Connecticut State Senate
Connecticut State Senate
Keep Sandy Hook crime scene information private: Urge the CT legislature to pass HB 6424
We are parents and family members who lost children in the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school in December 2012. We're coming together to urge the Connecticut legislature to pass a law that would keep sensitive information, including photos and audio, about this tragic day private and out of the hands of people who'd like to misuse it for political gain. Michael Moore and the hoaxers want to publish this gruesome information. For the sake of the surviving children and families, it's important to keep this information private. Other gruesome scenes have been kept private -- like the scene around Congresswoman Giffords shooting, Vince Foster's suicide, and Dale Earnhardt's automobile accident. This crime has received such international attention, it should be afforded the same treatment. Supported by: Nicole & Ian Hockley (parents of Dylan), Mark & Jackie Barden (parents of Daniel), Jimmy Greene & Nelba Marquez-Greene (parents of Ana), Jeremy Richman & Jennifer Hensel (parents of Avielle), Erica Lafferty (Dawn Hochsprung's daughter), Shannon & Brian Engel (Olivia's parents), Michele & Bob Gay (Josephine's parents), and Tricia & Dean Pinto (Jack's parents)
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
Impeach Gov. Malloy
Malloy has abused his power to drive Connecticut into the ground. Making it almost unlivable. Countless tax increases because of his big spending habits. His own party isn't agreeing with him anymore. We are at an all time high for state debt. It's time for him to go. He is hurting the great residents of this state!
My sister with MS was brutally attacked & now her attacker is getting a lenient plea deal.
In March of this year, my sister, Lori Weirzbicki, was brutally attacked and strangled in her home. Lori is disabled with multiple sclerosis and the unprovoked attack was committed by Russell Molleur, a recently evicted neighbor of my sister’s affordable housing complex in Milford, CT. Her attacker had previous arrests for threatening another neighbor with a knife and even had pending charges against him for unlawfully restraining a mentally handicapped man, forcing him to watch pornography and exposing himself to the mentally handicapped man. During my sister’s attack, Russell Molleur strangled my sister to the point of unconsciousness repeatedly and everytime she came to, he would punch her full force in the face. He dragged her around her apartment, slamming her head into her coffee table and walls, and then forced her to undress and shower in an attempt to clean off some of the large amount of blood that was lost. Lori luckily survived but now the Connecticut State Attorney’s Office in Milford (led by Margaret E Kelley and her assistant Chuck Stango) have offered her attacker a plea deal. They have reduced the assault charge, dropped three other charges entirely, and chosen not to charge him with assault of a disabled person (a class B felony with a mandatory minimum of five years jail time), despite my sister’s multiple sclerosis. Judge Peter Brown will only sentence her attacker to no more than two years jail MAXIMUM on January 8th, and may even release him. This is a miscarriage of justice and I can not sit by idly while my sister, who has little means, is left voiceless and without justice. Please show your support by signing this petition and letting our Connecticut politicians know that we will not be lenient with those who abuse women and the disabled. I’m begging you for your help in my sister’s time of need. Don’t let her be traumatized for a second time by a faulty justice system. This plea deal needs to be thrown out or have the appropriate charges added. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Justice For Lori FB Page can be found at the following link. Please visit, like and share! https://www.facebook.com/justice4lori/
Help Us Stop A Connecticut Bear hunt!
