Alabama State House
Alabama State House
Remove Selma’s KKK Memorialization: Rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Fifty years ago, the Voting Rights Movement marched through Selma and over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The marches across the bridge led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and today the bridge is a symbol of nonviolent victory for change! Unfortunately, the bridge is STILL named after a man who served as Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan, was a Confederate General, and was later elected as a United States Senator. The bridge was the site of “Bloody Sunday”. On March 7, 1965, hundreds of nonviolent protesters attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery for their right to vote. But as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were met by Alabama state troopers and deputized civilians who were armed with billy clubs, tear gas, and cattle prods and attacked the marchers and drove them back to Brown Chapel Church. How could a landmark that holds so much significance for the civil rights movement be named after a man who not only supported slavery, but held one of the highest positions within the Ku Klux Klan? It's time for the state of Alabama, the city of Selma, and the National Park Service to remove a KKK leader's name from the historic bridge. Selma and the Voting Rights Movement altered the course of history forever, and Selma has done too much for this country to remain unchanged. Selma is currently 80% African American, with a black mayor and majority African American local city officials. The name Edmund Pettus is far from what the city of Selma should honor. Let’s change the image of the bridge from hatred and rename it to memorialize hope and progress. Please sign our petition calling on Selma and Alabama leaders and the National Park Service to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Protect transgender youth and prevent the passage of the VCCPA
The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act would make it illegal for individuals under the age of 19 to receive life saving gender affirmation treatments in Alabama. Neglecting to adhere to it would result in being charged with a Class C felony. It will also protect therapists and school counselors who out transgender children to their families, which is a gross violation of the confidentiality standards that these people are held to. The treatments that transgender youth receive is a matter only between them, their family, and their doctors. Puberty blockers, which are entirely reversible and aren't exclusively administered to transgender youth, will be banned under this. Shelnutt, a sponsor of VCCPA, states that he wishes to ban treatments with irreversible consequences. Alongside many other outdated statistics and false claims made by him and other sponsors, it is clear that they lack education on this topic. The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act does not protect children nor show them compassion. All it does is bar trans youth from receiving necessary treatments.
Free My Grandfather Edward L. Daughtry
My grandfather Edward Levern Daughtry, a Navy veteran and minister, desperately needs your help. He's been in prison for the past 22 years for a nonviolent robbery he did during a hard time in his life. But now he's an elderly man that's turned his life around. If Edward was sentenced today for his only class A offense, he would've been eligible for parole 7 years ago. I want to present our cause to the Alabama State House and Senate, and the Baldwin County DA. Hopefully, they'll see that he is a harmless and earnest man that wants to return to society and reunite with his family. 22 years for a nonviolent crime is far too long, so his sentence should be considered complete.I haven't seen my grandfather in several years and he hasn't met his three great grandchildren yet. Although I value our bittersweet conversations over the phone, I want to hug him in person, introduce him to my husband and son, and make his favorite dessert Pineapple Upside Down cake. He said when he gets out, he wants to share his life story in a biography and spend time with his family. "I try to be a light in a dark place," He said. "I try to be a kind word where there is pain." He's serving his term at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama. Alabama's Habitual Felony Offender Act(HFOA) is an outdated law that has largely contributed to the overcrowded and violent state prisons. It enhances a person's sentence based on how many prior felonies they have committed. HFOA Facts: 536 people are incarcerated in Alabama for sentences of life or life without parole for robbery. The vast majority of cases involve no physical injury. Of these, 239 will die in prison unless the law is changed. Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act is more severe than repeat offender statutes in every other southern state – except Mississippi. 3 out of 4 people sentenced to die in prison under HFOA are Black. Links to learn more about HFOA: Smart Justice Alabama Report Alabama Appleseed Organization Report If you want to help, please sign this petition, share it with your friends and family on all social media, and reach out to any justice organizations or elected officials that can spread our message. Thank you so much for whatever you can do! GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/cf253aff
Youth Against the Alabama Human Life Protection Act
