Decision Maker

Carolyn Maloney

  • NY12
  • Representative

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Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Bill Walker, Asa Hutchinson, Jerry Brown, Nathan Deal, Rick Scott, David Ige, Butch Otter, Bruce Rauner, Mike Pence, Terry Branstad, Sam Brownback, Matt ...

Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

This is the year 2016. Isn’t it time women had equal rights in America? Will you join me by signing a petition compelling your lawmakers to vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment? “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” The Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923 by Alice Paul, is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that affirms that all citizens deserve equal rights under the law regardless of sex or gender. Seems self-evident, right? Do you think that women’s equal rights are guaranteed by our constitution? Sadly, they are not. The ERA never passed, leaving women’s rights up for interpretation. This imbalance has been demonstrated time and time again in the highest courts in the land, where women often lose even when clear bias is shown. Women’s rights are seemingly at the mercy of whoever is in office or on a judicial bench at any given time. Here is what one of our most influential Supreme Court justices said on the matter of sex discrimination: "Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't."
—Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia While we in America may think that women are doing fine, the rest of the world does not. The United Nations has deemed the United States to be a country that does not adequately protect women’s human rights. The Equal Rights Amendment may seem unnecessary to some, but the truth is American women do not have explicit rights under The Constitution. There are dozens of areas where a lack of equal rights negatively affects women and the families they support. Here are just a few: • America is the only nation in the world with a rising maternal mortality rate.
 • 10,000 abused women are turned away from shelters daily, a total of 3.65 million denied requests per year. When looking specifically at the gender pay gap: There is a direct correlation between underpaying mothers and child hunger. It is estimated that half of the 33 million women and children living in poverty in the United States would not be if women were paid their full dollar. Is it any wonder that 1 in 5 children in America go hungry? Seventy-five percent of all African American children are being raised by full time working single mothers who are paid .60 cents on the dollar. Latinas earn .55 cents on the dollar, and white women make .78 cents compared to their white male counterparts. Our transgender sisters are faring even worse. They are four times as likely to have a household income under $10,000 and twice as likely to be unemployed. Over the course of her working life, an American woman will lose between $400,000 and two million dollars due to wage discrimination. The Equal Rights Amendment would provide an express constitutional basis to challenge sex-based discrimination. It would also ensure that laws and government actions that treat women differently are reviewed by the courts with the strictest of standards. With the upcoming 2016 election we need to intensify the conversation around women's issues and compel our lawmakers to protect the basic civil and human rights of American women by passing the ERA. It is time that we finally make this happen for ourselves, our daughters, and for the future of our nation. If even Supreme Court justices don’t believe the Constitution protects women from discrimination, let’s pass an amendment that will. Please join me along with Kamala Lopez, the director of the upcoming documentary “Equal Means Equal,” the ERA Coalition, and Noreen Farrell of Equal Rights Advocates, to sign this petition for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment #EqualMeansEqual —Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette with Equal Rights Advocates
128,010 supporters
Petitioning Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senate, Delaware State House, Delaware State Senate, John Carney, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Massachusetts State House, Michael Capuano, Jim McGovern, Niki Tsongas...

Adverse effect of GOP tax bill on Graduate students in the US

Graduate students in the US are already living at the survival line. They are working hard to push forward the frontiers of science in all directions and trying to make a better tomorrow than today. Their disposable income is barely reaches 20k per year ( stipend for being TA or RA) and this money goes all to their consumption needs with almost nothing left to save. The new GOP tax bill is going to make the tuition waiver taxable which is estimated to cost each graduate student about $2000 a year and this will push most of the graduate students even lower the survival level. As a result, they should cut down their daily expenses to get along with the new budget and this means they will buy and consume less necessary stuff. On the other side, local businesses will suffer as well because students will spend less money in local restaurants, bars, games and etc. In all, this bill is going to put more financial pressure on graduate students and also hurt local businesses across the US. Please sign and share this petition to support all graduate students in the US and also opposing this unfair tax bill.

