Sutherland Newsletter – September 11, 2008

1.Ethics Reform Working Group to Meet on October 7

The Sutherland Institute invites anyone interested in ethics reform to participate in a preparatory working group meeting on October 7.  As there are many perspectives and opinions about ethics reform at the state level, Sutherland wants to hear from you.  Your ideas and those of others will form the basis of dialogue as we look forward to the Institute’s Ethics Reform Forum to be conducted on November 12, 2008.


Many have already expressed interest in the working group and have contacted us.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 7, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, in the Sutherland conference room located on the fifth floor of the Crane Building, 307 West 200 South, in downtown Salt Lake City.  If you plan to attend, please contact us at 801-355-1272, or


2.State of the Union: Why California Matters

While many voters throughout the country will be casting their ballots in November to decide the next President of the United States, voters in California also will be asked to decide an even more important issue.


Is defining marriage an issue only for Californians to be worried about?  As Utahns, do we really care what happens in California?  Does it matter to Utah?


On Tuesday, October 14, please make plans to attend a special marriage law forum in Salt Lake City, presented by the Sutherland Institute.  “State of the Union: Why California Matters” will be a 90-minute educational presentation by William C. Duncan and LaVar Christensen.  Mary Ellen Smoot, former General Relief Society President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will emcee the event.


The forum is scheduled from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm and will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.  Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by calling the Institute at 801-355-1272.


Duncan is the director of the Marriage Law Foundation and Sutherland’s Center for Family and Society.  He formerly served as acting director of the Marriage Law Project at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. A nationally-recognized expert, Duncan has published numerous articles on constitutional and family law issues in a variety of legal journals.


Christensen is a trustee of the Sutherland Institute and has served as a legislator in the Utah House of Representatives.  He was the primary author and sponsor of Utah’s constitutional amendment in support of marriage, passed by the legislature and adopted by voters in 2004.  Christensen also has successfully sponsored important legislation that recognizes and strengthens parental rights in Utah.


3.Sutherland Launches Every Parent Cares Community Program

In an effort to advance the academic performance of low-income, minority children and empower their parents, the Sutherland Institute is pleased to announce Every Parent Cares.


The aim for this community-outreach project is to improve the academic performance of under-privileged students by teaching and mentoring their parents to be more effectively involved in their children’s education.


“We know that the number-one factor in a student’s academic success is parental involvement,” Sutherland President Paul T. Mero said.  “For a variety of social, cultural, and economic reasons, many Hispanic and Latino parents do not feel like they are a vital part of their children’s education.  They want to be more involved, but just don’t know how.  This program has been designed to help them.”


Every Parent Cares will host a series of eight, weekly workshops for parents and children in low-income areas of both Salt Lake and Utah counties.  Workshops will be offered for parents in both Spanish and English covering such topics as effective communication, the value of getting involved in education, identifying and using community resources, health, learning to help children with homework, and setting goals for obtaining higher education.


In addition, separate classes will be offered to students during the parent sessions in an effort to help them strive for higher academic performance and to reinforce the value of good citizenship.  Dinner and childcare services will be provided for participants.


To volunteer or to donate to this worthwhile program, please