Students Fighting Guns Since Adults Won't
Adults have failed us. Everyday, we students walk into school with the promise of an education without threat of violence. However, it has become increasingly clear that hallways of schools across America are no longer a guaranteed safe haven. Whether it's an elementary school in small-town Connecticut or a high school in Florida, it's become apparent that school shootings are becoming an expected part of American life. Since 2013, there have been 291 school shootings, with 18 of them happening in 2018 alone. We simply ask how many shootings will it take, how many innocent children have to die, until adults decide we, as our nation's children, are more important than our nation's guns. Therefore, we ask our fellow students to take it upon ourselves to stand up as our adults remain sitting. We demand change. While most students cannot vote, we are not voiceless to our society. There are about 56 million K through 12 students in the United States. If we mobilize this population -- by signing petitions, contacting lawmakers, and utilizing social media -- we can make our presence felt. Ultimately, our goal is to pressure lawmakers to make comprehensive and responsible gun control policy to keep our schools and society safe. It's not a matter of if anymore, it's a matter of when we will be affected. Students For Gun Legislation
We demand that The United States Senate not confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General
As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the Attorney General of the United States must be independent of politics and respect the dignity of all Americans. The Attorney General has a duty to enforce the rule of law fairly and pursue equal justice under the law. One of the core functions of the Department of Justice is to protect Americans’ civil rights, and to defend those who have been denied them. Another key function of the Department of Justice is to protect our security, but never sacrifice our civil liberties. Not only has Senator Sessions been a staunch opponent of reforming the tragic shortcomings in our criminal justice system, he holds a number of views that are inconsistent with how most Americans believe justice should be applied under our Constitution.
Congress: Censure President Trump For His Heinous Remarks About "Shithole" Countries
Please also sign and share our net neutrality petition: https://www.change.org/p/jeff-flake-we-need-one-more-republican-vote-in-the-senate-to-save-net-neutrality And join our group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1721640631484675/ ----------- This petition began in a private, politically active facebook group of 6300 people consisting of Democrats, Independents, Socialists, Libertarians, and concerned Republicans. On Thursday, Jan 11, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump attacked potential immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal. The White House did not deny these allegations. This, a day before the 8th anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that killed over 100,000 people. This is a step too far. If this were any other president, a censure would be an expected course of action. We realize that many in congress have become numb to Mr. Trump's rhetoric, but American voters have not. This is the language of fringe talk radio, not the President of the United States. He dishonors the office with these words. He is our chief diplomat around the world, and he represents millions of Americans who emigrated from these nations. He should act like it. It is time for congress to stand up and censure this president for his dishonorable remarks about our friends in Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, who rightfully look to the United States as a beacon of freedom and opportunity.
We Demand that the U. S. Senate not confirm Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor
Andrew Puzder is among Trump's more controversial Cabinet picks because he has publicly opposed the overtime rule and various other Department of Labor regulations, and because the fast-food industry, from which Puzder hails, is a top wage-theft enforcement target at the department. Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants, which includes Carl’s Jr. and Hardee's. It’s actually very hard to imagine a worse choice for Labor Secretary than Andy Puzder. The Labor Secretary’s job is to look out for American workers. Trump's Labor nominee has opposed increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour and efforts to expand eligibility for overtime pay. It would be kind of funny if it wasn’t so serious. During the election, Trump made a lot of promises to create good jobs. But he’s filling his cabinet with CEOs and right-wing billionaires who have spent their lives undermining working people’s rights to come together in unions, while fighting minimum wage increases, paid sick leave and family leave policies. The evidence clearly demonstrates that protecting the rights of the people who work at Puzder’s company or its franchisees doesn't seem to be his priority. Puzder has run a business model that has produced widespread labor abuses at the companies. According to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA, over the previous seven years, about 60 percent of all Labor Department investigations of Carl's Jr. Restaurants found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. While working people at his fast food chains sometimes were making below minimum wage, Puzder was taking big compensation packages. In 2012, he made 291 times as much as workers at his restaurants. Now, he could be in charge of enforcing our nation’s labor laws—from ensuring workplace safety to investigating wage theft. His