Bill Morse didn’t know what to expect after he accepted the challenge of facing two dozen young teens alone at DISD’s Raul Quintanilla Sr. Middle School on November 17, 2016, a day he will not soon forget. Bill and 24 boys and girls gathered together to have an open conversation about the importance of respecting themselves and others. The interactive experience broached topics related to the community, volunteerism, and human trafficking. Students learned that human trafficking is a worldwide crisis and that it exists here in Dallas. The predominantly male classroom heard about the power that young men have in being a part of solutions to stop trafficking and the role that New Friends New Life and the Men’s Advocacy Group plays in the fight. Click here to learn more about Quintanilla Middle School (http://www.dallasisd.org/quintanilla)
MAG members can now enroll in a two-hour training course to learn more about Sex Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation, New Friends New Life, and the mission of the MAG. The purpose of the training course is to equip attendees with the information and tools necessary to make informed public presentations on behalf of New Friends New Life and MAG. While the course is designed for new members involved with the newly formed MAG Speakers’ Bureau, any MAG member is welcome to participate. The class will be offered periodically throughout the coming year, but you don’t have to wait. Training sessions scheduled for December are listed below. If one of the dates fits your schedule, contact Bill Morse to sign up.
Session 1: Tuesday, December 13 (2:30pm - 4:30pm)
Session 2: Wednesday, December 14 (8:00am - 10:00am)
Session 3: Wednesday, December 14 (2:30pm - 4:30pm)
Session 4: Thursday, December 15 (8:00am - 10:00am)
MAG’s high school education and awareness pilot concluded in October and was deemed a resounding success. Championed and developed by MAG with input from NFNL’s clinical and child development experts, the high school manKINDness® education and awareness curriculum is a 75-minute interactive learning experience tailored for young men in high school. The purpose of the curriculum is to create candid dialogue around valuing and respecting women, as well as educating young men on the relative harmful effects of derogatory language, disrespectful actions, and viewing pornography. All pilot goals were achieved.
After a pre-trial exercise to assess program content with boys at the Letot Center, the pilot officially moved into production. The curriculum was first piloted at the Parish Episcopal School (Head Coach Scott Nady, MAG ‘16) in September followed by Hillcrest High School (Head Coach Aaron Todd) in October. A total of 58 high school football players participated in the pilot program. Ninety-seven percent of the student-athletes recommend the program for boys at all high schools and 55 of 58 student-athletes acknowledged that the education impacted their attitudes toward women and will likely affect their behaviors toward girls in the future.
How you can help?
• Volunteer to recruit your child’s school or other schools around the Metroplex
• Introduce Bill Morse to a potential lead or high school contact
• Join the education effort and get trained to deliver the curriculum
To view Coach Scott Nady's interview, follow this link: http://www.wfaa.com/news/coach-impacts-players-beyond-football/323041536
MAG men were well-represented at NFNL’s Education Forum on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children at SMU on October 25. SMU President and MAG Executive Advisory Council member, Dr. R. Gerald Turner (MAG ‘15) opened the evening’s program. Texas Department of Public Safety Major and MAG Board member Jeoff Williams (MAG ‘15) and High School Head Coach and new MAG member Scott Nady (MAG ‘16) were two of four distinguished panelists, which also included New Friends New Life’s Clinical Director Dr. HaeSung Han and activist and TCU professor Dr. Vanessa Bouché. Panelist remarks ensured an engaged audience. Other MAG members contributed to the successful evening by prominently and cheerfully sporting MAG’s No Harm Network lapel pins while serving as greeters prior to the program’s start. Professional photography was benevolently provided by Holt Haynsworth (MAG ’16) of Haynsworth Photography.
November 9th marked a new dining era for service delivery to the women who attend NFNL’s weekly Wednesday Night Program at the Preston Road Church of Christ. Eleven MAG men hosted the dinner event aimed at honoring NFNL’s women recovering from sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. The men provided a full service sit-down dinner themed “Celebrating You!” MAG men experienced joy and humility throughout the evening as they engaged the grateful and kind survivors.
