Decision Maker

Brian Schatz

  • HI
  • Senator

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Petitioning David Ige

End Dolphin Captivity in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian waters are home to several species of cetaceans (dolphins and whales). However, not all of Hawai‘i's cetaceans are living in their natural habitat. Two of the eight major Hawaiian Islands have facilities where these animals are confined to a life of captivity, offering marine mammal performances that prohibit their natural behavior. O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island currently have facilities that offer marine mammal performances, having chosen not to follow in Maui County’s footsteps -- Maui County, which includes the islands of Moloka‘i, Maui, Kaho‘olawe, and Lāna‘i, banned the exhibition of cetaceans in captivity in 2002. And larger governments have taken a stand as well: both New York state and South Carolina have passed legislation regarding marine mammal captivity, and at least 14 other countries have also banned such practices. From boat tours to hotel balconies, Hawai‘i offers visitors numerous opportunities to see dolphins in their natural habitat. It is unnecessary to isolate them from their marine environment and make them perform abnormal behaviors that ultimately provide inaccurate education. Please join me in asking Gov. David Ige to put an end to the captivity of dolphins and whales for human entertainment on the islands of Hawai‘i by putting a moratorium on further facilities and refusing to allow other parks to replace cetaceans that have passed away. Sea Life Park alone -- one of the unfortunate places where tourists can see cetaceans in captivity -- has had a host of deaths for various reasons. According to the National Marine Inventory Report (2013), deaths included malnutrition, food poisoning, debilitation, drowning, and failure to thrive. Dolphins and whales in captivity simply don’t fare well, and we should end this terrible practice.   Cetaceans play a critical role in the ecosystem, and to remove them from it is a misrepresentation of their importance and of Hawaiian values. As Hawai‘i's state motto "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono" declares, the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. Restoring this imbalance in our ecosystem, education, and ethics is essential for this generation and those to come. Join me and let’s tell Gov. Ige “enough is enough.” Ask him to put an end to cetacean captivity in Hawai‘i.

Lendy Leslie
111,330 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Barack Obama

President Obama: Protect Sharks by Expanding Papahanaumokuakea #GoBigObama #ExpandPMNM

I am a surfer, photographer, and shark attack survivor from the island of Kaua'i. I am passionate about marine conservation, particularly what's going on with shark conservation and the rapid decline of shark stocks worldwide.  I also feel a calling to help others overcome adversity, and enjoy being an outreach to other amputees and the adaptive/disabled community. It's insane the amount of sharks needlessly killed, about 100 million a year. It is a completely unsustainable rate considering extinction is forever. As an apex predator, they play a invaluable role in our marine ecosystem.  We need our oceans to be living and functioning, or our lives, regardless of on land or water, will become greatly affected over time. As a fellow "island boy," President Barack Obama knows the importance of Aloha 'Aina (love of the land) and he has done a lot for sharks since he took office.  He signed the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 and has created huge marine protected areas in the Central Pacific that protect all species.   The president has only a few more months left in office and there's a few more things he can do to protect threatened shark species here in Hawaii.  Please sign this petition to ask President Obama to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as proposed by prominent members of the Native Hawaiian community. In the Pacific, oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) and silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis), highly migratory species that were once categorized as two of the most abundant species of large marine animals, have declined significantly. Populations of these species have dropped to such low levels that fishing vessels are now prohibited from retaining them.  Despite this ban both species are still incidentally caught and killed on longlines in Hawaiian waters. Since the monument is within the core habitat for both oceanic whitetip and silky shark, an expanded protected area from fishing can ensure that populations of these vulnerable sharks are safeguarded. Research also shows that habitats within the existing monument support abundant Galapagos sharks (Carcharhinus galapagensis), tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier), and grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhinchos).  These species, and others, have been shown to travel to the area of the proposed monument expansion.  For example, a combination of fishing data and satellite and acoustic telemetry revealed tiger sharks swim thousands of kilometers along the Hawaiian chain and out into the open ocean, with individuals found more than 600 kilometers offshore.  By increasing the size of Papahanaumokuakea, these resident species, and other highly migratory sharks that frequent these waters can be protected. The value of large protected areas to sharks has been demonstrated, and expanded protection in this area will be of benefit to multiple threatened shark species. Please join me in encouraging President Obama to go big and expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument according to the proposal put forward by the Native Hawaiian community!  #GoBigObama #ExpandPMNM

Mike Coots
43,007 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. Senate, Bernie Sanders, Charles Schumer, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Dick Durbin, Patty Murray, Richard Blumenthal, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper, Robert Casey, Christopher Coons...

