U.S. Senator for California
U.S. Senator for California
Save Team 11
A unit of Afghan counter-IED specialists, Team 11, quite literally cleared the way for the Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs they partnered with. Their technical expertise and familiarity with Taliban tactics was indispensable as they detected and disabled IEDs (usually by hand) in advance of US forces. Many American Special Operators, myself included, are alive today because of Team 11. The vast majority of Team 11 was not fortunate enough to be on the flights out of Kabul: Including their families, there are more than 130 of these allies of the US still in Afghanistan - and in the face of the Afghan winter, most will be out money and food in a very short time without our assistance. As if their affiliation with the US military was not dangerous enough, Team 11 are Hazaras - an ethnic minority that has suffered extensive persecution at the hands of the Taliban. It's difficult to imagine a higher-risk group in Afghanistan. It is a moral obligation to provide for the health and welfare of our Afghan allies and assist wherever necessary to see them through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) application process. They volunteered to do the most dangerous job in Afghanistan to further the interests of a nation they've never known. And did so purely on faith: Faith that we would be there for them when times got hard. We must ensure that their faith in us, as Americans, was not misplaced and fulfill our moral obligation by providing Team 11 refuge in the United States. Sign to ask the State Department and Senator Padilla, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety to fulfill our promise and get Team 11 safely to the US. With or without the US Government's support, we are doing everything we can to provide aid; check out our efforts at SaveTeam11.org or donate to our fundraiser. We are providing point-to-point aid to help 130 people survive the famine, and have raised $30,000 so far. Now we are looking to expand our efforts to encompass other Counter-IED Teams as well. Teams 12,13, 19 and many more need our help as well. As a fellow former Green Beret, we at Team 11 ask Representative Michael Waltz to lend his support to our effort.
Helping Antonio Milane get disability accommodations at Stanford
MY CURRENT SITUATION:A few months ago, I was accepted into my dream school, Stanford University. At first, I felt like I was on top of the world. Just when I thought that the battle was over and that I could delve into my dreams at last, I realized that I might not be able to attend. The same story that befell me in prior years was going to consume my life again: Stanford University is unwilling to provide me access to a scribe for assignments deeming my necessity as a “personal preference.” Despite being an institution with billions of dollars, with enough resources to easily provide me with the needed accommodations, Stanford still negates its responsibility to do so, thus representing a blockade in my future endeavors. Simply put, I would be unable to attend Stanford and achieve my goals without the assistance of a scribe, as work will be impossible to complete for a boy who can not write. This petition represents the voice of the silenced and the continuous fight for accessibility. Around the country, thousands of disabled students fight for the right to attend college. My story coincides with this battle, and it is before you now. MORE ABOUT ME:When I was born, doctors dubbed me a ‘miracle child’. During my birth, complications arose, and I suffered massive brain damage. The umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck while my mother pushed me out, and I choked to death. For ten minutes, my heart stopped, and the doctors rushed to revive me. After a subsequent miracle, my fetal body was fading between life and death. I responded to no touch, sound, and was in a completely vegetative state. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy along with epilepsy, which are both neurological disorders that affect my ability to access my environment. Doctors told my mother that my brain damage would never heal, and I would be stuck in a vegetative state for the rest of my life. I would depend on them for all of my basic needs and never live a normal life. Luckily, I was born determined to change my fate. Throughout my entire childhood, I endured thousands of hours of therapy. I had no real childhood as my disability isolated me from others. It was hard for other kids to understand why I could not talk or move like them. However, I never let the fire inside me smolder. This inner fire guided me throughout my academic career as I frequently struggled to receive the proper accommodations I needed. Perpetuous battles about obtaining a scribe started in elementary school and have been consistent ever since. Teachers consistently congratulate me on my intelligence; however, I would fall behind because of my inability to write. My motor difficulties were never an excuse to underperform or give up on any task and in high school, I became a figure of purpose, hope, and advocacy for my cohort. HOW YOU CAN HELP:Please sign this petition and illustrate that this behavior is unacceptable. Financial incentives should never overcast humanistic values. Share this petition with more friends personally or via social media. If you are a current Stanford student or staff member, please share this with your Stanford community. Thank you.
Don’t Let Another Child Be Harmed By Unsafe Products!