All of the MAG men delivered meals to the tables. Bill Morse (MAG ’15) opened the evening with a thank you to the survivors and a brief history of MAG. MAG Board Chairman Chris Kleinert (MAG ’15) shared powerful words of encouragement and support giving assurance that MAG will be an ongoing source of advocacy. David Ball (MAG ’15) blessed the meal and the 3-course dinner service followed. MAG adorned each table with black and white linens and a specially-made fresh floral centerpiece donated by attending member Matt Brady (MAG ’15). Each dinner table came with two assigned MAG waiters who saw to the dining needs of each survivor. Other MAG men including Phil Campbell, Chris Johnson, Colby Langford, Mark Negri, Jerry Weete, Alan Wood and Scott Wright – all class of 2015 – combined to man the kitchen, maintain food and beverage coverage, table service and clean-up detail. Every MAG man was a full and active participant to ensure the premium service that only MAG can deliver.
While the hosting MAG men noted a few modest opportunities for process and service enhancements, they are both humbled and inspired to reiterate words spoken to survivors last Wednesday night: “we stand with you, for you and if necessary, in front of you.” MAG men were honored and moved by survivors’ appreciation. Two such examples are captured in Thank You cards to MAG: “A lot of thought… deserves much recognition. My heart is full” and “Feeling pretty blessed to be treated special tonight.”
In 2017, MAG men are scheduled to return and deliver more top notch culinary experiences on Feb 1, May 3, Aug 30, and Oct 25.
How you can help?
• If you are a MAG member, sign-up to serve on at least one of the four 2017 dates
• Identify a benefactor donor willing to donate all or a portion of the dinner meal
• Donate or arrange for a donor to underwrite small gifts for the survivors
Men's Advocacy Group (MAG) men gave their time and support in a myriad of ways during the last 30 days. Here’s a snapshot of some of the men’s contributions. Nearly 65% of the MAG is represented in the following list:
• (11) MAG men organized and served dinner to survivors on Nov 9. MAG’s manKINDness dinner was the first of its kind for the weekly Wednesday night program.
• (2) MAG Board men joined Rep. Tan Parker along with ranking local and state government and law enforcement officials in a NFNL-sponsored round-table discussion to identify new measures that combat sex trafficking through legislative action.
• (21) MAG men attended the Education Forum on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children at SMU on Oct 25 and filled major program roles including master of ceremony, program panelists, greeters and event photographer.
• (3) MAG men collaborated to host an interactive gathering of 15 young professionals at a MAG Board member's home to explore the ministry of giving and the fight against sex trafficking and exploitation.
• (1) MAG man expanded the growing MAG network by bringing a local business and MAG together. That business sponsored all food, beverages, and event ware at the Nov 9 Wednesday Dinner.
• (2) MAG Board men “talked” with (32) local high school student-athletes about the impact of words and actions that objectify and marginalize women.
• (3) MAG men met with Boy Scouts of America (BSA) leaders to continue developing plans to create a joint education and awareness initiative for scout-age boys and girls in the BSA organization.
• (2) MAG Board men met with Stemmons Corridor Business Association Board members to develop a concept around a 2017 event to bring together a large contingent of local businesses and marketing of MAG’s No Harm Network.
• (2) MAG men conducted a series of meetings with Letot Center’s superintendent to complete a needs assessment and a scope of support that MAG may provide to the boys at the Center while teaching respect of self and others.
• (2) MAG men partnered to complete a draft of the new Train-the-Trainer program for men who participate in the MAG Speakers’ Bureau.
New Friends New Life receives this question often – how can I identify or spot a victim of sex trafficking?
While there are various warning signs, each victim and each situation is different. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, age or socioeconomic status, can be a victim of sex trafficking. Below is a list of indicators that could be present if a person is being sexually trafficked:
• Physical abuse or malnutrition
• Unexplained appearances of expensive gifts
• Withdrawal from friends or family
• Persistent absence from school or job
• Unable to articulate a current address
• High security measures in work or living conditions
• Dialogue that signifies a controlling “boyfriend”
• Tattoos such as bar codes, dollar bills, or a man’s name
If you encounter a person that you suspect is being trafficked, the first thing to remember is to never try to rescue a suspected victim yourself. By trying to intervene, you could make the situation much worse.
If you suspect something is wrong, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.
Thursday, September 22nd is the day that North Texans get up to give and receive bonus funds to match donations! We're grateful for generous supporters, like you, who contribute to help advance the work we do. For the formerly trafficked teens and sexually exploited women that we serve, today is important. Not because it's North Texas Giving Day, but because it's another day of fighting to move beyond the past and courageously push forward into hope and restoration. It’s a day that may look something like this:
You’re a single mom who lacks marketable job skills. You’re ready to work hard to support your family, but the huge gap on your resume is hard to explain to local employers.
