VALLEY FAMILY FORUM HIGHLIGHTS
1. “We the People”
Established in February, 2002, the Forum has developed an inter-active network of legislators, pastors, civic leaders, and “We the People” to advance pro-life, pro-family, pro-freedom issues in the culture and in the public square. We call it The Jericho Plan.
2. Standards of Decency
Spearheaded a community-wide petition drive in 2003 that led to the passage of a city ordinance to regulate sexually-oriented businesses (SOB’s) in Harrisonburg in 2005. At least seven neighboring towns and counties adopted similar ordinances shortly thereafter. The Forum also led the successful drive in 2003 to require decency filters on all Massanutten Regional Public Library computers.
3. Freedom of Speech
Successfully defended religious liberty in the case of Luis Padilla, who was fired by Cargill (America’s largest privately owned business) for displaying a “Vote Yes for Marriage” on his truck during the constitutional marriage amendment campaign in 2006. Padilla was reinstated with back pay within 30 days following legal and public pressure from the Forum.
4. Sanctity of Marriage
Coordinated the highly successful Marriage Amendment campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, which produced a 69% vote for the amendment in 11 counties — 12 points above the state vote at 57%.
5. Sanctity of Life
Developed and promoted a new “Inalienable Right to Life” bill in the 2012 VA General Assembly which won broad support from national and state pro-life organizations as well as strong legislative support in both chambers. It passed the House by a wide margin before being killed on the floor of the Senate.
6. In God We Trust
Led the state-wide drive for a new “In God We Trust” specialty license plate for Virginia that was approved by the General Assembly in 2011 by unanimous vote in both chambers. It now appears on over 31,000 vehicles in Virginia and stands at #7 out of over 200 specialty plates available to Virginia drivers.
7. County Fairs
Featured “Values” displays in public venues such as County Fairs with changing themes each year depending on policy needs, with a focus on life, marriage, decency, and the “In God We Trust” license plate. Each one attracted literally thousands of supportive visitors.
8. Capstone and Heritage Seminars
Developed a 10-week Capstone leadership seminar on “The Christian’s Role in Culture and Public Policy” for over 200 participants that is now in its 27th edition. Also developed a parallel 10-week seminar on “America’s Godly Heritage” that is in its 13th edition and which includes annual Forum-led Heritage Tours of Washington DC.
9. Valley Faith in Action
Launched a weekly “Valley Faith in Action” television program in 2006 that primarily features Valley residents who are every day putting their “Faith into Action”. It airs five times each week and is approaching its 400th week of programming.
10. Building Connections
Worked closely each year with Valley Pastors, the Virginia Christian Alliance, The Family Foundation of Virginia, and other like-minded groups to promote public policies and campaigns that advance Life, Faith, Family, and Freedom.
11. Salutes to the Family
Hosted annual “Salute to the Family” fund/people-raising dinners featuring keynote speakers such as Focus on the Family VP Tom Minnery, Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore, former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese, and David Barton of Wallbuilders (who alone drew 950 guests in 2010).
12. EMU: “Thy Word Is Truth”
Led Valley drive to encourage Eastern Mennonite University to stay true to its school motto of “Thy Word Is Truth” and to maintain its campus life policy that defines marriage as only between one man and one woman for faculty and staff hiring purposes.