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Little Rock's "Voice of the People"

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"Voice of the People" / State Capitol Rotunda
Valentine's Day Meet & Greet
February 14, 2013

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Produced as a community service by Little Rock's KABF 88.3 Community Radio, the Valentine's Day "Voice of the People" meet & greet brought together an amazingly diverse assortment of public and private sector service agencies and advocacy organizations in an open exchange of information and ideas, all dedicated to the proposition of 'serving the common good'.

Above and below: (click thumbnail to view large image) the Rotunda exhibit floor during the "Voice of the People" 2013 Valentine's Day meet & greet in the Arkansas State Capitol building, Little Rock, Arkansas.

File:Arkansas State Capitol Dome Interior.jpg
Above: Interior of the dome that rises above the Rotunda floor (pictured below).
Photo credits: dome photo, (above) Wikipedia;
all other photos here published unless otherwise noticed,
Shawna Weiss, www.gozarks.com

Exhibits and representatives are pictured below, in no particular order:

 

 

Amy DiGaetano, State Director Support Solutions of Arkansas whose dedicated staff members are committed to providing person-centered supports that allow people to seek their dreams, establish significant relationships and be connected to their communities.

 

 

Arkansas Time After Time is a legislative advocacy and constituent support group with the goal "to help make communities safer and to protect our kids."

To do this, according to Executive Director Carla Swanson (not pictured), "We must learn to differentiate between those truly dangerous repeat violent sexual predators and those who at some time in their past committed a sex-related offense, served their sentence, completed or are currently undergoing treatment, and are working hard to re-integrate into society.

"We believe that once individuals have served their time by either incarceration or probation, the current laws will likely prevent them from finding housing, securing employment, supporting their families, and participating in community life. Consequently, they are likely to commit another offense. We insist that this ugly cycle be broken."

Marquez Miller, Jackie Mozier and Joe Bruton (left to right) of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, working with individuals with disabilities and past incarcerations to overcome barriers to employment and create great success stories, Goodwill is changing people’s lives 'one person at a time', empowering an average of 6500 people each  year with over 25,000 services provided.

Note: Of 1100 people placed in jobs, the recidivism rate for the men and women coming out of prison and reentering society through Goodwill programs is only 6%. Typical recidivism rates, sans reentry intervention, hover around 60% in Arkansas.


Anna Cox
(seated at left), ACSW, Founder of Compassion Works for All, offers healing and hope by living and teaching compassion, especially to the disenfranchised and those in prison. Since 1993, CWFA has offered tools of human transformation to people in prisons, in small groups, and more recently, on the Internet.

Eileen Oldag (standing, back to camera), is also an advocate with Compassion Works for All.

Joyce Turner (standing, at right), representing the Clemency Action Committee which is researching avenues of release for those sentenced to life or those that have a sentence equivalent to life. Clemency Action Committees goals include: Unite prisoner’s families across Arkansas; Pursue the possibility of giving the Arkansas State Parole Board full authority to grant clemency; Collectively petition the governor every time a CAC member files for clemency.

 

 

 

Larry Rhodes and Jan Jackson (seated, left to right), with the UALR Institute of Government, Arkansas Public Administration Consortium which exists to serve the people of Arkansas by advancing excellence in governance and public service across the state.

James Fisher (standing, center) is a UALR graduate student.

Jolie Busby (not pictured), CVM | CPM & CVM Program Manager UALR Institute of Government, Arkansas Public Administration Consortium


According to Chief Executive Officer Steve Hitt (not pictured), "The Arc of Arkansas provides supports, housing, advocacy, education and leadership to people with disabilities and their families. The Arc assists and encourages individuals with disabilities in acquiring skills and supports, which allow them to make decisions regarding their own lives, helping them to achieve integration into the mainstream of community life."

 

 

 

Shawna Weiss and Christine Beems, dba: gozarks.com media & marketing management (retired), in volunteer service to KABF 88.3 Community Radio as event coordinator, publicist and emcee. (Photo by Dylan Cook)

 

 

 

 

Desiree Willmuth, SSVF Outreach Coordinator with ARVets, one-stop shop supporting Arkansas Veterans and their families.

 

Brenda Mercer, acting director of the DDPC.sets-up the info booth representing:

<> The Arkansas Governor's Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) which supports individuals with developmental disabilities in the achievement of independence, productivity, integration and inclusion in the community.

<> Disability Rights Center (DRC) of Arkansas, whose mission is "To passionately assist the lives of people with disabilities through education, empowerment, and protection of their legal rights."

<> University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities which supports the full inclusion and self determination of people with developmental disabilities and their families by development of personnel qualified to provide services in the health, education, and social service systems; provision of services, technical assistance and the dissemination of information, improvement of assessment, service and support approaches; contribution of new knowledge about the causes and prevention  of developmental disabilities, the impact of disabilities on individuals and families, and the efficacy of different assessment, intervention and support methods.