You’ve moved. A lot. And now you’re trying to find safe and affordable housing. You want to protect your children and put food on the table. But both require an income stream that you do not yet have.
A car payment is not in your budget right now and neither is car insurance, so you take public transportation. The bus schedule can be unreliable and the route reminds you of your past. You first met your trafficker at that exact bus stop when you were only 13 years old. His name is still emblazoned across your chest as a painful reminder of being branded as property.
You want to participate in therapy, in career development courses, in a Bible study. But those things require a bus pass and stable childcare. Things that aren’t readily available to you.
And maybe, just maybe, all of those things that were said to you for all of those years were actually true. Because making the decision to believe in yourself is hard. Believing that you have value and worth. Believing that you can step forward into a new, meaningful life with healthy relationships and a fulfilling career. It’s even harder when you lack a source of income.
So today, when you woke up, you weren’t thinking about North Texas Giving Day. You were deciding whether you could feed your children and push forward into recovery by leaning into New Friends New Life for support. And we’re so grateful that you chose New Friends New Life.
For the formerly trafficked teens and exploited women in our community, will you consider giving them one more day?
This summer the children in our program had the opportunity to attend summer camp with New Friends New Life. They learned about the Fruits of the Spirit and the characteristics of teamwork from Galatians 5:22. Additionally, they learned about feelings: what they are and the array emotions associated with each expression. They also learned how to identify their own feelings, feelings in others, and how to deal with those feelings in a healthy manner. Most importantly, they were able to have fun and just be kids. There were games of soccer, volleyball, basketball, go fish, blocks, and art projects galore.
Goldman Sachs and Encompass Home Health & Hospice employees joined us on our camp days as volunteers, which was an immense blessing to the kids and to New Friends New Life! The kids were excited to have these incredible, safe adults join in the activities and the adults were elated to jump right in and do everything the kids were doing. It’s incredible how a game of kick ball or a lunch discussion can promote so much good. We are grateful for the week of fun and blessings and for the support of our wonderful Goldman Sachs and Encompass Home Health & Hospice volunteers!
WiNGS, New Friends New Life, and Metrocrest Services recently completed an 18-month national demonstration project on building strategic partnerships and revealed their findings to foundation, nonprofit, and community leaders from across Dallas at an Aug. 9 forum.
Funded by JPMorgan Chase and implemented by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), the project focused on partnerships that integrate financial capability services among partner organizations. The participating nonprofits leveraged their choice of three prototype models – DIY (Do-It-Yourself), Partnership, or Referral – to integrate financial capacity offerings into their existing services.
“Financial well-being is often at the root of the challenges community organizations are working to address. We look forward to building on these findings to create effective partnerships that help families reach their goals,” says Jennifer M. Ware, WiNGS CEO. “Today’s Community Form is a call to action to look at new ways in which we work strategically to maximize both financial resources and client success.”
“By thinking deeply about our programs as real people experience them, we can design solutions that work for the people who need them most,” explained CFED President Andrea Levere. “WiNGS’ participation in the Community Financial Empowerment Learning Partnership is the perfect case in point. With strong partners at the table, their financial capability integration efforts reached nearly 4,000 people across the Dallas community.”
According to research by CFED, nearly 52% of households in Dallas lack sufficient liquid assets to subsist at the poverty level for three months should they suddenly lose their income.
“Regarding poverty, we are at a crisis in Dallas. We have to work together and deal with this systematically,” stated Regina Montoya, chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty.
Additionally, the demonstration project proved strategic partnerships among organizations can boost programmatic outcomes and maximize community and philanthropic resources that are focused on poverty. Top outcomes discovered include reduced duplication, enhanced financial capability service offerings, and a greater likelihood of success for clients.
“We were pleased to be part of this collaboration with WiNGS and Metrocrest. It is critical to share our learnings from this project with other community and nonprofit leaders who are making a real difference for the people they serve,” New Friends New Life CEO Katie Pedigo said. “New Friends New Life works to empower survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and we know how crippling financial insecurity can be for families. It’s imperative that we continue to leverage outcomes from this project to ensure organizations like ours are maximizing resources to drive meaningful change.”
New Friends New Life is pleased to announce Kelly Cruse has been promoted to Executive Director. In this role, she will oversee all operations of New Friends New Life. Kelly has been an integral part of the organization’s development for the last several years serving as Advancement Officer. Under her tenure, New Friends New Life has experienced record-breaking growth, including events that have surpassed all fundraising goals and strategic initiatives that have moved our advocacy platforms to new heights. She has been a passionate advocate for trafficked teen girls and sexually exploited women and their children, testifying before the Texas legislature and consistently identifying new means to serve our clients and their families.
