Westchester Junior Leagues Hold Legislative Breakfast to Discuss Childhood Nutrition and Domestic Violence

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Scarsdale, NY (May 6, 2010)- The Junior Leagues of Westchester County have joined forces to tackle the important public issues of childhood nutrition and domestic violence by presenting a Westchester Legislative Breakfast to be held 9A.M. to 11A.M. on Friday, May 14 at the Wayside Cottage, 1039 Post Road, Scarsdale, NY.  Among the expected guests are Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, and Assemblymembers Amy Paulin, Sandra Galef, Robert Castelli, George Latimer and Greg Ball.In holding the breakfast, the Junior Leagues hope to engage in and open dialogue with  Westchester lawmakers and enlist their help to enact legislation that will keep New York kids healthy and address problems that face certain domestic violence victims. Last month, 40 Junior League delegates throughout the state, making up the organization’s public policy arm, New York State Public Affairs Committee (NYSPAC), convened in Albany to lobby for these issues. They introduced draft legislation to aid domestic violence victims who have been convicted of a crime where their abuse was a definite mitigating circumstance.  In addition, Junior League delegates urged legislators to reconsider childhood nutrition bills–some of them targeted at school snack and wellness policies–currently languishing in committees.”With everything that is going on right now in Albany, it’s more imperative than ever that we make our voices heard,” said Virgina Hartmere, president of the Junior League of Pelham.  “The prevailing topics in Albany are obviously going to be budgetary concerns, but we need to facilitate public discussion, increased awareness and solutions for many of these problems that are affecting the health and stability of our children and families in New York.”In New York State, up to 45% of newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes occur in children.  In addition, the American Obesity Association reports that 30 percent of children ages six to 19 years were overweight or obese. On the domestic violence front, 74 percent of incarcerated women are mothers to 5,600 children, according to the New York Department of Correctional Services. Some of these women are first-time offenders who only committed their crimes as a result of their abuse.A panel of speakers to slated discuss these topics at the breakfast includes Dr. Susan Rubin, a nutritionist and founder of Better School Food, Serena Alfieri, Associate Director of Policy for the Women in Prison Project of New York’s Correctional Association and Adele “Delly” Beekman, President of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), the national umbrella organization of all the Junior Leagues.About the Junior League of Pelham:The Junior League of Pelham is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Please visit www.jlpelham.org forAbout the New York State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior Leagues (NYSPAC):NYSPAC is a coalition of more than 8,000 women from its 17 Junior Leagues across New York State.  NYSPAC takes action on select state and national issues that support its projects, educates individual League memberships on issues selected for action by NYSPAC, facilitates communication among the member leagues in the area of public affairs, provides training in advocacy skills and strategies, and acts as a representative of the member Leagues at the state and national level.  For more information please visithttp://www.jl-nyspac.orgAbout the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI):Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, creating demonstrable community impact. Today, The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI) is comprised of more than 160,000 women in 293 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they constitute one of the largest, most effective volunteer organizations in the world. For more information please visit www.ajli.org.Press contact:Laura Kalehoff,jlppr@hotmail.com, 646.345.5370