companies had the fourth highest incidents of wage theft reported to the government. ‘Wage theft is a rampant, everyday problem in the fast-food industry: Nearly nine out of 10 fast-food workers across the country report having money stolen from their paychecks by their boss,’ Kendall Fells, the Fight for $15 national organizing director, told Bloomberg BNA via e-mail. Bloomberg reported. “Fells referred to a 2014 poll commissioned by the campaign of more than 1,000 fast-food workers nationwide. The survey documented such common worker complaints as being forced to perform tasks before clocking in or after clocking out, having the cost of uniforms deducted from their paychecks, and not receiving breaks during long shifts.” Puzder’s Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain also has a history of sexist television. He thinks it’s appropriate to peddle sex to kids if it sells the product. “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers,” said the CEO in a 2011 press release, according to Fortune. “We target hungry guys, and we get young kids that want to be young hungry guys.” Let’s target Puzder’s nomination instead. Just Say No Puzder at Labor. This petition will be delivered to the full Senate and to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee of the U.S. Senate
Protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Update: February 13th, 2018 President Trump's proposed 2019 Budget calls for the COMPLETE ELIMINATION of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) If you care at all about PSLF then NOW is the time to take action. President Trump's Proposed 2019 Budget was officially released yesterday and clearly calls for pulling all funding from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, along with making several other massive cuts to Federal student loan programs. RIGHT NOW is the time to post this Petition on Social Media, in the comments on related news stories, to your Blog or anywhere else that you can think of where people who care about PSLF and student loan debt will find it, because unless we can show the Congress that there's a huge contingent of Americans standing in support of PSLF, it's likely to be cut for good. Don't let President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have their way on the student loan crisis. Don't let the big banks and corrupt for-profit schools continue to rake in trillions of dollars from hard-working Americans. Stand up for this vital program that supports people wanting to better their lives and give back to their community by making this country a better place! We ask that Members of Congress block President Trump's Proposed 2019 Budget until it includes support and continual funding for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. --- In addition to eliminating PSLF, President Trump's Proposed 2019 Budget Seeks to: Reduce available Income-Driven Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans (IDR Plans) from 4 to 1 Increase Monthly Payments for IDR Plans, raising the Discretionary Income Cap from 10% to 12.5% Offer Loan Forgiveness earlier to the general public, offering it at 15 years instead of the current 20 (this is the one good thing he's seeking) Require Graduate Students to make 30 years worth of payments before receiving Loan Forgiveness Eliminate all Federal Subsidized Loans, meaning that all Federal loans will begin accumulating interest even while borrowers are still in school Embolden the Federal Government to go after borrowers who default on their loans NOTE: These changes will ONLY APPLY to loans borrowed AFTER July 1st, 2019, so people already in repayment do not need to worry about these changes, but they are serious and significant cuts to the benefits that future generations will be offered, which is why it's so important that we stand up for them NOW! For specific details on exactly how President Trump's 2019 Budget will impact student loan laws, student loan forgiveness and specifically the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, please visit: https://www.forgetstudentloandebt.com/student-loan-relief-programs/federal-student-loan-relief/federal-forgiveness-programs/president-donald-trumps-student-loan-forgiveness-program/ --- The Department of Education is proposing eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The stated purpose of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is to “encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs”. To qualify for PSLF forgiveness, people must not only work full-time in a public service position, but also make 10 years’ worth of full, on-time, income-based monthly payments toward their Federal student loans. Who receives PSLF forgiveness? Teachers, Government Employees, Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Employees, Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Park Rangers, Military Personnel, and other qualifying public service workers. 400,000 Americans have chosen to serve their Government and Communities over the past 10 years, and each of these Americans should be able to count on the PSLF benefits promised to them. Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education seeks to end PSLF without having conducted a detailed study to determine how much actual money this dramatic policy reversal and broken promise would even save. The plan to eliminate PSLF is an not only an insult, but also an outrage to everyone who has dedicated the past ten years of their lives working in public service positions. Ending the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is a terrible idea that should be opposed at all costs. We ask that Members of Congress block the Department of Education’s proposal to kill this vital financial assistance program.