It is every parent’s worst nightmare. When their toddler’s lips turned blue and he stopped breathing, my friend’s husband (a paramedic) knew what to do. He started CPR immediately. As the first breath went in bright red blood poured from their son’s mouth. In desperation, his parents continued performing CPR as they anxiously waited for the ambulance to arrive...but they knew it was too late. He was dead before he ever reached the ER. These parents are now walking through unimaginable grief. They were devestated. And they are not alone... Each child pictured here is one of many who have been killed or severely injured by swallowing unsecured button batteries. Batteries that can become lodged and burn through a child’s esophagus, causing fatal injuries in as little as two hours. We created this petition to demand federal safety standards that require secure button battery compartments and clear warnings of their dangers. We need to hold companies accountable to manufacture safe products and put lives before profits. Every year the number of children harmed by these batteries increases and we need change now! The only thing more tragic than the suffering of these children is the fact that it is entirely preventable. Australia has recognized this danger and put the welfare of children first by passing this legislation. It is time for the United States to do the same! The dangers are known and the solution is simple! This is common sense legislation that affects every individual with children they love! In 2020, there were 4000 button/coin cell battery ingestions reported to Poison Control Centers in the United States. These numbers are increasing at an alarming rate! The injuries inflicted by button batteries in a short time are horrific. I know because my daughter is one of those faces. Our lives were changed in an instant when a toy’s battery compartment failed and she quickly swallowed the lithium battery that fell out. Despite being rushed to the ER, she spent a week in the icu, a month in the hospital, and still has a long road to recovery. I never want anyone else to know what it is to be on your knees in an OR waiting room praying that God would take you instead of your baby. But too many do know... Since our daughter’s injury, I met other parents whose children were injured or killed by these batteries. Batteries that easily fell out of household items like TV remotes, key fobs, and medical equipment meant to help them. I met a mother whose daughter has spent the last four months in the hospital fighting for her life. I met two more who were devastated by the deaths of their toddlers just days apart this winter. One held her 23 month old son as a battery burned through his aorta and he bled out in minutes. The other spent 40 days watching her 18 month old daughter go through countless surgeries and procedures only to lose her battle. I cannot imagine their pain…but they are channeling that pain into a purpose…protecting the children of others. We have joined together in the hope that our collective voices might finally be loud enough to be heard. Our numbers have only continued to grow. It is easy to hear stories on the news and think...”It could never happen to me.” But this nightmare is becoming a reality for too many families as products containing these batteries increase without safety regulations. It can happen in mere seconds. Please support our petition for Congress to enact a “Button Battery Bill” that puts in place gravely needed safety standards. No child should ever suffer when it is in our power to protect them! We are asking specifically for legislation that puts in place mandatory federal safety standards for consumer products containing these batteries. This legislation should require: 1-Secured battery compartments in products with replaceable batteries. This means they shall: (a) have a battery compartment (or other enclosure) that is secured (with a captive screw, bolt or mechanism) such that it requires a tool to gain access to the batteries, OR (b) have a battery compartment that requires two or more independent AND simultaneous actions to remove its cover. 2-Completely secure and inaccessible batteries for products with non replaceable batteries 3-Mandatory testing to ensure compliance with safety standards 4-Highly visible warnings and emergency advice on packaging and products containing button/coin cell batteries 5-Child resistant packaging for button/coin cell batteries *We also ask that this new legislation ensures that there are no loopholes which allow large vendors and marketplaces, such as Amazon, to avoid compliance with the aforementioned safety standards. These regulations mean nothing if some of the largest vendors and distributors are not subject to them. One child's life lost is one too many. Please help us make sure there is never another! Thank you so much for your support! Gratefully, Kristin and Jason Kientz & Jackie and AJ Huff Join us at Button Battery Awareness: Protecting Our Children
Amend the No Surprises Act of 2022 regarding Private Practice Mental Health Clinicians
Recently Congress passed a bill entitled the No Surprises Act of 2022. While the spirit of this Act is positive, ensuring individuals do not receive a medical bill from a hospital or medical facility for thousands of dollars, it also should be amended as to Private Practice Mental Health Professionals/Therapists (including the following: LPC's, LMHC's, LMFT's, LCSW's, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and provisionally licensed therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists). This bill was a broad sweep of all Federal or State Licensed Healthcare Practitioners without a full understanding of our ethics, our current billing procedures for out-of-network clients or how our practices work in Mental and Behavioral Health. In private counseling practices (often made up of sole practitioners or small groups of therapists without admin staff) where clients opt to self-pay, do not have insurance and pay out-of-pocket, or the therapist is out-of-network, fees are always disclosed up front and agreed upon by the counselor/therapist and the client prior to services commencing. Along with the fee being disclosed, the insurance network status of the therapist is always disclosed before services commence as well. These private pay clients pay at the time of each session and there are never surprise fees. We already have very strict ethical guidelines that we adhere to with our boards and are required to provide informed consent/disclosures regarding fees prior to services. This new law creates unnecessary obstacles for this particular