Dianne Feinstein on Families & Children
Democratic Sr Senator (CA)
Convention speech: Prioritize on family safety
In California, Dianne Feinstein handily beat back San Jose Republican congressman Tom Campbell to win reelection with 55.9 % of the total vote, 1.4 million more than George W. Bush and 100,000 more than Al Gore received in the state. Her total was the
most votes cast for a senator in US history. As co-chair with her California colleague, Senator Barbara-- Boxer, at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, Feinstein was a visible presence on both the state and national levels as a passionate
advocate for gun control.
Speaking to the convention, Feinstein called for the nation to make family safety a priority. "Do we really think sensible fun laws, safe children, and secure schools are too much to ask for?" she asked. "For a single family
in California, one million moms, or every American...the answer is, it's never too much. We will never stop fighting--not until every street and every school, and every child in every community, is safe once and for all."
Source: Nine and Counting, by Catherine Whitney, p.200
, Dec 6, 2000
Voted NO on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors.
Vote to kill an amendment that would prohibit the distribution of violent video programming to the public during hours when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience. Voting YES would kill the amendment proposing the new restrictions. Voting NO would suport the amendment proposing the new restrictions.
; vote number 1999-114
on May 13, 1999
Give parents tools to balance work and family.
Feinstein adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":
Strengthen America’s Families
While the steady reduction in the number of two-parent families of the last 40 years has slowed, more than one-third of our children still live in one- or no-parent families. There is a high correlation between a childhood spent with inadequate parental support and an adulthood spent in poverty or in prison.
To strengthen families, we must redouble efforts to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, make work pay, eliminate tax policies that inadvertently penalize marriage, and require absent fathers to pay child support while offering them new opportunities to find work. Because every child needs the attention of at least one caring and competent adult, we should create an “extended family” of adult volunteer mentors.
Family breakdown is not the only challenge we face. As two-worker families have become the norm, harried parents have less time to spend on their most important job: raising their children. Moreover, parents and
schools often find themselves contending with sex- and violence-saturated messages coming from an all-pervasive mass entertainment media.
We should continue public efforts to give parents tools to balance work and family and shield their children from harmful outside influences. For example, we should encourage employers to adopt family-friendly policies and practices such as parental leave, flex-time, and telecommuting. Public officials should speak out about violence in our culture and should press the entertainment media to adopt self-policing codes aimed at protecting children.
Goals for 2010
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC4 on Aug 1, 2000
- Cut the rate of out-of-wedlock births in half.
- Recruit a million mentors for disadvantaged children without two parents.
- Provide affordable after-school programs at every public school.
- Make every workplace “family-friendly.”
- Promote policies that help parents shield their children from violence and sex in entertainment products.
Small Business loans for child care businesses.
Feinstein co-sponsored the Child Care Lending Pilot Act
A bill to create a 3-year pilot program that makes small, non-profit child care businesses eligible for SBA 504 loans. Amends the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to allow the proceeds of loans made through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to local development companies for plant acquisition, construction, or expansion to be used to assist small, nonprofit child care businesses, provided that: (1) the loan will be used for a sound business purpose approved by the SBA; and (2) each business receiving the assistance meets eligibility requirements applicable to for-profit businesses.
Source: Bill sponsored by 17 Senators 03-S822 on Apr 8, 2003
Rated 0% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-Family-Value voting record.
Feinstein scores 0% by the Christian Coalition on family issues
The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.
Our Five-Fold Mission: Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003
- Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
- Speak out in the public arena and in the media
- Train leaders for effective social and political action
- Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
- Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Permanent crime database for volunteers with kids.
Feinstein co-sponsored creating permanent crime database for volunteers with kids
A bill to amend the National Child Protection Act of 1993 to establish a permanent background check system. Congress finds the following:
- In 2006, a total of 16,500,000 adults volunteered their service to education or youth programs.
- An estimated 6.6% of individuals in the United States will serve time in prison for a crime during their lifetime. The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System of the FBI maintains fingerprints and criminal histories on more than 47,000,000 individuals, many of whom have been arrested or convicted multiple times.
- Of individuals released from prison, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years.
Given the large number of individuals with criminal records and the vulnerability of the population they work with, human service organizations that work with children need an effective and reliable means of obtaining a complete criminal history in order to determine the suitability of a potential volunteer or employee.
- The large majority of Americans (88%) favor granting youth-serving organizations access to conviction records for screening volunteers and 59% favored allowing youth-serving organizations to consider arrest records when screening volunteers.
- Even when accessible, the cost of a criminal background check can be prohibitively expensive, between $21 and $99 for each volunteer or employee.
- The Child Safety Pilot Program demonstrates that timely and affordable background checks are possible, as background checks under that program are completed within 3 to 5 business days at a cost of $18.
Source: Child Protection Improvements Act (S.2756/H.R.5606) 08-S2756 on Jul 28, 2008
Sex Ed including both abstinence and contraception.