"CAP" Private & FED Student Loan Interest
Dear Senator, In 2018 student loan debt had eclipsed 1.5 trillion dollars. With roughly about 44 million borrowers, that sets the average student loan debt at about 38K per student. Society’s taught us all at a young age, that education was the key to success. We were told “get a good education and this will assure you get a well paying job after graduating from college.” This message is embedded in our minds early in life. Unfortunately, for many this could not be further from the truth. I know this letter may come across your desk and potentially be overlooked, because I am not a constituent in your state. But within your state are many just like me (thousands maybe even millions). Many do not know what to do, so I would like to be their voice and beacon of hope. I am a private student loan borrower (Sallie Mae/Navient). I (like many) could not afford to pay for college out of my own pocket. Thankfully, I was able to fund my 4 years of college with both Federal & Private loans (mostly private). While I am grateful for the college experience and degree I earned, it’s been overshadowed by the enormous never-ending growing balance post graduation. I originally borrowed 55,532.88 for my college education from Sallie Mae/Navient. I graduated in 2005. Year-to-date I’ve made payments totaling 59,509.13. My remaining balance is still 64,143.21. Seeing these figures side-by-side on my excel spreadsheets literally sickens my stomach. However, I am proactively working on a plan to pay it back. The statistic shared earlier shows that student loan debt is a problem in this country we call the “land of opportunity.” For myself and many others, we feel the mounting pressures of the growing balance even after repayment has started. Defaults rates are well above normal and will continue to sore. This is why I’m putting this petition together to call for reform to specifically “private student loans.” Upon graduation, the original principal in some cases have doubled, tripled even quadrupled because of the “daily compounding interest.” I am calling for Government Representatives to step-in and set a “CAP limit” on the amount of interest Private loan providers can add onto original loan balances. Balances are growing on a daily basis. The payments most students are making is primarily going toward the interest that is still growing daily. How are borrowers suppose to ever make a dint in the principal balance? It’s virtually impossible. The interest rates are variable and set by the lender. Why do lenders need to collect 2, 3, or 4 times the amount borrowed? Income based repayments (which is primarily for Fed Loans) isn’t a solution; it’s a Band-Aid. This only lowers the monthly payment while the interest is still increasing, eventually increasing your overall balance. We need real reform. Reform that will truly help all student borrowers pay off their private student loans with a “reasonable” amount of interest. It feels as if private lenders purposely want to keep students in debt well into their elderly years. Which morally, simply is not the right thing to do. Education shouldn’t be a penalty. Private lenders are profiting 2, 3, and even 4 fold at an alarming rate from “interest only.” How many executives are receiving bonuses? Why do private lenders need so much interest it they are claiming to help struggling students pay for college? I can not predict the future. I do not know what happens if this student loan bubble bursts like the housing market did some years back. But students are being left with the short end of the stick and mounting balances unless Government appointed officials create and pass real laws that will bring change to this predatory system “Private Loan Providers” have taken advantage of for so many years. #CAPstudentloaninterest
Free Kato and Kleo!
Kato and Kleo have spent most of their lives held in separate cages, 23 hours a day, on a kill order issued by the town of Hamden, CT since October, 2012. Nearly 6 YEARS now. They were only puppies when someone opened the gate to their backyard and released them. A little girl saw them and cried out, not because they were harming her, but because she was scared. Cynthia Reed, the 47-year-old grandmother of the little girl, went after Kato and Kleo with a piece of wood, screaming obscenities and beating on them. One of them MAY have bitten her, (no one knows for sure, as there was never an investigation as to whether she was bitten, and by which dog). Over 30 people then joined in, and attacked Kato and Kleo with bats, metal pipes, rocks, whatever they could get their hands on. Since Connecticut is a no-fault state, Ms. Reed was paid $65,000 by the insurance company without even being examined. Ms. Reed then disappeared and did not show up for the initial court hearing. Sadly, Kato and Kleo's owner, Kim Miller, has gone through several incompetent attorneys, and suffered through every level of the Judicial system, desperate to have her dogs returned to her. In the beginning, Kim had offers from several sanctuaries, willing to take Kato and Kleo, but the town of Hamden's attorney declined these offers, without consulting the town's Mayor. Unfortunately, Kim's last effort was dismissed back in August 2017. There is