Friday in Salem the new "Kids Safe License Plate" will be unveiled. Monay raised from the specialty plate will go to local child abuse prevention programs. The cost is 30 dollars, and of that, 27 dollars goes to the cause.
The idea started in Bend, but it took about 6 years to convince lawmakers in Salem to allow Oregon to join a majority of other states in providing specialty plates the benefit non-profit programs that combat child abuse. State Representative Gene Whisnant of Sunriver says some feared the new plate would compete with the "Crater Lake" or the "Salmon" license plate designs.
"well- we had some powerful people who- they are not bad people- but they thought we'd fail -but i think people will step up - they just thought the money would pass from one place to another...but i think this cause rises to the level of other people supporting it- we know that funding for non-profits to address this issue is declining- and its not a lot of money and you're going to be a traveling billboard with this plate on the back of your cars."
The design on the new plate was done by a local artist who used Bend children as the inspiration.
Hillary Saraceno, with Deschutes County Children & Families Commission, says she was surprised that it took six years to get Oregon lawmakers to agree to this idea.
"it was a no brainer- we have one for salmon- aren't our children as important as (salmon) it should be our most important resource that we have- that we should be supporting -i think its important to point out that child abuse and neglect impacts everyone and we all have a responsibility to help address that -and this is one small way we can address it."
Saraceno and Whisnant were guests on 1110 KBND's morning news on Wednesday, October 10th. To hear the full interview you can go to the Podcast on this website labeled "Your Town".