Thursday, February 14, 2008


United Women’s Forum Meeting – Minutes, Feb 13, 2008

Debra Poulsen welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the program.

Invocation was offered by Erin Perkins
Pledge of Allegiance led by Linda Hess

Debra reaffirmed the intent of UWF is to capture the “spirit of liberty which our Founding Fathers had.” She reminded us to check out the websites of Family Research Council and United Families, Community for Decency, and Lighted Candle Society. She encouraged us to “get up, put on our armor and get going!”

Debra introduced Lauralee Christensen who gave a brief presentation about the governing principles of the Constitution. Lauralee taught a principle from a book which was written by Cleon Skousen titled: The 5000 Year Leap – A Miracle That Changed the World. Principle #2, which she discussed, states that a free people must remain virtuous and morally strong to survive in a republican culture. She reminded us that the Founding Fathers began a moral revolution against arrogant views of wealth, leisure and waste which they saw in England. They saw that to have public virtue, people must stand on principle. Their efforts led to the Constitutional Convention and our guiding freedom documents. Principle #3 will be discussed next month and it is about electing virtuous leaders.

Kris Kimball shared her experience of working with the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney. She said that it was wonderful to learn how one person could make a difference. Kris included her children with the volunteer efforts and they enjoyed the experience too. They learned “how” to participate in an election and how a caucus works. Everyone contributed and did a lot of phoning to states which were having Primary elections.

Laura Bunker shared with us a “Letter to the Editor” which she has written to voice her personal concern for the Alcohol Variance which has been granted in Bountiful to El Matador Restaurant. Though the variance has been granted, it application is not yet complete. After the restaurant makes the legal application, there will be another public hearing where the public is invited to attend to make their feelings known. Laura stressed that she feels this is the first Variance given and opens the door to others in our city and state. It sets a precedent and would negatively impact the health, peace, safety and well being of our community. Watch for an email notice of the upcoming hearing and plan to attend. Attendance sends a message to our city council that we will not tolerate this variance acception.

Laura also encouraged us to contact our legislators to oppose the Salt Lake Registry (HB 267) – which registers domestic partners. This bill opens the door for alternative marriages? The Salt Lake City domestic partner registry was passed unanimously by the SL City Council. It gives a measure of legal recognition to domestic partners and cohabiting couples in Salt Lake City . At the very least, the registry sends an incorrect message that alternative relationships are good for society, and at most it could be in violation of the Utah Marriage Amendment.
SB267 prohibits cities from establishing domestic partner registries, and preserves the standing of marriage between a man and a woman as the only legally recognized partner-relationship in Utah .

Celestia Himstreet introduced us to the Bountiful opinion poll and results to determine if the residents of Bountiful are in favor of curbside recycling. She stated that Bountiful was the first city in Utah to have a recycling program and that it is estimated that Bountiful’s landfill has capacity for approximately the next 50 more years. What then? Why not extend it longer than that? Why fill our landfill with compostable and recyclable materials? We need to be better stewards of our land(fill) to make sure it lasts a lot longer than that. Bountiful garbage rates are close to half of what they are in all other Davis communities because we have a valuable asset in our landfill. Other cities in Davis County have to send their trash to a Burn Facility making their rates almost twice what we pay in Bountiful. We probably only have 5% of our community recycling. Currently, Bountiful has bins for residents to take their materials to recycle at the Streets Department 950 S. 200 W. Studies have shown that city wide curbside recycling programs increase the recycling activity of a community, and according to the EPA green waste represents up to 43% of the waste stream, which may be a good place to start when trying to reduce waste stream for community. Bountiful City has a website where we can still vote about a current proposal but there is still more we could do to change the proposal such as using current funds that are used for Bountiful Beautification projects. Go to: Look in the upper left hand corner to vote to have curbside recycling.

Adrian Buckley addressed us about community pornography issues and fighting decency in our community. She said that “to keep quiet is to *approve* and that we define our community by our tolerance.” We should voice our displeasure of pornography on all fronts. Adrian told us that Gov. Huntsman declared February as “White Ribbon Month” in the collective fight in our state against pornography. So far, no one in Bountiful has supported this effort on a group basis but she said that there is still time for us to sign a proclamation voicing our support for the effort against pornography. She will forward us an email with the proclamation to sign.

Debra introduced our guest speaker Davis County Attorney, Troy Rawlings. She said that Troy began his career wanting to be a Defense Attorney but changed his mind when he worked in the system for 5 years. He is now a Prosecuting Attorney and feels like he is contributing more to our society by doing justice to protect our communities from those who are criminals, sexual predators, or law breakers of any kind. He keeps a heavy and active case load.

Troy began his remarks by telling us that over the past 24 hours, he had taken a lot of heat with his aggressive efforts in obtaining a search warrant for the Layton store – Spencer’s. He said that we would be appalled to know of the obscene and pornographic things that were seized at the store which were openly displayed and available for purchase to minors. He has had mixed reaction from the community that his actions were improper. He is concerned about the affect he sees of this type of influence (pornography) in such other crimes as domestic violence and sexual abuse. His experience has taught him that pornography, drugs and alcohol contribute greatly to domestic violence - which destroys men, women and children both physically and psychologically. He stated that “love is replaced with lust and people are desensitized with pornography. This is an uphill battle.”

The subject of his talk was “Hope for America” and he told us that WE are the hope for America. “We were all created equally by a Creator. He gave us time and agency as well as a framework for freedom in the Constitution. We must make daily decisions which will maintain our freedoms.” Troy taught the New Testament story of Mary and Martha who were hosting Jesus at their home. Martha was busy preparing for the visit and Mary was sitting with the Savior – visiting and learning from him. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better part and that Martha was busy with things that didn’t matter. We need to keep that example in mind and choose the “better part” when we decide when and how to be involved with preserving our freedoms.

Troy told us that we all have many rights such as: right to vote, to worship, to assemble, to have due process, to protest, to communicate freely, etc. To be effective, we must have integrity and be a moral people – just like we were taught earlier from Lauralee Christensen. This responsibility includes electing officials that reflect our lifestyle, getting judges and legislators, city council and school boards who are honest and moral people, who also carry the banner and hope for America. He reminded us that we have a Utah State Constitution which we are responsible for as well as our federal Constitution. We must be accountable for the abuse of these rights.

We should be aware of laws such as Free Speech Coalition vs. Ashcroft which struck down the Supreme Court argument to protect children from pornography. This law says that child pornography is protected by free speech. We have to become involved to protect our children and our free society from evils which will be destructive.

There are many issues to deal with here in Davis County such as drugs, domestic violence, and pornographic text photos of juveniles – by juveniles – spreading around the community. Youth are becoming desensitized and have a lack of judgment. We must teach standards in the home,” Troy stated.

Troy said that he always appreciates public support and feedback. He is happy to receive email or phone calls. His contact information is: The County Attorney's office is located at 800 S. State, Farmington, Utah 84025. The phone number for his office is 451-4300.

We all appreciated the very motivating and educational talk by Troy Rawlings and the UWF women who participated at our well attended meeting.

Closing prayer was offered by Jill Taylor and refreshments were served by Marva Lyman.

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