California State House
California State House
Stop Internet Service Providers from Selling Our Private Online Data
On April 3rd, 2017 President Donald Trump signed legislation allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to save and sell your private online search data. The legislation was authored by Senator Jeff Flake, R-AZ. This means ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon will have access to anything you have searched for, even in private browsing mode, and can sell that information to the highest bidder. The ISP lobbyists and their cronies in Congress successfully argued that it was unfair to restrict service providers from spying on your browsing habits because online companies like Facebook can already legally use browsing data to advertise to you. But companies like Facebook are opt-in and can be blocked from accessing your data by using private browsing modes or connecting via a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. Your ISP can see what you've looked at online no matter what security measures you take. ISPs also typically have monopoly power over entire areas of the country, all while collecting federal subsidies to expand their broadband capacity. This means consumers have no choice but to be automatically "opted-in" to being actively monitored online by their monopoly-holding ISPs if they want to connect to the internet. It's time to stand up for basic consumer rights and stop the for-profit collusion of our elected officials and greedy, privacy-invading internet service providers. We're calling on our representatives to take the lead by introducing legislation to restore FCC privacy rules.
Stop insurance breed discrimination to keep pets out of shelters and in homes
Up to 99% of pit bulls that enter a shelter are killed. Part of the problem is homeowners are finding it more and more difficult to obtain homeowners’ insurance that accept their breed of dogs. In recent years, several insurance companies have blacklisted dog breeds they consider dangerous, making it all but impossible for dog owners to get the insurance they need to protect their home. Now Pit Bulls and similar dogs are filling up California shelters, breaking up families and costing the state millions of dollars. It is time that California joined Pennsylvania and Michigan and prohibit breed specific insurance exclusions so we can stop the needless separation of families and the eventual euthanasia of innocent dogs. I’m Dawn, a volunteer at Chako Pit bull Rescue in Sacramento, California. Every year we take in homeless pit bulls in danger of being euthanized at shelters. Many of these dogs were surrendered when their owners faced the heart-breaking decision of giving up a beloved family member in order to keep a roof over their children’s heads. Too many children have cried, heartbroken, as their parents rip them away from their favorite companions, and even grown men have broken down because they can no longer keep their best friend. The worst part is knowing that in most of these cases, these dogs will never find another home and will unfortunately be put to sleep. In fact, having to move and being unable to find a place to rent that will accept their dog is the top reason people give for surrendering their dogs to a shelter. These pet unfriendly lists can hurt Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers, among other breeds, even though study after study has proven that there are no dangerous dog breeds. There are just irresponsible owners who haven’t properly trained or managed their dogs. Insurance company breed blacklists are not only wrong and unfair, but they are also misguided. If insurance companies want to reduce risk they should require dog owners and their pets to go through obedience training or provide proof of Canine Good Citizen certification. Requiring homeowners to show such proof, rather than denying them coverage outright, reduces the chance of dog bites and liability for all parties involved while keeping dog owners in their homes and dogs out of shelters. There are better ways to minimize insurance risk than forcing families to give up their dogs. Pennsylvania and Michigan have protected homeowners and their dogs from discrimination while also ensuring that insurance companies don’t face an unfair burden. It is time California does the same by creating legislation that prohibits breed specific insurance blacklists. Help us at Chako Pit Bull Rescue keep families in their homes and dogs from being euthanized and tell the California Legislature to ban breed-specific insurance policies.
Reduce Sentences for Prisoners Fighting California Fires.
