President's Message

Heather Stern
WLALA President 2018-2019

July 2019

Megan Rapinoe’s confident stance, her tenacity, her outspokenness – these are things I celebrate this month, and choose to ignore for the moment that her fierceness comes in the context of a struggle toward a world we all can wish were already here.  Bravo to Megan, and bravo to her teammates.

And in other news, let’s not forget the very troubling decision of New Jersey family court judge, James Troiano, who denied a prosecutor’s motion to try a 17-year old accused of rape as an adult because he “came from a good family,” among other reasons, and had his decision reversed by the court of appeal.  See State of New Jersey in the interest of G.M.C., N.J. Appellate Division, Docket No. A-0223-18T4.  If you haven’t heard about this case or read the decision, this is well worth reading, although the allegations of what the 17-year old did here to the victim and how the judge reacted to it make me sick to my stomach.  Thank you to social media for spreading the news about this decision far and wide and I encourage everyone to read it.  It is a sad and hard thing to wonder how many times judges do things like this, but are left unchecked because they do it in silence without articulating their “reasoning” or because no one pursues any relief from the court of appeal.

Both of these news items are of interest to me particularly as a parent of three daughters.  Thinking about the world they are growing up in, how to teach them about that world, and how to be positive about their prospects while also realistic, is a hard task.  My hard task seems almost overwhelming this month as I also deal with my own mother’s ongoing struggle with cancer and the real prospect my girls will soon be unable to look to her as another guidepost and model in this world.  Keeping her alive to them forever will be one more task, as time marches onward and they make their own way forward, with heroes and villains alike having already shaped the landscape in so many ways.  This month, and always, be good to the good people in your lives.