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Jimmy Wayne backs California foster bill

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 – Jimmy Wayne, a former foster care youth, was the honored guest of California Assembly member Jim Beall on Monday in observance of May as National Foster Care Month.

Wayne went to Sacramento to speak with lawmakers on behalf Beall's Assembly Bill 12, legislation that allows California to take advantage of federal law and draw down funds to help extend foster care benefits beyond age 18 to age 21. Wayne also received a resolution in recognition of his work to raise awareness of the plight of homeless foster care youth.

"I'm grateful for Jimmy Wayne's support for AB 12,' Beall said. "As someone who was in foster care, he can effectively explain how we can help youth overcome the problems they face as they leave of the foster care system. I think he's a tremendous advocate.'

On Jan. 1, Wayne embarked on his "Meet Me Halfway' campaign, a 1,700-mile journey on foot from Nashville to Phoenix, to publicize the challenges the homeless face, especially for at-risk kids and young adults. His walk is also raising money for organizations that benefit homeless youth.

"I support AB 12,' Wayne said, "because I know first hand the importance of having a support system. During my childhood, I was in and out of the foster care system, and at one point I was homeless. At 16, I was taken in by Bea and Russell Costner. They gave me a home and a foundation of love and support, enabling me to finish high school and attend college. Most foster kids aren't that lucky. Without anyone to care for them and help them, they 'age out' of the foster care system at 18 and often become homeless.

"Many do not have the means to support themselves. That's why I believe extending foster care benefits to age 21 is a priority. We can give these worthy young people the opportunity they deserve to become productive citizens."

The singer's visit was initiated by Beall following a Twitter message sent by Wayne after AB 12 was approved by the Assembly. The bill is in the Senate Human Services Committee.

About 5,000 youths who have been abused and/or neglected by their parents leave California's foster care every year when they turn 18. Many of them leave with little or no support. A major study released in April revealed young adults who had left foster care continued to face very high rates of joblessness and homelessness. By age 24, only 6 percent had obtained a college degree.

Wayne's trip was sponsored by Cadence Design Systems and the Foster Care Month Coalition. The coalition held its sixth annual kick-off to National Foster Care Month in California on Monday at the State Capitol's north steps. Both Beall and Wayne attended.

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Sometimes the third time out for an artist can mystify them, as by this point they've chosen to either clone or deconstruct their first record. So what's next? Jimmy Wayne, who sharply veered away from the deep emotional mining of his first effort to more straightforward country- pop on his second, goes the route of a hybrid collection. There's the big leadoff (and Keith Urban-penned) Things I Believe, which swings for the number one hit fences all the way with a hook heavy »»»
Do You Believe Me Now CD review - Do You Believe Me Now
Jimmy Wayne's turbulent childhood as a foster child and teen delinquent, and his personal journal writings, fueled many of the songs on his self-titled debut, painting him as a survivor and poet with a strapping, emotional voice and a penchant for vulnerable story songs. He brings more of these dramatic tales to his soulful sophomore effort (and first on the new label). In Kerosene Kid, Wayne reminisces about facing his classmates' jeers each winter, as he smelled of the kerosene he »»»
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One wants desperately to like Jimmy Wayne - though he's just 30, he's already had enough trouble to last several lifetimes. But though "Stay Gone," the first single from his self-titled debut, has much to recommend it, it's one of the few bright spots in a generally undistinguished album. The basic problem isn't hard to see. Though he's a good songwriter with solid songwriting skills - 8 of the 12 cuts have his name among the credits - the production here surrounds him with generic country-pop »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Smiles galore, Chesney appears happiness – Kenny Chesney smiled often during his performance at The Rose Bowl. This wasn't some showbiz smile, either - it was sincere. Chesney appeared to be truly happy to be there. On a hot night in July, when Chesney brought his exuberant The Big Revival Tour to Pasadena, the joy he expressed while performing actually made you forget about all the heat... »»»
Concert Review: Carll needs no crutch – Hayes Carll didn't even play his best-known song, "She Left Me For Jesus," during his 95 minutes on the small stage. And while chances are that some were internally clamoring for the typical Carll sense of humor, no one could legitimately say that the lanky Texan short-changed them. At 39, Carll, who meanders somewhere between the... »»»
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