As fires ripped through Northern California burning down over 8,000 homes and other buildings, and killing over 40 people, 1,700 of those fighting fires on the front lines have been California state prisoners. In fact, 30% of California’s forest firefighters, nearly 4,000, are prisoners. While it’s a long standing practice for prisoners to work while incarcerated as a form of rehabilitation, we would be better served by rewarding prisoners who have demonstrated exceptional conduct in prison with a sentence reduction. I was a first time nonviolent drug offender who served 9 years of a 24 year sentence before President Clinton granted me clemency. I can think of no group that deserves a second chance more than those who, serving time for minor crimes, choose to risk their lives to save others by fighting fires. In February 2016, 22-year-old Shawna Lynn Jones, was killed when she was struck in the head by a falling rock while fighting fires in Malibu. She was serving time for violating probation for a drug offense and was scheduled to be released just two months later. Over the last year, at least two other prisoners have died while performing firefighting duty. One man was crushed by a tree, another accidentally cut a femoral artery with a chainsaw. Prisoners earn approximately $2 a day, or up to $1 an hour if fighting an active fire, through a program with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. There are 43 conservation camps in California where adult offenders work. These prisoners are screened and anyone with violent tendencies or attitude problems is not allowed into the program. Around 30 to 40 percent work 24-hour shifts, then get 24 hours of rest. At most, prisoners can earn up to two days off for each day they’re in the conservation camps. This program is estimated to save the state $124 million a year, amounting to 3 million hours of labor to fight or prevent fires. We can do better for people who clearly pose no threat to society. Please sign my petition asking California Governor Jerry Brown to exercise his clemency privilege toward prisoners who have risked life and limb to save the homes and lives of countless California citizens, animals, and hundreds of thousand of acres of forestry. Thank you, Amy PovahCAN-DO Foundation
Outlaw hog vs. dog hunting/fighting in the wild
Goal: To outlaw the cruel and inhumane practice of using dogs to hunt wild boar in Florida, as well as in the 31 others states it's currently legal or have no laws on the books. Florida (as well as other states) has a wild boar problem. Hogs are numerous, omnivorous and have no natural predators, making them one of the largest nuisance pests in the state. There are many humane options for dealing with the pigs, which do not need to involve brutally killing the pigs or putting domesticated dogs in harm’s way. However, despite the existence of alternatives, Florida and other states have exempted the use of "bait-dogs" in boar hunting. This practice is incredibly dangerous and very inhumane for the dogs and boars involved. Each of the 32 states that allow this practice laws differ, but Florida animal cruelty statute states: FLORIDA ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0800-0899/0828/Sections/0828.122.html 828.122 Fighting or baiting animals; offenses; penalties.—(1) This act may be cited as “The Animal Fighting Act.”(2) As used in this section, the term:(a) “Animal fighting” means fighting between roosters or other birds or between dogs, bears, or other animals.(b) “Baiting” means to attack with violence, to provoke, or to harass an animal with one or more animals for the purpose of training an animal for, or to cause an animal to engage in, fights with or among other animals. In addition, “baiting” means the use of live animals in the training of racing greyhounds.(c) “Person” means every natural person, firm, copartnership, association, or corporation.(3) Any person who knowingly commits any of the following acts commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084:Baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling, owning, possessing, or using any wild or domestic animal for the purpose of animal fighting or baiting; (9) This section shall not apply to:.....(e) Any person using dogs to hunt wild hogs or to retrieve domestic hogs pursuant to customary hunting or agricultural practices." The exception (e) makes NO logical sense, because dogs are trained to "hunt" by chasing, cornering, attacking and fighting. So, why is it illegal to cause a dog to fight another dog, or a pig in an enclosure, but it is legal to use dogs to chase and viciously attack pigs while being trained and in the wild? Boar hunting with dogs is exactly what it sounds like: dogs trained to track and attack. They are taken out into the country, or wherever wild hogs are plentiful, and set loose to sniff out hogs. Once a hog is found the dogs will chase it down, corner, bay and attack it, usually leaving it badly injured, but normally still alive. Hunters (when they catch up) will kill the pig, usually by "sticking," which is a prolonged death vs. the use of a proper gun. Wild hogs are incredibly difficult to kill and will put up a fight until the end. Many dogs involved are wounded by tusks, bitten, trampled and sometimes killed. This is basically animal fighting, in the wild. Putting dogs in such a dangerous situation is inhumane and should not be legal. Visit http://sugarshope.org/ to learn more. PETITION LETTER: Wild boars are a major problem in Florida and in other states. The species has no natural predators, is omnivorous and repopulates very quickly: it is because of these traits that wild boars are a force hard to reckon with. There are many control methods used, some of them very inhumane. Currently it is legal for dogs to be used in wild hog hunting. This practice is extremely dangerous for the dogs involved and leads to inappropriate practices elsewhere. Dogs involved in hunting are likely to be seriously injured by the hogs. Dogs get trampled, bitten, pierced by tusks and may be infected with diseases that pigs carry. The hogs are frightened, outnumbered and suffer a painful death. I urge you to propose a ban on hunting wild pigs with dogs in order to put a stop to these inappropriate behaviors. Please consider other methods of wild pig population control, such as designating land for hogs to be displaced to, and controlling breeding of the species. Allowing dogs to hunt them is inhumane and unnecessary. Visit http://sugarshope.org/ to learn more. Sincerely, [Your Name Here]
