- Governor of Massachusetts
- Governor of Massachusetts
Ban Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Massachusetts
Our names are Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher, and we each are pleading to the Massachusetts State Legislature to pass a law making it illegal for someone to carry out Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting/Circumcision (FGM/C) on young girls. FGM/C involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue on girls, and can cause physical harm including pain, bleeding, shock, tetanus, genital sores, and cause long-lasting psychological harm including sexual disorders, fear of sexual intimacy, nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mariya - I was born in the United States and now live in Massachusetts, but at the age of seven, I was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in India. Friends and relatives of mine also living in the United States have undergone FGM/C both here in the United States or in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Australia, and many other countries in the world. Aisha- I got my circumcision when I was five. I know many women who also got it done. Personally, I know people in my community who talk about it as if it’s normal. I was aware of people practicing it behind closed doors but I also know that some people are looking for ways to keep the practice alive here in the States even though it might mean legal action is taken against them. I didn't know my home state, Massachusetts, had no laws against FGM/C until I met Mariya who works with many communities to protect girls against FGM/C. Hanna - I literally stumbled on the subject of female genital mutilation searching for a global health research topic online for a school project. I knew nothing about it and was concerned that others would find it uncomfortable and unrelatable. My teacher told me that was all the more reason to focus on FGM/C. It’s not a cultural issue; it’s not a third-world problem. FGM/C happens all over the world; it is happening in Massachusetts! Regardless of culture and tradition, and despite a lack of intent to cause injury, the end result is girls in MA are being violated and need our protection to safeguard them from FGM/C. Massachusetts is known for its progressive policies in terms of reproductive rights, anti-discrimination laws, and equality issues, yet our state still is in the minority of states that do not ban female genital mutilation or cutting. As FGM/C is nearly always carried out on minors, is a violation of the rights of children, and reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes that constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women, we must protect girls from undergoing FGM/C. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that over half a million girls and women in the United States are at risk. Massachusetts ranks 12th in the nation for at-risk populations with an estimated 14,591 women and girls. Since 2012, the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association has over and over again tried to advocate for a state law criminalizing FGM/C. Yet, still to this day, no law has been put into place. The current bills, S.788, and H.2333, have been sent to committee for study and most likely will not move forward either. All three of us believe in the importance of education and community engagement to help create social change within communities and amongst groups where FGM/C might be happening. To that end, we each have organized and participated in community events to educate our friends and family members about the harms of FGM/C and why it should be abandoned. Yet, despite our efforts, FGM/C continues, often being touted as a religious or cultural practice that is needed to control women’s sexuality. In April 2017, a doctor in Michigan was charged with performing FGM/C on minor girls, highlighting yet again that FGM/C does affect women and girls living in the United States. The doctor claimed FGM/C was a religious requirement and that there were no harmful effects. We three believe that culture and religion should not be an excuse used to sanction harm to girls. We need a bill in Massachusetts that unequivocally reiterates that female genital mutilation/cutting is a form of violence. There are laws against domestic violence and sexual assault. We need a law against FGM/C as well. We three believe our state can do a better job of protecting girls in the Commonwealth by banning FGM/C. You can support us too by signing our petition demanding that legislators make passing a bill banning FGM/C high on their list of priorities. Let’s work together to take a stance against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting! ~ Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher
To Have Juneteenth be a national holiday
