Thursday, December 17, 2015

OP-ED from Congressman George Radanovich

    December 17, 2015

    Dear Friend:

    Please accept my apologies for not touching base with you as frequently as I once did. 

   I retired from Congress in 2011 to care for my son following the loss of his mother and my wife, Ethie.

   She was the love of my life and my best friend.  While her loss was a time of great personal tragedy for us, I am pleased to report that, with the passage of time, we are actually doing quite well.

   King is now a junior in High School.  He stand 6'2" and loves life, especially basketball.  He is doing well in school and will soon be off to college.  I am thankful for his love and friendship.

    I a also grateful to have had your support, not only after Ethie's passing, but during my nearly 20 years of public life.

     While I enjoyed representing and fighting for the people of the 19th Congressional District, these past few years in Mariposa have been a much needed and pleasant change from the poisonous atmosphere in Washington, DC.

    During this time of change, I have kept busy as a consultant and restoring my small vineyard, which had been left unattended for more than 10 years.

   After rebuilding the trellis, retraining the vines and overcoming deer, frost, leafhoppers and birds, I harvested a small amount of wine grapes in 2014.  They have fermented into an exceptional wine that can be obtained though my website

   While I am very happy here in Mariposa, I, like you, remain very frustrated in the direction our country is headed.

   Conservatives seem to be caught in an endless cycle of achieving power, then fighting amongst themselves, then losing power, only to regain power and lose it again.

   All we have gained is more debt, more frustration and more divisiveness.  While Speaker Paul Ryan is a breath of fresh air, without a credible long-term agenda, the blind is still leading the blind.

   Americans are ready and anxious to win the war on liberal progressivism and the old adage of just "holding the line in Washington" should no longer be acceptable.

    What keeps us from balancing the federal budget, reducing government spending and mainstreaming conservative values into the fabric of American life once again?

    The answer is, a conservative, long-term plan that provides focus, wins the hearts of the American people and moves the conservative agenda forward without sacrificing our conservative values.

   Well, I believe I have found the key element off such a plan.  I call it "Restore California", and I want to share it with you, and I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

   The plan is simple: reduce father-absent homes, unmarried pregnancies and divorce rates by 30 percent over the next 10 years without government legislation or funds.

     This may begin to sound like just another social agenda, but really this is a conservative economic agenda that will reduce government and win over Hispanics and Democrats.

   These three issue cost taxpayers hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of dollars at all levels of government.

   By focusing on ways to help communities reduce these indicators, the burden on federal, state and local governments will be reduced and government can shrink for lack of need.

   What's more, by focusing on these issues, conservatives demonstrate the common values of people who believe in an orderly and decent society.

   The family is the most fundamental unit of society.  I wish I could give credit to the person who said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Where there is love in the home, there is harmony in the community. Where there is harmony in the community, there is order in the nation. Where there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world."

   As you read this document you will see the devastating personal and social costs of children growing up without a two-parent family.

    It comes as a shock to me that none of our leaders see fatherlessness as the common denominator in the budget-busting costs of education, welfare, law enforcement and incarceration.

   This is a concern whether we are talking about families in Fresno or South Central Los Angeles.

   Am I promoting a social agenda? No. Am I promoting a religious agenda? Again, no.  I do believe that it is time to look at our challenges differently, and that it is virtually impossible to be a fiscal conservative without addressing these fundamental indicators of our eroding society.

    Now before you decide to throw this letter in the trash, let me state this can be accomplished and has already been proven to be effective.

   Reducing fatherlessness in communities without government assistance has been done before.

   In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a group called First Things First ( reduced father absent homes, unwed pregnancy and divorce rates 30 percent in Chattanooga, Tennessee within 10 years and with no government assistance.  That's right it has worked in Chattanooga, and it can work in California!

   I have refined the Chattanooga plan to include specific tasks for the business, religious, non-profit groups, law enforcement and public schools in every community.

   Through donor education, public awareness and collaboration, "Restore California" hopes to utilize and direct the 522 billion already donated to religious and non-profit organizations by the citizens of California every year, to reduce fatherlessness, unwed pregnancy and divorce by 30 percent in every community in California.

  The success of "Restore California" will require high public visibility and, even though the goals will be accomplished without government legislation or spending, elected politicians can help us by simply advocating the philosophy of "Restore California".

    We must persuade our elected representatives to do more than occasionally speak to the issues of fatherlessness, unwed pregnancy and divorce.

   They must take action in the public square!  They must lead with "Restore California" and we can teach them how to lead.

   "Restore California" is a bi-partisan approach that is attractive to both liberals  and conservatives.

   We can convince liberals that the long term reduction of fatherless children in our society is the key to social justice, and we can convince conservatives that this is the path to achieve less government.

   With "Restore California" there is new hope for a conservative California once again!

   I am searching for people who are willing to join this team ad become a champion for "Restore California" in their communities throughout California.

   In Fresno, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, I am assembling small core groups representing business, religious, non-profit groups, public schools and law enforcement.

   This is a movement. Next year I plan to expand this effort into Southern California, the Bay Area and eventually in each of California's 58 counties.

   If you are convinced that the only way we can fix our state and our country is by rebuilding the basic institutions that provide real happiness, then please help me.

   Together, we can build an army one-by-one and focus on the fatherless child in this way.  Many other issues we see today will resolve themselves along the way.

   For now, I have been able to share "Restore California" as a personal mission.  It's time to expand our network and reach more people.

   I am looking for 20 people to contribute $2500.00 to my 501(c)(3) corporation.

   The four institutions, Inc. (Restore California is a project of The Four Institutions, Inc.) Your contribution will help me reach more people in the state and cover modest travel expenses for the next year.

   If you believe as I do that we4 can set aside political partisanship, find ways to work together to solve real problems, then please join "Restore California".

   Please support our efforts with a financial contribution.  Even if you can't be one of the 20 people who can contribute $2500.00 right now, we would appreciate whatever amount you can provide, whether that's $1000, $500, $250 or even $50.

   No amount is too small to become part of this mission to "Restore California" from the bottom up!

   Please make your non-taxable donation payable to The Four Institutions, Inc. 3930 Ben Hur Road, Mariposa, CA 95338.

   You can also contribute online on our website

   Thank you again for your past support and for taking the time to consider this grassroots approach to public policy.

   When I meet with people, it's surprising to me how everyone realizes this is real change, and a solution that is so desperately needed.

   Best wishes for a peaceful and wonder Christmas holiday!


   George Radanovich





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