Free Ahed Tamimi
My name is Nasri Akil from Toronto, Canada. I started this campaign to support" Ahed Tamimi", her mother "Mariam", her cousin "Nur" and the other kids detained by the evil hands of the Zionists of the fake state of Israel. In a desperate hope to get enough signature to put pressure on decision makers to do something about the constant twisted detention of Palestinian kids. In turn this will expose the evil of the zionists and pressure the international community. I would like to mention here that this petition has nothing to do with race or religion or ethnicity. It's pure right against wrong. Zionism is not Judaism. Judaism is a religion not a race. Many Jews are not Zionists. Most Zionists are not Jews. Many Zionists hate Jews. Opposition to Israel is NOT anti-Semitism. Ahed Tamimi, 16, was arrested ( kidnapped actually ) by Israeli forces in the middle of the night. Since she was a young child, she has been active in weekly demonstrations against Israel’s theft of her family’s land in occupied Nabi Saleh. But as Tamimi stands against Israeli occupation, she underscores: whenever a people face oppression, we must show solidarity. Israeli soldiers shot Ahed Tamimi's relative in the head, leaving the teenage boy in a coma, and then invaded her family home. She demanded that the occupying Israeli soldiers leave her property immediately, shouting "don't touch me" and "leave!" Now she's in Israeli military detention, where 75% of Palestinian children report assault. Ahed is a child, and like thousands of Palestinian children she could be humiliated and abused if we don't get her out fast. She has become another child statistic of the countless other children detained illegally in Israel. Her court date is December 25th, 2017. She was taken into question at the Moscobiyeh prison, notorious for it's dungeon cell, torture tactics fully utilized on children, and extensive harassment. She was put in isolation, left in an icy cell, without proper food. In fives days she was moved three times. Why? To exhaust and break her. When her mother arrived to be there with her, she too was arrested. We demand that Ahed and all Palestinian children are released from Israeli prisons now. The international community must put an end to the ill-treatment and detention of Palestinian children. Enough is enough. Ahed Tamimi represent all the innocent kids in the Isareli detention and represent the Palestinians struggle against the illegal occupation of Palestine. Since 1967, Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have been living under Israeli military law and prosecuted in military courts. Israeli military law, which fails to ensure and denies basic and fundamental rights, is applied to the whole Palestinian population. Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children. Around 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system each year. The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones, and three out of four experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation. Unlike Israeli children living in illegal settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian children are not accompanied by a parent and are generally interrogated without the benefit of legal advice, or being informed of their right. They are overwhelmingly accused of throwing stones, an offense that can lead to a potential maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years depending on a child’s age. AHED TAMIMI will go to trial on Christmas Day for slapping an Israeli soldier, illegally trespassing on her property, the day after her 15-year-old cousin was shot in the face. In December 2011, Mustafa Tamimi was killed during a protest in the village when an Israeli soldier shot him in the face with a tear gas canister. One year later, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Rashadi Tamimi in the village. One wonders why the "slap" is the Crime? I decided to do something about it and start with what I can. So that's why I am here asking you to help me help Ahed, her family and all the other kids. I also started a fund raising campaign on "GoFundMe" hoping to raise enough money to hire as many legal advisors to support Ahed and the others legaly in the court and get some justice. I mean enough is enough...I can't sleep I can't eat and these kids are experiencing all of that twist. Someone must do something. This is not right. This is not humanity. We cannot make this acceptable by doing nothing. I earnestly ask that at the very least, we make some noise in support of Ahed Tamimi and the other children that are held prisoners with no charge, no defense, all in violation of international laws. She is one, but we are many. It takes a united front to add pressure, to induce accountability and hopefully give freedom to the oppressed, weak and innocent. To Ahed and all the children in Israeli jails: We stand by your side, and are holding you in our hearts. We will not give up until you are free. You are not alone. As a wise man ounce said: "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible" Sign. Support. Make Noise. Add Pressure. Be Human. what if Ahed was your daughter, sister or just a friend? What would you do?