Kelly is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. Prior to joining New Friends New Life, she served as the Assistant Director of Development at The Family Place in Dallas and spent 14 years at Southwest Airlines in various departments, including marketing, governmental affairs and human resources.
Kelly’s vast experience in the nonprofit community partnered with her corporate expertise is an excellent combination to help usher New Friends New Life into a new era. Her leadership within our organization and community will ensure New Friends New Life continues to impact those who need the support and services we provide.
In the fight against human trafficking, people often ask: What can I do? How can I help? One way anyone can help at anytime is to commit to praying for those affected by this horrific crime. In collaboration with KCBI, New Friends New Life staff created the below list of 9 different ways you can pray for human trafficking survivors.
New Friends New Life is honored to be a recipient of the KCBI Summer of Service program. Through this partnership, we are asking the community to consider writing letters and emails containing Words of Hope to formerly trafficked and exploited women who are incarcerated. This simple act not only shows our love for them, it shows the love of Jesus Christ, whose light overcomes all darkness.
Please send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to write a letter, please send it to Promotions, 90.9 KCBI, 750 N. St. Paul Street, Suite 1050, Dallas, Texas 75201.
God loves you so much. He sees you. He sees your pain, and He cares – more than you know. He wants to come to your rescue. He weeps with you, and only He can help you heal. God says this in the Bible in Isaiah 43, “But now, this is what the LORD says – He who created you … He who formed you: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.'” He also wants to take your pain and help you bear it. Peter urges you to “Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you.”
You are loved, and there is hope! He has a purpose for your life. God also says in the Bible, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me and I will listen to you.You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
I care, too. I am praying for you, that you’ll feel God’s love, His care and His peace, and that He will completely heal the pain of your past. I’m also praying that He’ll begin to show you His plans for you, little by little – plans that will be even better than you can ask or imagine.
Let me leave you with this again – you ARE loved and there IS hope.
God bless you.
New Friends New Life announces its annual Circle of Friends membership drive taking place throughout the month of June.
Circle of Friends memberships directly support programs for the 1,000 teen girls and women New Friends New Life serves annually. These essential resources, including access to education, job training, and financial assistance, help serve as the foundation toward building a life free from degradation and harm.
“It is a privilege that through my volunteer commitment with New Friends New Life, I can be part of the restoration and empowerment of girls who have been abused and sexually exploited right here in Dallas,” said Elizabeth Gambrell, president of the New Friends New Life Circle of Friends board. “Getting these precious lives on a road to self-sufficiency is critical. The staff at New Friends New Life is uniquely and spiritually qualified to meet these girls right where they need to be met.”
The Circle of Friends group supports the nonprofit’s mission through volunteerism, community awareness, and fundraising, and provides the Dallas community with the opportunity to join a movement that helps women and teen girls leave sex trafficking, overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, and poverty, and ultimately build better futures.
“Texas ranks second in the country for the most human trafficking, and there are an estimated 400 trafficked teens on the streets of Dallas each night,” explained New Friends New Life CEO Katie Pedigo. “This is a serious issue in Dallas that requires the community to stand with us to support these teen girls and women. With the help of our Circle of Friends members, our organization continues to make critical strides in ending this human rights epidemic and providing a more hopeful future to the women and girls who have been victims of degradation.”
In the last year, there has been incredible progress in our effort to empower and restore formerly trafficked girls and sexually exploited women and their children. Thank you to national, state, and local policymakers for authoring, introducing, and sponsoring legislation that protects victims of sex trafficking and exploitation. New Friends New Life was grateful for the opportunity to testify on behalf of these hidden victims.
To learn more, view the infographic below.
Internationally Known Attorney and Human Rights Activist Shares Nonprofit’s Passion to Protect Women and Children, Combat Human Trafficking and Provide Healing and Hope
Amal Clooney headlined the New Friends New Life 13th Annual WINGS Luncheon, raising critical funding to support victims of sex trafficking and commercial exploitation, on Thursday, April 14.
