Decision Maker

Chris Christie

  • Governor of New Jersey

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Victory
Petitioning Chris Christie

Protect New Jersey kids from dangerous anti-gay conversion therapy

My name is Jacob Rudolph, and the video above is me coming out to my school as openly LGBT. I chose to come out in such a public way because LGBT youth need to know they are not alone. Now, I am asking for your help to encourage New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, to support a bill that would protect kids who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender from a dangerous practice. Currently, the New Jersey state legislature is considering a bill that would protect minors from the harmful, discredited practice of gay conversion therapy, which subjects teens to psychologically damaging “treatment” by so-called psychology counselors who falsely claim they can “fix” the sexual orientation of children who identify as being LGBT. Unfortunately, Governor Chris Christie has not yet said he will support this crucial legislation. Gov. Christie must be made to understand how critical such legislation is to protecting the thousands of teens like me from the dangers of gay conversion therapy. Major psychological, psychiatric, and counseling associations have found this ineffective and scientifically unsound practice to be harmful for young people. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association has concluded that a great risk of depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior result from anti-gay conversion therapy. According to the CDC and the Trevor Project, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. And, that number doubles to 8 times more likely if LGB youth come from families that reject the child's sexual orientation. Together, we can raise Gov. Christie’s awareness of these issues and obtain his support for the legislation that would ban gay conversion therapy. Together we can urge the governor to protect LGBT teens by endorsing the bill. By enacting the proposed statute, New Jersey has an opportunity not just to protect kids from the emotional damage of dangerous anti-gay conversion therapy, but to save lives as well. I'm incredibly lucky to have parents who love me just the way I am, which is why it hurts me to know that, every single day, kids across the state are forced to lie or feel shame about who they really are, for fear of being rejected by their families and friends or forced to be subjected to harmful “therapy” intended to fix what is not broken. Please sign my petition today urging Governor Chris Christie to protect New Jersey’s LGBT kids and to support state senate bill S2278. Thank you,Jacob RudolphSenior, Parsippany High School

Jacob Rudolph
142,949 supporters
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
126,965 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Chris Christie

Grant me a pardon, a mistake shouldn't ruin my future.

NRA NEWS INTERVIEW HERE I was an armored guard, with plans to be a police officer until I got a felony conviction for having my legally owned service weapon in my glove box. Now my dreams of being a cop and providing for my family have been dashed. The only way I can get my life back on track is if Governor Christie grants me a pardon. Please help me tell the governor that an honest mistake shouldn’t ruin my entire future. My name is Steffon Josey-Davis. I am a 24-year-old from New Jersey. As an armored car driver, I am legally permitted to own a weapon.  On September 20th, 2013,  I was getting ready for work in the morning, I was in the garage trying to disarm my firearm when my 6-year-old sister walked in and surprised me. I have always tried to keep my firearm away from my younger siblings as to not spark their curiosity, so I quickly shoved it into my glove compartment before picking her up and taking her back inside the house. Later that day, having been distracted by a chain of events, I got in my car, with my gun still in my glove compartment.  I was pulled over shortly after for a routine traffic stop. Immediately I realized my mistake; in NJ a loaded weapon must be carried in a locked trunk. I alerted the officers that I had a weapon in the car. They confiscated and told me I would be able to pick it up later that week, and I thought that was the end of it. When I arrived at the police department, I was informed that I had been charged with weapons possession,  a second-degree felony. Instantly my life changed. I was facing a ten year prison sentence for trying to keep a firearm away from a child. I was horrified by the thought of spending ten years in prison, away from my family, my girlfriend and the dreams that I hoped to one day achieve, so on my lawyer’s recommendation I took a plea of one year probation. But I am still a convicted felon. Now I can't vote, am disqualified from most jobs, and my future has been derailed. I am a law abiding citizen, with hopes of one day becoming a law enforcement officer myself. Yet, because of my felony conviction I may never be able to become the person I had wanted to be. I am asking you, from the bottom of my heart, to please support me and ask Governor Christie to grant me a pardon so that I can continue to follow my dreams.   Full Story Here Please Donate to help Steffon Overturn his wrongful conviction by HIRING Evan Nappen NJ FireArm Attorney. Anything helps! Click HERE To Donate  To learn more about my story please click here and here.

