US Senator, Minnesota
US Senator, Minnesota
Allow Transgender People Into the U.S. Military
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Donald Trump announced that transgender individuals would no longer be accepted or allowed into the U.S. Military because their cost is a "burden." This is extremely disgraceful and an insult to all those who have already given their lives for this country. This is not equality, and this is not "supporting the LGBT community," as he said he does. This is utterly transphobic. Many people who served are going to be left jobless, and many others will no longer be able to fulfill their dreams. This is not okay, and this should not be legal. Trans people are still people.
Stop Forcing Mail Order Pharmacy as Only Choice of Coverage & Monitor Package Temperature
My son, received a life saving liver transplant at the age of 2. His life depends on the potency and effectiveness of chemotherapy/immune suppression medications. In the past mail order delivered his liquid oral medications in nothing but a plastic envelope on a 102 degree day on a hot enclosed not temperature controlled UPS truck. Shortly after, he went into liver rejection which could have resulted in complete liver failure or death. I speculated that the medication could have been too weak after the delivery of medications in high heat. I vowed to never again risk his life with mail order pharmacy. Recently, we were mandated/forced to only use mail order pharmacy in order to receive coverage for his life saving medications. Hesitant, I begged for an ice pack. The package arrived on an about 90 degree day again without an ice pack. His labs elevated again afterwards. My son wants to know, "Why would they do that?" I contacted the manufacturer, who completes all of the testing for my son drugs who stated that both of my son's medications should be discarded and considered less potent once stored above 86 degrees as higher temperatures and freezing could result in lower potency. I also found out that the liquid medication that the youngest children take are the most harmed by the mishandling of medications outside of the manufactures temperature storage guidelines. Our youngest of children's lives are being threatened. I contacted the mail order pharmacy who refused to take replace or take back the medication. They said the law & USP Pharmacopoeia allows them to ship up to 104 degrees, although the manufacturer states it is not proven safe at these temperatures. I contacted the FDA, who states that the mail order pharmacy should be using the manufacturer's guidelines that have been proven safe. Not the reference range by USP that has not tested my son's exact medication. However since the mail order pharmacies are regulated loosley by the State Board of Pharmacy, not the FDA there was nothing that the FDA could do. I spoke with a UPS driver. He states temperatures on his truck are far above 104 degrees on a 90 degree day. He is mandated to keep his door closed unless getting a package. He states it gets so hot on a 90 degree day that he cannot breathe when he opens the back. I made over 30 calls to the insurance company begging for them to please let us pick my son's medications up at the local pharmacy at which they are filled. My son's physician wrote a note/appeal as his transplant team has stated that they have tried to voice their concerns about this issue with their pediatric/child patients and no one is listening! The insurance company still denied the doctor's appeal for us to pick up my son's medications in the safest way. It was not until the Media became evolved that the insurance company budged. I felt helpless and have untied with many other pharmacist, physicians, patients, mothers and fathers, and caregivers who feel the same way. Helpless. Mail order of prescription drugs should be a choice not the only option of coverage. Mandatory mail order programs from all plan types (INCLUDING the plans that are regulated by ERISA) needs to cease until mail order pharmacies are forced to store and monitor medications during their deliveries at the temperatures tested and proven safe by the manufacturer. I would never put my son's medications in a hot non-temperature controlled environment, and shoudn't be forced to only use this option in order to get coverage for his life saving medications. Mail order pharmacies may appear to save money, but when my son ended up in the hosptial after taking medications that could have been compromised by having lower potency, the cost of the rejection was thousands of dollars. If his liver would have fully failed, the cost of his liver transplant for just 5 days (he was in the hospital for 5 weeks) was over $1,000,000. The lax regulation and oversight may save money on prescription drug plans, but may come at an increased cost to the health plan itself. Also, keep in mind the endless waste of medications that automatically are sent regardless of whether or not patients need them. Also, people with chronic, complex conditions, should always have the option of face to face interaction with a pharmacist who knows their complex needs and medical history. Could you imagine being required to go to a different doctor every time you needed medical care for you or your family? The pharmacist and patient relationship is crucial to the successful outcome of the patient's overall health. Taking this away is harmful to patients and be more costly to our already stressed healthcare system. Another important fact. Mandatory mail order programs are discriminatory. It is estimated that 40% of our homeless are disabled. How is mandatory mail order fair and working for them as they may not have an address and not even know where they will be from day to day? We need legislation to protect all patients by ending the mandatory mail order pharmacy coverage in every type of plan offered in the nation. We need your help to make mandatory mail order an option not a mandate. YOUR URGENT SUPPORT WILL SAVE LIVES! THANK YOU!!
