To Family Members and Friends of the Missing,
Monday, November 5th, 2007, might be remembered by those involved in the missing persons cause as a day in which a huge step backwards was taken. Unless something major breaks in the way of funding, this will be the day in which the National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA) will close their doors. Thousands of families will be affected, now and in the future.
Why is this happening?
The answer is complex, but in summary:
· The NCMA stepped up and assisted over 13,000 victims of Hurricane Katrina and was to be reimbursed for those expenditures, which were close to $250,000. At this time, the NCMA has only received $50,000 to cover the work they did at the request of the Dept. of Justice.
· The 2007 re-authorization of Kristen’s Law, (HR 423) which would provide the NCMA with up to $4 million per year in funding for 10 years, continues to remain in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security committee, with no action taken to help the center. This re-authorization effort has been in the works unsuccessfully since 2005.
· As experienced not only by the NCMA, but by other national organizations, including ours, the public does not generally consider missing adults’ assistance nonprofits as a part of their charitable giving plans. Corporations are also hesitant to provide funding, and grant makers don’t seem responsive, either. This lack of support has also contributed to the problem.
What will save the NCMA at this late hour?
If an “angel” company or person comes forward who can help keep the center operating until the Kristen’s Law Re-authorization funds are released.
The DOJ immediately releases the funds owed to the NCMA from their work related to Hurricane Katrina.
What Can I Do?
I spent time talking with Kym Pasqualini, founder of the NCMA, late last night, and based upon the conversation, this is what she asks of you if you feel moved to help with a final effort.
· Kym feels that, out of all the national media, the person who could best help with exposure and a push for action is Larry King of CNN’s Larry King Live Show. She says that Larry’s show is watched by many members of congress and that he is not afraid to step on toes to get something accomplished. If she could get a spot on his show as soon as possible, she plans to talk candidly about the situation. If you can help with this step, please write to Larry King at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask him to have Kym on as a guest immediately. Keep in mind that even if a spot on the show is not successful at moving congress or getting the Katrina reimbursement, it could reach the “angel” company or person as mentioned above.
· Contact Peter D. Keisler, acting Attorney General, and let him know how you feel about missing adults losing their national clearinghouse and resource. Mention the 2007 re-authorization of Kristen’s Law, (HR 423) You can also write to Vice President Dick Cheney at email@example.com The White House fax is 202-456-2461. Use AskDOJ@usdoj.gov to send correspondence to the Attorney General’s office.
· The webpage for the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security is http://judiciary.house.gov/committeestructure.aspx?committee=6 Once there, click on the names of the various members and be redirected to their own websites with contact information. You can also write to your congressman.
Time is quickly running out for this year’s session, so please send your letters right away.