Kaveh Dlv
17,386 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, Maxine Waters, Jeb Hensarling, Luke Messer, Ann Wagner, Dennis Ross, Randy Hultgren, Mick Mulvaney, Stephen Fincher, Steve Stivers, Bill Huizenga, Lynn Westmoreland, ...

Protect Shareholders. Strike the Financial Choice Act 2.0.

Shareholder democracy is being profoundly threatened by Section 844 of the Financial CHOICE Act 2.0. This new legislation, which was heard by the Congressional Financial Services Committee on April 26 and then passed by the House on June 8, contains a provision that would fundamentally impair investors' rights to file shareholder resolutions. It is now scheduled to be voted on in the Senate. The new rule would permit only a tiny fraction of the globe’s wealthiest investors (those who own more than 1% or more of a company’s stock) to file shareholder proposals. For example, raising the ownership requirement to 1% would leave only 11 investors with enough shares ($3 billion) necessary to file shareholder proposals at Wells Fargo. All other shareholders would be blocked from using their shareholder rights to address equity, justice, sustainability, climate, risk, and good governance issues. Sign our petition and make your voice heard. We will be sending signatures, as well as the letter linked below, to the Senate. Let’s work together to defeat this destabilizing legislation that will profoundly affect consumers, investors, and the economy at large.

As You Sow
2,607 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Juan Vargas 2

A Call for Congress to Reconsider the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act

