Alabama State Senate
Alabama State Senate
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.
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!
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources : Stop the euthanization of orphaned wildlife in Alabama.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division) issued a letter on August 29, 2013, to all Alabama Wildlife Rescue Centers and licensed Alabama wildlife rehabilitators. The letter states that due to a policy change, they will not be allowed to rehabilitate any fur bearing animals including orphaned/injured baby bats, skunks, opossums, foxes, coyotes, feral pigs and raccoons. Furthermore they are to be turned over to specified locations for euthanization. The original concern was for what is believed to be an overpopulation of raccoons in the state and the threat from rabies and other diseases which raccoons "can" carry as can ANY mammal. The small number of these animals that are orphaned each year, rehabilitated and returned into the wild is not significant enough to be causing an overpopulation. Statistics gathered by the Alabama Department of Health for 2013 shows the number of documented cases of raccoon rabies is eleven. THERE HAVE BEEN NO DOCUMENTED CASES OF HUMAN INFECTION SINCE 1994. Statistics gathered by ADOH from 1950-2012 show an average of 29 cases of raccoon rabies per year while the same time span shows dogs to be the highest with an average of 47 cases per year. Clearly dogs have been more of a threat then raccoons. These numbers are for the whole state of Alabama. RABIES IS NOT AIRBORNE. We do not need to be killing perfectly healthy animals who are zero risk to anyone. Any mammal can get rabies if they are bitten by an infected animal. There are documented cases of cows and horses having rabies. Raccoons are not born with rabies, they can only get rabies by being bitten by an infected animal. So what this amounts to is a war on orphaned/injured baby bats, skunks, opossums, foxes, coyotes, feral pigs and raccoons. There is no way to test for rabies without killing the animal and necropsy of the brain. Millions are tested every year and only a tiny percentage are ever positive. As far as the concern for "public safety": People will always be finding orphaned wildlife and will need a place to turn them in for rehabilitation. With this new policy, do they really think people will turn babies in to be killed? NO, this will only drive rescuing and rehabilitation underground and make it much more difficult for the public to find someone to help therefore causing the animals to be raised by well intentioned people who have no idea what they are doing. By doing this they will be putting many more people and domestic animals in potential contact with the diseases they are so worried about. Please urge Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to rescind this policy. People HAVE always and WILL always try to help the helpless, especially little animals. How do you explain to children that all Fish & Game will do with a wild baby is kill it? What kind of message does that send? Please do not tie the hands of the trained proffessional rehabilitators and wildlife centers. They are the buffer zone between our wild life and the general public. There is absolutely no cost to the state of Alabama nor to the taxpayers to allow the continued rehabilitation of these orphaned babies. All rehabilitators and wildlife centers are funded through donations and out of the personal pockets of the rehabilitators...a true labor of love. By what authority can any government agency, established to protect our resources, go against the very wellbeing that has been entrusted to them to protect.
Women's Rights: My Body My Choice
Already two states are looking to end the Roe v. Wade supreme court case which gives a right to privacy (protects the right to Women to have an abortion), if this case ruling is deleted the states will have the power to create their own laws and restrictions on what a women can do with her own body. Most of the political seats being held right now are by men therefore we are letting men get away with making choices for us without them having to deal with the consequences of being pregnant. Just this month the Alabama Senate passed a bill which makes nearly all abortions criminalizing and putting the abortion providers at risk for a lifetime sentence in prison. While this petition is not a one and done solution, it is one way we can fight back, raise support, have a voice, and take back our right. Passing these types of laws would not only be detrimental to a girl who has to carry around a baby for nine months but it would be destructive to mental health, financial stability, and happiness. Pro-choice is not pro-death, pro-choice is a right and a liberty.
Animal Shelter for Lamar County
Lamar County is in need of a animal shelter and the issue is not being addressed by the county or city officials. Lamar County Humane Society is a shelterless non profit organization that has been in existence since the early 80’s. It has helped provide financial assistance for the spaying and neutering of pets and adopted strays through fund raisers, donations, and with a small financial donation from the city of Vernon only. The non profit has managed to utilize a new resource of transporting animals in need up north through rescues who commit to rescued animals within our organization. Since Janurary 2018 alone, the organization has provided the care and transportation of over 130 puppies from the city of Vernon...with a few exceptions of other city rescues as well. There is 3 foster homes these puppies have been managed through and the numbers are growing with people needing assistance of having problems with unwanted strays. There has been recent stray attacks within the city of Vernon along with many other concerns of owner owned dogs threatening citizens at their own homes or businesses. The county commissioners are aware of the issues and have been confronted by myself along with our local vet trying to address the topic of a shelter/impoundment that should by law [3-7A-7 Alabama State Code] be provided for the people and the stray animals of Lamar County. The county’s response is there is no extra funds for this type of project and that the citizens of Lamar County need to contact our state legislators to fight for extra funding for the county for this matter. We the citizens of Lamar County need to be heard!! It’s up to each of us to speak for the voiceless, to make a change, and to do what is right. Start by being a voice.
Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!
When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities
Justice For My Husband Bernard Simpson
Hello everyone. Most of you all know somewhat of what my family and I are going through. These last few weeks have been so devastating but I have to remain strong for my husband and continue to fight for him. For those that may not know who I am, my name is Karla Simpson. My husband, Bernard Simpson was arrested December 30, 2016 on a warrant from Alabama stating that he was a fugitive from justice. My husband was then informed that he was released from prison “too early” back in May of 2011 due to a clerical error. He spent time at the local jail here in Georgia until Alabama Department of Corrections came to pick him up on January 8th where he is currently now an inmate at Kilby Prison in Montgomery, Alabama. My husband and I have known each other since middle school. We’ve been married now for 5 years and he is also a new father of a 9 month old daughter. As previously mentioned, Bernard was released from prison here in Georgia in May of 2011 and was placed on parole. He recently completed his parole in November of 2016. Since being released, my husband has completely turned his life around and has become a successful and productive citizen. He has maintained work since being released and has also started his own business in transportation and has made quite an impression on the transportation industry here in Georgia. As his wife and as a new mother, I am completely devastated. My husband and I have started this new life and it has completely changed due to this unacceptable error. My husband had no idea nor was he ever informed that he was wanted in the almost 5 ½ years he’s been out. I want to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers but I am now asking for your support in signing this petition in hopes that the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole, the state's governor Robert J. Bently and the District Attorney Daryl D. Bailey take the state’s error and my husband’s contributions to society into consideration and release him. My husband made some mistakes very early in his life and has paid his debts to society. Financially and emotionally, this situation has hit us very hard. My husband doesn’t deserve to have his years of hard work and family stripped from him because of this error. I am asking that you please take a moment and sign this petition for my husband and me. We would greatly appreciate your support. Thank you