Two Connecticut State Senators are using a recent "bear attack" to promote bills that call for the hunting of Connecticut's black bears. The Senators who are pushing these bills have jumped at the opportunity to sell this "attack" as a reason for a hunt. A limited hunt is not the answer to reducing bear populations or bear-human conflicts. Connecticut black bear sightings are on the rise, but that does not equate to overpopulation. Bears possess a biological ability known as delayed implantation. Delayed implantation allows bears to regulate their own populations. When food is abundant, more bears will be born. When there is a lack of abundant food sources, female bears will not reproduce every two years, but alternatively every three to four years. Hunting can increase populations by inadvertently leaving more food for surviving bears. This occurrence is known as compensatory reproduction. Deforestation is responsible for the loss of critical bear habitat. We often don’t consider the impact this has on bears and other wildlife. Land development and bear attractants such as unsecured garbage are most likely the cause of increased bear-human conflicts, not overpopulation. Education is the key to coexistence with bears. Research shows that eliminating bear attractants and securing trash in bear-proof trashcans can reduce or eliminate bear encounters by over 90%. In reality, bears are generally shy, elusive animals whose diets consist predominantly of vegetation. Bears are not the man-eating monsters that people who wish to hunt them would like you to believe. Unprovoked bear attacks are extremely rare. According to bear expert Lynn Rogers, Ph.D. of the North American Bear Center says you are 45 times more likely to be killed by a dog, 120 times more likely to be killed by bees, and 60,000 times more likely to be murdered by another human being, than to be killed by a black bear. Please take the poll at the link below and vote NO to a Connecticut bear hunt! https://www.wfsb.com/news/state-senators-recommend-bear-hunting-season-following-southbury-attack/article_8a76e242-e3b5-11e9-b970-c332f57d7d43.html https://www.beardefenders.org
Abolish the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault
The historic trial of Bill Cosby for his acts of sexual violence took place this month. While more than 60 women have spoken out against him, Cosby only faced trial for the criminal violence he committed against a single woman. The law that exists preventing many survivors from prosecuting Cosby for the crimes perpetrated against them is a law that still exists in 30 states including Maine, Illinois, Connecticut, and Minnesota. Cosby survivor and artist Lili Bernard shares her story: "In the early 1990s, Bill Cosby mentored me as I prepared for my guest-starring role on The Cosby Show. After he had won my complete trust and adoration, he drugged me and raped me. When I told him that I would report him to the police, he threatened serious consequences to my life. In 1992, during our last contact, he said to me, “As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead. Do you hear me? You’re dead, Bernard. You don’t exist.” I interpreted that as a death threat and feared for my life. In the spring of 2015, empowered by dozens of brave women who publicly disclosed the abuse they suffered at the hands of Bill Cosby, I finally shed the fear and filed a police report against him in the state of New Jersey, in which an assault occurred. However, despite the evidence I saved and the witnesses willing to testify on my behalf, Cosby could not be considered for prosecution because the assault occurred a few months outside of the statute of limitations." Statutes of limitations on rape and sexual assaults are a predator’s best friend and a victim’s worst nightmare. An overwhelming amount of sexual violence -- an estimated 63% -- goes unreported and a pervasive rape culture is responsible. As we work to reduce the impact of social silencing mechanisms, we must dually eliminate laws that bar many sexual assault survivors from seeking the justice they deserve. The election to the highest office in our country of Donald J. Trump - a known sexual predator - cast a great shadow over justice for survivors of sexual assault. It is incumbent upon us all, now more than ever, to take real action to show our country’s most vulnerable that we stand with them. In September 2016, California became the 20th state to abolish the timeline for reporting rape and sexual assault. The bill - which does not change the burden of evidence required to press charges - passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously before being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Senator Connie Leyva, who filed the bill, said that it "shows victims and survivors that California stands behind them, that we see rape as a serious crime, that victims can come forward and that justice now has no time limit.” Senator Leyva was recently recognized by the California Women’s Law Center for her work on the legislation. Elected Representatives - if there is one thing you could do to push back against the rape culture further enabled by the current White House administration, it would be to ensure that justice is served in your state. Abolish the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault in your state, and ensure that every survivor has a chance at justice in our legal system. Justice knows no time limit.
STOP LEGISLATION LIMITING MEDICAL CARE FOR OUR CHILDREN!
Legislation aimed at banning surgery for certain conditions threatens the health and well-being of children and MUST BE STOPPED! These bills dismiss the psychological effects of withholding surgery in medical conditions such as CAH (congenital adrenal hyperplasia) and hypospadias and remove a parent’s right to make medical decisions for their child following informed discussions regarding risks and benefits with medical experts. Denying early surgical access to children born with CAH, hypospadias and other medical disorders has the potential to create negative outcomes, both physically and psychosocially, and does not support the reality that each child and their anatomy are different and should be viewed individually. Additionally, CAH is a unique, life-threatening, endocrine condition and we believe that it should be looked at as such, not under an umbrella of other, unrelated conditions that result in genital atypia. Therefore, we oppose any legislation that dismisses the psychological effects of CAH, hypospadias and other disorders that are equally as important as physical health. Your signature today will help protect the rights of patients to access medical treatments that will help them lead healthy and happy lives and will protect the rights of parents to make informed medical decisions for their children.
Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!
When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities