Remove health-care subsidies for Members of Congress and their families
Several years ago, my dad got the news that he had cancer. Sadly, he passed away. My dad had a job at the time, but his employer did not cover him, and without coverage, he avoided going to the doctor until it was too late. As Congress and President Trump try to pass a new healthcare law, I'm reminded of my father and whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care. Affordable health care is in decline as premiums and health costs increase at exponential rates. Some politicians cannot relate to the cost burden experienced by families across the nation because they’ve historically received health benefits that most Americans have not. Like millions of people who are panicking about possible changes to their health insurance, I’m concerned the people elected to represent us won’t have to live with the consequences or expenses that the rest of us may have to face soon. I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by ACA repeal or replacement. A lot of Members of Congress promote choice as an American value, which is all the more reason for them to have to continue to choose their own health coverage from the free marketplace. If private health care is good for the American citizen, it should also be good for the people that defend it. If Congress is willing to drastically cut healthcare subsidies for most people, are they willing to have the same rules apply to them and their families?
We want to see Trump's tax returns.
President Trump calls reports of his alleged compromising ties to Russian businesses and government officials, “FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT.” He can prove it by releasing his tax returns. Who does our president owe money to? Can they use his debt to manipulate our Commander-in-Chief? Is he receiving income from foreign sources to his businesses from which he has yet to divest? The answers are easy to discover if he releases his tax returns. In a press conference, Trump told the assembled reporters, “The only people who seem to care about my tax returns are you people here.” Our country does care. In fact, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll, 74% of Americans (including 53% of Republicans) want him to RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS. Every major presidential candidate for the past 40 years has voluntarily released their tax returns. President Nixon even released his tax returns while under audit. Why does President Trump refuse to release his taxes if he has nothing to hide? Please sign and SHARE this petition calling on President Trump to RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS NOW.
World leaders: Please act to save our lives in Aleppo
I am one of the very last doctors serving the remaining 300,000 citizens of eastern Aleppo. Atrocities are being committed every day. The Syrian regime and Russian aircraft are systematically targeting civilians and hospitals across the city. We have seen no real effort from President Trump, Chancellor Merkel or Prime Minister May to prevent the criminal attacks against civilians and our hospitals. That is why I've started this petition. World leaders are not listening to my voice alone. Will you join me and make a call so loud they can’t ignore us? For five years, we have borne witness as countless patients, friends and colleagues suffered violent, tormented deaths. For five years, the world has stood by and remarked how ‘complicated’ Syria is, while doing little to protect us. Last month there were 42 attacks on medical facilities in Syria, 15 of which were hospitals in which my colleagues and I work. At this rate, our medical services in Aleppo could be completely destroyed in a month, leaving 300,000 people to die. What pains me and my fellow doctors the most is choosing who will live and who will die. Young children are sometimes brought into our emergency rooms so badly injured that we have to prioritise those with better chances, or simply don’t have the equipment to help them. A few weeks ago, four newborn babies gasping for air suffocated to death after a blast cut the oxygen supply to their incubators. Their lives ended before they had really begun. Despite the horror, we choose to be here. We took a pledge to help those in need. We have a duty to remain and help. All we ask now is for Trump, Merkel, May and other world leaders to do their duty, too. We do not need their tears or sympathy or even prayers, we need them to act. We need them to prove that they are the friends of Syrians. Please join us in our call. Ask world leaders to save the people of Aleppo.
Steve Bannon's racist, anti-semitic, misogynistic views don't belong in the White House
President-elect Donald Trump has just appointed his campaign CEO and chairman of Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon, as chief White House strategist and senior counselor. Trump’s team said the position will be equal to the Chief of Staff -- making Steve Bannon one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. The appointment has drawn outrage from all sides of the political spectrum. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart News has become the online destination for white nationalism, anti semitism, xenophobia, sexism, the spreading of lies and conspiracy theories, and hateful rhetoric. Steve Bannon himself has been accused of horrible behavior. He referred to feminists as “a bunch of dykes” and reportedly didn’t want his children to go to school with “a bunch of jews.” Former employee Ben Shapiro left Breitbart News because he said Bannon was a “vindictive, nasty figure.” Bannon’s abuse has even turned physical. In 1996, he was arrested for domestic violence. His ex-wife feared for their children, and reported Bannon threatened her and the kids if she appeared in court against him. She believed him and didn’t want to put her children in more danger. Bannon’s ex wife didn’t appear and the charges were dropped. President-elect Trump can do better. Our country has a deep well of talent to help him lead our country. There is no reason to select a figure like Steve Bannon. Bannon's vitriol and divisiveness have no place in the White House. Please sign if you agree that this is NOT the person who should have the ear of the president. For questions, concerns, or media/ press inquiries please contact Sharika Soal at LadysoalPR@gmail.com or send a Tweet to @LadyThriller69 [Sidenote: 69 stands for the cancer zodiac sign.] Thank you. Read more about Steve Bannon here: http://www.advocate.com/election/2016/8/30/trump-campaign-manager-seven-sisters-schools-are-bunch-dykes http://www.dailywire.com/news/8441/i-know-trumps-new-campaign-chairman-steve-bannon-ben-shapiro#.WCkFw2EZdOM.twitter http://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000156-c3f8-dd14-abfe-fbfbbe310001
Allow Transgender People Into the U.S. Military
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Donald Trump announced that transgender individuals would no longer be accepted or allowed into the U.S. Military because their cost is a "burden." This is extremely disgraceful and an insult to all those who have already given their lives for this country. This is not equality, and this is not "supporting the LGBT community," as he said he does. This is utterly transphobic. Many people who served are going to be left jobless, and many others will no longer be able to fulfill their dreams. This is not okay, and this should not be legal. Trans people are still people.
