Monday, November 23, 2009

They're Baaaack!!!

The last word from CARE was a poison-pen memo from Executive Director Stephanie Williams, dated May 18th, blaming the failure of AB 372 on others, sort of a prequel to "Going Rogue". The CARE website has been deader than a door nail since then, the last update was a announcement for the hearing date at the House Appropriations Committee in May, the hearing at which AB 372 was quietly slipped into the suspense file.

CARE was never particular interested in keeping California adoptees abreast of its activities, that's where I came in. And here I go again. The AAC is bringing its annual conference to Sacramento next March, and plans to kick it off with a reception with Assm. Fiona Ma and a walk, "time permitting", to the Capitol... This will be followed by a keynote by Jean Strauss and they'll show her film. The "time permitting" is a nice trope, an action as a throw-away... It's this sort of support that's the reason I'll never, ever, become a member of the American Adoption Congress. Let's just say that if you're in a foxhole and the shells are falling all around, you can count on the AAC to have your back, "time permitting"...

Now, I haven't gone to a lot of AAC conferences, but I've gone to enough of them to know how they operate. In 2008 they held their conference in Portland, OR, with a theme celebrating the 10th anniversary of Measure 58 (the successful ballot measure that affirmed the right of adult adoptees to access their original birth certificates). So far, so good. However they scheduled the panel workshop on M58 on late Saturday afternoon, the last day of the conference, when half the attendees were heading for the airport. The panel was scheduled at the same time as my workshop on LDAs and Fred Greenman's (the person in the AAC who had the most direct role in M 58's success) panel on birth fathers. They celebrated M58 by burying it and excluded persons with a direct role in its passage. Oh, and Helen Hill, the chief petitioner, the person who devoted time and treasure to M58? The AAC said they couldn't locate her. Bastardette bumped into her on a Portland streetcar the day before the conference and told her about the conference. An organization filled with search angels couldn't be bothered...

Next year they are "celebrating" CARE and AB 372 by scheduling a reception with Fiona Ma on Thursday afternoon, when the bulk of the attendees will be checking into their rooms at the Sheraton. This is what is known as "damning with faint praise".

The adoptee who forwarded me the announcement was alarmed by the vision of several hundred AAC activists marching to the legislature demanding passage of AB 372. The way the event is scheduled guarantees that it will get a light turnout. AAC conferences, which are top heavy with adoption professionals and wannabes, are not exactly hotbeds of activism. There are few things more dampening to direct action than an AAC conference, because they don't want to UPSET ANYONE!

I've been asked if I'm going to attend. I might, just to keep them honest. I'll be the one on top of a table, spitting venom and wearing a "AAC doesn't speak for me" T-shirt...

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Blogger Marley Greiner said...

At first I was lame enough to think they were being disingenuous, but Ron me straight at once. Duh? They aren't clever enough.

The M58 workshop was fair enough, but hardly anyone attended since every was why did they chose M58 to "memorialize" then shuttle it to the back of the bus when it should have the centerpiece and a keynote. Maybe because AAC condemned the effort and sent only $100 in support.

1:03 PM  

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