Steffon Josey
92,545 supporters
Petitioning Chris Christie

Make NJ a No-Kill State

We are 6 10, 11, and 12 year old students from Mount Olive, New Jersey and here is what we have to say about "Making New Jersey a No Kill State." About 1.2 million dogs are killed each year because the maximum capacity of dogs in shelters and adoption centers are exceeded. Some of them are abused, thrown out of a house like garbage. Runaways that starve to death, some owners don't even have the time to train or take care of them. People bring them to pounds or shelters and they look for hope that these animals are adopted in time. Many of them that do not get placed in an adoption agency or with a good family and have been there for more than 7 days are killed/euthanized. It is totally a cruel act to kill these voiceless beings. That’s why, we need to stand up and raise awareness for these innocent souls. Our plan is to get 20,000 signatures by late June. When we reach this goal, we will contact the New Jersey’s lawmakers and Governor Christie and ask them to recognize and consider putting the problem on a ballot. The ballot will then be on the next voting section. We are positive, that we will win the vote. Our next plan is to be involved in making the law and have provisions that help us exceed the limits of dogs in the adoption centers and shelters and ensure some of our tax money is sent to  adoption centers around New Jersey. This money will provide dogs to be spayed and neutered. Along with any shots needed. Do to these tremendous amounts of dogs, we need to have forced laws on trained breeders that are allowed to breed. Please vote to make NJ as a NO KILL state and save these innocent souls! Dont forget to spread the word on FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Musically. Use the hashtag #MakeNjANoKillState

Team 869 Mount Olive Robotics Team Lego My Eggo
23,127 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Chris Christie

Call on President-Elect Trump to Condemn Hate Crimes Done in His Name

On November 9th, 2016 Shaun King began documenting the hate crimes and hate speech that are direct results of the 2016 election decision. These assaults are dangerous, divisive, violent, illegal and un-American. You can read about them here (trigger warning to survivors): https://twitter.com/ShaunKing  As our new President-elect, we are calling on Donald J Trump to personally and publicly condemn all physical and verbal assaults committed in his name or as a reaction to his victory. 

Whitney Anderson
20,790 supporters
Petitioning Chris Christie

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: Tell Sister State, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea, That We’re Opposed to Torture and Consumption of Dogs!

