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June 29, 2010

WILLIAM LEGERE: WILLIAM LEGERE FROM THE BLACK COALITION, L.A. COUNTY. I LIVE IN BALDWIN PARK, CALIFORNIA. I'M GOING TO SPEAK ON ITEM 20. I WAS LISTENING TO THE PREVIOUS SPEAKER ABOUT THE ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL, HELPING OUR CHILDREN. AS YOU KNOW, MANY MINORITY CHILDREN, PARTICULARLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN END UP IN FOSTER CARE. I HAVE BEEN IN FOSTER CARE MYSELF AND WE SHOULD NOT ABANDON OUR CHILDREN. I CHOOSE THIS ITEM 20 BECAUSE IT WOULD KEEP PARENTS AND CHILDREN OUT OF D.C.S., DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN SERVICES, AND IT'S A TRAGEDY THAT MANY CHILDREN ARE TAKEN AWAY FROM THEIR PARENTS, MAYBE BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS HAD A PREDISPOSING MENTAL ILLNESS OR MAYBE THERE'S SUBSTANCE ABUSE OR MAYBE THEY HAVE BEEN ABUSING THEIR CHILDREN, AND SO TRAGEDY, THEIR CHILDREN ARE TAKEN AWAY, PARTICULARLY IF THE PARENTS HAVE A MENTAL ILLNESS, LIKE SCHIZOPHRENIA OR BIPOLAR DISORDER OR SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDER AND THE STATE OR THE COUNTY CANNOT TAKE CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN, AND SO THEIR CHILDREN ARE TAKEN AWAY. AND SO YOU AS THE SUPERVISOR, AS THE LEGISLATIVE BODY FOR THIS COUNTY, THAT YOU WILL STRENGTHEN THIS PROGRAM AND KEEP THESE CHILDREN IN THE CARE OF THEIR PARENTS, BECAUSE THEY ARE THEIR PARENTS, EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY HAVE CHALLENGES THEMSELVES, MAYBE MENTAL CHALLENGES, MAYBE PHYSICAL CHALLENGES, BUT KEEP THE PARENTS WITH THE CHILDREN. I STRONGLY BELIEVE CHILDREN, THAT CHILDREN SHOULD BE RAISED BY THEIR PARENTS, NOT BY THE DATE AND NOT BY D.C.F.S., BUT BY THEIR PARENTS. THAT'S WHAT I WANTED TO SAY.

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