Western Free Press Interviews Charlie Ellis, Phoenix City Council Candidate, District 5

Western Free Press’ Brad Zinn interviews Charlie Ellis, announced candidate for the Phoenix City Council from District 5.

Western Free Press is dedicated to generating public dialogue on Arizona’s most important issues and figures. 

When Marriage Comes Under Attack

When Marriage Comes Under Attack

Late last Friday, New York’s state legislature decided to radically redefine marriage. In a less than transparent process, New York became the sixth state in the nation to call marriage something other than the union of one man and one woman – and only the third to do so by legislative action. There are thirty states, including Arizona, with constitutional amendments protecting marriage.

We are publishing a series of posts on the Foundations blog this week and next about why it’s so important to stand for the true definition of marriage. We’ll look at what the Scripture says about marriage, whether this is really a “civil rights” issue, and the impact on our religious freedom. Check out the first post of the series by CAP’s Communications Director Aaron Baer: “Why Protect Marriage.

Celebrating Our Independence

While you celebrate our nation’s independence this 4th of July with family and friends, I hope you take time to reflect on the blessing of living in this great country, and the responsibility that comes with it.

That responsibility starts with exercising our freedom and right to vote our values. City elections throughout Arizona are less than two months away on August 30. Be sure you and your friends are registered to vote, and consider talking with your pastor about holding a voter registration drive at your church in the coming weeks. CAP has everything you need to get started registering voters. We’ll also be publishing a city election Voter Guide at azvoterguide.com in the coming days.

City elections can have a profound impact on the entire state. Our opponents specifically target these elections because it’s much easier for them to influence the outcome and then advance their agenda. We cannot afford to be silent in these local elections. If you haven’t already done so, check out this blog post by CAP’s Blackstone intern Angelina Nguyen about how one city’s bad policies can have an impact on everyone in the state.

Summer Break

5 Minutes for Families will be going on a short summer break through the month of July. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and watch the Foundations blog for updates from us during this time. I’ll be back with more updates and news you need to know that impacts your family in August. Happy Independence Day!

Resiliency Talking Points for Palin

by Gayle Plato-Besley, M. Ed.

Governor Sarah Palin gives more than lip service to the situation we are in. Let’s applaud her success, but please those at Camp McCain, get on the fast track! Let’s see Sarah speaking with substance. What I see is the great opportunity to play off of the Governor’s populist record, underlining her real accomplishments, while pointing out what the Republican Ticket offers.

As Barack Obama talks of sex education at the Kindergarten level, please seize the news cycle and talk to the people.

Sarah Palin can explain detailed aspects of the Republican Platform as no other. Yet, the camera is also on her awaiting a mistake or a flub. Run with that and sound bite back. Get the talk on the messages appealing to families today. Much is being said about national security and energy costs. We also need good talk about education.


Early Childhood Education is a huge issue for families in America. As it states at www.johnmccain.com, “There is no shortage of federal programs targeted at early child care and preschool. State and federal funding for early childhood care and education programs is over $25 billion each year.” Yet, how does a candidate claim there’s enough spending without infuriating everyone wanting, using, or benefiting from social programs?

If Sarah Palin talks as a mom with the savvy and knowledge of this issue as a governor, she can enlighten the country; the money is already there. We need to evaluate and coordinate services. Let’s streamline and dovetail good programs to build on strength and success.

Some of the key problems with all federal programming includes the lack of coordination, the overlapping and wasted expenditure, and limited focus on success. Too many non-profit and public groups spend too much time looking for more money, creating data showing their validity, and avoiding any overhauling or efficiency checks. In fact, one of the key jobs of most Community Organizers is to make themselves seem important. Local citizens see the organizers as either paper shufflers, or as focused only on a few small actions. There is little actual organization and streamlining of services to help the community not waste funds.

As for education today, great work of pre-Kindergarten programming is happening in private and parochial schools nationwide. Many receive some public funding, but often run on a majority of private support. We as a country need to push for more faith-based education opportunities and support the many church, temple, or other faith/community education services. We also will benefit from a true accounting of all expenditures in public pre-K education. Show how these programs flow and build on one another. How much doubling up happens in just one city, let alone an entire nation?

Push the value of Child Find. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (http://www.nectac.org/partc/ptcoverview.asp)
there are federal services to identify pre-K children with potential developmental delays. Special Education is an exponentiallly growing cost for this country. Unfortunately, a vast majority of parents, health care, and education providers do not know of the process. Early intervention fosters successful development. It’s also cost effective. Pro-active service is the key to long term success.

Talk of Resiliency Programming

There is an overwhelming problem with the liberal-base social/educational intervention services in this country. Most social services are reactive, at-risk models. We throw money at programs created from antiquated models of statistics- all noting who might fail. The risk of failure is always the issue and it is not the best indicator for federal spending.

I personally saw federal funds dumped on treating alcoholics to stop drinking, and start educating their children as to the danger. Yet, 75% of children of alcoholics do NOT become alcoholics. Less money and better success can be seen through education regarding alcohol addiction, and overall community programs for good social opportunities, like a YMCA or Boys and Girls Club.

Though great work is being done in the field of Resiliency Services. Dr. Emmy Werner, a developmental psychologist, created a phenomenal study tracking the low-income and needy children of Kauai, Hawaii. Thirty years of studying children deemed moderately to severely at-risk showed that with good role models and consistent protective factors, a vast majority of the children grew up to be happy, productive adults.
Dr. Werner legitimized the Resiliency Movement in social programming. Yet, federal and state agencies are NOT using the tools nor the information. This is a critical point for all conservative spending on social programming. It is missed and ignored by many of the ‘At-Risk’ mindset. We can turn off the social spending tap by being more efficient and by updating our approach.

it is time for Sarah Palin to give us details. Tell us of how you will help target spending; it is your strength as a governor. You are also a self-appointed advocate for children of needs. Please run with it as I KNOW it is a very important issue for many voters.

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