SPAC - There Ought to be a Law
A Legislative competition run by SPAC,
open to all members of the Junior Leagues of NJ.
- What idea do you have for a new piece of legislation?
- What law needs to change or exist to help women, children or the environment in New Jersey?
- Do you want to see your idea become a bill with the help of SPAC?
SPAC Obesity Summit
On February 13, The Junior League of Morristown and members of State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC) launched a new coalition to fight childhood obesity as co-sponsors of the Morris Area Obesity Initiative Summit. The purpose of the Summit was to bring together representatives of stakeholder organizations and the community as a whole to strategize how to address the complex and multi-faceted issue of childhood obesity at County and State levels. The dialogue and initiatives from this Summit will serve as a catalyst for SPAC to develop similar programs across New Jersey. The Summit brought together community members led by local, state, and national experts to begin to identify and develop strategies to address the issue of obesity in the Morris Area of NJ.
Former Governor Thomas H. Kean, who opened the Summit, described childhood obesity as a “burdening epidemic” and encouraged each of us to “raise our voices about the issue and we will be heard.” Governor Kean quoted alarming statistics on obesity and stressed that the only realistic cure to obesity is prevention. Additional presentations came from Leonard Feld, MD, Chairman of Pediatrics, Atlantic Health Systems; Marlene Schwartz, PhD (Nutrition) from Yale University; and William Lovett, Chief Executive Officer, Metuchen/Edison/WoodbridgeYMCA. They dramatically highlighted the various reasons for the epidemic, the mammoth scope of the problem, and the innumerable challenges facing children, parents, physicians, nurses, legislators and the community as they try to stem the growth of this epidemic.
210 Summit participants divided into eight task forces, to focus on the major obesity prevention initiatives as outlined by the IOM report: Community Programs, Health Care, Industry, Schools, Built Environment, Home, Government, and Marketing and Public Relations. Each session developed 3-5 recommendations that were then immediately reported back to the general assembly of all participants at the Summit for comment, feedback and questions. Each Subcommittee was then charged with developing ongoing action plans to address these issues over the next 12-18 months. Participants of the Summit have committed to tackling obesity at community and Statewide levels and will meet regularly in their assigned task forces in order to update the community at a second Summit to take place next year.
SPAC Rides the Rails to Washington, D.C.
In January, eleven State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC) delegates traveled to our nation’s capital as participants in the 69th annual “Walk to Washington” organized by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s tradition began in 1937 when several of the state’s top business executives took a train to Washington, D.C. to have dinner with New Jersey’s congressional delegation. Today some 2,000 of the state’s top political and business leaders participate in this event that provides an invaluable networking opportunity for the New Jersey Junior Leagues' SPAC.
SPAC delegates briefed Governor Jon Corzine on our approved positions on various legislative issues in New Jersey. Governor Corzine was impressed enough by SPAC’s commitment to childhood obesity prevention, human trafficking awareness, education on umbilical cord blood donation and other legislative issues that he applauded the NJ Junior Leagues’ efforts on behalf of these issues during an interview with the press later that evening.
The SPAC delegates also attended the Congressional Dinner featuring presentations by various state and federal legislators including the Governor, U.S. Congressman Christopher Smith from NJ’s 4th District, and Senate President and Former Acting Governor Richard Codey. SPAC delegates also met with legislators on Capitol Hill. A meeting with Congressman Smith focused on our efforts to establish a hot line for victims of human trafficking in our state with which the Congressman pledged to assist us.
SPAC gained valuable time with Governor Corzine and other state leaders to promote the work of the New Jersey Junior Leagues as well as network for particular legislative issues. SPAC delegates returned from Washington energized and armed with new contacts for future partnership opportunities for all of the eight New Jersey Junior Leagues.
TESTIMONY ON THE NEW JERSEY CHILD PLACEMENT REVIEW BOARDS
Presented Before the Assembly Human Services Committee
May 13, 2010
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