Dear Sen. Lamar Alexander

17 06 2008

You don’t know me from Adam but I need to talk to you about something you have some control over. You see, I used to work with battered women and sexually abused children and we were funded by VOCA. Senator, I’ve seen somethings that would curl your toes. You would be amazed, sir, of what can happen in people’s homes when the doors close.

Well, I had a phone call out of Murfreesboro yesterday that funding for VOCA is at risk. VOCA funding is how many battered women’s programs survive as it funds locally. Here’s the email. From what I understand, you received a version of it as well. In the spirit of disclosure, the letter came from a woman named Sharon DeBoer who runs the Child Advocacy Center in the ‘Boro that I’ve known since 1987 and who I have worked with through the years.

Please call Senator Alexander’s Office before Thursday. The Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations committee is meeting this week and will take up a bill on Thursday, June 19 that will include the federal 2009 VOCA cap. Senator Lamar Alexander is a member of this committee.

Please request that Senator Alexander support setting the VOCA cap at $770 million so that VOCA funding can be returned to the federal 2006 level. Tell him that you are on the Board of Directors (or staff) of the Child Advocacy Center and you have seen first hand the good work that has been done in Rutherford County to assist child abuse and child sexual abuse victims through the VOCA grant. Tell him that if the federal VOCA cap is not set at $770 million the Child Advocacy Center will have a $10,000 cut in federal funds. For a non profit agency with a small budget $10,000 is a huge cut. Client numbers are drastically increasing and federal and state grant sources are shrinking. With the economy the way it is all of the Center’s fundraising efforts are down. We do not anticipate being able to replace this funding and we will have to make cuts that will affect client services.

They do good work.

Sen. Alexander, these monies do not come from taxpayers dollars. The funds come from fees paid by convicted criminals. We don’t need to zero any of these programs out.

So, I’ll do the work for you. Here is a list of links from your home state on the sense of urgency that is required to protect this program. As I said before, this is a non-taxpayer fund. I have to question why it would be at risk. And for those people reading here, I’ll give them your contact information.

Senator Lamar Alexander
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
DC Phone: 202-224-4944
DC Fax: 202-228-3398

Senator, I would like to point out this fact. This is from a story in the Wall Street Journal written in January, Gary Fields asks this question and breaks it down:

WASHINGTON — In drafting the government’s 2008 budget, Congress cut back on funding for a Justice Department program to aid crime victims, capping it at $590 million, $35 million less than last year.

But because the money for the Crime Victims Fund program doesn’t come from taxpayer dollars, restricting it doesn’t generate actual savings.

The Cut: Congress reduced spending from a fund dedicated to crime-victim programs, which isn’t supported by tax revenue.

The Issue: The $35 million cut means local programs such as crime-victim shelters will have less money.

What’s Next: Victims-rights advocates and some members of Congress want the money increased in the 2009 budget.

Why are cuts happening in a program that doesn’t receive tax money?

Sen. Alexander, these programs are important. They help a lot of people, because 20 years ago, they helped someone like me.

I ask of you to continue to help battered women, sexually abused children and rape victims.

Sincerely,

Newscoma

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6 responses

17 06 2008
Sarah

Are you sending a letter version of this to his office? Sounds like some kind of letter-writing campaign is in order for this, actually.

17 06 2008
newscoma

The vote is on Thursday, and at one of the links above there is a form letter that can be sent to Alexander.
I’m calling the office. His Nashville number is (615) 736-5129.

17 06 2008
Mickey

Please let Lamar know that the Federal Govenment has no authority in this area.

17 06 2008
Go Directly to Newscoma and Do What She Says « Tiny Cat Pants

[…] Go Directly to Newscoma and Do What She Says Posted on June 17, 2008 by Aunt B. Here. […]

17 06 2008
Restore Funding to the Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) Program « Women’s Health News

[…] by Rachel on June 17, 2008 Newscoma reports that the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations committee is meeting this week and is […]

18 06 2008
Don Jones

Dear Newscoma ;

You might as well be writing to the Moon ! Senator Alexander is so out of touch.

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