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Dennis Kucinich on Families & Children

Democratic Representative (OH-10)


Teach principles of compassion to reduce domestic violence

A Kucinich administration would take that principle of peace into the domestic life of our nation, through creating a Cabinet-level Department of Peace and Non-Violence, which for the first time will address the issues in an organized way, address the national issues of domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, violence in the schools.

The time to deal with domestic violence--a little bit late when you’re in an emergency room or worse or in a courtroom--the time to deal with domestic violence is through educating our children principles of compassion, of recognizing that the other person is an aspect of oneself. It’s taking the concept of, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, to another level, where we see, that other person is an aspect of ourselves.

This is not simply a political matter; this is a spiritual principle which we bring into the operation of our country--making non-violence an organizing principle in our society.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference , Jun 20, 2007

Dept. of Peace should address all forms of violence

Citizens across the United States are now uniting in a great cause to establish a Department of Peace. The Department of Peace would address violence in the home, spousal abuse, child abuse, gangs, police-community relations conflicts and work with individuals and groups to achieve changes in attitudes that examine the mythologies of cherished world views, such as ‘violence is inevitable’ or ‘war is inevitable’.
Source: 2004 House campaign website, Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” , Aug 1, 2003

Dept. of Peace would address violence at home

Citizens across the US are now uniting in a great cause to establish a Department of Peace, seeking nothing less than the transformation of our society, to make nonviolence an organizing principle, to make war archaic through creating a paradigm shift in our culture for human development, for economic and political justice, and for violence control.

Domestically, the Department of Peace would address violence in the home, spousal abuse, child abuse, gangs, and police-community relations conflicts, and work with individuals and groups to achieve changes in attitudes that examine the mythologies of cherished world views, such as “violence is inevitable.”

The Department of Peace will also address human development and the unique concerns of women and children. It will envision and seek to implement plans for peace education, not simply as a course of study, but as a template for all pursuits of knowledge within formal educational settings.

Source: Peace Institute Conference, in Prayer for America, p. 70-71 , Jun 9, 2002

Voted YES on four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.

Congressional Summary:Allows federal employees to substitute any available paid leave for any leave without pay available for either the: (1) birth of a child; or (2) placement of a child with the employee for either adoption or foster care. Makes available for any of the 12 weeks of leave an employee is entitled to for such purposes: (1) four administrative weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth or placement involved; and (2) any accumulated annual or sick leave.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:

Rep. STEVE LYNCH (D, MA-9): This bill takes an important step toward improving the Federal Government's ability to recruit and retain a highly qualified workforce by providing paid parental leave to Federal and Congressional employees for the birth, adoption or placement of a child for foster care, which is a benefit that is extended to many in the private sector in other industrialized countries.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. DARRELL ISSA (R, CA-49): This bill sends the wrong message at the wrong time to working American taxpayers and families that are struggling in difficult times. Our economy is in crisis, and deficits are already soaring. This bill does not have one provision to say if you make $170,000 a year, why do we have to give you this benefit, because you have to choose between feeding your children and being with your children? Certainly not. There are no protections against, in fact, those who do not need this special benefit getting it. There are no safeguards at all. As a matter of fact, this bill envisions the $1 billion over 5 years, swelling to $4 billion over 10 years or more because, in fact, they believe it should be 8 weeks of special leave. Federal employees enjoy one of the highest levels of job security, without a doubt, anywhere in the United States. I would venture to say many of them the highest. More importantly, in good times and bad, they keep their jobs.

Reference: Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act; Bill H.R.626 ; vote number 2009-H310 on Jun 4, 2009

Voted NO on establishing nationwide AMBER alert system for missing kids.

Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would assign a national coordinator for AMBER alerts. AMBER alerts is an alert system for missing children, make available additional protections for children and set stricter punishments for sex offenders. Two-time child sex offenders would be subjected to mandatory life sentence. The measure would make it a crime to pander visual illustrations of children as child pornography. It would increase maximum sentences for a number of specified crimes against children. It would also make it a crime to take a trip to foreign countries and engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. It also would enlarge law enforcement's wiretap and electronic surveillance abilities in investigations of child pornography.
Reference: Child Abduction Prevention Act; Bill S 151 ; vote number 2003-127 on Apr 10, 2003

Voted NO on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years.

Vote to pass a bill that would reduce taxes for married people by $399.2 billion over 10 years by doubling the couples' deduction and the child tax credit. Among other provisions, the bill would allow married couples filing jointly to claim a standard deduction equal to the deduction they would receive filing singly.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Weller, R-IL; Bill HR 6 ; vote number 2001-75 on Mar 29, 2001

Rated 25% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-Family-Value voting record.

Kucinich scores 25% by the Christian Coalition on family issues

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.

    Our Five-Fold Mission:
  1. Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
  2. Speak out in the public arena and in the media
  3. Train leaders for effective social and political action
  4. Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
  5. Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003

Ban high lead levels in children's toys.

Kucinich co-sponsored banning high lead levels in children's toys

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to classify certain children's products containing lead to be banned hazardous substances.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. OBAMA: The unfortunate reality for many children--particularly in low-income and minority households--is the continued presence of high blood lead levels. Lead is a highly toxic substance that can produce a range of health problems in young children, including IQ deficiencies, hyperactivity, and damage to the kidneys, brain and bone marrow.

We know that lead poisoning is completely preventable. As the Nation has increased efforts to reduce environmental lead exposure, the number of children with high blood levels has steadily dropped. Restricting lead in gasoline and paint represent two major accomplishments in this regard. But much work remains to be done.

Disturbingly, lead is present in a number of toys and other frequently used objects by young children. About half of tested lunch boxes have unsafe levels of lead. In 2004, there were 3 recalls of nearly 150 million pieces of toy jewelry because of toxic levels of lead. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission has dragged its feet in aggressively addressing the problem of lead in toys.

It's a national disgrace that toys that could pose a serious and significant danger to children are readily available in our department stores and markets. The Lead Free Toys Act of 2005 will help us keep our children safe and healthy, and contribute to national efforts to reduce lead exposure.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; never came to a vote.

Source: Lead Free Toys Act (S.2048/H.R.668) 05-S2048 on Nov 17, 2005

Call for a White House Conference on Children and Youth.

Kucinich co-sponsored calling for a White House Conference on Children and Youth

The White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act - Directs the President to call a White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 to: (1) encourage improvements in each state and local child welfare system; and (2) develop recommendations for actions to implement express policy regarding federal, state, and local programs. The Congress finds the following:

  1. In 2005 there were over 3,000,000 reports of child abuse and neglect, and only 60% of the children from the substantiated reports received follow-up services and 20% were placed in foster care as a result of an investigation.
  2. Almost 500,000 children and youth were in foster care at the end of 2004 and nearly 800,000 spent at least some time in foster care throughout the year.
  3. There is an over-representation of certain populations, including Native Americans and African-Americans, in the child welfare system.
  4. The State courts make key decisions in the lives of children involved in the child welfare system, including decisions of whether children have been victims of child abuse, whether parental rights should be terminated, and whether children should be reunified with their families, adopted, or placed in other settings.
Source: Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act (S2771/HR5461) 08-S2771 on Mar 13, 2008

Sex Ed including both abstinence and contraception.

Kucinich signed H.R.1551&S.611

Authorizes grants to states for sex education programs, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Expresses the sense of Congress that states are encouraged, although not required, to provide matching funds to receive such grants.

Requires the Secretary to provide for a national evaluation of a representative sample of such programs for effectiveness in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse and other high-risk behaviors, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and increasing contraceptive knowledge and behavior. Requires states receiving such grants to provide for an individual evaluation of the state's program by an external, independent entity.

