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Public Policy Update – April 2010

April 21st, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Ending Underage Drinking, Tobacco and Drug-use

This spring, the CLC has been working with one of our partner organizations, Texans Standing Tall, to educate Texans on ways to make alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs irrelevant in the lives of youth. The CLC has presented information on legislative action in the 2009 session at two regional forums in San Antonio and Austin. City and county employees, school district and university officials, drug and alcohol treatment counselors and members of non-profit organizations all participated in these forums and worked together to find local and state-level solutions to end underage usage. Among the bills the CLC has presented is keg registration, one of our key issues during the 2011 session. The next forum is on April 22 in Midland, and the last forum in the 2010 series in on May 11 in Lubbock. Please see the calendar of events for more information.

Statewide Summits on the Trafficking and Exploitation of Children
Texas Baptists is proud to have sponsored two statewide summits, in Dallas and Houston, to raise awareness on the trafficking and exploitation of children. The summits were hosted by Children at Risk, a Houston-area non-profit. Tomi Grover, Director of Community and Restorative Justice in the Advocacy/Care Center at the BGCT, spoke to a captive audience about the importance of engaging the faith community in ending childhood slavery. Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D- San Antonio), Rep. Randy Weber (R- Pearland), and Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D- Houston), Rep. Carol Kent (D- Dallas), Rep. Rafael Anchia (D- Dallas), and Rep. Paula Pierson (D- Arlington) participated in panel discussions on the upcoming 2011 session. Other local and statewide officials including Attorney General Greg Abbott and staff from the TABC and the FBI discussed law enforcement and best practices for childhood exploitation prevention and treatment. The CLC is dedicated to working with these state officials to increase awareness on this issue during the 2011 legislative session.

Students from Baptist University of the Americas Visit Austin
The CLC Austin Office was delighted to host Patty Villarreal’s Ministry and Community class from Baptist University of the Americas last week at the Texas Capitol. The students are interested in social work and community ministries and how public policy affects the lives of those they hope to minister too. The day began with a tour of the capitol building, followed by in-depth presentations and conversations about the CLC, including what the CLC does during a legislative session, how predatory lending affects the state of Texas, and how they as college students can combat human trafficking. The students ended the day with a visit to the office of Rep. David Leibowitz (D-San Antonio) whose district includes the BUA campus. The representative’s chief-of-staff discussed the legislative process and internship options with the class. We were delighted to host the group and are happy to welcome similar groups interested in the legislative work of the CLC.

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