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: Tell Sister State, Jeollabuk-do Province, South Korea, That We’re Opposed to the Torture and Consumption of Dogs and Cats. Jeollabuk-do Province of South Korea became a sister state with Washington in 1996 and New Jersey in 2000. This, despite the fact that Jeollabuk-do, South Korea is responsible for a horrendous dog and cat meat trade. In South Korea, home to global companies such as Hyundai, Kia, Samsung, LG, Daewoo, SK, and POSCO, an estimated 2.5 million dogs are tortured and slaughtered every year because of the greed of dog eaters and the dog meat industry, and the profound indifference of the majority of South Koreans who does nothing to stop this. One of the provinces that supports the illegal mass breeding and brutal slaughter of dogs for human consumption is Jeollabuk-do. Have you ever wondered what Hell is like? Click HERE(https://youtu.be/19dcBonIdIA) to watch undercover videos from a dog slaughterhouse in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do. There are no words to describe the daily horror of this “Hell On Earth.” And there are so many dog slaughterhouses, farms and meat markets like these all around Jeollabuk-do. Countless dog farms and slaughterhouses are scattered throughout Jeollabuk-do and they truly are hell on earth for the defenseless dogs suffering there. Man’s best friend exists for their entire lives in squalid, feces encrusted raised wire cages in utter misery only to be slaughtered in the most horrific of ways – by electrocution, a hammer blow to the neck, being hung or beaten, bleeding to death from a slashed throat, being burned to death from a blowtorch, or thrown into a vat of boiling water while still alive. Jeonju, Gunsan, Iksan, Jeongeop, Namwon, Gimjae, Wanju, Jinan, Muju, Jangsu, Imsil, Soonchang, Gochang, Buan; and on goes the list of cities in Jeollabuk-do where these terrible atrocities are perpetrated. There are laws in South Korea against selling dogs and cats for consumption yet these laws are blatantly ignored. Please watch this undercover video by animal rights activists in South Korea:  http://youtu.be/3uR8R8Mu70Q Please inform Jeollabuk-do Province Governor Ha-Jin Song that citizens of Washington and New Jersey and their friends insist that they issue an official document mandating that the following existing laws be enforced: Livestock Product Sanitary Control Act, Article 2, Item 1 which governs the raising, slaughter and disposal of livestock and the processing, distribution and inspection of livestock products, does not categorize dogs as livestock that can be processed as food.  Therefore this makes the dog meat industry technically illegal. Food Sanitation Act, Article 7, Clause 1, Korean Food Standards Codex specified by the Food and Drug Administration, does not include dogs in the list of raw materials that can be processed and cooked as food, therefore making raising and slaughtering dogs for consumption illegal. Animal Protection Act: ARTICLE 3. BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR PROTECTION OF ANIMALS Each person shall endeavor to observe the following principles in raising, caring for, or protecting an animal: 1. Each person shall ensure that an animal maintains its natural behavior and original physical shape to live an ordinary life; 2. Each person shall ensure that an animal does not suffer from thirst, hunger, or malnutrition; Each person shall ensure that an animal is free to express normal behavior without experiencing discomfort; 4. Each person shall ensure that an animal is free from pain, injury, and disease; 5. Each person shall ensure that an animal is free from fear and distress. ARTICLE 8. PROHIBITION OF ANIMAL ABUSE ① No one shall commit the following acts toward animals: 1. Act of killing by brutal methods, such as hanging 2. Act of Killing in public or in another animal’s presence ③ No one shall commit the following acts toward abandoned or abused animals: 1. Act of capture and sell or kill. 2. Act of trade or purchase knowing that the animals are abandoned or abused. ARTICLE 9. ANIMAL TRANSPORTATION ① Anyone transporting an animal that has been selected by decree from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries must make an effort to abide by the following: 1. Ensure that the animals are properly fed, watered and drive carefully so that animals are not shocked or harmed from sudden departures or stops. 2. The vehicle used for transportation must be built to prevent any harm during transportation and to minimize any pain due to poor ventilation or sudden changes in temperature, etc. 4. Avoid any possible injuries while moving an animal and minimize any pain or discomfort, such as sudden changes in body temperature or difficulty in breathing. ARTICLE 46. PUNISHMENT ① Anyone who violates Article 8, Clause 1 through 3 shall be punished with up to one year in prison or a maximum fine of 10 million Korean won ($7,000 USD). Ministry of Environment's Conservation of Water Quality and Ecosystem Act,  Article 15 Clause 1 Item 2 and Article 78 Item 3, the act of discharging excrement, livestock waste water, animal carcass, waste materials or sludge into public water is punishable by up to one year in prison or a maximum fine of 10 million Korean won ($7,000 USD). Livestock Safety Management Act, slaughterhouses are only authorized to slaughter animals they are registered to handle. No slaughterhouse is registered to slaughter dogs because dogs are not subject to slaughter under this law. We believe these demands are in line with the goal of sister states to establish friendly communications in the areas of tourism, commerce, cultural exchange and public health. International and Korean media coverage of the brutal dog and cat meat trade in South Korea has stained Jeollabuk-do Province, South Korea’s image and severely tarnished your state’s sister state relationship. The time to end this tragedy is now.  The favor of your reply is requested. Thank you for taking swift action! PS: Click here to find more ways to contact Governor Jay Inslee and Governor Chris Christie.  http://koreandogs.org/contact-governor-of-jeollabuk-do-sister-state/ It's very quick and simple. For more info: http://koreandogs.org/ Short link for this petition:  https://goo.gl/KbgYvl

KOREANDOGS.ORG
17,868 supporters
Petitioning New Jersey State House, New Jersey State Senate, New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, Chris Christie

