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H3757 The Next Step!

April 4, 2012
trafficking in south carolina
Dear Advocates,
Last Thursday went by so fast!  If any of you watched the proceedings in the House, you might have asked, as I did, “What happened?!”  Indeed, some of you called and sent emails asking that question.
Our bill’s champion, Rep. Nelson Hardwick, called during the proceedings, to let us know that the House applied the 24-hr Rule to HB 3757, and went on a two-week break, and that’s a good thing.
For you who have gone through the legislative process, you are shaking your heads with “right!”  Every step is a learning moment. Since Thursday, I’ve been inquiring about that rule, and how best we can use this time before the House reconvenes on Tuesday, April 17, at Noon. Rep. Hardwick is right. This action gives us time to educate and advocate, and to engage more citizens across this State.  You can find the bill listed on the House Calendar, for April 17, Page 10, on www.scstatehouse.gov   The session will start at Noon.
We have two weeks to engage our friends, neighbors, colleagues, local politicians (for example, City Council Presidents and City Mayors), Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, Firefighter Chiefs, and anyone we encounter, to call or visit their respective Representative in person.
What do we need to do?  We need at least one constituent from each district to talk with that district’s Representative directly, and to ask if he or she will support H.3757-Human Trafficking. These calls can be used not only for advocacy but also to continue to educate our legislators about human trafficking.
Call me or email me, if you need more information. The Lobby Day information is good to use for talking points. More will be forthcoming. Let me know if you have more ideas about how to reach the citizens of this state. As another advocate said:  “Emails, phone calls, petitions, victim stories, stats, blogs, tweets, news articles, letters to the Editor, Op Eds (especially by a Mayor or University President or Hospital President), Facebook…whatever people comfortable with …”
Some of our advocates are holding an all day Freedom Day event at College of Charleston on Saturday, April 14. Others are pulling together PSAs placed on YouTube. Others will be distributing flyers all over their counties. Others will hold film screenings at their university, such as Pee Dee Coalition & Francis Marion University on April 17.  I will be one of five panelists at a discussion on leadership, economic development and human trafficking at The Leadership Institute, Columbia College, on April 9, preceding the presentation by S. WuDunn, co-author of Half the Sky, at University of South Carolina, Grambrell Hall, on April 11.
Most important is the direct person-to-person talk with each SC Representative by a constituent. This is a time of renewal. Keep the faces and voices of victims of human trafficking in mind, so that no other person will ever experience this horrendous, egregious — I can’t find the word for it — crime ever, ever again. No more. No more buying and selling of people and no making money from the buying and selling of people — our daughters, sons, husbands, nieces, friends — boys, girls, women and men. No More.
Yours,
Betty
What is more just than the justice of freedom?
Betty J. Houbion
843.357.7010  [H]
847.373.4158  [C]
South Carolina
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