Multi-Emmy-award-winning journalist Shelly Slater of WFAA-TV, Channel 8, interviewed Clooney on stage at the luncheon, which featured an update on the work of the organization by New Friends New Life Chief Executive Officer Katie Pedigo. Luncheon Chair was The Honorable Jeanne Phillips and Honorary Co-Chairs were Laura Bush, Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Annette Simmons. Board Chair is Nancy Ann Hunt.
“As a human rights activist on a global scale, Amal Clooney is a strong voice to advocate against a crime that is happening in our own backyard,” said Jeanne Phillips. “The subject of sex trafficking was rarely spoken of just a few years ago, but thanks to the work of organizations like New Friends New Life and a community willing to step forward with funding, we are making huge strides to end human trafficking in Dallas and throughout Texas.”
WINGS speaker Amal Clooney’s accomplished career in the fields of international law and human rights has won her international acclaim. Her recent work as of 2015 has been in the field of advocating for the protection of women against physical and sexual violence in combat zones. This will be her first trip to Dallas and first time to speak in the United States.
“New Friends New Life is elated to bring Clooney to Dallas for so many reasons,” said New Friends New Life Chief Executive Officer Katie Pedigo. “She shares the organization’s passion to help women and children, and her perspective, insight and international acclaim, along with her wide appeal to the public, will help us create an even greater awareness of this worldwide epidemic. Without question, this will enable us to raise more dollars to combat human trafficking in the Dallas area and throughout our state and nation.”
New Friends New Life honored national, state, and local recipients of the organization’s ProtectHer Awards for their visionary guidance and leadership in protecting the rights of women and girls: U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representative Ted Poe; The 2015 Texas Legislative Session; and Playground Youth Curriculum.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, served as sponsors of a bill – The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, signed into law on May 29, 2015, to improve law enforcement’s ability to target traffickers and buyers and protect and expand the rights of trafficking victims.
The 2015 Texas Legislative Session’s award will be accepted by Rep. Tan Parker – District 63 and Rep. Morgan Meyer – District 108. With Texas ranking second in the U.S. for calls to the human trafficking hotline, New Friends New Life testified on behalf of the women and girls of Texas, and policy makers passed 20 bills to help Texas move towards a “no tolerance zone” for traffickers and exploiters. Playground Youth Curriculum impacts the lives of young girls by educating them and empowering them with the language, skills and resources they need to protect themselves and their peers from sexual exploitation and trafficking. New Friends New Life was honored to serve as the curriculum’s facilitators in Dallas area schools this past fall.
Sponsors included: Speaker Sponsors: Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt; $50,000: Betsy and Jim Sowell; $25,000: Anonymous; April and Mark Anthony; Gene Jones; Ashlee and Chris Kleinert; Pat and Richard Lawson; The David B. Miller Family Foundation; Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation; Rowling Foundation; Pat and Pete Schenkel; Tolleson Wealth Management; and Lisa and Kenny Troutt; $10,000: Ruth Altshuler; Lana and Barry Andrews; Martha Lou and Dan Beaird; Nancy and Randy Best; Elizabeth Carlock Phillips and Laura Barker Carlock; Nancy Carter; Lisa and Clay Cooley; Lydia and Bill Addy, Kathy Crow and K.J. Murphy; The Dallas Morning News; The Robert H. Dedman Family; Tammy Ellis; Encompass Home Health & Hospice; FC Dallas & Model Behaviors; The Hoglund Foundation; Aliya Khatri/The Tabani Family Foundation; Joyce Lacerte; Pat McEvoy, Shelle Sills and Friends; Linda B. McFarland and Mary M. Jalonick; Natalie and Mike McGuire; Ellen and John McStay; Methodist Health System Foundation; Justine and Mike Mullen; Sandy Nachman; Alice and Erle Nye; Katie and Bret Pedigo; Margot Perot; Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr.; The Honorable Jeanne Phillips and Maggie Phillips; PlainsCapital Bank; Gayla Plunkett; Sharon Popham, Kathy Helm and Rouse Family Foundation; Sabre; Annette Simmons; Marianne Staubach; Susan Wayne Strauss Charitable Foundation; Jennifer Coleman Stribling; Betty and Steve Suellentrop; Dr. Melissa D. Tonn; and Gail and Gerald Turner. Media Sponsors were D Magazine and WFAA.
New Friends New Life announces the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors. Joining the existing board are: Ashlee Kleinert, owner of Ruthie’s Rolling Café and co-founder of Executives in Action, and Jennifer Garberding, community advocate and former financial auditor at a major accounting firm.