Do not repeal any provisions of the Hayden Law
The Hayden Law was passed in California in 1998 and provides the nation's most comprehensive laws to protect shelter animals. Governor Jerry Brown is considering a repeal of a number of provisions of the Hayden Law citing budget concerns. With the Hayden Law, California was at the forefront of animal shelter regulation and many states have been following that lead ever since. Some of the provisions that are subject to repeal would mean permanently reducing the required holding period for animals to 72 hours prior to euthanasia, eliminating the requirement to provide veterinary treatment for shelter animals, and eliminating the requirement to keep records for animals impounded by shelter personnel, which would only make it more difficult to locate lost animals or those available for adoption. The situation for shelter animals is bad enough now. Why ensure that it remains that way in the future as well? There is no justification, budgetary or otherwise, for making these changes permanent. The provisions in question have already been suspended since July 2009, and are currently not imposing additional costs on the state. California's homeless animals deserve better. Repeal of any of the provisions of the Hayden Law would be a giant step backward for the animals of California when other states are continuing forward with animal protection laws. Further information is available here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/14/4186863/jerry-browns-budget-plan-would.html The bill is already being re-written and the Hayden Law provisions in question have been revised or stricken entirely: http://www.dof.ca.gov/budgeting/trailer_bill_language/corrections_and_general_government/documents/%5b301%5d%20Repeal%20Make%20Permissive%20Specified%20Mandates.pdf
Protect the California Plastic Bag Ban for the Sake of Ocean Wildlife
California is endowed with the nation’s largest network of marine protected areas (MPAs) off its coast, including the Gulf of the Farallones Hope Spot. These underwater parks are critical in giving ocean wildlife refuge from exploitative practices including commercial fishing. However, other environmental stressors still continue to pervade the boundaries of California’s MPAs and harm these precious ecosystems. One such scourge is plastic bag pollution. Luckily, Californians have the chance to deal plastic bag pollution a deathblow on November 8th, 2016. Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance / Mission Blue and Explorer-in-Residence of the National Geographic Society, urges everyone to learn about plastic pollution and act to stop it: "The amount of plastic that washed ashore in the year 2010 alone was enough to cover every inch of coastline on Earth. That doesn’t even include 99 percent of the plastic that ends up in the ocean every year. Now we know. Ignorance is the biggest problem of all for the ocean – and many other things as well. Now that we know the astonishing amount of plastic that enters the ocean each year, we can act. People around the globe can stand up, armed with knowledge, and demand an end to disposable plastic and mismanaged waste. All countries around the globe have a responsibility to contain whatever plastic they create and consume. It’s up to individuals – scientists, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, kids! – to find creative solutions to plastic pollution and ignite that sense of urgency to cause change." You may remember that in 2014 the California State Legislature passed a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags known as Senate Bill 270 (SB 270). That crucial ban is prevented from taking effect – thanks to millions of dollars in out-of-state funding from plastic manufacturers – until California voters weigh in on a ballot referendum this November 8th, 2016. A “YES” vote means upholding the bag ban. A “NO” vote would overturn it. Mission Blue believes a “YES” vote is the right path forward to a healthier ocean, healthier planet and healthier people. Especially considering that every day California’s statewide plastic bag ban is delayed 17 million more plastic bags are sold in the state, the time to act is now.