AHLPA, better known as the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, was recently signed into law by our Governor Kay Ivey. On Twitter, she proclaimed that "...this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God." These are the drastic changes being made in our state regarding abortion due to AHLPA: 1. “This bill would make abortion and attempted abortion felony offenses except in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother.” There are NO EXEMPTIONS FOR RAPE OR INCEST. 2.“Section 6. (a) An abortion performed in violation of this act is a Class A felony.” A Class A felony in Alabama can see those found guilty in jail for NO LESS THAN TEN, AND UP TO NINETY-NINE.*. 3. “(b) An attempted abortion performed in violation of this act is a Class C felony.” A Class C felony in Alabama can see those found guilty in jail for NO LESS THAN TWO, AND UP TO TWENTY YEARS.* *According to https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/felony-offense/alabama-felony-class.htm 4. “Section 8. The construction of existing statutes and regulations that regulate or recognize abortion in Alabama that are in conflict with or antagonistic to this act shall be repealed as null and void and shall recognize the prohibition of abortion as provided in this act. If this act is challenged and enjoined pending a final judicial decision, the existing statutes and regulations that regulate or recognize abortion shall remain in effect during that time.” You can read the full bill for yourself here: https://www.al.com/news/2019/05/alabama-abortion-ban-passes-read-the-bill.html The passage of this act by the Alabama government is a gross infringement on the rights of millions of women. In the Roe v. Wade Case of 1973, the Supreme Court “found [abortions] to be implicit in the liberty guarantee of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (“…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”). In the case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992), the Supreme Court “established that restrictions on abortion are unconstitutional if they place an ‘undue burden’ on a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus is viable.” You can learn more about these cases here: https://www.britannica.com/event/Roe-v-Wadehttps://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion/roe-v-wadehttps://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/505/833 Women are being stripped of the rights to dictate what happens with their own bodies. Safe abortions for ALL women in the U.S. is a constitutional right that must be upheld, and this law is a direct attack on that idea, and women themselves. There is no reason why, in a nation that is founded on the ideas of freedom, that women cannot choose WHAT to do with their bodies and WHEN. Kate Ivey is abusing her power and attacking American ideals by passing this legislation. Our government stands to protect and uphold the values of the Constitution, which includes women’s rights to safe abortion and control over their reproductive systems. As a young woman nearing adulthood, I will not tolerate this violation upon women's rights as citizens of this country. I call on all of my fellow youth to take a stand against AHLPA. Being able to have access to safe abortions and related procedures is a necessity for many women, and here in the U.S., there is no reason for our sex to be barred from making such an intimate decision. We are a developed nation that prides itself on our rights and freedoms. Access to safe abortion should not be jeopardized in this day and age. It is a fact that women will still seek out abortions even after the passing of this bill. Women will be forced to spend more unnecessary time, energy, and hardships seeking out safe procedures that SHOULD BE AVAILABLE HERE. It is also a fact that nations without legalized, safe, abortion options have similar abortion rates as nations that have legal/safe options, but more of these women end up suffering with long term injuries/dying due to unsafe alternatives. Including religion into this narrative is unnecessary and irrelevant and only draws away from the fact that we are being attacked and stripped of our rights. Women are free thinking American citizens who have a right to our reproductive systems, and will CHOOSE what goes on with our bodies. This petition is serves as a way for our voices to be heard by our government. We may be too young to vote now, but before you know it, we WILL be heading to the polls (and perhaps running for office ourselves). We want Alabama to know that we will not stand for this blatant abuse of power that targets women and their ability to choose what happens to their OWN, INDEPENDENT bodies. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: https://www.guttmacher.org/united-states/abortion - Guttmacher Institutehttps://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/ - Planned Parenthoodhttps://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alabama-governor-signs-controversial-abortion-ban-bill-law-n1006211 - News on the passge of AHLPA by NBC Newshttp://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/abortion/upload/Summary-of-Roe-v-Wade-and-Other-Key-Abortion-Cases.pdf - Summary of Supreme Court rulings on abortion https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/us/abortion-laws-states.html - New York TImes article on current U.S. abortion bans
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
Protect transgender youth healthcare rights and oppose Alabama HB-1
A proposed law (Alabama HB-1) seeks to prohibit and criminalize medical care for transgender youth in Alabama. Gender-affirming care and pubertal suppression of adolescents has been a medical practice since the late 1980s and has a wealth of evidence to support the practice. Transgender youth are at an increased risk of experiencing depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations – which studies have shown gender-affirming care can reduce the incidence of. Not only does HB-1 seek to criminalize medical treatment for transgender youth, this bill also seeks to require teachers to disclose information about transgender youth to their parents, regardless of the student's feelings about this which would be a further detriment to their mental health. Rather than criminalize gender-affirming care for transgender youth, we need to focus on solutions to provide access to safe and equitable healthcare services. According to the treatment guidelines for gender-affirming care, individuals must establish care with a psychiatrist prior to beginning pubertal suppression or hormone therapy. Alabama is among the states with the lowest access to mental health services, particularly for adolescents. Providing access to mental health professionals will allow children and adolescents to explore their gender identity through evidence-based approaches. Along with improved mental health services, we need to support the training of medical professionals to provide access to gender-affirming care for adolescent patients. Through signing this petition, we urge the Alabama State House to oppose the criminalization of gender-affirming care for youth and to rather support improved access to mental health and gender-affirming care services!
