Rock star calls on absent parents to "Standup, man up" - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Rock star calls on absent parents to 'Standup, man up'


He's a rock star turned activist when it comes to deadbeat parents. And Art Alexakis, lead singer of the band Everclear, is part of a new campaign called "Standup, man up."

He was in Lake Charles last week for a concert at L'auberge spoke to KPLC about his efforts to make deadbeat dads and moms take responsibility.

Alexakis' song, "Father of Mine," wasn't only a hit song for his band Everclear. It offers a glimpse of the pain he endured as a child when his father left.

"He wasn't involved in my life at all. He didn't pay child support, he left when I was five or six, he didn't have anything to do with my life. I was raised by my mother. I was taught to be a man by a very strong single mom," said Alexakis. "Abandonment is just something that goes deep, deep into the human psyche, not just in our country, everywhere."

Alexakis is part of a campaign called "Standup, man up" which seeks to force absent parents to take responsibility for their children.

"Standup, manup applies to everything. If you're a man, man up. If you're a woman, be a match. Do what you're supposed to do, pay your bills. Hopefully, this is going to inspire people to take more of an interest and be there for their kids," said Alexasis.

He said there's a petition aimed at passing a bi-partisan bill that would lead to tougher child support enforcement -- he'd like to see the federal government collect unpaid child support from deadbeat parents.

"Right now, there's over $150 million of uncollected judgements per year. That's $150 million dollars that aren't going to help single moms and single dads and kids basically eat and buy clothes and pay for school and pay for gas for the car to gets the kids to school," said Alexakis.

He also supports the idea of testing to determine paternity even before a child is born.

"You can paternity test immediately, do a blood test to see who the father is of a pregnant woman, and that they are responsible from inception, not from later on in life, so they have to share in the bills. To me, you can't legislate morality. But you can legislate responsibility. And that's what needs to happen," said Alexakis.

As Alexakis summer tour heads west so does his growing effort to spread the word about "Standup, manup" and the children who so much need the support of both biological parents.
Alexakis is on a concert tour called Summerland and his next stops include Dallas, Austin and Houston.

To find out more about the "Standup, man up" petition click here. To hear more of our interview with Alexakis look for our web extra. Those pushing for responsible fatherhood also have a web site aimed at helping single mothers.

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