Fast fashion is a term used to describe cheap and affordable clothes which are the result of catwalk designs moving into stores in the fastest possible way in order to respond to the latest trends. Fast fashion negatively effects the consumers, the environment, and the garment workers. CONSUMERS:Fast fashion has negative effects on us, the consumers. Shopping has become engrained in our society. We as the consumers have begun to grow addicted to shopping. It's enjoyable, and can be used as a recreational activity. Part of the enjoyment we get from shopping is transactional utility, the pleasure (or displeasure) associated with the financial terms of the transaction (i.e. getting a good deal or not). This is what the fast fashion industry feeds on. Shopping is not just about purchasing goods; qz.com summed it up perfectly, saying, "It’s no longer just a transaction, a way to procure necessities or luxuries, but rather has become an end in itself. It’s a leisure activity, much like watching TV. It’s consumerism as entertainment".  ENVIRONMENT:                                                                                                         The fashion industry is the second greatest polluter behind the oil industry. For example, 25% of all the chemicals China manufactures go towards dyeing and manufacturing clothing. These chemicals are toxic, and the ways in which they are disposed have tremendous impacts on the environment. In China, the chemicals contaminate the rivers and strip them of oxygen, leading to massive fish kills. Cotton is another major contributor to the pollution caused by manufacturing. Though it is a natural fabric, the fiber uses one third of all pesticides in some developing countries. A big problem with the fast fashion industry is that clothing is being manufactured in countries that do not enforce regulation aimed at lessening the environmental detriments. Linda Greer, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, describes the fast fashion industry as, "the perfect storm, of having a very heavy footprint fast growing industry in places that don't know how to manage it." Another major environmental issue with fast fashion is what is done with the excess clothing. Since collectively the U.S. is buying more than 80 billion new items of clothing each year, we also must get rid of our old items. The average American throws away 82 pounds of textile waste each year. The marketing done by fast fashion companies tricks the consumer into believing clothing should be seen as a disposable non durable product. It's the idea of consumptionism - to get customers to use durable goods as non-durable goods. This leads to truly durable goods being discarded.The 82 pounds of textile waste per U.S. citizen, adds up to more than 11 million tons of textile waste from the U.S. alone. The waste ends up in land fills, and since most of it is non-biodegradable will remain there for 200+ years and release harmful gasses into the air. There are preventative measures that can be taken. Practices exist that factories could use to lessen the environmental impacts; however, they continue to use harmful toxins to make the greatest amount of clothing for the least amount of money. The same goes for the exploitation of garment workers and the establishment of poor working conditions. HUMAN RIGHTS:                                                                                                     The fast fashion industry has extremely negative effects on the garment workers. In order to sell clothes for such low prices, companies give little revenue to the factory owners, which then forces the owners to cut corners (for example, in terms of safety regulations) and lessen the salary of their workers. Most of these factories are in Third World countries, where starting labor unions result in physical assault.  Sweatshops are factories that have long hours, extremely low pay, and poor working conditions. A "sweatshop" is defined by the US Department of Labor as a factory that violates 2 or more labor laws. Sweatshop work is excruciating, garment laborers sit hunched over, hour after hour, squinting at thread. They do this for 14-16 hours each day. In return they can get two U.S.dollars for a days work. This is nowhere close to what they should receive for this agonizing work, nor is it close to a living wage. Garment workers in Cambodia have begged for 160 dollars a month. That would add up to be slightly above 5 U.S. dollars a day. They aren’t asking for much. They just want a decent chance to feed their families and survive.  In terms of price, a study showed that doubling the salary of sweatshop workers would only increase the consumer cost of an item by 1.8%. This would be a dramatic change for sweat shop workers. The working conditions as well are chilling. There can be hundreds of workers in a single unkept room, squished together, surrounded by filth. A Canadian reporter worked undercover at a sweatshop in Bangladesh, and described her work room as small, windowless, having only one exit and washroom.The bathroom was dimly lit with puddles of dirty water. The toilet itself was nothing more than a hole in the ground that every business on the floor, about 400 people, used. Another problem workers face is discrimination. Since about 80% of garment workers are women, they receive constant sexual harassment. The inhumane lack of effective safety regulations has proven deadly to thousands of underpaid workers time and time again. The 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh killed over 1,100 innocent garment workers. Owners of factories within the building have since been charged with murder for knowing the building's structure was impaired, yet still forcing workers to use the space. There are countless other stories of the exploitation of garment workers - if you'd like to learn more, the film The True Cost  gives an inside look into the lives of garment workers. THE SOLUTION:                                                                                                               Change will only occur once these companies are exposed and experience great consumer draw backs. The Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act  prohibits the importation, exportation, and sale of goods made from sweatshops. When Congress first considered the bill they made some findings. These finding being -  (1)Violations of core labor standards, as defined under the laws of the United States and the International Labor Organization, are widespread in factories that produce goods for sale in the United States.                                                                (2)Factories that violate core labor standards are commonly referred to as sweatshops.(3)Subjecting factory workers to sweatshop conditions that violate core labor standards is morally offensive to the American people both in their roles as consumers and as investors, and is degrading to workers forced to labor under sweatshop conditions.(4)Workers have a right to be free of sweatshop working conditions.(5)Consumers have a right to know that the goods they purchase are not produced in sweatshops.(6)Businesses have a right to be free from competition with companies that use sweatshop labor.(7)Shareholders have a right to know that their investments are not supporting sweatshop labor.(8)It is a deceptive trade practice and a form of unfair competition for a business to sell sweatshop goods.(9)Prohibiting the sale, manufacture, offer for sale, transportation, and distribution of sweatshop goods, regardless of the source of the goods, is consistent with the international obligations of the United States because the prohibition applies equally to domestic and foreign products and avoids any discrimination among foreign sources of competing products.  This Act is so crucial because it would finally cause the significant economic backlash on companies that are involved in fast fashion, forcing them to change their manufacturing processes. It is imperative that congress reconsiders the Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act in light of the many casualties that have occurred and will continue to occur since the Act first failed.    If you would like to learn more, here are some links to websites that I collected my information from. https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-sweatshops http://www.thestar.com/news/world/clothesonyourback/2013/10/11/i_got_hired_at_a_bangladesh_sweatshop_meet_my_9yearold_boss.html http://www.waronwant.org/sweatshops-bangladesh http://www.waronwant.org/sweatshops-china http://www.laborrights.org/industries/apparel  http://www.takepart.com/video/2015/05/29/clothes-trash-landfill  http://qz.com/359040/the-internet-and-cheap-clothes-have-made-us-sport-shoppers/ http://www.sweatfree.org/docs/SFCfederallegislationposition0207.pdf https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/s367/text

Skylar Carroll
989 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, President of the United States, STATE SENATOR OF NEW YORK, Charles Schumer, Andrew Cuomo, United States Supreme Court, Kirsten Gillibrand, Catharine Young, E...

