Family Friendly Jury Duty Bill - Michigan - Yahoo Group link added - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 06-17-2009, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've unfortunately been called for jury duty and have a nursing 2 month old and an almost 4 year old of whom I'm the full-time caregiver.

In 2004, Gene DeRossett sponsored a bill to "provide excuse from service for persons who have sole responsibility of children under the age of 6." The bill unfortunately died in committee. The bill didn't specifically talk about breastfeeding mothers, but this would be of great benefit to them.

I attended a Great Start Oakland parent meeting that had a presentation on lobbying congress concerning issues that you find important. The presenter said that 12 contacts to the representative will make a difference in how they view the issue. The bill above had only one sponsor. The current bill 4455 (2009) concerning foreclosed houses has at least 15 sponsors and is moving through the different steps to make it law. She also told us that unique contacts - such as a letter in the shape of an outline of a mom and children (I'm thinking paper-doll type with a large figure in the middle with a smaller one on each side) gets better attention than an email or a phone call. I guess the reps even display this type of contact in their offices.

I am planning to go meet with Marie Donigan (Madison Heights, Royal Oak) on Friday about proposing this bill again. If I can get her to agree, what we'll need is at least 12 people from each of at least 10-15 districts to contact their reps about sponsoring a new bill.

This is going to be a lot of work, but if you're interested in helping out, let me know what district you're in (you're zip code will work) and how many people from your district you think you can encourage to contact their rep.

Maybe we can get a yahoo group going. We can list the reps and who will be in charge of contacting them. We could also make a template for the letter writers to use.

After this gets going, we can use much of the same info to get a NIP law passed. Isn't the internet great?

Monica
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#2 of 8 Old 06-17-2009, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please join our yahoo group if you'd like to help pass a family friendly jury duty law.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/familyfriendlymi/
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#3 of 8 Old 06-17-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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Awesome! Way to take this on!
I was called for Jury duty at 30some weeks preggo for jury a week after my due date with DS2. They accepted a letter from my midwife but I was really stressed for awhile about it. I have another friend who was called up recently and stressing as well. I'll sure pass your info along

When I talked to them on the phone about what they'd accept to postpone me they said they could postpone me for 8 months but that is it (which I said I ebf ds1 for 8 months). And said I could pump in a public restroom and they don't provide the pump and store it in a public fridge. Not very bf friendly eh!

Happy to be married to DH and SAHM to Brenden (10/16/06) and Jackson (5/3/09)! Expecting baby #3 in July
Homeschooling worked for me!
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#4 of 8 Old 06-18-2009, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I served in our local district court when I was about 12 weeks PG. I was called for this jury duty when I, too, was 30 weeks PG for a few days after my due date. It's in federal district court downtown. I have to be on call for 2 weeks. I got a postponement, but only for 12 weeks.

I've got a note from DD's dr about the breastfeeding. She doesn't take a bottle (not that I've got pumped milk to give her - I need to start in case they don't accept my excuse.) They don't let you know if they'll accept you excuse until the week before you're supposed to report. This is pretty stressful. I'd need to be away from the baby from about 6:30am to whenever they let us go for the day.
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#5 of 8 Old 06-18-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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Oh, Monica, that's terrible! I am so sorry it's federal court! Hmmmm...the upshot is that it's federal property...and the federal law states that anywhere you are allowed to be with your baby on federal property, you are allowed to breastfeed your baby...so could you have a caregiver bring her to nurse on recesses? At least then you wouldn't have to pump as much. Oh, man, that stinks. :

Good for you for taking this on!

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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#6 of 8 Old 06-19-2009, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I met with Marie Donigan this morning. She seemed very receptive to the Family Friendly Jury Duty idea. I gave her copies of several of the documents linked at the left. (One of them is a report done for Congress in 2005 that looked at all the states with breastfeeding and family friendly jury duty legislation.) She and her staff are going to look into why the previous bill failed to go anywhere. Once she finds this out, I'll be contacted with where they plan to go next. My hope is that she will sponsor a new bill.

It takes several weeks to draft a bill. When it is introduced in the house, other representatives can join in sponsoring it. They can also join once the bill is passed in the house before it goes to the senate. After it's introduced, it gets sent to the Judiciary Committee. Once it's modified to their liking, they can approve it and pass it on to a vote. If it passes there, it gets sent to the senate.

If Marie Donigan decides not to take up this issue, we'll have to go through another representative or senator.

Also present at the meeting was Oakland County Commissioner Gary McGillivray. Some counties in Michigan have FFJD laws for their district courts. I will email him these current laws (Washtenaw s one county that has one). Maybe we can try to add Oakland County to this list.
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#7 of 8 Old 06-21-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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Hi, Monica ... I believe Gretchen Whitmer introduced a similar law awhile ago, but I don't know if anything happened with it:

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(hoi...e=2007-SB-0275
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#8 of 8 Old 06-22-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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I just joined the Yahoo group. I am in the TC area. I'd love to help organize the "up north" mamas.

Nessa, DD1 (5) DD2 (3) & expecting again in late February/early March!
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