We demand that The United States Senate not confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General
As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the Attorney General of the United States must be independent of politics and respect the dignity of all Americans. The Attorney General has a duty to enforce the rule of law fairly and pursue equal justice under the law. One of the core functions of the Department of Justice is to protect Americans’ civil rights, and to defend those who have been denied them. Another key function of the Department of Justice is to protect our security, but never sacrifice our civil liberties. Not only has Senator Sessions been a staunch opponent of reforming the tragic shortcomings in our criminal justice system, he holds a number of views that are inconsistent with how most Americans believe justice should be applied under our Constitution.
Congress: Censure President Trump For His Heinous Remarks About "Shithole" Countries
Please also sign and share our net neutrality petition: https://www.change.org/p/jeff-flake-we-need-one-more-republican-vote-in-the-senate-to-save-net-neutrality And join our group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1721640631484675/ ----------- This petition began in a private, politically active facebook group of 6300 people consisting of Democrats, Independents, Socialists, Libertarians, and concerned Republicans. On Thursday, Jan 11, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump attacked potential immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal. The White House did not deny these allegations. This, a day before the 8th anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that killed over 100,000 people. This is a step too far. If this were any other president, a censure would be an expected course of action. We realize that many in congress have become numb to Mr. Trump's rhetoric, but American voters have not. This is the language of fringe talk radio, not the President of the United States. He dishonors the office with these words. He is our chief diplomat around the world, and he represents millions of Americans who emigrated from these nations. He should act like it. It is time for congress to stand up and censure this president for his dishonorable remarks about our friends in Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, who rightfully look to the United States as a beacon of freedom and opportunity.
We are Losing Hundreds of Family Dairy Farms Each Year in the USA
Currently dairy farmers are losing approximately 50-60 cents a gallon on all the milk they produce. This is the reason we are losing so many family dairy farms in the United States. The national production of milk is approximately 204 billion pounds of milk annually which means that dairy farmers are losing $5 per 100 pounds. Nationally this means the dairy farmers are losing over $10 billion each year. This translates into about a $60 billion loss for the rural economy. THIS CANNOT CONTINUE! WE NEED YOUR HELP IMMEDIATELY! THIS CAN BE CORRECTED! We are urging the United States Congress and the Dairy Division of the USDA to have open hearings for dairy farmers to hear and hopefully resolve their problems. We have outlined specific programs congress can take to correct this problem. Please refer to the "Dairy Farmers Are Left Behind Again" guest editorial by Arden Tewksbury located on the Progressive Agriculture Facebook page to view suggestions where congress can help dairy farmers. (Link included) https://www.facebook.com/Progressive-Agriculture-Organization-130911270336981/ Consumers, you must decide; Do you want to be drinking milk from the USA or milk imported from other countries? The decision is up to YOU! Act NOW and sign this petition! Thank you!
Support Al Franken to stay in the Senate
Al Franken has been a leader with a strong voice in the senate for issues that are important to women. He should be allowed to go through the ethics review that he called for regarding these women's accusations against him. As Democratic female leaders in the senate, I expect you to use critical thinking and weigh the facts before coming to a conclusion. The majority of Al Franken's accusers have remained anonymous, and what they are accusing Senator Franken of, is not morally equivalent to Roy Moore or others who have had much more serious accusations. We need Al Franken's leadership in the senate. If after the ethics review, or if there are more serious allegations, only then should you be calling for him to resign.
Ban all uses of animal testing in biomedical research.
The Animal Welfare Act regulates the treatment of animals in experimentation, but most people think of it as the lowest standard for the treatment of animals. This law gives scientists permission to burn, shock, starve, poison, and cause animals to be addicted to drugs. Even though there are many new alternatives, the law does not require scientists to use any of these new methods so animals testing is still very common. Each year over 100 million animals die due to the effects of biomedical animal testing. This type of testing impacts animals severely because they are very similar to human beings. Animals demonstrate coordinated responses to pain and many emotional states that are like those exhibited by humans. Animals are vulnerable to developing the same disorders as humans, especially mental health problems.There are many long-term effects that animals experience long after their use, many develop anxiety, distress, sleep loss, or weight loss. This cruel and inhumane treatment needs to end, it can no longer be justified. New laws must be created to protect these animals. Society is changing, technology is changing, and its time for scientists to accept that.