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.

The Righteous Opposition
40,372 supporters
Petitioning Charles Schumer, Tammy Baldwin, Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper, Catherine Cortez Masto, Joe Donnelly, Tammy Duckworth, Dick Durbin, DIane ...

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.  

Countdown To Beat Trump (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1721640631484675/)
37,909 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources

Help Protect Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve has been named by 'Dr. Beach' as the #1 Beach in the United States for 2016. This story was reported by CNN, MSN, and other major news organizations on 5/26/2016.  With an estimated 3,000 visitors to Hanauma Bay each day, coupled with this recent news of its #1 ranking being released just ahead of Memorial Day weekend -- which is sure to drive even additional visitor interest to the historic, cultural, and natural gem -- changes need to be made to better educate visitors on preserving the coral reef and protecting marine life.  Upon visiting the park on any of the six days of the week the Nature Preserve & Marine Life Conservation District is open to visitors, one is sure to see a large number of snorkelers standing on the reef, as well as disturbing sea turtles and other marine life. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve currently makes it mandatory for each visitor to first watch a 9-minute video about the history of Hanauma Bay, the types of fish and coral one is likely to see while snorkeling, and helpful tips and information for avoiding damage to the reef and marine life.  Unfortunately, the video includes numerous clips of people standing on the reef and also a person approaching a sea turtle with hands outstretched as if trying to touch the threatened species. Additionally, beyond the educational center, upon descending down the hill to the beach and on the beach itself there are hardly any reminders to avoid contact with the reef.  Below are the requested changes: 1) Currently, the introduction video that is mandatory for each visitor shows people walking on the reef and a person trying to closely interact with a sea turtle. We would request a budgetary allotment be made for a remake or edit of the video to remove these scenes which are likely to confuse non-English speakers and English speakers alike. Those not closely listening to the narrative but watching the film are likely to be left with the impression that these prohibited actions are acceptable practices. 2) Place more prominent and visual image heavy signage on the descent to the beach, at the beach itself, and at the Information and Snorkel Renting centers on the beach front regarding not stepping on or touching coral, stirring up sediment, or touching, disturbing or threatening marine life. As Hanauma Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD), one would expect that Hanauma Bay would have high quality signage on par with those found at Pupakea MLCD. 3) Encourage lifeguard staff to issue reminders by megaphone to visitors that standing on the reef is not permitted or provide on-beach staff of the Preserve to serve in this capacity. 4) Provide educational signs with multiple translations to account for the global demographic of visitors that flock to Hanauma Bay each day. Please sign this petition to encourage Hanauma Bay Management and Education Program Directors, Department of Parks & Recreation, Department of Land & Natural Resources, State of Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources, and our elected representatives to take further action aimed at better educating visitors to Hanauma Bay about the environmental impacts of standing on or otherwise damaging the coral reef, as well as the impacts of disturbing or otherwise threatening marine life.

Hawaii Ocean Ambassadors
9,431 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Senate, Richard Shelby, Dan Sullivan, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Tom Cotton, John Boozman, Dianne Feinstein, Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet, Chris Murphy, Richard Blumenthal, Tom C...

Say Yes To Disability Rights

On February 15th, the House of Representatives passed HR620, the so-called Americans with Disabilities Education and Reform Act. Instead of stopping the few frivolous lawsuits that occur, the bill will  roll back nearly thirty years of civil rights legislation for people with disabilities in the United States. By passing this bill, You will undo the foundation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a piece of landmark legislation passed in 1990 that gives disabled people a chance at equal access to employment, education, and society in general. By voting yes, you will Force disabled people to endure a lengthy process that involves filing complaints with businesses when they face accessibility barriers. These businesses, some of which have violated the law for almost 30 years, will have up to six months to resolve accessibility issues, and even longer, if the businesses can demonstrate “substantial progress” toward resolution.No other civil rights law has ever put the burden on those it protects to start and maintain the enforcement process. HR620 places cost-cutting for business owners ahead of the human rights of people with disabilities. Imagine having to wait over six months to use the restroom, locate merchandise, or check out confidentially and independently when building codes and other provisions for your civil rights have existed for almost 3 decades. Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona will soon introduce the bill to the rest of you in the United States Senate.Please, Senators, we urge you to vote against this unacceptable and unfair legislation. Do not weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act. Do not weaken current and future civil rights legislation for everyone by placing the responsibility for enforcement on those who need protection.Thank you for your attention.