The New Friends New Life Board of Directors works in collaboration with the nonprofit’s staff to make important decisions on the strategic direction of the organization, including determining how to leverage existing resources and identify new opportunities to help trafficked women and teen girls build new lives.
Other members of New Friends New Life’s Board of Directors include: Robin Bagwell; Nancy Best; Nancy Ann Hunt, Chair; Patty Langdale; Patricia LaSalle; Pat Lawson; Wendy Messmann; Deb Outlaw; Pat Schenkel; Paula Stein; Lisa Troutt; and Gail Turner.
“Our organization is truly privileged to benefit from the support of key business and community leaders in Dallas who are members of our Board of Directors,” said Chief Executive Officer Katie Pedigo. “We are pleased to welcome Ashlee and Jennifer to our board and are grateful for the investment of their time and resources as we diligently work together to end human trafficking in North Texas.”
Additionally, New Friends New Life announces Dr. HaeSung Han as its clinical director. In this role, Han oversees the counseling program, the women’s program, the children and youth program, the spiritual support program, as well as the survivor leaders circle.
Dr. Han is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (Texas and New York) and a Board Certified, Nationally Registered Art Therapist. She received her master’s and doctoral degree in clinical psychology from George Washington University and also received a master’s degree in art therapy from New York University. Han completed two post-graduate certificate programs: one in international trauma studies from Columbia University and the other in civil and criminal forensic psychology from Montclair State University. Most recently, she served as the clinical coordinator of Letot Girls’ Residential Center in Dallas, developing the treatment program for post-adjudicated adolescent girls exposed to trauma and sexual exploitation.
“Dr. Han has spent her career working with children, adolescents, and adults exposed to complex trauma, including domestic violence, child maltreatment, and sexual exploitation,” said Pedigo. “Her extensive experience aligns perfectly with our organization and will help enhance our programs, which ultimately benefits the teen girls, women and children we serve.”
On Wednesday, Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Dallas City Council will vote on whether to ink an agreement with the organizers of a pornography expo in the City-owned Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas later this year. This “expo” is arguably little more than a traveling strip club, adult book store, and promoter of the sex trade.
We urge the Mayor and City Council to enforce Chapter 41A of the City Code, which prohibits sexually oriented commercial enterprises from operating within 1,000 feet of public parks, schools, churches, and residential and historical districts. Since the Convention Center is within 1,000 feet of numerous public parks, churches, child care facilities, and other sites that are off limits to all sexually oriented businesses, it is clear that to permit a pornography expo at the Convention Center would violate Chapter 41A on its face.
Wednesday’s vote is a chance for the Mayor and the City Council to uphold the integrity of its City Code. In crafting Chapter 41A of City Code, the City has already done the hard work of prudently balancing the welfare of the citizens with the First Amendment rights of sexually oriented business owners. Furthermore, there are other available venues in the City of Dallas to conduct a pornography expo without violating Chapter 41A. As Chapter 41A contemplates, a pornography expo should not be conducted in our City-owned, taxpayer-funded Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in the heart of downtown Dallas.
What kind of a city do we want to be? One that is afraid to enforce its own laws that by their own terms are designed to “promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the citizens of Dallas?” The answer obviously is no.
We, as citizens of Dallas, must stand up to support our Mayor and the City Council in having the courage to do the right thing by enforcing Chapter 41A and thereby not profiting from pornography at our Convention Center. We must maintain the integrity of our City Code as written and thereby the integrity of our City.
You can voice your support by:
- Attending the City Council meeting in the Council Chambers, 6th floor, City Hall 1500 Marilla, Dallas, TX 75201 at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10
- Contacting your Councilmember. Find out the name of your representative and your voting district by calling the City Secretary’s Office - 214-670-3738 or by visiting http://dallascityhall.com/government/Pages/contact_mcc.aspx
National Human Trafficking Prevention Month is over, but the movement to educate parents and youth about the dangers and red flags of human trafficking must continue throughout the year, every year. Information is the key to protecting our children. The below infographic lists important ways parents can prevent and identify human trafficking.
This January marks Texas’s first human trafficking prevention month officially mandated by state law. Thanks to bill authors Representatives Tan Parker, Morgan Meyer and John Frullo, Texas House Bill 2290 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 17, 2015. This important bill increases education and awareness of this horrific crime in Texas, which ranks second in the country for the most calls to the human trafficking hotline. New Friends New Life is grateful for the opportunity to have worked with policymakers and community advocates who are willing to stand up and give a voice to the voiceless.