Feinstein signed H.R.1551&S.611
Authorizes grants to states for sex education programs, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Expresses the sense of Congress that states are encouraged, although not required, to provide matching funds to receive such grants.
Requires the Secretary to provide for a national evaluation of a representative sample of such programs for effectiveness in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse and other high-risk behaviors, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and increasing contraceptive knowledge and behavior. Requires states receiving such grants to provide for an individual evaluation of the state's program by an external, independent entity.
Source: Responsible Education About Life Act 09-HR1551 on Mar 17, 2009
More funding & services for victims of domestic violence.
Feinstein co-sponsored Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
Introduction by co-sponsor Sen. Kay Hagan (D,NC):
We have a serious responsibility to ensure that women and families are protected. The rates of violence and abuse in our country are astounding and totally unacceptable: domestic violence affects more than 12 million people each year. In my home state, 73 women and children are killed on average every year because of domestic violence.
Since 1994, the STOP Program has provided grants for services, training, officers, and prosecutors, and has transformed our criminal justice system and victim support services. And this bill includes the bipartisan SAFER Act, which helps fund audits of untested DNA evidence and reduces this backlog of rape kits. I ask you: What other victims in America have to identify the attacker before authorities will take action? None.Introduction by Sen. Chuck Grassley(R,IA):
Source: S.47/H.R.11 13-S0047 on Jan 22, 2013
I urge my Republican colleagues, as I will do, to support the motion to proceed.
There has long been bipartisan support for the Violence Against Women Act. Too many women are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for 98% of what is contained in S. 47. [Since our negative vote last session], controversial provisions have been removed. The key stumbling block to enacting a bill at this time is the provision concerning Indian tribal courts. Negotiations are continuing, and compromises would allow the bill to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. Introduction by Sen. Pat Leahy (D,VT):
Our bill will allow services to get to those in the LGBT community who have had trouble accessing services in the past. The rates of domestic and sexual violence in these communities are equal to or greater than those of the general population. We also have key improvements for immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Sponsored recognition of National Foster Care Month.
Feinstein signed Recognizing National Foster Care Month
RESOLUTION recognizing National Foster Care Month as an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges of children in the foster care system, and encouraging Congress to implement policy to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.
Source: H.Res.577/S.Res.442 14_SRes442 on May 13, 2014
- Whereas there are approximately 400,000 children living in foster care;
- Whereas foster care is intended to be a temporary placement, but children remain in the foster care system for an average of 2 years;
- Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
- encourages Congress to implement policy to minimize the number of children entering the foster care system, to improve the lives of children in the foster care system, and to maximize the number of children exiting foster care to the protection of safe, loving, and permanent families;
- acknowledges the unique needs of children in the foster-care system;
- recognizes foster youth throughout the US for their ongoing tenacity, courage, and resilience while facing life
- acknowledges the exceptional alumni of the foster-care system who serve as advocates and role models for youth who remain in care;
- honors the commitment and dedication of the individuals who work tirelessly to provide assistance and services to children in the foster-care system; and
- reaffirms the need to continue working to improve the outcomes of all children in the foster-care system through parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act and other programs designed to
- support vulnerable families;
- invest in prevention and reunification services;
- promote guardianship, adoption, and other permanent placement opportunities in cases where reunification is not in the best interests of the child;
- adequately serve those children brought into the foster-care system; and
- facilitate the successful transition into adulthood for children that 'age-out' of the foster-care system.
Teach teens about both abstinence & contraception.
Feinstein signed Responsible Education About Life Act
To provide for the reduction of adolescent pregnancy, HIV rates, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Congress finds as follows:
- Leading public health organizations stress the need for sexuality education that includes messages about abstinence and contraception.
- A 2005 statement [to Congress] urged that 'Sexuality education should be non-judgmental & support parent-child communication & should not impose religious or ideological viewpoints upon students.'
- [A Congressionally-sponsored] 2006 position paper that 'Efforts to promote abstinence should include information about concepts of healthy sexuality, sexual orientation & tolerance, personal responsibility, risks of HIV, access to reproductive health care, and benefits & risks of condoms & other contraceptive methods.'
- 8 in 10 Americans believe that sex education should promote abstinence and provide information about the effectiveness & benefits of contraception.
There is strong evidence that more comprehensive sex education can effectively help young people delay sexual initiation, even as it increases contraceptive use among sexually active youth.
- There is no evidence that federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are effective in stopping or delaying teen sex.
- Most young people have sex for the first time at about age 17, but do not marry until their late 20s. Hence young adults are at risk of unwanted pregnancy & STDs for nearly a decade.
[Congress requires that] Sex Education Programs should:
Source: S.611&HR1551 2009-S611 on Mar 17, 2009
- provide information about the health benefits and side effects of all contraceptive and barrier methods used as a means to prevent pregnancy; and to reduce the risk of contracting STDs, including HIV/AIDS;
- encourage family communication between parent and child about sexuality;
- teach young people how alcohol and drug use can affect responsible decisionmaking; and
- do not teach or promote religion.
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Page last updated: Jul 13, 2020