We ask that the Senators of this State to advocate for the cause and bring this to legislature in order to review this petition and give us the rights we deserve of having this as not only a holiday but a day of remembrance of all the slaves brought through the Transatlantic slave trade: We would like Juneteenth, to be a national holiday in support and representation of all the slaves that have been freed through the Emancipation Proclamation signed on January 1, 1863. (According to an NBS News article, “9 Things to Know About the History of Juneteenth.) Til this day we are not freed according to societal standards and discrimination. Meanwhile there are holidays like Columbus day, and Thanksgiving which was built on lies and white washed history, we would request there would be celebration and honor to all the black slaves who have come to this land unfairly and wrongfully. If holidays like I just named can freely exist for years, why canJuneteenth exist just as freely in respect of the truth as well. “Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States,” Writer Ko Bragg said, “9 Things to Know About the History of Juneteenth.” In an act to recognize this, why can’t law celebrate this as well by giving us this holiday that humanized African Americans and gave them some sense of hope, that they have been toiling at for centuries. Through this we can, stand united as a country as it truly says through our democracy: We can give honor to those who built this country Mourn our ancestors respectfully and have others join with us Create history Honor the older folk who have seen the horrors of racism and lived to tell the story of discrimination and the compassion they held in their hearts that is keeping them alive today This isn’t created to separate us but to bring us together and draw attention to the awful past that must be done through this simple act. This would be America giving attention and taking accountability for the awful doings in a way where African Americans can freely voice their hurts and pains of what our ancestors went through in a powerful way. Allow us to mourn globally yet peacefully. We are all citizens of America who have rights, and it is my right to request this peacefully with a hopeful heart. There will be: Ever Memorial Service for Victims of Transatlantic Slave TradeCelebration Discussion and conversation Peaceful gatherings/ meanwhile keeping social distancing measures A reflection This is not for me, or just the black community- this is for everyone. To understand our experience, our struggles and to build a bridge on the gap of hate, violence and pain. This is not what America is. This is the home of the free, this is the country of the brave, the country of justice. If this Country is all of that, we want to see that fulfilled throughJuneteenth being a Holiday. I do not want to be another Opal Lee, a 91 years old woman who protested and walked around the white house to advocate forJuneteenth to be a holiday, she was silenced, seen as strange and even delusional. I am sure there has been plenty who wanted this before her and after her. But even in honor of those people, I want to be heard like they wanted to be heard. I want to speak into this like Miss. Lee has done. If not for me, for Opal Lee, and for the slaves of the Transatlantic trade. (Credited to, article, “One Woman's Quest To Make Juneteenth A National Holiday,” by Micheal Martin.) Thank you all for taking your time to look at this, Greatly appreciated Diamond Martin, Micheal, “One Woman's Quest To Make Juneteenth A National Holiday,” https://www.npr.org/2017/01/08/508842227/one-womans-quest-to-make-juneteenth-a-national-holidayBragg Ko, “ 9 Things to know about the history of Juneteeth.” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/9-things-know-about-history-juneteenth-n594546
Justice for Officer Gannon and Officer Nero
The judicial system in this state needs an overhaul. Our police officers are out putting their lives on the line daily for the safety of the people of the Commonwealth and their hard work is for not when career criminals are allowed to walk free from a courthouse. How many known violent criminals are walking freely in public awaiting their next court date instead of sitting in a cell where they belong? 1 is too many. Officer Sean Gannon is the perfect example of why. On April 12,2018, while serving a warrant with his K9 partner Nero, he was shot and killed by Tom Latanowich, 29, of Somerville. A man with 125 prior convictions and current pending criminal charges and on probation. He had a known violent history and yet he was allowed to freely walk the street. Had he been where he belonged, jail, Officer Gannon would be here today. Instead, a great, young police officer is gone needlessly and his young wife is a widow. His family has lost a key member, Nero has lost his best friend and his department has lost a brother. The judges need to be held accountable for these decisions. We are prosecuting drug dealers in some cities and towns on manslaughter charges and sentencing them to jail, we send drunk drivers to jail after minimal numbers of offenses but we let a man with 125 convictions walk freely amongst us. We the people of Massachusetts want our justice system fixed. it’s time we are allowed to feel safe and it is beyond the time for our police officers to have their hard work followed through on the final end—jail for offenders. Hold the judicial system responsible for these career criminals walking freely amongst us. FIX THE SYSTEM! Save our police officers, DO YOUR JOBS!