"DONT DEPORT OUR FATHER SANEL ZILKIC WE ARE 3 LITTLE GIRLS AND WE NEED HIM IN OUR LIFE"

My name is Sanela Zilkic I am 7 years old, I am writing this letter in hopes that somebody can help me and my 2 little sisters and our Mommy who doesn't stop crying since they took our Daddy a week ago.   Our Daddy Sanel Zilkic was taken by ICE Immigration & Customs Agents, he is the greatest father in the world who worked very hard to provide for us and make sure we have the best life in the greatest country on earth. We are all devastated not knowing where our daddy is and will they Deport him back to Montenegro, we are constantly crying and looking through windows if Daddy would come home soon, will we get to Hug him and tell him again that he means everything to us. I am begging whoever can help us and allow our daddy to come home he is not a Criminal he is a Law Abiding citizen who works hard for his 3 little girls that need him now more than ever I would like to ask all of you if you could PLEASE sign this Petition and help us get our father home where he belongs. Our father is currently in Bergen County Jail 2015 Located: 160 South River st Hackensak NJ 07601 inmate # 071761229 Tel # 201.336.3500

Enver Metjahic
937 supporters
Petitioning Roy Beck, Jim Robb, Lamar Alexander, Tammy Baldwin, John Barrasso, Michael Bennett, Richard Blumenthal, Roy Blunt, Cory Booker, John Boozman, Sherrod Brown, Richard Burr, Maria Cantwell, SHELLEY MO...

#SAVEH2B: GET THE FACTS & STOP THE LIES!

Stop The Lies and Get The Facts!   The H-2B Program Creates American Jobs • The H-2B program is essential for small and seasonal businesses that are committed to hiring a legal workforce but areunable to fill seasonal jobs with American workers despite extensive recruitment efforts. Seasonal industries that use theH-2B program include seafood processing, horse training, hospitality and amusement parks, forestry, landscaping,circuses, carnivals, food concessionaires, swimming pool maintenance, construction and stone quarries. • The H-2B program is important to workers. For H-2B workers, the program provides well-paying seasonal jobs that allowthem to provide for their families and still maintain their homes in their native countries. This program is also importantfor American workers whose year round positions are reliant upon seasonal laborers during peak seasons.• Every H-2B worker is estimated to create and sustain 4.64 American jobs.   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 2016 was reached on March 15. The second-half cap was reached on May 12, 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 of December 18, 2015, many companies would have had 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 violate 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. The H-2B returning worker exemption in the omnibus appropriations bills simply provides that if an H-2B worker has been counted against the cap in one of the three prior years, that worker can return to work in the H-2B program in the current year without being counted against this year's cap. For more information please visit: https://www.SaveH2b.orghttps://www.facebook.com/SaveH2B/https://twitter.com/SaveH_2B https://youtu.be/UTYVEirlu3o   To contribute further, please contact your Congressmen/women and tweet using the hashtag: #SAVEH2B.

SAVE H-2B
581 supporters
Petitioning Andrew Cuomo, New York State House, New York State Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, Catharine Young, State Farm Insurance Cos., Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, New York Governor, Eliot Engel, Carolyn Ma...