Sabra Ewing
6,864 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President of the United States, Donald Trump, John Cornyn, Thad Cochran, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Richard Shelby, Lamar Alexander, Susan Collins, Lisa...

#SAVEH2B: Save Small & Seasonal Businesses!

PLEASE ASK CONGRESS TO #SAVEH2B AND SUPPORT IMMEDIATE CAP RELIEF!  American Small and Seasonal businesses are currently approaching their busiest season of the year and they will not be receiving their seasonal guest workers. Without these legal, temporary employees American businesses and workers are in jeaprody.  The H-2B Visa nonimmigrant program allows employers to hire foreign workers to come to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis. H-2B workers are not considered immigrants. In order to qualify for an H-2B Visa, an employer must prove that there are not sufficient U.S. Workers who are capable of performing temporary services or labor. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS TAKE JOBS AWAY FROM AMERICANS.FACT: American workers are guaranteed first chance at every job later filled by an H-2B temporary laborer. By law, every open position must be properly advertised in the community and requires employers to hire any able and willing American workers to fill open positions. The fact is that H-2B temporary workers actually support American jobs and the U.S. economy. The H-2B program provides an opportunity for seasonal businesses to operate at a greater capacity, thereby retaining their full-time American workers and contributing more to their local economies. Additionally, temporary foreign seasonal workers help support many upstream and downstream jobs. According to the American Enterprise Institute study on Immigration and American Jobs, every H-2B worker creates or sustains 4.64 American jobs on average. MYTH: EMPLOYERS DON’T EVEN TRY TO HIRE AMERICAN WORKERS TO FILL THESE TEMPORARY HARD LABOR JOBS.FACT: Employers work extremely hard to hire American workers because 1) it is dramatically cheaper to do so, and 2) the law requires that employers demonstrate that every effort has been made to hire Americans before they can start the process of trying to hire a temporary foreign laborer. Again, the fact is that the vast majority of American workers are not interested in temporary seasonal manual labor jobs. Geography is a big obstacle for many employers; for example, many resort communities don’t have a sufficient local labor pool. And, in many cases, these types of seasonal jobs may not be appropriate for high school students due to the hours or labor laws that prohibit the use of heavy machinery by minors. MYTH: PAYING HIGHER WAGES WILL ENTICE AMERICAN WORKERS AND SOLVE THE SEASONAL TEMPORARY LABOR SHORTAGE.FACT: Hourly pay for these types of jobs have gone up significantly over the last few years because employers who use the H-2B program are required to pay their H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premiumwage dictated by the U.S. Department of Labor. These temporary manual labor jobs often pay considerably more than the minimum wage, but American workers still won’t take the positions. Sadly, in many cases, employers who obey the law and use the H-2B program are often competing against businesses that choose to illegally hire undocumented immigrants and pay those workers considerably less. If wages were raised even higher, seasonal employers who use the program would not be able to sustain their businesses or their American workers. MYTH: THE H-2B PROGRAM REPRESSES WAGES FOR AMERICAN WORKERS BY PROVIDING A CHEAPER LABOR SOURCE.FACT: Hiring H-2B workers is a much move expensive and risky option. In addition to the fact employers are required to pay H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premium wage that is often well above the federal minimum wage, complying with the H-2B program is extremely costly, complicated and wrought with uncertainty due to an overly restrictive cap and a constantly changing regulatory environment. Employers turn to the H-2B program as a last resort, after extensive efforts to recruit American workers. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS OVERSTAY THEIR VISAS AND EXACERBATE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA.FACT: According the U.S. Department of Homeland Security visa overstay in the H-2B program are rare. Workers who do overstay their visas are barred from using the program ever again. The fact is that the vast majority of H-2B workers and their employers are meticulous about compliance. Not following the strict program rules means the end of a well-paying seasonal jobs that allows these workers to provide for their families and still maintain their homes in their native countries – a risk these workers are not willing to take since they generally return to the same employer year after year. Additionally, when approving H-2B visas, the U.S. Consulate confirms workers’ ties to their home countries. Further, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires employers to promptly report any H-2B workers who do not report for work or who complete their work earlier in the season than anticipated. MYTH: THE H-2B RETURNING WORKER EXEMPTION IS UNNECESSARY.FACT: The H-2B program’s annual 66,000 cap (33,000 for each half of the fiscal year) is not adequate to meet the demands of a growing economy. The cap for the first half of the fiscal 2017 was reached on January 10. The second-half cap was reached on March 13, leaving many seasonal employers shut out of the program with no access to legal seasonal laborers. Without the returning worker exemption passed by Congress with bipartisan support and signed into law by the President, many companies will have to close their businesses, lay off American workers or turn away customers.This provision is essential to the survival of small and seasonal businesses across the country and should be made permanent. An H-2B returning worker exemption is a narrow solution to a seasonal workforce shortage that focuses on workers who are valuable to their seasonal employers and who have never violated the terms of their past visas or other U.S. laws. These workers do not pose a security risk and they are not taking away jobs from Americans. For more information please visit: https://www.SaveH2b.orghttps://www.h2bworkforcecoalition.com https://youtu.be/UTYVEirlu3o   To contribute further, please contact your Congressmen/women and tweet using the hashtag: #SAVEH2B