 

 

 

 

Brian Shank, Arkansas State Leader for the Free and Equal Elections Foundation Arkansas State Leadership Caucus. The group is dedicated to an open and transparent election process that gives power back to the individual voter.

 

??? (standing, at left)

Lindy Bonner (seated, middle), Administrative Assistant Arkansans Health Care Access Foundation which facilitates a statewide volunteer health care program to help low-income, medically uninsured Arkansans gain access to non-emergency medical care.

Rodney Farley (standing at right. back to camera) is a member of the Disability Rights Center (DRC) of Arkansas Board of Directors.

 

 

 

 

The Parent Advisory Council meets four times a year and provides input and guidance on issues related to the Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs to program staff.

 

 

 

 

Robert Nunn (seated on left) and Kaitlin Lott (seated on right), representing Regnat Populus 2014, a group of Arkansas citizens who want to reduce the level of corporate influence on our government through a ballot initiative.

 


James Fisher
(standing, far left) is a UALR graduate student.

Jan Jackson (seated, far left), with the UALR Institute of Government, Arkansas Public Administration Consortium which exists to serve the people of Arkansas by advancing excellence in governance and public service across the state.

Hannah Wilkin (seated, second from left) representing Independent Case Management (ICM) whose Mission according to Cindy Alberding (not pictured), is "To help people with developmental disabilities, and their families, by providing a lifetime of high-quality services, family support, and advocacy and works hard to provide the kind of individualized services that can really help make a difference to our clients and their families. Services provided are designed to maximize choice and to support people as they build quality lives within their Arkansas communities."

Candia Nicholas (second from right, wearing blue, above) of Arkansas Support Network whose guiding principle since 1988, according to Keith Vire, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer (pictured elsewhere), is "The belief that individuals who have disabilities and their families should be in control of service delivery; that every person has the right to live in a home and in the community as an active and accepted member. Our intent is to support the presence and participation of children and adults with developmental disabilities in their homes and communities."

Stacy Hill (standing, far right, above), who was instrumental in helping to coordinate the Valentine's Day "Voice of the People" event, is the coordinator of Arkansans Organizing for Justice and is building a statewide network of people who care about the issue of people serving harsh sentences with no chance for release; connecting with people who are willing to take action to get policies and practices changed so that Arkansas has a less expensive criminal justice system that still protects public safety.


Wayne Fulmore (pictured at right), addressing the news conference from his wheelchair, emphatically stated his case:

"Hello, My name is Wayne Duke Fulmore and I am representing The Arkansas Waiver Association.

"The Arkansas Waiver Association, known as AWA, believes that individuals with disabilities can live, work, play worship, and advocate with other citizens.

"We believe supports should work to help people stay in their family homes and local communities, with those who love and care for them.

"The DDS Waiver has supported me in living in the home that I grew up in after my parents were gone. I work 20 hours a week, I'm involved on committees like CATA and Kiwanis. I have traveled the country for Kiwanis.

"I appreciate being a responsible member of my community and a taxpayer; and waiver has helped me to do this. Thank you."

 

 

The Arkansas Waiver Association is an association of advocates, persons with developmental disabilities, their families and the professionals who work in the field, united to "Promote Quality, Integrated Community Supports" and "seek to improve the quality of life of those with a developmental disability, and their families, through active advocacy, open communications, and an exchange of professional ideas. Together, we shall make a difference."  (Photo by AWA)

Trey Weir (at right), representing the Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality, is working to have marriage equality on the ballot in 2016; looking to educate and rally people, re: equality is the bedrock of liberty for all.

Eileen Oldag (standing, at left, above) and Jane Browning (at the podium, above) spoke on behalf of  Compassion Works for All,

Dr. Aann Arouh (above) of Phoenix Integrative Healthcare, practitioners of Naturopathic, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, representing the Arkansas Naturopathic Physicians Association addressing the “desperate need for primary care physicians in Arkansas" by supporting legislation to license Naturopathic Physicians in Arkansas.

Mark L. Daniels (above), State Leadership Coordinator of the Free and Equal Elections Foundation is dedicated to an open and transparent election process that gives power back to the individual voter.

Elizabeth Minton (above), Board member and featured speaker for Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice.(ACPJ), addressed the organization's commitment to a culture of peace, to building a country where domestic policies are sound and just, and where all individuals worldwide are treated with respect and dignity.

..

Keith Vire, Ph.D. (above), Chief Executive Officer of Arkansas Support Network, emphasized that every person has the right to live in a home and in the community as an active and accepted member of society. "Our intent," he explained, "is to support the presence and participation of children and adults with developmental disabilities in their homes and communities."

Greg Deckelman (above), spokesperson for Regnat Populus 2014, told how the group was "Prompted by Occupy Wall Street and other protest movements. We believe the time is now for a citizen-led effort to enhance the ability of average citizens to achieve the American ideals of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, regardless of socio-economic status."