FREEDOM MATTERS, RELEASE ALL FROM JAIL FOR CANNABIS RELATED CHARGES UNDER 8 OUNCES
We have had many successes recently in progressing cannabis laws - which are to be celebrated. However, we can’t celebrate the progress without acknowledging the travesties that are still happening daily. There are literally millions of Afro American men and women sitting in jails and prison cells because of the failed war on drugs. While our representatives in Congress focus on banking, interstate commerce, and states’ rights, human beings are being incarcerated and enslaved by corporate prisons for possession of a plant, the majority of which are Afro Americans. For instance, Corvain Cooper is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for non-violent marijuana-related charges. According to the ACLU, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply possessing marijuana. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Black people are 3.73 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana. Over half of those arrests were of black males between 2001 and 2010. Let that number sink in for a minute. We need to create a plan that releases these people from prisons and jails throughout the United States. It is imperative that every state that passes tax and regulation laws also includes the release of those serving time for non-violent cannabis convictions. We need to focus on getting those incarcerated for non-violent cannabis charges released so they can start their lives again with their loved ones. Corporate prisons in the US profit an average of $39,000 per incarcerated person per year. In New York, they profit $60,000 per person. It’s unjust and needs to end. It’s time to start righting the wrongs of cannabis prohibition and the prison industrial complex. Every time a state considers “legalizing” cannabis, the first consideration needs to be for the men and women who have been locked up and removed from society for the same plant they are planning on collecting billions of dollars in taxes on. Please sign the petition to let your voice be heard - no legalization without every non-violent cannabis prisoner’s release. If you want to continue the support for this effort further please contact the National Cannabis Diversity Awareness Convention by email (NDACPDX@GMAIL.COM)
Leave school calendar decisions at the local level in Alabama.
There is currently a movement in the Alabama Legislature to propose a bill that would mandate a standardized calendar for all public schools. The proposed plan would require all public schools in the state to run from Labor Day to Memorial Day. This change has been proposed to increase tourism revenue in the state. This idea takes all autonomy away from local school systems and makes it much more difficult for school systems to do what they feel is best for their students, staff, and stakeholders. It will drive students into private and charter schools due to the burdens on time these proposed calendars would place on families. Please join with us to send the Legislature a clear message that this type of plan is not needed or wanted in Alabama and that it will fix none of the problems we face in our schools today! Sign our petition and help us keep control of school calendars local, where that control belongs!
Replace the statues of slave owners with solar panels
I know that many others alongside myself have been devastated by the murder of George Floyd and it has brought issues of institutional racism into the public eye. Because of this, now is as good a time as any to remove the statues of slave owners from the streets of America. The open celebration of slave ownership should have no place in 2020 America. There is no valid explanation to have these statues erected that isn't built on racist ideology. It is understood that these people are an important part of history to a lot of white America but they should not be celebrated. The erection of solar panels in place of these statues would help to battle the climate crisis - of which America has played it's fair part.