(Tampa Bay, Florida)
Community Issues Council – Terry Kemple (President)
Community Issues Council was birthed out of a battle with the sex industry in Valrico, Florida that is described below.
As our Mission Statement says, CIC is called to “promote and protect Judeo-Christian values.” We do this in a variety of ways, with the primary focus being to educate and unite the Church so that the Body of Christ is able to engage our community in the issues of the day.
CIC’s efforts are focused in 6 primary areas:
1. Standing up for religious liberty.
2. Defending the sanctity of life.
3. Protecting the traditional family.
4. Shielding our children from indoctrination in the public schools.
5. Resisting the proliferation of the sex industry.
6. Pushing back against the growth of the gambling industry.
CIC’s primary method of operation is conducting small local gatherings of Pastors. At the meetings issues that could have an impact on our ability to live out our Christian faith are discussed and strategies to have an impact on the issues are developed.
Focusing on bringing together groups of Pastors immediately multiplies the effect of our efforts as the Pastors take the strategies to their congregations for follow up action.
In 2005 a strip club, euphemistically called a “bikini bar” because the strippers supposedly keep their clothes on, was quietly planning to open in a heavily residential location on State Road 60 in the heart of Valrico.
When a local mother found out about the plan she called Terry because he had led other grassroots efforts to protect Christian values in the community. He immediately called together a team to try to keep the business from opening. Within 2 weeks of her call for help a team of there was a Town Hall meeting at a local church with over 850 people in attendance including 3 Hillsborough County Commissioners, both aides to a 4th Commissioner, representatives from both the Sheriff’s and the State Attorney’s Offices, the County Administrator was there as were the County Zoning Administrator and representatives of the Fire Department.
These efforts enabled the team to keep the business from opening for nearly a year beyond their originally projected opening date. Ultimately a federal judge said that the business had to be allowed to open because their “Constitutional” rights were being violated.
The intense scrutiny created by CIC’s efforts kept the strip club from doing the illegal things that normally generate their income. The lack of income led to a succession of changes in ownership and the place has now coverted from a sex business into a family oriented restaurant.
Together we can make a difference!
Contact us at: CIC@INTEGRITY.COM