End Discriminatory Breed-Specific Insurance Regulations in New York State

Up to 99% of pit bulls surrendered to shelters are killed. Part of the problem is that homeowners are finding it more and more difficult to obtain homeowners’ insurance that accepts 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. These policies break up families, send pit bulls and similar dogs to kill-shelters in droves, and put serious financial strain on shelter resources. It is time for New York State to join Pennsylvania and Michigan in prohibiting breed-specific insurance exclusions (BSIE), so we can stop the needless separation of families and the eventual euthanasia of innocent dogs. Every year, statewide rescue centers 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. Even grown men have broken down because they can no longer keep their best friend. In my own efforts to find homes for rescued animals, all too often, families who would love to rescue an animal is desperate need of a home look into it and conclude that they are not allowed to rescue the dog due to their homeowners insurance policy and fear being dropped for adopting the "wrong" breed of dog. I can't explain how heartbreaking this is to anyone who devotes time, energy and resources to animal rescue, knowing that the best homes with the most secure families cannot accept these dogs. Instead, their only hope for adoption lies within families willing to risk insurance loss by secretly adopting a pit bull, or people with low moral standards who cannot offer proper veterinary attention, and in the worst cases, those individuals who have less than honorable intentions when it comes to what they are looking for in the use of the animal. There are better ways to minimize insurance risk than forcing families to give up their dogs. 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. 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 for New York State to do the same by creating legislation that prohibits breed specific insurance blacklists. Help us keep families in their homes and dogs from being abandoned and euthanized, and tell New York legislators to ban breed-specific insurance policies.

Joanna Sclafani
528 supporters
Petitioning Daniel Garodnick

Close the Gap

Petition for a continuous East River Greenway/Esplanade from 38-61 streets in ManhattanNine Bicyclists have been killed in East Midtown from 1995-2007 and hundreds injured. Every day, hundreds of bikers have to use heavily congested First and Second Avenues in competition with trucks, buses, taxis, cars, road construction, 3 major exits/entrances to the FDR, hills, and even other bikers, when just a couple of blocks to the east sits the unfinished Greenway that serves as a highway for bikers around the rest of Manhattan Island.  This Greenway would serve as just one of hundreds being built down the coast from Maine to Florida!  We New Yorkers don't want to be last in doing our part, do we?A Greenway and Esplanade would be good for the environment by encouraging people to get out of their cars, good for people's health, good for all New Yorkers by linking neighborhoods together, and even good for the remaining traffic in East Midtown, Manhattan.There is no East Midtown Greenway/Esplanade in Manhattan or even a marked Avenue-based bike lane in East Midtown - nothing to keep a bicycle rider or jogger safe from the cars, trucks, buses and pedestrians in this most clogged part of the East Side.  Just 23 blocks, some of them easily reclaimed from the FDR shoulder or from parking lots and old detours, that’s all it would take to complete the Manhattan Greenway/Esplanade along the scenic East River from Battery Park to 125 Street.  This section might be constructed like the cantilevered Greenway/Esplanade over the Hudson River beside Riverside Park in the west 80s, and by utilizing existing pylons in the East River by the FDR tunnel from 54 Street - 59 Streets.We propose that our elected and appointed representatives complete the Greenway/Esplanade for bikers and walkers from east 38th Street (the end of Glick Park), to East 61st Street (the current end of Bobby Wagner Walk) alongside the East River with:1.  Two-way bike lanes.2.  Pedestrian walkways and seating.3.  A permanent and safe barricade between the FDR and the Greenway/Esplanade.4.  Additional access points from 38 Street to 61 Street, where feasible. A potential plan, but certianly not the only plan, to fund the closure of the U.N. gap by setting up a special improvement district, can be found here:  http://www.slideshare.net/ScottOnTheSpot/land-value-tax-gap-closure-proposal-29529037   In any case, more needs to be done than just continuously putting forward the same United Nations land-swap deal that has gone nowhere in over 10 years, to Close the Gap!    

Scott Baker
384 supporters
Petitioning Elizabeth Warren, Carolyn Maloney, DIane Feinstein, Edward Markey

All congressman receiving donations from the NRA personally meet with victims of Las Vegas

How Do You Change Voters’ Minds? Have a Conversation I am reaching out to you because I am absolutely sure that nothing will change the minds of the 49 U.S. senators and 258 U.S. House Representatives that have accepted NRA donations without shifting their hearts toward empathy. While gun violence is statistically on the rise, they continue to advocate for more liberty and freedom even against common sense measures like stricter background checks and being against selling to citizens with impairing mental illnesses. I know you know exactly what I speak of. The violence hasn't stopped. They haven't changed their vote. They continue to protect our 'liberty' without being held accountable for ignorance and lack of common sense. I do think the only chance that we have of changing hearts is to build a bridge for empathy. Any victim or family of victims should be permitted a twenty-minute meeting with any of the above House and Senate members they choose in which they can express the horror of how they have been affected by gun violence. Face to face intervention is what we need. Don't let them hide in anonymity. Let them feel bear the burden of their misgivings. Give them an opportunity to hurt along with the victims. Thank you.

