60,000 foster children in need of adoption

Jeff vonKaenel

A few Saturdays ago, I was on my way to the Central Sacramento Library when about 100 Occupy Sacramento protesters marched peacefully down the sidewalk chanting, “We are the 99 percent.” I was moved and felt their anger—anger I certainly share.

The cause for that march was something I thought about on November 3, National Adoption Awareness Day. The chilly, wet Wednesday was an afternoon of sadness for me as I joined dozens of others at the state Capitol in reading the names and ages of the 60,000 California foster kids in need of adoption. Standing in front of the microphone, calling out the names of our community’s children who need help, while I feared they wouldn’t be getting it, seemed so wrong.

Knowing that the very programs that should provide support for these beautiful children are being cut makes it hard to even say the names aloud. But I did. “Antonia, age 4; Alexis, age 11; Andy, age 14.”

“Matthew, age 13; Collin, age 3; Angel, age 14.” As I called out their names, the 1 percent was still enjoying the benefits of the massive Bush tax cuts, which they will keep while we have to cut back the foster-kids program.

“Francisco, age 17; Sierra, age 10; Floyd, age 16.” As I called out their names, the executives in the 1 percent still received their obscene pay raises approved by their CEO-appointed boards of directors.

“Miya, age 14; Lamont, age 12; Maeleka, age 12.” As I called out their names, the corporate owners in the 1 percent avoid their fair share of taxes by pretending their company is in the Bahamas. Of course, they still receive all the benefits of being an American company.

“Areil, age 14; Deonte, age 14; Daniel age 17.” As I called out their names, the 1 percent in the banking sector still received their immoral bonuses even after their actions led to our country’s financial meltdown, from which the 99 percent had to rescue them.

“James, age 15; Rocky, age 5; and Natasha, age 14.” As I called out their names, the 1 percent accused the Occupy movement of class warfare. Looking at our country’s income inequality, rich people’s low tax rates, campaign contributions and manipulation of the government, I wonder who is waging class warfare. Yes, once again, it’s the 1 percent against America.

“Luis, age 17; Marinna, age 8; Shedrick, age 15.” As I called out their names, my sadness, anger and frustration grew. We, the 99 percent, have to stand up for Tiko, age 14; Matthew, age 14; and Seth, age 12. We have to defend ourselves against the greedy, unpatriotic and immoral 1 percent.

Zeta, age 8; Danny, age 14; and Lequan, age 17, are counting on us.

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About the Author

Jeff vonKaenel
Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review newspapers in Sacramento, Chico and Reno.