SPAC works continuously on many issues. Our current priorities are:
Human Trafficking, the Environment, Cord Blood Donations, Childhood Nutrition and Fitness, Foster Care and Violence Against Women.
SPAC has for many years been concerned about human trafficking in New Jersey as it is a portal state for traffickers. Since 2009, we have held multiple conferences dedicated to the issue as it affects New Jersey. SPAC is focused on prevention, protection, prosecution (of johns) and partnership. Those interested in finding out more information on advocacy actions please click here or use the contact us page, Junior League members should contact their SPAC Delegate.
SPAC's Environment Task Force is examining ways to ensure that our kids are not exposed to harmful pesticides as they play. (Resources - Safe Playing Fields Town Resolution, Safe Playing Fields Position Paper and Legislative Testimony)
Cord Blood Donations
In 2005, NJ was the first to create a statewide, publicly funded umbilical cord blood bank. Cord blood stem cells treat several cancers, sickle cell anemia and immune disorders. 2007 legislation requires healthcare providers to inform pregnant patients about life-saving donations to the NJ Cord Blood Bank. SPAC is working to improve the implementation of this law. SPAC also supports efforts to improve the funding stream to this life-saving organization.
Childhood Nutrition and Fitness
SPAC was successful in its efforts to get signed into law AR71 designating March as Childhood Obesity Prevention Month in New Jersey. We highlighted this new legislation with a "Kids' Iron Chef" event in Plainfield in March 2010. The event was emceed by one of the bill's sponsors, Assemblywoman Connie Wagner. The Junior League has been tackling this issue for many years throughout the country through the "Kids in the Kitchen" program. Click on the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) link at the bottom of this page for more information.
Trying to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity is a major focus for SPAC, and we work on any legislation that will increase our kids nutrition awareness and physical fitness levels.
Decades ago, SPAC was instrumental in getting the Child Placement Review Act 1978 passed. Since then former SPAC members and Junior League members have served thousands of hours on Child Placement Review Boards. These volunteer boards are so thorough and examine all sides of a child's case before recommending placement, that they have prevented kids falling through the cracks in the system and in many cases prevented abuse, even saved lives. We are working today to ensure our kids are still properly helped by these extraordinary boards of caring and dedicated volunteers.
SPAC continues to monitor the effects of the reform of the Division of Youth & Family Services (DYFS) on the quality of foster care.
Violence Agains Women
Combating violence against women has been a long-held position of SPAC. We support legislation that seeks to assist victims of domestic violence in escaping dangerous situations, and assist them in finding work and keeping their jobs as a means of gaining economic freedom, which often means real freedom from their abusers.