Revise the MA EEC Requirements for Reopening Daycare Centers
This petition was created to urge the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care to revise their requirements for reopening child care and daycare centers. We want to allow providers to open up on their own terms. By reducing enrollment, requiring more staff and space per child, and by increasing costs for multiple supplies needed, you will cripple private pay businesses. Along with these strict guidelines that will be next to impossible to follow properly, you are forcing teachers to do anything but teach. Providers will spend their day keeping our little ones and each other "apart", making children play alone - if you want to call it that, cleaning continuously, and instilling fear and anxiety in our children that they will become very ill if we don't "follow the rules". Parents will not be welcomed with open arms into classrooms, but forcibly kept out. Field trips, visitors, and enrichment that teach children about the world around them will not be allowed. Hugging, sharing, high fives, and hand holding will be discouraged if not forbidden. Everyone will have their emotions masked, literally. No soft toys, so no cuddling. No playing or sharing of toys or items. No group games or activities (even outdoors), so therefore no teamwork, skill building work, or collaborative thought. Disinfecting and sanitizing everything multiple times, all day long, so no good germs to build immune systems. No mixing of classes/groups - God forbid there is an emergency, or someone needs a break. Why would a toddler teacher need a break? Questionnaires daily to each and every family as to what they have done or who they have been around - so we are invading in each family’s privacy. Adequate staffing (but they can’t move throughout groups), should someone show a symptom, which by the way includes coughing, causing massive disruption to the day, families work schedules, and their children's lives. Quarantining even if testing comes back negative? The list goes on and on. If anyone involved in making these regulations has worked with small children, you know damn well none of this is feasible. With few daycare options before the pandemic, what is going to happen to current families who are told their children no longer have a spot? People can’t work without childcare. Preschool and childcare classrooms are supposed to be a place where you feel your child is loved, learning, and safe and is an extension of your own home. This is not that. The state of MA has failed our Early Childhood programs.
Change how brokers manage the trucking industry. We want transparency and broker reform
ATT: ALL As we know our country is experiencing a time of uncertainty and everyone is doing their part to stay safe for their families and friends. Truckers are the individuals behind every milk bottle, every egg cartoon and everything that we need in order to stay home safely. They are exposed to harsh weather conditions, COV19, sleepless nights, 7+ days away from their families (on top of that being quarantined upon their return). Now for owner operators or small business owners things DO NOT end there. They have many bills to pay all of which include, fuel, breakdowns (which happen more often than you’d think), tires, oil changes (FYI a truck oil change ranges from $250 to $350), IFTA tax (done four times a year taxes paid on road traveled, could range from $200 to $600 every time), monies to accountants and other who keep up their operating permits ( always over $600), load boards (over $200), maintenance items, trip packs to send original bill of leading, truck and trailer washouts (always over $100), insurance (at least $1000), tolls (which are higher for these vehicles expect minimum $150 a month), among others. The reason for writing this is to help individuals see the problem with the market. Brokers with whom many truckers work with are the middlemen between the shipper and the carrier. They, not all, but most are the problem. These individuals found a way around the system and try to keep every penny they can. Offering loads from a lot less than they are getting them and have no regulations what so ever on how they conduct their business. Meanwhile, truckers are tracked thru electronic logbooks and are audited to check the mileage run, the states run, the fuel purchased, and much more. Even when the owner-operator takes the load, they have contracts in place in order to be able to reduce the amounts paid, such as having to do check calls, or been late to appointments (both can cause reductions of up to $200 each). Then, when the brokers are in the wrong, they leave the trucker up the air. One example of a common occurrence is ordering a truck and the load not being there or not being ready, many brokers pocket that money and do not give anything to that truck that may have traveled up to 200 miles empty to pick up, which will cost the owner fuel and time (mind you most trucks do about 5-8 miles per gallon). Brokers also set the price on everything they give no leeway, they tell the truck drivers what they will pay them for lay over (which is when they have to wait more than three hours to get loaded or overnight, never pay more $150 per day). Within these contracts that brokers or brokering companies have created they are totally covered and can get away with murder, while the person or company doing most of the work is left with scraps and no way to defend themselves. Now answer me this: Does it seem fair that the person sitting behind their desk at home, hustles these hard-working individuals for every penny all while treating them like dirt? Not saying all brokers are like this, BUT most. PROPOSAL & GOAL - Regulations on brokers: Transparency; that brokers are required by law to attach what the customer is paying them for the load along with the rate confirmation. - Just pricing on insurance - Just pay