Save Youth Football in California
California Assembly members Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) are sponsoring the “Safe Youth Football Act” which will establish a minimum age to play in organized tackle football programs in California. Youth athletes (ages 5-14) will NOT be able to participate in any form of organized tackle football until the 9th grade. The impetus behind this bill is to prevent young athletes from sustaining long-term brain damage caused by repetitive tackling, hitting and blocking; however, no research has definitively linked long-term brain damage or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) to participation in youth tackle football. Young athletes who are prevented from participating in youth tackle football programs are placed at a much greater risk for future injuries of all types, especially concussions, brain damage and CTE, as they would be prevented from years of training and instruction in proper tackling and blocking techniques that are provided at the youth level. Youth athletes are slower and smaller in weight & stature then their high school counterparts, which results in collisions and impact forces substantially less in youth tackle football then those associated with high school football. Youth athletes are therefore less likely to experience long-term brain injuries when participating in youth tackle football while learning and executing basic tackling and blocking techniques; however, as athletes progress into high school, the increased body mass and speed of high school athletes can result in collisions and impact forces which have the potential of injury on any given play, especially when the athlete does not have the benefit of years of prior training in the safe execution of these techniques. Additionally, under AB 2127 signed into law in 2014, high school football programs are now limited to no more then 90 minutes of full-contact practice per day, and limits the number of full-contact practices during the season to only (2) per week. With a maximum of (3) hours per week of full-contact drills, the ability of high school coaches to teach the basic fundamentals of full-contact blocking and tackling is severely limited, especially when coaches have also been limited by the California Interscholastic Foundation (CIF) to a maximum of (18) hours per week of total practice, to include "any school or team or individual activity organized by the coach intended to maintain or improve a student-athlete’s skill proficiency in a sport. This includes skill drills, game situation drills, intrasquad scrimmages or games, weight training, chalk talks, film review, meetings outside of school time that are implicitly or explicitly required by the coach." Three hours for game time is also factored into this rule, reducing the total weekly practice time to only (15) hours per week, simply not enough time for high school football programs to adequately teach basic blocking and tackling skills that youth athletes are traditionally taught from ages 5-14. Finally, the importance of organized youth football participation in the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth throughout California each year cannot be overlooked. Many youth athletes use football as a means to escape communities overwhelmed with poverty, crime, drug abuse and minimal family structure. The bonds built within youth football programs between players can last a lifetime and the mentoring relationship between players and coaches can ultimately assist players to rise beyond their surrounds to excel in society and life. By denying youth athletes access to such positive influences during their most formative years of emotional and social development is more traumatic they any possible injury that may suffered on the field of play. Please join myself and youth athletes, coaches and parents throughout California in preventing the passage of this proposal and keeping youth contact football an option for all youth athletes in our great State!
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer B, 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 H 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 2018, HR 1520, now!
Eliminate the "personal belief" vaccine exemption that's putting sick California kids at risk.
When he was only two-and-a-half years old, our son Rhett was diagnosed with leukemia. For a long time, his immune system was so compromised that he wasn't healthy enough to be immunized against diseases like whooping cough and measles. Because he couldn't be vaccinated, Rhett relied on his classmates being immunized (what’s known as “herd immunity”) to keep him safe. But in our home state of California, parents can send their unvaccinated children to school if they don’t think immunization is necessary, or simply don’t want them to be immunized. Thankfully, right now, the California legislature is considering SB277, which wouldn't let parents opt out of immunizing their kids just because it's their "personal belief" they should leave their children -- and kids who can't get vaccinated -- vulnerable to dangerous, contagious diseases. The bill is picking up support, but it’s important that we maintain momentum. Kids should be vaccinated if they're going to go to school with others. Sign this petition and tell California’s elected leaders that they should protect kids with compromised immune systems by passing Senate Bill 277 into law. After bravely going through rounds of chemotherapy and a year in remission, Rhett is finally well enough to be immunized. Let’s send the message that the expecting mothers, babies, and hundreds of other kids with suppressed immune systems throughout California deserve to be kept safe from dangerous contagious diseases too.