Commit to act for paid family leave for all in your first 100 days
Under ordinary circumstances, two mothers as different as we are would never have met. One of us is from Oklahoma and is a registered Republican. The other is an unmarried liberal who lives in Brooklyn. But tragedy has a way of bringing people together. Last year, we both lost our babies, infant sons who died at daycare, after we’d left them in childcare to return to work. Neither of us wanted to leave our babies when we did, at mere weeks old, not yet. But neither of us had the luxury of choice. Our respective employers would not grant us any more time for parental leave, and we couldn’t afford to quit our jobs. So, reluctantly, on an April morning in Oklahoma, baby Shepard was left at daycare. A childcare worker swaddled him for a nap, placed him in a car seat, and didn’t check on him. He slipped down and suffocated, still too little to lift up his own head. Just as reluctantly, in July, baby Karl was dropped off for his first day at daycare near his mother’s Manhattan office. When she came back to feed him at noon, Karl’s lips were blue and a childcare worker was performing CPR. A medical examiner could not determine why this healthy baby died. 1 in 4 American moms have no choice but to return to work just two weeks after the birth of a child. 87 percent of parents have no access to paid leave through their employers. No parent should have to choose between leaving their baby too soon and making ends meet. Given that 73% of Republicans, 87% of independents and 96% of Democrats agree it is important for Congress and the president to consider a family leave insurance system, we are jointly calling on the candidates for president, Republican and Democrat, to publicly commit that, if elected, they will take action for national paid family leave policy in their first 100 days in office. Most babies don’t die in day care, of course. But, as it turns out, our instinct that Karl and Shepard would be safer if we could have stayed with them a little longer was not wrong. An important study released last week found that for each additional month that a woman has paid parental leave, infant mortality goes down 13 percent. America has the highest infant mortality rate of any industrialized nation in the world. Paid leave, in countries that have implemented it, has dramatically lowered infant death rates. But beyond this, parental leave is good for our children. When Norway began offering paid parental leave, there were dramatic long-range effects: children had lower high school dropout rates, higher rates of college attendance, and higher incomes at age 30. American babies whose mothers don’t have maternity leave are less likely to be taken to the doctor, and less likely to be breastfed. Toddlers of parents without access to paid leave have more behavioral problems, and score lower on cognitive tests. Every American baby would be safer, healthier, and have a better start in life if given time with their mother or father during the first months of life. If our political leaders claim to be pro-family, they need to put families first by supporting paid family leave. In the richest country in the world, we should not have sobbing mothers leaving their premature babies in the NICU because they have to return to their jobs. We do not need to tear babies from their mothers’ arms before they can even hold up their own necks. Parental leave is a necessity, not a perk. Join us, a mom from Oklahoma and a mom from Brooklyn, in calling upon the presidential candidates of both parties to publicly commit that, if elected, they will take action for paid family leave policy in their first 100 days in office. Through our great loss, we are now united to fight for change. We charge our leaders, both Republican and Democrat, to enact laws that protect the right of every American baby to have the loving care of a parent during the fragile first months of their life.
Fire DEA Head Chuck Rosenberg for Calling Medical Marijuana a "Joke"
Chuck Rosenberg, acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), made highly offensive comments calling medical marijuana a "joke." While it's nothing new for drug war bureaucrats to oppose sensible marijuana policies, Rosenberg's comments go way too far. Medical marijuana is not a "joke" to the millions of seriously ill patients in a growing number of states who use it legally in accordance with doctors' recommendations. It is not a "joke" to the growing number of prominent medical organizations -- American Nurses Association, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, for example -- who know that cannabis has real and proven medical benefits. And it's not a "joke" to the clear majority of U.S voters who support passing laws to protect medical marijuana patients from harassment by police and the DEA. President Trump should fire Chuck Rosenberg and appoint a new DEA administrator who will respect science, medicine, patients and voters.