profession as we already follow strict guidelines. The only time there seem to be surprises for both us as clinicians and for our clients is when dealing with insurance companies who suddenly decide to deny claims for in-network therapists and clients, which this Act does not even address. In fact, the way the bill is currently written seems to favor in-network providers and insurance companies, when many consumers opt not to use their insurance for mental health for confidentiality purposes and to avoid these surprises from insurance companies. In addition, many of the requirements of the Good Faith Estimate are unethical for a therapist to engage in. For instance, the GFE asks for a diagnosis up front and it would be completely unethical for a therapist to diagnose a client without ever meeting them. We stand firm and united that we will not diagnose an individual with a mental health condition without ever meeting or assessing a client first and believe we would have support from our boards. Many clinicians prefer not to provide formal diagnoses for ethical reasons and many consumers do not want a formal diagnosis in therapy and can be treated without one, yet the GFE requires one up front. In addition, it would also be impossible and unethical to determine the exact length of treatment for a client without working with them first, thus making it impossible to let clients know exactly how many sessions they will need on the GFE. Treatment changes throughout the process as well, often with new issues arising during the course of treatment, making it impossible to say the exact number of sessions. These same ethical issues exist for supplying a GFE to an insurance company for in-network therapists as it has been stated will be coming next. Please amend the No Surprises Act of 2022 and the Good Faith Estimate requirements for Mental Health Practitioners/Therapists in small private practice offices. This bill should be directed at those facilities who engage in this type of unethical and surprise billing, not private practice mental health professionals who take self-pay clients and disclose their rates up front already. Mental health clinicians are needed now more than ever and this adds a layer of bureaucracy and confusion that is not necessary for this level of practictioner in this field and may become a barrier to people getting the help they need. Amend the Act to make common sense for this particular profession or exclude us from the Act completely as it currently does not make sense for our level of practice and requires us to engage in unethical practices. Mental Health Clinicians need more support and better understanding of our profession at this crucial time, not more barriers to care for our clients. This bill was not written with any consideration for this profession, our ethics or our clients and their unique needs. Please Amend the No Surprises Act.
DHS: HELP Karumi reunite with her US CITIZEN husband, Robert and her 7 month baby girl.
Karumi Reyes came to the US when she was only 6 years old. She is now married to her high school sweetheart, Robert Reyes, a United States Citizen. She is also the mother of a beautiful baby girl, Allison, who is only 7 months old. Karumi was granted DACA protections at the age of 17. A couple of weeks ago, she left to Ciudad Juarez for her residency interview after her husband petitioned for her. Her and her family were left devastated when the consular officer informed her that the petition was not approved and that she could not come back to be with her family until 2031. Karumi has been a school teacher in the state of Texas since 2019. She has been attending public schools in College Station, Tx since the 1st grade. After Graduating from A&M Consolidated High School in 2014, she went on to attend Texas A&M. Karumi graduated with her Masters of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction in December of 2019. Karumi began the lengthy journey of filing for her legal permanent residency in 2017. Robert and Karumi gathered all the required documents and with the assistance of their attorney got ready for her consular interview in Ciudad Juarez. She attended her interview on March 30th 2021. On this day her entire world crumbled. The separation of her family is already causing irreparable harm. Robert is experiencing devastating pain due to his family being separated and has already lost 10 pounds as a result. Sadly, baby Allison has had recent medical issues and is suffering from stomach pain. Please show them your support by signing this petition and sharing it with your friends and family. Let’s join together to ask the Department of Homeland Security to bring Karumi home to her family who desperately await her return. DHS Please listen to Mrs. Karumi's plea and approve her petitions to come back and reunite with her United States Citizen husband Robert and her beautiful baby Allison. ------------------------------------------ Karumi Reyes, llegó a los Estados Unidos cuando solo tenía 6 años. Ella está casada con el quien ha sido el amor de su vida desde la secundaria, Robert Reyes, ciudadano de los Estados Unidos. También es madre de una hermosa niña, llamada Allison, que solo tiene 7 meses. Karumi recibió protecciones de DACA a la edad de 17 años. Hace un par de semanas, fue a Ciudad Juárez para su entrevista de residencia Ella y su familia quedaron devastados cuando el oficial consular le informó que la petición no fue aprobada y que no podría regresar para estar con su familia hasta el 2031. Karumi ha sido maestra de escuela en el estado de Texas desde 2019. Ha estado asistiendo a escuelas públicas en College Station, Tx. Después de graduarse de A&M Consolidated High School en 2014, asistió a Texas A&M. Karumi con su Maestría en diciembre de 2019. Karumi comenzó el largo camino de solicitar su residencia legal permanente desde el 2017. Robert y Karumi reunieron todos los documentos requeridos y con la ayuda de su abogado se prepararon para su entrevista consular en Ciudad Juárez. Asistió a su entrevista el 30 de marzo de 2021. Ese día su mundo entero se derrumbó. Ahora la separación de su familia ya está causando daños irreparables. Robert está experimentando un dolor devastador debido a la separación de su familia y como resultado, ya ha perdido 10 libras. Lamentablemente, la bebé Allison, ha tenido problemas médicos recientes y tiene dolores de estómago. Por favor, demuestre su apoyo firmando esta petición y compartiéndola con sus amigos y familiares. Unámonos para pedirle al Departamento de Seguridad Nacional -DHS- que permita regresar a Karumi a su hogar con su familia, que espera desesperadamente su regreso.
