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Petitioning James Lamerson, Councilmember of Prescott

Our fallen hero Andrew Ashcraft: get the family Andrew's benefit package that they were promised

My name is Tom Ashcraft, father of Andrew Ashcraft and fallen Granite Mountain Hot Shot. He was a full time employee working for the City Of Prescott, Az. on June 30th, when the fire overcame him and 18 of his brothers. 19 firefighters were killed in the fire. We are all heartbroken beyond words can say.  Just as all the families are doing we too must press on to help secure the future of Andrew's wife Juliann and his four children and help them endure the difficult times ahead.   In addition to this tragedy, the city of Prescott has officially denied paying out his benefits claiming he was not full time. This is not accurate at all. He had been working his scheduled 40 hour weeks, he had obtained their goals required of full time status and had been given a raise above that of a seasonal employee.  Because of that,  his employee file had been forwarded onto the city managers' office with the endorsement of his supervisors. Unfortunately, they too perished in that fire and cannot confirm this. The delay in the process is the primary reason for their not approving his status.  Nonetheless, he was verbally assured of his status, he was working his required schedule as a full time employee, being paid as a full time employee therefore is due full time benefits.   It is not only our family's belief, but our community, as well as many around this great nation that the City of Prescott, specifically the Mayor and City Council, should immediately approve Andrew Ashcraft's benefits that will provide a secure future for his wife Juliann, Ryder (6), Shiloh (4), Tate (3), and Choice (18 mo).    Please stand with us, our family, our community by signing this petition to enforce the prompt processing of his benefits. With your help, together we can make this change.   Mayor and City Council, agreeing with the words on his bracelet that Andrew wore until he perished - you too now have the opportunity to "Be Better".    Thank you, Tom Ashcraft

Tom Ashcraft
184,482 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

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!

Jenifer Bass
33,481 supporters
Petitioning animal, Arizona State Senate

Make Declawing Cats ILLEGAL

Declawing a cat is the equivalent to not just ripping your finger nail out of your skin, but cutting off each of your fingers up to your last knuckle. This is because declawing a cat is NOT trimming its nails. Trimming a cat's nails will cause them to be less sharp and shorten them, but they will grow back, as ours do. When declawing a cat, the person preforming this torture is actually amputating the last bone of each toe. It's often done by amputating with a scalpel or guillotine clipper. From there the painful wounds are closed up either with stitches or surgical glue. The paws are then wrapped. Your cat now has to walk on these pained feet day in and day out as they slowly heal. Other methods, which aren't as common, could be using an intensely hot laser beam, that heats up and vaporizes the area. It is still cutting off the last bone of each toe. Or they can preform a tendonectomy. This is when the tendon controlling the toes is completely severed. The cat's claws remain but are forced to remain inside of their paws and can only be extended if someone were to press on the top of the paw and the bottom to force them from the area. But it isn't just the horrific pain you're causing your cat, but you are also taking away a natural defense. As a person who has run an animal rescue since 2012, I can not tell you how many people have told me they've lost their "indoor only" cat. Just because you PLAN to keep your cat indoors, and just because you are careful not to let your cat out, doesn't mean it will never happen. If you've got a declawed cat, its chances of survival have been dramatically reduced. Attacked by a dog? Its only weapon against the massive and powerful jaws of the typically much larger and strong dog, is the cat's small teeth - and it's tiny jaw opening. It no longer has its most useful form of defense: its claws. Or if chased, your cat may not be able to climb a tree, fence or wall and escape the attacker. It's also not safe from cruel humans - who unfortunately are probably far more common than you're aware. Something I hadn't even realized until I began my rescue. There's a large chance of infection, the pain of a very slow and agonizing recovery - in which the cat is forced to use the area in which the so called surgery has been preformed (imagine breaking your leg, being denied pain medication or a cast, and having no choice but to use that leg still every single day), an increased risk of lameness in the paws and legs and back pain, and more. Some of you may now be asking - but how do I protect myself? My children? My furniture and home from the scratching? SIMPLE. (1) Trim your cat's nails. MAKE SURE YOU ASK A VET HOW TO FIRST. This is because if you cut too far, you could cause bleeding that won't stop without assistance. You should do this once a month. If uncomfortable, ask a groomer or vet to do it. Many groomers charge just $5! (2) Make sure your cat has scratching posts and/or a cat tower/tree. Cats should instinctively know to use these instead of furniture. If you want to be absolutely sure, get some catnip too. This is also a fun treat for your feline friend! Sprinkle a little bit onto the new scratching post or cat tree and do so once or twice a week. HAVE SOME BUT YOUR CAT NO LONGER USES IT OR NEVER HAS? There's a few reasons for this. If your cat seems to have become bored of their scratcher or tree, move it. Research has proven that a cat may avoid a tree or scratching post if it's in a spot they don't like. This may be because it's too dark or too bright, near something that makes noise, or right beside or above a vent that's far too cold. Move it to a new location, sprinkle on some catnip and pick up your cat and show them where it's now at. You should move the scratcher or cat tower/tree every month or so. IS YOUR CAT SCRATCHING YOU? FURNITURE? CARPET? Use soft plastic caps, easily found at most pet stores - including PetSmart or Pet Co. - or at your vet's office. They slip onto your cat's nails so that they can still use their claws as they want to, without causing any damage or pain. While using these nail caps (which are easily slipped on and off by you), use something that smells of either menthol or citrus in the area they scratch. Find something with that smell that you can spray on the furniture or area of carpet they're scratching. Cats hate the smell of citrus and menthol and should begin to quickly learn to avoid that area. And/Or have a spray bottle handy near that area so if you catch your cat doing it, spray them. Or try clapping your hands once - loudly - and yelling, chasing them off. Or use something that makes a loud scary noise. You can also try putting a strange texture on the area such as foil or double sided tape. Cats don't like strange and unknown textures and can quickly learn to avoid that area. If your cat is scratching people, it may be because it hates being picked up. Not all cats enjoy being picked up because they no longer feel in control and feel very insecure. If your cat is scratching because you/someone else is picking it up, stop making your pet so uncomfortable and fearful. Or maybe your cat scratches after being pet after a certain amount of time. Animals show signs before they're about to attack. It may be subtle or quite noticeable. Cats' nails will twitch side to side or even sometimes in circles when irritated. Their skin may tense up and they will often make some sort of noise - not like the common meow, but more of an irritated high pitch whine. If your cat does any of these things, stop what you're doing and leave them alone until ready for attention once more. The point is this: there is absolutely NO reason whatsoever you "have to" declaw your cat to be able to keep it while keeping your home or self or others safe and undamaged. There is ALWAYS something else you can do. Declawing a cat is TORTURE. There is no way to deny that. It is an extremely painful process, followed by an extremely painful and slow recovery. Your cat has no say in this horrific procedure - which can cause forever damage both mentally and physically; whether immediate or in the future. Please sign this petition so that we can end declawing cats here in Arizona. But Arizona is only the first stop. From here we can fight to end declawing all over the United States and possibly even elsewhere. We as humans must speak up for those who can't speak for themselves. We must protect those who can not protect themselves. So help me help them and save future cats from this barbaric act. * CAN'T HANDLE THE CLAWS? YOU CAN'T HANDLE A CAT. DON'T OWN A CAT IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE CLAWS. IT'S THAT SIMPLE. AND IF YOU WOULDN'T WANT IT DONE TO DO, DON'T DO IT TO YOUR PET. *

Kennels Of Compassion
9,795 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States

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:

Dominick Evans
6,847 supporters