Monday, July 12, 2010

Broken Promises

Obama’s Broken Promises - L.A. Times lead story, “Scientists want more from Obama: Many say he's failed to follow through on promises to prevent political meddling,” By Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger: “Interviews with several scientists … as well as reviews of e-mails … show a wide range of complaints during the Obama presidency: In Florida, water-quality experts reported government interference with efforts to assess damage to the Everglades stemming from development projects. … In Alaska, some oil and gas exploration decisions given preliminary approval under Bush moved forward under Obama, critics said, despite previously presented evidence of environmental harm. The most immediate case of politics allegedly trumping science, some government and outside environmental experts said, was the decision to fight the gulf oil spill with huge quantities of potentially toxic chemical dispersants … And the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Washington-based organization, said it had received complaints from scientists in key agencies about the difficulty of speaking out publicly.”

Sports – We are now into the middle of the golf season; congratulations to Paula Creamer on winning the U.S. Open this past weekend, my pick for this weeks’ British Open is the Rod Stewart look-a-like Ian Poulter, and after a weekend of golf in the Eastern Sierra’s I must say the vistas were beautiful because yours truly was in the woods the whole weekend.

Nonprofit Organizations Struggle – Compliments of our friend Joe Zanetta, “Community-based nonprofit organizations are struggling for their organizational lives these days. The oppressive economic downturn has made it hard to keep their doors open to provide services while fundraising from private individuals and foundations has become downright Darwinian."

Holy Family Adoption Services provides adoption, foster care, and family support services for infants and toddlers who are often born into very high-risk situations and require placement into a loving home. Since 1949, they have been helping these children whose mothers have been victimized themselves by family violence, or who suffer from addiction, or who are just ill-prepared for motherhood.

For most of its organizational life, Holy Family Adoption Services operated in partnership with the Catholic Archdiocese in Los Angeles. It had the financial and in-kind support from the church as well as the support of many generous Catholic individuals and foundations - until it became known that the Holy Family Adoption Services staff placed a handful of the thousands of children it cared for with same-sex couples. The State of California prohibits discriminating against same-sex couples in adoption placement and Holy Family Adoption Services was abiding by that state law.

In 2007, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles made it clear that Holy Family would have to stop placing children with same-sex couples. Instead of giving in, the Holy Family Adoption Services board of directors ultimately decided that nothing was more important than providing loving and supportive homes for at-risk infants and children and that no otherwise qualified home should be closed to these children simply because of the gender and sexual orientation of the family members within it.

The Catholic Archdiocese withdrew their support, as did most Catholic donors. Holy Family Adoption Services was forced to lay off staff, reduce services, and seek new sources of support in the midst of an economic recession.

Enter Bishop Jon Bruno of the Episcopal Diocese. When Bishop Bruno learned of Holy Family's courage and fate, he invited the organization to be housed under the auspices of his church. This kept the organization alive. But Holy Family Adoption Services valiantly limps on, and the organization requires new sources of support to continue on with their mission. While civic and public discourse these days seems to be dominated by scapegoating, intolerance, and even hate – Arizona’s anti-immigration legislation and California’s Proposition 8 battle embody such activity – we support organizations like Holy Family Adoption Services for their work with infants and all children. This is not a fundraising piece but it is reminding all of you to support in whatever way you can organizations who continue to add to the quality of life in our communities.

Next week: More summer time news and notes.

Until next Monday, Arrivederci.

Claremont, CA
July 12, 2010

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