NYC Planning Meeting Report

Many people braved extreme blizzard conditions this past Sunday and Monday to attend our planning sessions at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan behind a national parenting convention. A former judge and his wife from North Carolina managed to make it on one of the last incoming flights. A lawyer got there by ferry and subway from Staten Island. A consultant resorted to rail service from Boston. A couple walked in from their nearby home off Central Park. A father’s rights advocate arrived two hours late, but was able to catch up with discourse already underway in the Oak Room. A woman family advocate predicted a turnout of 200 had it not been for the weather. Given what I’ve experienced in Syracuse, I could not disagree. When the evening session finally ended, Heather and I took advantage of a rare “winter wonderland” during a midnight walk to a nearby jazz club while exchanging pleasant greetings with numerous couples. Admittedly, I expected no one for either session, but they kept coming the next day. Two drove in from Westchester after it all ended. We agreed to stay an extra day to meet latecomers on a private basis in midtown cafes and restaurants. Many phoned in their regrets and asked for a rescheduled session. But after much thought, I decided to engage in one-on-one dialogue by telephone in coming weeks before completing a report for all to view.

A convention in metro Philadelphia sometime in early spring remains a priority, with delegates and advocates from groups and states around the country. The ultimate goal is a profound rally in Washington D.C. this June to limit government abuse in private childrearing affairs. I’ve heard the war stories, so many common themes, and we are all in this together, for the sake of future generations if nothing else. But our individual petitions are falling on deaf ears because we have not made ourselves known where it counts the most: the nation’s capital. These blog sites and scattered group efforts are being overwhelmed by money and politics. Nevertheless, if you can spend thousands of dollars on useless lawyers, you can surely support our cause. It will take money and sacrifice, like it or not. Think of it as a replay of events in 1776 or 1787, the Liberty Bell and Gettysburg nearby, and an investment in the most profound human right ever known to mankind: the parent-child relationship. This is our year. It’s our time. We can afford to wait no longer. If any of you wonder how I can make so bold a statement after sacrificing a lucrative and prominent career for this cause, it is enhanced by your own inter-personal inspirations. Today I received a one liner that made my day. I will share it with you: “You are a remarkable man!! Although I am a woman, your fight and love for your children are touching.” This first time e-mailer stated nothing else. She did not have to. Please pass this on to others. Thank you all from the heart. Happy New Year!

Leon R. Koziol, J.D.

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