on loads, maybe a minimum pay per mile based on equipment type. (refrigerated trailers waste more fuel because the trailer uses fuel) Another suggestion coming from several truckers is That loads are paid a dollar above the national fuel cost per gallon. (ex. 1 gal of diesel is 2.10 the loads should be at $3.10 per mile.) We are the resistance, we have the power. We need CHANGE. We are not employees of the brokers. We are 1099 workers, we pay back taxes for being self-employed. CREATE CHANGE. Support Rick Santiago in his quest for truth and help those in Washington put pressure on the matter so these issues aren't once again overlooked and put under the rug. see more : https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/HPD-investigates-big-rig-protest-wage-theft-claims-15215377.php O/O and small fleets if you have sent your info to Rick Santiago great, if not, please gather your paperwork and submit here so we can expose brokers. http://arylogisticsdispatchandleasing.com/submit-proof
Elizabeth Warren should resign
Elizabeth Warren has, to the surprise of nobody, decided to run for President. She lied to the people of Massachusetts about her intentions during her election campaign for the U.S. Senate. Senator Warren has no intentions of serving the interest of the poeple of Massachusetts. She should not hold office or collect a paycheck for a job she clearly will not be doing. Her intent is to get into higher office. We demand that she resign from the office of U.S. Senator. This will allow Governor Baker to appoint a person to office that will have the sole purpose of serving the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Let Them Play Hockey
Governor Baker phase 3 started Monday. People are now allowed to shop, dine in, go to movies work out in a gym and gamble on casino floors. Other youth sports have been green lighted to begin competition, yet hockey has been singled out. Our kids have been patient and were excited to begin competing in their chosen sport. A sport that has ZERO chance of skin to skin contact. A sport that has a maximum of 12 skaters on the ice at the same time. These players are covered head to toe in equipment and even when they’re on the bench the all sit forward facing. We ask that you immediately reconsider this seemingly arbitrary decision. If you can pile into the South Shore Plaza and shop for sneakers and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels these kids should absolutely be allowed to compete in a hockey game.
Close the cape cod bridges
Stop the spread of covid-19 close the bridges. only year round residence, medical personnel. Trucks that deliver essential supplies. While we love our tourists and summer residents this is not the time to come to the cape, our hospital can’t handle it. We only have two small hospitals here on cape, and limited medical staff. keep the residences and elderly safe on cape. If people did what was asked of them instead of hanging at the beaches and hanging out with each other this would never have been created. Yes some of the people coming are doing the right thing unfortunately most are not. This is not about us Cape coders being mean or not wanting people here, or going to their second home, we can’t not handle the influx of people. I know people personally that work at the hospital and they talk about how over whelmed they are. We need to do this for them all the front line people. Don’t put your self first think of them. What do you think will happen if the medical department falls apart. I myself am in the high risk, I do not want this and take ever precaution I can. I do not go out unless I have to. I do not let people come to my house. I certainly don’t nor will I travel to other places. There is a stay at home advisory for a reason. This is not a free vacation. Ask your self would you be here now if we were not in a pandemic, if you still had your normal routine would you be heading here now. It seems that some are confused about what “closing” the bridges means. It’s not like we are saying build a wall like some comments have said. We are not asking for jersey barriers. That should be common sense. We want people to do what is asked. remember the virus dose not move we move, if we stop moving the virus stops. Let’s get through this as fast as we can, so we can have a good summer.
Get MassDOT to revoke all current and future contracts with HIWAY SAFETY SYSTEMS, INC.
On 12/29/19, a thirteen year old girl was killed by one of their employees. The employee was leaving a company party, after consuming excessive alcohol and drugs. Furthermore, another thirteen year old girl was severely injured due to this accident, and is currently undergoing a multitude of surgeries. This company is supposed to be responsible for highway safety, while these actions represent the opposite of this. With the state allowing for this company to still operate on our roads is a total disregard to the safety and protection of its citizens. By getting rid of these contracts will send a strong message to the community that in Massachusetts individuals and companies are held accountable for their actions, and will as well give friends and family of those injured the justice they deserve.
Respiratory Therapists Deserve Hazard Pay
Respiratory Therapists are on the front lines of the Covid-19 fight! The Respiratory Therapist is being exposed just as much if not MORE than Doctors and Nurses. Respiratory Therapists (RT) are on average paid less than nurses, but have just as much responsibility and and more at risk of contracting the virus because they are placing breathing tubes, suctioning secretions from those breathing tubes, and the ones taking those tubes out of patients. We agree Doctors and Nurses deserve hazard pay, but the Respiratory Therapists should NOT be left out of this!!! We are considered essential and are risking our lives like the rest of the healthcare workers!