JD Stark
337 supporters
Petitioning Carolyn Maloney, Ted Poe, Doug LaMalfa, U.S. House of Representatives

Help Support Pass The Shame Act

Thousands of children who are in the foster care system are involved in commercial sexual exploitation every day in different forms, such as sex trafficking or child pornography. Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is defined as “a global form of human trafficking that occurs when individuals buy, trade, or sell sexual acts with a child” (California & FKCE, 2016). Victims of sex trafficking are robbed of their lives both physically and mentally. Most victims will die within seven years of first being trafficked, which leaves them with an average life expectancy of twenty to twenty-one years old (Jordheim, 2014). Those who are fortunate to live most likely will experience short and long-term psychological effect. For example, they may suffer from insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear, and/or hopelessness (Jordheim, 2014). They may also experience unpleasant physical effects. For instance, the victims may suffer from malnutrition, drug addiction, sexually transmitted diseases, miscarriages, menstrual problems, broken bones, vaginal and anal tearing, sterility, burns, and/or traumatic brain injuries (Jordheim, 2014). Victims who are exposed to commercial sexual exploitation are in high demand of services to help them through their undesirable psychological and physical injuries. Pimps tend to have one to three girls at a time, and they set a quota that is usually between $500 to $1,000 per night (Jordheim, 2014). If the victims do not meet this quota, then the pimps force them to return to the street, physically beat them up, deprive them of sleep, and/or deprive them of food.Human trafficking is a $32-billion-dollar global industry where traffickers are estimated to each earn about $650,000 annually with the exploitation of only four children (California Child Welfare Council, n.d.).   Sexual exploitation needs to be stopped in order to protect the human rights of children who are victims. A social policy intervention that will further address sexual exploitation is the H.R. 440 Shame Act of 2017; the Act is to amend Title 18, United States Code, to permit sentencing judges in child sex trafficking cases to order the Attorney General to publicize the name and photograph of convicted defendants, and for other purposes (Congress.gov). The publication of convicted defendants’ information will allow for social awareness of the scope of this social problem. Not only will this act further protect vulnerable children, but it will also bring awareness of the inhumane and unjust society that children who are sexually exploited endure. A violation of children’s rights is a violation of human rights, and by amending Title 18, these children would be closer to a safe and protected society.  

Elizabeth Martinez
250 supporters
Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

I am deeply grateful for the overwhelming response to the petition shows the broad agreement of so many Americans that equal rights for all should be enshrined in the Constitution. I have worked on this issue for a long time, and I want to thank Patricia Arquette and Kamala Lopez for their tremendous advocacy and for elevating this issue in the national discourse. Today is Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day, three and half months into 2016, when a women’s wages “catch up” to those made by a man in 2015. Today, on average, a woman working full time is paid only 79 cents for every dollar a man, working full time, is paid. That adds up to $10,800 a year and more than $500,000 in less income over the average woman’s career. The disparity is even worse for women of color. This intolerable disparity must be addressed. Equal should mean equal. That’s why I’m fighting so hard to put women in the Constitution by passing the Equal Rights Amendment and ensuring equality under the law regardless of gender. The Equal Rights Amendment would prohibit sex discrimination in the workplace or schools, help defend against bias in wages, benefits, hiring practices, and other conditions of employment, and hold employers accountable for creating fair workplaces. Today is an important reminder of the injustice of unequal pay and the harm it inflicts on women and families. However, the fight for equality under the law will not be over at midnight tonight. We need to commit ourselves to achieving real change to our country. Equal rights and equal pay for women will lift up millions of families, end gender discrimination and ensure that at long last equal does mean equal. Let’s finally pass and ratify the ERA!

2 years ago