Reinstate Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB)
On September 13, 1994, Members of Congress came together and passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB). That same day, President Bill Clinton signed it into law - until it expired 10 years later. As a result of this lapse, the legal sale of assault weapons has led to an increase in mass shootings: Virginia Tech (2007), Sandy Hook (2012), Aurora (2012), San Bernardino (2015), Orlando (2016), and Las Vegas (2017). From these tragedies alone, 192 people have died. I think we can all agree that we don't want to take away anyone's rights, but certain weapons should never find civilian hands. At this point, our technology has surpassed the 2nd Amendment. A civilian's right to bear arms is meant to protect and defend, not kill large amounts of people in a short amount of time. If there is anything that a post-AWB world has proven, it's that we're not safe. Colleges, movie theaters, the workplace, nightclubs, concerts, and elementary schools are targets for the mentally ill. America isn't a war zone. We shouldn't have to live in fear. That's not why we're here. I am asking for a bridge of bipartisan support and to reinstate the AWB. Put away the petty politics and address the root of the problem. Mental illness is a major component of all of these tragedies, but we must start by removing military-grade weapons from the hands of people who should never hold them in the first place. The trained men and women of this country who defend us should be the only ones to yield it. Anything else would cheapen their service. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope this opens a concerned and meaningful dialogue among our current representatives. US Mass Shootings (1982 to 2017) - 401 more mass murder fatalities post-AWB (September 2004 to present day) than during (September 1994 - September 2004) EDIT: Since initially starting this petition, 26 lives have been taken in the Texas First Baptist Church massacre in Sutherland Springs, TX and 17 lives have been lost at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Safety of Public and Law Enforcement Threatened by Budget Cuts and Privatization
This week the Bureau of Prisons has started to eliminate roughly 14% (or 6,000) law enforcement positions throughout the Agency. This is catastrophic for the safety and security of our institutions and the community. The proposed cuts are coming at a time of severe understaffing in most of our federal prisons, because the BOP has left thousands of authorized correctional workers’ positions vacant all year. In 2005 the BOP instituted an initiative known as “Mission Critical” in which staffing at the BOP institutions was reduced to the minimal amount necessary to safely operate each facility. Since then we have continued to operate under this “bare bones” approach, which was less staff than what we really needed – the administration did not take into account leave usage, injuries, military service, emergency situations etc. when calculating these numbers. Since then, they have relied upon initiatives such as augmentation at various times (The term augmentation refers to the practice of using teachers, secretaries, nurses, etc. to cover the vacant correctional officer positions as opposed to hiring the law enforcement officers needed). They only left enough personnel in the prisons to cover essential operations, so whenever something happens outside of that, like inmate medical trips or staff using sick leave when they are ill or injured, the Agency is then forced to pay overtime to law enforcement officers to cover it. Their miscalculation in staffing led to massive amounts of overtime due to the sheer amount of disturbances and medical care in the institution, coupled with the injuries and stress borne by the staff. This leaves fewer staff able to respond to emergencies in the prison, and fewer to prevent violence and assaults. It also results in one law enforcement correctional worker supervising hundreds of dangerous felons - terrorists, gangs, and murderers – with no backup. This administration is setting the agency up for failure. As violence and recidivism rises, and our staff struggle to meet ACA accreditation requirements, the line staff will be blamed for these failures, and the administration will point to this as an excuse to contract out our law enforcement role to the private prison industry. The highly trained staff that work for this agency (30% of which are military veterans) have already proven that we provide the essential, inherently governmental function in a much more responsible and cost-effective manner than the private industry. The historical data and evidence backs this up without question. If we allow the administration to sabotage our operations with the dangerous staffing changes and policies, I’m confident that they will use the results against us, and I’m sure the shareholders in the private prison industry will profit from it. The number of staff assaults and inmate assaults continue to rise in the Bureau of Prisons, and it appears the agency is turning a blind eye to the safety of the community that we are sworn to protect from the nation's most violent offenders These poorly implemented tactics have led to the increased escape attempts and assaults within the BOP, for both inmates and our law enforcement personnel. Agency leaders have stated that assaults and escapes are the chances we take in this line of work. Its disheartening to know that they are willing to take chances with the safety of the community as well as the safety of the law enforcement that work behind the fences. We are asking that our elected officials properly fund our prisons, stop the reductions of safe staffing, and support our law enforcement officers. A vote for BOP cutbacks is a vote for unsafe prisons, unsafe communities and a vote against law enforcement. Call 202-224-3121 or 844-669-5146 and tell our law makers not to cut back on safety
Force a refund for traveling Vikings fans that were forced to leave Philly early.
During Sunday's NFC Championship and a possible once in a lifetime experience most traveling Vikings fans were subjected to unprovoked death threats, thrown objects, physical alercations and extreme levels of intimidation and violence.The Philly police and security did nothing in 99% of the instances to deescalate the violence and assaults that occurred. I have evidence on camera of the police disrespecting our tailgating group on motorcycles.Just myself personally I had bottles thrown at my head that struck our vehicle,witnessed a CHILD get blasted by a beer, and had my hands cut from glass.That doesn't even include what happened in the stands and restroom. The NFL and Eagles organization have a code of conduct and I think they should held accountable to their own standards. SHARE, SHARE, SHARE AND SIGN PLEASE!! THANK YOU, Cody Jones