Source: Responsible Education About Life Act 09-HR1551 on Mar 17, 2009

Teach teens about both abstinence & contraception.

Kucinich signed Responsible Education About Life Act

    To provide for the reduction of adolescent pregnancy, HIV rates, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Congress finds as follows:
  1. Leading public health organizations stress the need for sexuality education that includes messages about abstinence and contraception.
  2. A 2005 statement [to Congress] urged that 'Sexuality education should be non-judgmental & support parent-child communication & should not impose religious or ideological viewpoints upon students.'
  3. [A Congressionally-sponsored] 2006 position paper that 'Efforts to promote abstinence should include information about concepts of healthy sexuality, sexual orientation & tolerance, personal responsibility, risks of HIV, access to reproductive health care, and benefits & risks of condoms & other contraceptive methods.'
  4. 8 in 10 Americans believe that sex education should promote abstinence and provide information about the effectiveness & benefits of contraception.
  5. There is strong evidence that more comprehensive sex education can effectively help young people delay sexual initiation, even as it increases contraceptive use among sexually active youth.
  6. There is no evidence that federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are effective in stopping or delaying teen sex.
  7. Most young people have sex for the first time at about age 17, but do not marry until their late 20s. Hence young adults are at risk of unwanted pregnancy & STDs for nearly a decade.

Source: S.611&HR1551 2009-S611 on Mar 17, 2009

Fund 2,500 Boys and Girls Clubs in underserved areas.

Kucinich co-sponsored a Bill to open 2,500 Boys and Girls Clubs

Amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to make grants to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to establish and extend club facilities where needed, with particular emphasis on establishing clubs in and extending services to public housing projects and distressed areas. Redefines the term "distressed area" to include an Indian reservation with a population of high risk youth of sufficient size to warrant the establishment of a BGCA. Earmarks specified funds to provide a grant to BGCA for administrative, travel, and other costs associated with a national role-model speaking tour program.

Corresponding House bill is H.R.1753. Became Public Law No: 105-133.

Source: Bill sponsored by 10 Senators and 24 Reps 97-S476 on Mar 19, 1997

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Families & Children: Dennis Kucinich on other issues:
OH Gubernatorial:
John Kasich
OH Senatorial:
Josh Mandel
Michael Pryce
Rob Portman
Sherrod Brown

Retiring to run for other office:

Running for President:
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)

Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)

Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-1:Jay Inslee(D)

Running for Senate:
AZ-6:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
FL-14:Connie Mack(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
NY-9:Bob Turner(R)
WI-2:Tammy Baldwin(D)
Lost Primary 2012:
IL-16:Donald Manzullo(R)
NJ-9:Steven Rothman(D)
OH-2:Jean Schmidt(R)
OH-9:Dennis Kucinich(D)
PA-4:Jason Altmire(D)
PA-17:Tim Holden(D)
TX-16:Silvestre Reyes(D)

Retiring 2012:
AR-4:Mike Ross(D)
AZ-8:Gabby Giffords(D)
CA-2:Wally Herger(R)
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
CA-18:Dennis Cardoza(R)
CA-24:Elton Gallegly(D)
CA-26:David Dreier(R)
CA-41:Jerry Lewis(R)
IL-12:Jerry Costello(D)
IL-15:Timothy Johnson(R)
IN-5:Dan Burton(R)
KY-4:Geoff Davis(R)
MA-1:John Olver(D)
MA-4:Barney Frank(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
NC-9:Sue Myrick(R)
NC-11:Heath Shuler(D)
NC-13:Brad Miller(D)
NY-5:Gary Ackerman(D)
NY-10:Ed Towns(D)
NY-22:Maurice Hinchey(D)
OH-7:Steve Austria(R)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
PA-19:Todd Platts(R)
TX-20:Charles Gonzalez(D)
WA-6:Norm Dicks(D)
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Page last updated: Jun 10, 2012