no more money to fight legally since the town of Hamden has effectively bankrupted Kim in her efforts to save them. According to the CT Department of Agriculture, Animal Control Division, the decision to free Kato and Kleo is now up to the town of Hamden, since they initially placed the kill order. Callers to the town of Hamden are being told the opposite. This game of pointing fingers must end now. For nearly 6 YEARS, elected officials have been incapable of resolving this injustice. Most dogs would have had kennel rage within a few weeks of being incarcerated, but in the nearly 6 years of their confinement, Kato and Kleo are still sweet and well behaved. FYI: The facility where they are being held, is considered a “temporary shelter” and they are not equipped to provide long term care. Kim provides the beds for Kato and Kleo so that they don’t have to sleep on the floor. She also provides their food, cleans their cages, brings in fans during the summer months (during CT’s heatwave, the temps in the shelter can exceed 94F) and pays for all their vet bills. Kato has cancer and is not receiving proper medical care, while confined. Mayor Leng has told Kim, (on several occasions), that he does not want these dogs killed and that if it were up to him, he would free them with restrictions, home arrest, etc. Even the Animal Control Officer who gave the kill order, apologized to Kim, knowing he made a mistake. With the life expectancy of these dogs being 8-10 years, they have already spent most of their lives in cages. We are asking that Mayor Leng do what he has the power and authority to do and end this nightmare! #FreeKatoAndKleo
Save Doug and Alex's Marriage, and Stop Deporting Our Spouses!
On July 13th 2011 in San Francisco, Alex Benshimol and Doug Gentry, a married California couple, will face every same-sex binational couple’s worst nightmare: a deportation hearing. As anyone following this issue knows, for years there has been little hope for same-sex binational couples seeking to reside together in the US. Many are legally married like Alex and Doug, but are still treated as legal strangers in the eyes of our own government. For many years, and certainly since DOMA became law, our families have been discriminated against. At best, our foreign partners and spouses have managed to stay in the US with temporary visas related to work or study, but are deprived of access to a “green card” on the basis of their relationship. These couples cannot build a future together and live with tremendous insecurity. Far more often we are forced to live apart in different countries; exiled to one of the more than 20 countries in the world that respect our families; or forced to live in the United States in the shadows with constant uncertainty; fear of deportation and ruin hanging over our heads. This destroys marriages, and tears apart our families. It is a humanitarian crisis that must come to an end. Alex came into the U.S. 12 years ago from Venezuela and overstayed a tourist visa, an immigration violation that straight binational couples can easily remedy once married; as a gay married couple, Alex and Doug do not have that option. We believe the political will of our elected leaders must be directed at this issue so that DOMA is repealed quickly. All American citizens deserve the right to pursue life and happiness with the liberty and equality guaranteed us all by our Constitution. We need our elected officials to show leadership and resolve on this issue. The Obama administration has the power to protect couples like Alex and Doug so they are not torn apart by deportation. Join us in declaring that the cruel discrimination that has been inflicted on us by unjust laws MUST finally come to an end. Please join Out4Immigration, Stop the Deportations, GetEQUAL, Marriage Equality USA, and your fellow citizens in urging President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to take action to recognize Doug and Alex’s marriage and prevent another family from being torn apart!
PUNISHED FOR BEATING CANCER
We ask you to help Officer Andy Wall, who beat terminal stage four Glioblastoma brain cancer. He has become a spokesperson for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Now, unbelievably, ten months later he's still fighting for his job. After being cleared to work by both Dr. Reardon and Dr. Kloss, of the Danbury, Ct hospital, the Town of Monroe Ct has acted in a shameful and disgraceful manner. Chief Salvatore decided he knew better then two well renowned Oncologist's and held a pre termination hearing, which resulted in an inability to come to a decision. Since then Officer Wall has been treated as a non entity. The town accepted the Doctors opinions that he was medically cleared to work to stop his disability payments. This decorated, well respected Officer deserves to be reinstated. He has stood with our Town through twenty two years of service. He, as well as his fellow Officer's were front and center throughout the horrors of Sandy Hook. They were all honored to watch over the children as they spent three years going to school in our town. Please help us get to the bottom of this and get Officer Wall his life back. That's all he wants. He deserves better then this. Sincerely, The Wall and Keckler Families