SAVE H-2B
5,398 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Hawaii State Legislature, Police Department, Prosecutor, Governor

Pass Safe Harbor & End Demand for Prostitution Laws in Hawaii

Currently, Hawaii has no protocol to legally detain juveniles rescued from prostitution without criminalizing them. The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS) is urging the Hawaii State Legislature to pass legislation to help child trafficking victims to proper rehabilitative and healing services rather than to incarceration. PASS is also urging the legislature to pass an End Demand Bill (SB192/HB1066 and SB194) which seek to increase penalties for patrons of prostitution/sex-trafficking, commonly referred to as “johns.” The existing grade of offense for johns is a petty misdemeanor, equivalent to the fine of remaining in a public park after hours. The penalty for the offense of fueling prostitution/sex-trafficking, by providing the demand, has not been updated in Hawaii since the law was created in the early 70s. Please help Hawaii pass these bills because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Help us stop the growth of child-trafficking in America. FACTS: Hawaii’s incarceration rate of juvenile girls exceed the national average. Of these offenses, about 35% are runaways. Hawaii has one of the highest rates of intrafamilial sexual abuse (or incest) and also has one of the highest attempted teen suicide rates in the nation. There are approximately 300 children reported missing in Hawaii per month. There are no law enforcement stats for child sex-trafficking because of the lack of a state sex-trafficking law. Earlier this year, Shared Hope International rated Hawaii second worst in the nation in protecting child victims of sex trafficking by law. // // // //

Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery
4,463 supporters
Petitioning Tammy Baldwin, Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper, Robert Casey, Christopher Coons, Catherine Cortez Masto, Joe Donnelly, Tammy D...

Ban Assault Weapons Now.

This petition was written by Blue Revolution, a group of 10,000 active, concerned citizens. Please join us here: http://bit.ly/2FqhbDY and here: http://bit.ly/ICFCzV 17 more American children were killed yesterday by a shooter wielding an AR-15 rifle that the shooter bought legally. Enough is enough.  This is simple. We are asking all US Senators to ban assault weapons, like the AR-15. 

Countdown To Beat Trump (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1721640631484675/)
3,973 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Bradley Byrne, Richard Shelby, Lisa Murkowski, Don Young, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Martha McSally, John Boozman, Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth, Bobby Rush, Robin Kelly, Mic...

Make Endometriosis A Recognized Disability In the United States

1 in 10 women suffer with Endometriosis which has no cure. Most of these women are in the twenty to forty age group (can be younger or older) and of the women who have this condition up to 40% are infertile. Unfortunately it can take up to 10 years for a woman to be diagnosed with endometriosis. Many struggle to keep jobs or have lost their jobs due to this painful condition. As of right now social security does not recognized endometriosis on the disability list. It is because they consider the pain to be intermittent and can be manged with medication which endo suffers can agree that that is not always the case. Too often women are turned down because of this reason. This petition has been made so that we can get this condition recognized as a disability in the United States. Too often we must suffer because we have no other resort. I hope that we can reach the white house and make this happen.  Everyone please sign, this condition is so common that if you are not a sufferer yourself you know someone (mother, sister, aunt, daughter, wife, girlfriend, friend, etc.) that suffers from it. Thank you for your support!

Nicole Ficenec
3,209 supporters