"Autumn's Law" - Hold Abusive/Neglectful Parents Partially Accountable

My daughter, Autumn Pasquale was a typical all-American 12-year-old girl.  Autumn loved BMX bike riding, skateboarding, playing soccer, cheerleading and art.  She possessed so much promise for a bright future. She was a straight “A” student, was accepted into the gifted & talented program at her middle school and was involved in many extracurricular activities. She was the light of my life.  But on October 20 2012 all that ended.  Forever.  And so did Autumn’s life. Why? I truly believe it is because Autumn believed all children were well-adjusted and innocent, just like her. On that fateful day, Autumn was lured to the home of acquaintances/brothers 15-year-old Justin Robinson and 17 year-old Dante Robinson under the pretense that one or both boys wanted to trade bike parts with her.  My innocent daughter left my home that Saturday afternoon NEVER TO RETURN.  Prior to this event, I did not know the Robinson family.  Watch Media confirm Autumn’s was lured to trade bike parts here: http://news.yahoo.com/video/brother-autumn-pasquales-confessed-killer-164903873.html Watch Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton’s statement regarding the arrests/charges that were initially filed against the Robinson brothers here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UvgPYiAzXk It took several law enforcement agencies two harrowing days to find my Autumn and when they did, it was a scene from a horror film.  Autumn had been beaten, strangled to death and stuffed in a trashcan. Justin Robinson later accepted a plea deal and received a 17-year prison sentence.  He could be out of prison as early as his 30th birthday…possibly before. His brother Dante was freed. The reason for the plea deal and Dante’s release came as a result of a lack of DNA evidence.  *****I BELIEVE THAT MINOR CHILDREN ARE RARELY IF EVER BORN MURDERERS.  MOST ARE CULTIVATED  AND IN AUTUMN’S CASE, I BELIEVE HER MURDERER WAS NO EXCEPTION.  HERE ARE A FEW OF THE FACTS TO PROVE THAT CLAIM*****   Justin Robinson suffered from a neurodevelopmental disorder.  This was confirmed by Robinson’s own attorney and stated in open court during his sentencing hearing. At Robinson’s sentencing hearing his own attorney stated in open court that his actions against Autumn were a “learned behavior.” She added that Robinson had witnessed his own father choke his mother (possibly on more than one occasion).  These parents, knowing their child(ren) already had serious mental disorders, exposed them to violence in the home. It is no coincidence that my daughter’s cause of death was strangulation.  The most influential person in Robinson’s life, his same sex parent, taught him that. Various neighbors of Robinson’s gave statements to the media indicating they were aware that Robinson brothers were known to engage in criminal activity and were “always in trouble.”  In fact, their own father admitted to the media that his boys were known for stealing bikes.  A Clear sign of lack of respect for authority and the law. In May 2017, a now 21 year old Dante Robinson is charged with a home invasion: http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2017/05/man_involved_in_autumn_pasquale_murder_injured_dur.html    See admissions from community members and Robinson’s father here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/autumn_pasquale_death_2_teen_b.html   One of my best friends witnessed Justin Robinson running from police and pulling off his hat and shirt while in stride (presumably to disguise his appearance) just days before he murdered my daughter. At the time of Autumn’s murder, Robinson’s biological father, Alonzo Robinson admitted to the media that he had not seen his sons for a year (and possibly up to 7 years).  Alonzo Robinson completely abandoned his parental responsibilities, all while knowing his sons suffered from serious mental disorders and were known to engage in crimes.  Police told Mr. Robinson they found bike parts stockpiled in the basement of the Robinson’s home. Robinson told reporters one of the boys had been previously charged with theft.  See Alonzo Robinson’s admissions here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/father_police_questioned_sons.html   6.   Autumn was murdered in the home in which the Robinson boys resided with their mother Anita Robinson. The home is approximately800 square feet in size. Investigators believe Autumn’s time of death to be approximately 3:30 p.m..  They also believe Autumn’s body was not moved to the trash can until late that Saturday night or early Sunday morning.  Yet Anita Robinson had no idea a murder took place in her home and that my child’s body and all of her belongings including her bike were laying in her home for several hours.              See prosecutor’s statement regarding investigator’s timeline here: http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2013/09/gloucester_county_prosecutor_wanted_to_finish_autumn_pasquale_murder_case.html   Justin Robinson was not only able to murder my child in his home, but was able to clean up her murder scene, tamper with evidence, hide all the evidence, hide Autumn’s body and all of her belongings including her BMX bike and move her dead body (while rigor mortis had to have set in) to a trash can. Again Anita Robinson saw and heard nothing.    Parents/guardians who neglect, abuse, abandon or ignore the warning signs of their children’s propensity toward violence are direct contributors to their minor children’s murders. If the minor who murdered my daughter was properly treated, parented, disciplined and supervised my daughter would probably be alive today.    Accordingly, I and everyone who signs this petition are asking for consideration of “Autumn’s Law.” A law that would make abusive and/or neglectful parents/guardians who have custody of their children CRIMINALLY responsible for murders committed by their minor children, when they know or should have known the propensity toward violence existed.    When a parent/guardian knows or should have known that their child may pose a threat to third persons, it is the parents/guardian’s responsibility to minimize that risk.  A child’s issues are not the responsibility of his/her school, state, teacher, counselor, law enforcement, community, neighbors or church, but instead, the primary responsibility of the child’s parents/guardians.    When the parents/guardians of a minor murderer are proven to have failed in their parental responsibilities by ignoring warning signs, failing to treat their children’s mental/emotional/behavioral issues and by fail to ensure proper supervision of their child, the parents/guardians actions/lack of actions becomes a contributing factor to the loss of life and lifelong devastation inflicted on their victims and their victims’ families. As such, they should be held criminally responsible.    WE ARE ASKING OUR GOVERNOR & STATE LEGISLATORS TO CONSIDER “AUTUMN’S LAW.” A LAW THAT WOULD MAKE NEGLECTFUL AND/OR ABUSIVE PARENTS/GUARDIANS WHO FAIL TO TREAT, CONTROL AND SUPERVISE THEIR MINOR  CHILDREN, HELD CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLE WHEN THEIR CHILDREN MURDER      Thank you, Anthony Pasquale          

