Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Call to Rally Last Year=Pancake

From the Illinois Leader exactly one year ago
Universal mental health screenings: a call to rally
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
GUEST OPINION from Penny Pullen, former state rep and President of Eagle Forum of IL

As planned for all children in Illinois, during the state's required physical exams an evaluation of a child's mental health will soon be included.

Indeed, when I first learned of this legislation last week -- to my horror -- my first reaction was to wonder where all the "good guys" must have been when this was going on. It should not take 50,000 phone calls from "back home" to block such an obvious invasion of family life ... even in a legislature which is
dominated by the more liberal of the two parties. A vigilant and active citizenry is helpful and even necessary, no doubt about it. But where are the pro-family spokesmen within the legislature? How could the Senate, where noted, veteran conservatives serve, have let this go through without a single opposing vote? Were the new conservatives in the House whom I've heard such good things about sleeping when this abomination attracted only five negative votes there?

My Senator, who is now a gubernatorial hopeful, told me that "Approximately 42% of children and youth in child welfare programs meet DSM-IV criteria for a mental illness" I think that this was the 'conservative' rote response regarding their vote for the IL Childrens Mental Health Act. I'm glad he had a 'conversation' with me about it. Bill Mitchell, my state Representative, doesn't respond at all to anything about anything. He's busy being a Republican leader, I guess. Continuing with Penny Pullen:
Now that our leaders have let us down, the families of Illinois must speak out about this thing and demand that it be repealed before it can actually damage anything more than the reputations of our "good guys" in Springfield. Citizens who live in districts whose representatives and senators prize their pro-family reputations should be contacting them right now to respectfully request that they undo what their apparent inattention has wrought.

So I urge your readers to take this on as a crusade. Do not be disheartened by the lack of stewardship this law's passage has exposed. Instead, look on this episode as a rallying cause for taking back government. The critical thing is to rise up now, when the enormity of this has first come to light and before the psych teams, social workers and bureaucrats have been hired.
[Penny Pullen is the state president of Eagle Forum of Illinois and a former Illinois state representative]
They're being hired, but it's still worth it to fight this.

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