Get COVID-19 Vaccine for Taiwan
We hereby declare that the US government sell Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to Taiwan, a country near Southeast Asia, to aid them in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Taiwan is a very important country that can manufacture lots of machinery, like TSMC microchips, which are ranked high globally. Few other countries could create these skillful pieces of delicate machinery, and Taiwan now needs our help. Taiwan recently had another outbreak of COVID-19, causing the number of cases to rise exponentially over the course of 5 days. We all have many relatives living in Taiwan, so we would worry for their health if they contracted the virus. Think of how Taiwan might be affected, with its 23 million population. These microchips are part of the many machines and tools that America uses, and since Taiwan has limited resources, we ask that the US consider selling extra Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to Taiwan, only 20-30 million. Taiwan may be able to resist the outbreak with the help of the vaccines, so it is crucial that the general public gets vaccinated. The only vaccines that Taiwan can access are AstraZeneca from the United Nations, and even those ran out. Now that the US has some vaccines, like Pfizer and Moderna, maybe the US would be willing to sell some of those vaccines to Taiwan to help them. 我們請求美國向台灣出售額外的輝瑞或莫德納疫苗。 由於有了疫苗，COVID-19 終於停止了對美國的威脅。最近出現了一個問題。台灣是一個能夠迅速採取行動以制止病毒傳播，並且具有全球影響力的國家。 台灣不只是有珍珠奶茶和鹹酥雞的好地方，而且是一個非常重要的國家，他們製造很多機械，例如台積電（TSMC）晶片，是全球頂尖。很少有其他國家能夠製造出這些技巧嫻熟的精密機械，而台灣現在需要我們的幫助。 台灣最近又爆發了COVID-19，導致病例數在5天內呈指數倍增。我們在台灣有很多老年的親人，我的外公，舅公，姑婆，姨婆等等，如果他們感染了這種病毒，我會很擔心。想想台灣可能會有怎樣的影響:台灣只有2300萬人口。 台灣唯一可以使用的疫苗是聯合國的阿斯利康，已經用完了還不夠。現在美國已經有了一些疫苗，例如輝瑞和莫德納，也許美國願意將其中一些疫苗賣給台灣以幫助他們。如果台灣晶片的生產減慢，對世界經濟是一種傷害，而且美國使用的許多機器和工具也需要台灣的晶片。 台灣的資源有限，人口也很少，我們請求美國考慮向台灣出售額外的輝瑞或莫德納疫苗。感謝您的時間。
Close the Loophole: Pass the Adoptee Citizenship Act
My name is Patrick Armstrong and I’m a Korean American adoptee. When I was 15 my mother and I went to the BMV to get my driver’s permit (a milestone in any kid’s life). What should have been an exciting, fun day turned into a nightmare. The employees at the BMV told me that they could not verify my birth certificate. In fact, they thought it was fake. Luckily, my parents had already completed the process to grant me U.S. citizenship, but that day, I realized that citizenship is not a guarantee for all adoptees. Over 20 years ago, Congress passed the Child Citizenship Act, a law with a life-altering loophole: The law granted citizenship to thousands of adoptees, but only to those who turned 18 before the law was passed. Any intercountry adoptee who had already turned 18 was not granted citizenship. Tens of thousands still do not have American citizenship to this day. Through no fault of their own, these adoptees were brought to America as infants and children and, despite building lives, starting families, and existing under the impression that they were American citizens. They live each day with fear that they will have everything taken away and be sent back to a country they have no memory of. The longer that we wait, the more that fear becomes reality. Since the original legislation was passed, these adoptees have waited over 20 years to be given what they should have always had: citizenship. Without citizenship, adoptees are unable to fully participate in American life. It affects their ability to: attain sustainable, gainful employment, receive healthcare insurance like Medicare or Medicaid, obtain identification like Real IDs and Passports, and vote in our elections, among other things. Through the currently introduced Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021, all legally-adopted intercountry adoptees would be granted automatic citizenship regardless of the date that their adoption was finalized. It will also provide a pathway to citizenship for those who have already been deported. Congress can grant all adoptees what they should have always had: citizenship. Join me in demanding justice for all intercountry adoptees. Video courtesy of Adoptees for JusticePSA produced and directed by Tammy Chu & Konrad Thọ FiedlerAdditional photography and sound by Zeta Fernández & Pamela Adaro