Anthony Pasquale
16,125 supporters
Petitioning Chris Christie

Stop DuPont Chemical from Poisoning New Jersey Families

From 1902 to 1994, the DuPont Chemical company dumped chemicals into New Jersey’s Pompton Lakes. While the company abandoned the explosives site years ago, it has yet to clean up the mess it left behind. The closed work site is still owned by DuPont.For decades, families like mine have been suffering from the toxic pollution left in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey by DuPont Chemical. Hundreds of families suffer from poisonous gases in the soil that migrate up into our basements. The air we breathe inside our homes is filled with cancer-causing TCE, and the full extent of all this pollution in our community is still not fully understood.DuPont Chemical, the company responsible for this pollution, has had years to clean up their mess--but they have failed. It's time the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) declare Pompton Lakes a Superfund site and take over the clean-up once and for all. Two years ago, the New Jersey Department of Human Health and Senior Services released a shocking report with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It found a "significantly elevated" cancer rate in the region potentially linked to contamination from the Pompton Lakes DuPont explosives site. DuPont Chemical has proposed a five-year cleanup plan--but that plan will not make our community safe. DuPont's plan does not address the high levels of mercury, lead, and other toxic chemicals that they left in our creeks and lakes.It’s clear that DuPont doesn’t care about the Pompton Lakes community, so it’s up to the USEPA to take a stand and protect our health. The USEPA must list this site on the federal Superfund National Priorities list. Cleanup cannot be left in the hands of DuPont Chemical.

Lisa Riggiola
13,334 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Chris Christie, Chris Smith, New Jersey State House, New Jersey State Senate

Install Surveillance Video/Audio Cameras in All Special Education Classrooms in NJ Schools!!

Children with Developmental Disabilities often have many difficult behavioral issues. Families rely on Teachers and School staff to provide a safe and caring environment for their children. Many of these children suffer from elopement, aggressive, self injurious, impulsive, defiant, hyperactive and sensory disorders and behaviors. Control of these behaviors is extremely difficult for the child. These children are prone to accidental injuries and mistreatment by others who simply cannot handle the effects of these challenges. Many Teachers and Staff persons are trained to manage these behaviors as best as possible. Many are not. When a child, especially those who cannot speak or communicate, suffers an injury, parents are left relying on others explanation of what happened with their child. Leaving a parent with no other option. NJ schools have many great teachers and staff! However, we also have those who are not so great! Not having a criminal background, does not exclude the possibility of the person having a poor level of tolerance, patience and emotional wellbeing when faced with these challenging behaviors. Everyone is human, and that includes teachers and staff. Not only will it help ensure that our children are safe and properly treated, but it will also encourage teachers and staff to do what they are supposed to do! Teachers and Staff will know that carelessness, mistreatment and not following protocols will be on surveillance video and their careers will be at stake. If Teachers and Staff are doing everything they are obliged to do, then they should not feel threatened by being under surveillance! Those who oppose it or feel threatened by it, are the ones who raise concern to families! In the defense of Teachers and Staff it too will help protect them against false allegations! We strongly believe the likelihood of incident occurances regarding carelessness, mistreatment and violations of protocols with our children will greatly decrease or possibily diminish with surveillance in place! We believe our schools and children will greater improve with survelliance! Not only will it deter those whom are not emotionally and/or mentally equipped to work with our children from becoming employed by our schools, but by doing so will likely fill our NJ schools with those who ARE! There are many legal cases in our State and Nation where incidents could have either been prevented or caught in its stage of initial occurance instead of after long term repeat occurances. NJ has the HIGHEST rate of Autism in the NATION! So many parents deserve to KNOW (not be told) that their children are in safe and caring hands while getting the proper education they deserve!

Michelle Joana
10,700 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Chris Christie, Stephen Sweeney, Dawn Addiego, Diane Allen, Peter Barnes, Christopher Bateman, James Beach, Jennifer Beck, Anthony Bucco, Gerald Cardinale, Richard Codey, Christopher Connors, Nilsa...

Stop Rule 534 from destroying Mental Health Professional-Client Confidentiality

New Privilege Rule 534 decimates mental health provider-client confidentiality and effectively nullifies the strong confidentiality protections enacted by NJ Legislators and Governors over the past 4 decades. It goes into effect on July 1st and will create bad national precedent. Rule 534 potentially exposes mental health clients to having their deepest, sometimes shameful secrets, routinely exposed through lawyers’ discovery requests and will require therapists to testify in open court in new, unprecedented ways. Rule 534 will greatly increase the number of subpoenas and discovery requests served on mental health providers and facilities. It penalizes and permanently strips confidentiality when clients that ask their providers to advocate in any proceeding. Rule 534 will automatically go into effect on July 1, 2016 unless the Legislature and Governor take immediate action. Text of the Rule can be found at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/notices/2015/n150915a.pdf  Rule 534 will apply to all mental health-related communications between clients and their licensed counselors, alcohol and drug counselors, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors, nurses, psychoanalysts, physician assistants, marriage and family therapists, and midwives, the vast majority of which are totally unaware of the contents or import of Rule 534. Rule 534 will deter people from seeking mental health or addiction treatment or from confiding in their current treatment providers. Rule 534 creates a complex scheme containing 13 exceptions to mental health provider-client confidentiality. Its four pages of legalese will confound therapists’ ability to obtain their clients’ informed consent for treatment. The Rule 534 confidentiality exceptions will undermine mental health providers' ability to establish therapeutic trust and chill mental health providers' ethical obligations to advocate on behalf of their clients. Rule 534 was praised by lawyers and condemned by mental health providers. In written testimony to the NJ Supreme Court, Professional Mental Health Counselors and Clinical Social Workers uniformly condemned Rule 534: "would 'compromise client confidentiality' and deter people from going to social workers;" "if a therapist told a patient all of the legally required exceptions, the patient would terminate the counseling session;" "would discourage mental health treatment;" "creates a 'confusing array of additional exceptions that are not currently in place;'" "will be interpreted 'very loosely' so as to allow confidential information to be disclosed;" and, ""it will create more lawsuits." One of the most egregious provisions causes a client to lose confidentiality for all time if the client asks the provider to provide written or oral testimony in any proceeding, such as an unemployment, benefits, child protection, or disability proceeding. Clients will lose all confidentiality protection in a civil suit for damages that resulted from conduct that constitutes a crime. This will chill, for example, people with gambling, drug, or alcohol addictions, that have stolen from their employers, families, stores, or other third parties, from seeking mental health help to curb their dysfunctional behaviors. Clients may also lose confidentiality if they have ever told a third, non-spouse, party about their mental health condition or treatment. The beneficiaries of Rule 534 will be the lawyers who will be able to obtain adverse parties’ mental health information and use that mental health information in settlement negotiations or in courtroom trials. Please share this petition with friends, family, professional and consumer organizations, and anyone else that has an interest in promoting access to confidential mental health and drug and alcohol treatment. Advocate for health clients and mental health professionals by contacting your NJ State Senator’s, NJ State Representative’s, and Governor Christie’s offices.

John MacDonald, JD, MA, NCC, LAC
8,941 supporters