View of the press conference podium from the balcony overlooking the Rotunda proper. Pictured:

Christine Beems (standing at podium), dba: gozarks.com media & marketing management (retired), in volunteer service to KABF 88.3 Community Radio as event coordinator, publicist and emcee.

Jonathan Runnels (standing in front of table, wearing red shirt), is 'the man' with the Arkansas Secretary of State who schedules, oversees and coordinates critical details (like setting up tables, finding extra easels and hanging banners from the balcony), making it possible for organizations such as KABF to produce public service programs such as the Valentine's Day "Voice of the People" event.

Robert Reed (standing behind exhibit table, wearing plaid shirt), spokesman for Arkansans for Medical Cannabis, advocating for the regulated use of cannabis as an herbal medicinal.

??? (gentleman, seated, wearing suit);

Dawn West-Rosado, Women's Health program coordinator and Beth White, Military Sexual Trauma program coordinator (both standing, far right. in photo above) representing the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System info table.


Stacy Hill
(pictured at right) who was instrumental in helping to coordinate the Valentine's Day "Voice of the People" event, is the coordinator of Arkansans Organizing for Justice and is building a statewide network of people who care about the issue of people serving harsh sentences with no chance for release; connecting with people who are willing to take action to get policies and practices changed so that Arkansas has a less expensive criminal justice system that still protects public safety.

 

NOTE: Subsequent to the event, on the day of my (Christine Beems) 'retirement party.' Stacy honored me with the beautiful bouquet (pictured below) in part as a thank you for my contribution to this event... though mostly because of our friendship.

In this same spirit, I share these wonderful flowers with you...

Marquis Jenkins (photo at left, front left), Community Engagement Advocate with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law firm, founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF’s mission has always been transformative: to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society. Marquis works to support the organizing efforts of communities of color seeking to address criminal justice issues.

Tom Narvin (photo at left, back left), registered lobbyist of the Diocese of Little Rock, representing a broad cross-spectrum of social justice issues such as advocating for laws to help bring an end to human trafficking. 

Christine Beems (photo at left, front right) dba: gozarks.com media & marketing management (retired), served KABF as a volunteer Associate Producer in the design, development, coordination and promotion of the 2013 Valentine's Day "Voice of the People" community service production.

Stacy Hill (photo above, back right), coordinator and spokesperson for Arkansans Organizing for Justice, working to build a statewide network of people who care about the issue of people serving harsh sentences with no chance for release; connecting with people who are willing to take action to get policies and practices changed so that Arkansas has a less expensive criminal justice system that still protects public safety.

Robert Kim Combs, member of the Steering Committee of the Central Arkansas Reentry Coalition, co-founder and Executive Director Emeritus of Arkansas Time After Time, weekly talk-radio host of KABF's civic affairs interview program, "It Could Be You," and who played a major 'behind the scenes' role in the production of this event, visits with Dawn West-Rosado, Women's Health program coordinator and Beth White, Military Sexual Trauma program coordinator at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System info table.

(click either thumbnail for larger image)

The photo at left above was taken during an event similar to this year's Valentine's Day "Voice of the People" meet and greet. The pictured event, called "Have a Heart for Advocacy" (flier thumbnail at right, click for larger image) was held in the Capitol Rotunda on February 16, 2012. Several of those exhibiting at last year's Have a Heart program (above, left) also participated in this year's Voice of the People event (above, right). Note by contrast how the size of the event doubled.

KABF's own Toney Orr (pictured at left in photo at right), member of the Arkansas Broadcast Foundation (ABF) Board of Directors which governs, directs and oversees all aspects of KABF broadcast operations and also a spokesman for United Labor Unions Local 100, networking with Miranda Reynolds, Development Coordinator of the Center for Women in Transition which helps incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women successfully transition back into society by offering programs and services that assist women in leading lives of self-worth, self-reliance and self-discipline.

About his work with United Labor Unions Local 100 Orr said: "Our purpose is helping to give a voice to public employees. To help make policy changes, to make sure that the workers of the state of Arkansas have a platform to express their collective concerns. Our mission statement defines what we believe. 'For The People, By The People.' It is always important to let your voice be heard. When the voice is silent, then justice for people is also silent."

THANKS TO ALL from KABF & gozarks FOR MAKING THIS SUCH A SPECTACULAR "Voice of the People - Democracy in Action" DAY..!!!!

Gozarks volunteer staffer, all around 'assistant for a day' and genuinely great person, Dylan Cook, whose 'day job' is in management in the food services industry.

Gozarks photographer, display designer, exhibit set-up expert and booth staffer extraordinaire, Shawna Weiss.

 
Ask
: "What if the only thing keeping us from having a world that works for everyone is the peculiar belief that it is impossible...?"

kumbaya ~ hukana matata
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Please email ADDITIONS to or CORRECTIONS of the above pictorial to gozarks@gmail.com