting record while in the House of Delegates, please contact him at
804-462-5940 or check out his website.

The latest polls show Pollard running ahead but there’s still a lot of work to be done in this tough district. Albert will be working 24-7 until Nov. 6th and would appreciate any and all help and support. Thanks so much!

For more information on the campaign go to: http://www.pollardforsenate.com/

Bill Day- candidate for Delegate in the 31st District
(Report by Bill Day)

Bill Day himself reported that his campaign is going great and that the latest polls show him ahead by 3 points. He believes that the fact that he is a Fauquier County resident has played a big role in his success in the county.

Bill also reported that help at the polls on Tuesday Nov. 6th is desperately needed. If you are available to volunteer, please contact one of the campaigns.

For more information on the campaign go to: http://dayfordelegate.org/

Maureen Riordan- candidate for school board in the Scott District
(Report by Maureen Riordan)

Riordan is running for school board because she has a great desire to be an advocate for children. She and her family moved to Virginia in 2000 to take advantage of the quality of life offered here. She serves as an attorney in the Civil Rights division of the Justice Dept. Riordan believes Fauquier County has a great school system (her two children are currently enrolled in the Fauquier County Public Schools) but that the Board of Supervisors and the School Board have been talking at one another rather than with one another. She also believes that there has been a disconnect between the county government and the citizens of the county. As a member of the school board Riordan hopes to be able to help to bridge these gaps and to be a strong advocate for our children in the context of what is good for the entire county.

For information on her campaign go to http://maureenriordan.com/

Community Information – Costco traffic report:

Holder Trumbo presented a brief report on the meeting last week at which Costo presented their traffic impact study. His impression was that Costco’s presentation was conflicted and didn’t reflect reality. While acknowledging that we are in a budget crunch and the tax dollars potentially brought in by Costco are enticing Trumbo believes that merely looking at the dollars is shortsighted. He believes that the problem with Costco is that the pressure it will exert on the area will explode growth whereas if this area were allowed to develop more slowly the development would occur in a more organized way.

Guest Speaker: Tara Reber from the Prince William CASA Program

The SSC was pleased to welcome as our guest speaker Tara Reber, case supervisor from the Greater Prince William Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). CASA is a national organization, started in 1977, as a way to involve the citizens of the community in watching over the safety and needs of child victims of abuse and neglect. Currently there are 1,000 programs in the U.S. with 28 programs in Virginia alone.

CASA exists solely and only to act as the voice of the children. The organization is a 501 C-3 not-for-profit which must generate all its income from grants, corporate and community donations and fundraising events. Greater Prince William CASA provides services to over 300 children for less than $700 per child/per year. This is possible through the help of nearly 100 specially trained volunteer advocates.

Ms. Reber began her presentation by noting that child abuse is everyone’s problem: experiencing childhood abuse and neglect increases the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 53% and of committing violent crime as an adult by 38%. The purpose of CASA is to try to intervene and break this cycle of hurt children hurting others. The state of Virginia supports the work of CASA to such an extent that the powers and duties of CASA are written into the code of Virginia.

CASA’s are appointed by the court when a judge signs a CASA order. This gives the advocate the right to access any and all documents regarding that child. The CASA is required under law to investigate the child’s current situation and future possibilities and provide this independent and factual information to the court. In addition to interviewing all parties with knowledge of the child (family, teachers, day care workers, therapists, pediatricians…), each advocate is expected to meet with their child a minimum of once a month. The organization’s goal is that each advocate stay with his/her child for the duration of the case, thereby giving the child a sense of continuity and stability.

Although the protection of the child is a collective effort between the courts, Department of Social Services and CASA, CASA is the one entity which exists solely for the child. Reber pointed out that in foster care plans, protective orders and FINS (families in need of services) the one thing missing is a voice for the child. CASA steps in to fill this void.

CASA’s mission is an invaluable one:

• To provide a voice in court for every abused and neglected child that they might have an opportunity for a safe and permanent home.

• To help the child in crisis feel a little less alone, understand a little more about what is happening around them and know that someone who cares about them will be there through the entire court experience.

• To watch diligently over the child’s care that they not get lost in the system and are provided the needed services to grow up to become healthy, productive adults, able to break the chain of abuse.

• To assist the court and the Guardian ad Litem, appointed to represent the child’s legal best interests, by providing accurate, child centered information as they seek to assist and protect the child.

CASA depends upon members of the community to volunteer as advocates. A volunteer advocate undergoes a minimum of 30-40 hours of training, conducted over an 8-10 week period. After completing training, CASA volunteers devote approximately 12 hours a month to their cases. The next CASA training begins on Monday Jan. 7th. For more information on CASA please view their web site at www.casaofgpw.org If you have space in your life and heart for this incredibly important cause, please contact Tara Reber at 703-330-8145.

Please join us at upcoming meetings of the Sunday Supper Club

Nov. 11th- Happy 3rd Birthday to the SSC: Our guest speaker will be a representative of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Dec. 9th- We will show a video about “smart growth” followed by a discussion led by Ike Broaddus and Terry Nyhous.

Jan. 13, 2008- Lawrie Parker and Liliana Anaya of the Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center will share information about their important work.

March 9, 2008- Claire Guthrie Gastanaga will join us to speak about issues and legislation surrounding immigration.

Andrea Martens, Communications Coordinator, SSC