President Trump: Meet with medical marijuana patients like my sick daughter.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer just said Americans can expect to see “greater enforcement” of federal law against marijuana use. This could be devastating for my family. My six-year-old daughter Morgan suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that causes frequent and dangerous seizures. We’ve tried everything to help her. She’s taken more than 10 different anti-epilepsy medications but at best, she'd gone only four weeks without a seizure. With advice from our doctors and from families living in other states, we began giving Morgan cannabidiol oil -- a form of medical marijuana.I had a baby who could no longer eat, had kidney stones, hadn’t said a word or smiled, and was so drugged all the time that I would go into the doctor’s office in tears: I couldn’t speak. That all changed when we were able to start giving her the cannabidiol oil. Morgan’s condition greatly improved and I don’t know what we would do without it.That’s why Sean Spicer’s words worry me so much. In New York, where I live, the medical marijuana laws are already so strict that the exact kind of oil that would be best for Morgan isn’t even available. If President Trump and Attorney General Sessions crackdown on state laws like the ones that protect Morgan, what will happen to her?I’m asking President Trump and Attorney General Sessions to please meet with medical marijuana patients like Morgan and others. They need to hear our stories and see just how important this treatment is to so many families. Spicer even went so far as to associate marijuana use with the opioid crisis: "When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people," he said. There are 28 states with medical marijuana laws and 4 states that have fully legalized adult-use of marijuana. If the Trump administration truly believes in states rights and smaller government, I hope they will at least meet with the people who benefit from these laws before cracking down on them.
Tell Trump To #ActOnClimate
President-elect Trump has called climate change a Chinese hoax, vowed to dismantle America's climate and clean energy policies, and appointed climate deniers with ties to the fossil fuel industry to his transition team and Cabinet. There is too much at stake for us to stay silent. Human-caused climate change threatens America’s economy, national security, and public health and safety. That's why we and over 800 of our colleagues, all of whom work on climate, energy, or Earth science, have written an open letter (read here) urging Donald Trump to take 6 key steps to address climate change: 1) Make America a clean energy leader.2) Reduce carbon pollution and America's dependence on fossil fuels.3) Enhance America's climate preparedness and resilience.4) Publicly acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused, and urgent threat.5) Protect scientific integrity in policymaking.6) Uphold America's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Please join us in urging President-elect Trump to #ActOnClimate by signing this petition. Thank you, Dr. Suzanne P. Anderson, Professor of Geography, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado at Boulder Dr. Catherine Gautier, Professor Emerita, Department of Geography, University of California Santa Barbara Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program, Stanford University Dr. Dan Kammen, Energy and Resources Group and Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley; Science Envoy, US State Department Dr. Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University Dr. R. Pamela Reid, Professor of Marine Geosciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami Dr. Cindy Shellito, Professor of Meteorology, University of Northern Colorado Dr. Richard C. J. Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego Dr. Sarah Ann Woodin, Carolina Distinguished Professor Emerita, Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina
Please Grant Clemency to Robert Shipp
In 1993, at the age of 20, my brother Robert Shipp was indicted and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base and cocaine. In 1994, he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He was involved in the drug conspiracy for only 5 months. This was Robert’s first drug offense and he doesn’t have a violent history. At his sentencing hearing, Robert’s judge repeatedly verbalized his objections to the sentence that he was forced to give Robert. He explained that he had no choice but to give Robert a life sentence based on the Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines. He further explained that the law didn’t allow him to use discretion in the sentencing. He also noted that the cocaine suppliers plead guilty and received 12 and 14 years for supplying the cocaine in this conspiracy. While Robert takes full responsibility for his participation in the criminality that resulted in his incarceration, I think it is important to share with you what led this honor student down this path. When Robert was in high school our brother was stabbed to death at the age of 19. Our brother’s untimely death devastated Robert and he began acting out in a negative manner. As a teenager, Robert’s inability to cope with this tragic loss ultimately and regrettably led to his risk-taking/criminal behavior. Our brother’s murderer was sentenced to 20 years and was released after serving 10 years. It is unbelievable that Robert received a life sentence for his 5 months involvement, in a nonviolent drug conspiracy, and our brother’s murderer only served 10 years. Robert should have been punished for his involvement in the conspiracy; however, a life sentence is excessive. Robert’s daughter was almost 2 years old when he was incarcerated. She has unfortunately experienced the all too familiar pitfalls of growing up without a father, and is now a single mother of four. In February 2015, due to a retroactive amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines Robert's sentenced was reduced to 30 years. My brother is now 44 years old, but hasn't given up on life. He spends his time reading, mentoring, speaking, and securing all possible certifications and college credits. My children have never seen their uncle outside of the visitation room; however, they look forward to spending time with him, as he shares with them the importance of making the right choices in life and reminds them that bad choices have consequences and could very well mean giving up their freedom. He also encourages them to do well in school, respect others, and take responsibility for their actions. The unexpected death of our father on July 17, 2012, remains difficult for all of us; and it is compounded by what we know was our father’s unending hope to secure Robert’s freedom. As our father laid helplessly, on his death bed with weary eyes, I promised him that I would continue to fight for freedom and justice for my brother. Because Robert wasn't allowed to attend our father's funeral, he wrote a letter, entitled, "A Letter to my Dad," and asked that I read it on his behalf. It was by far one of the hardest things I had to do in my life. If Robert is released, his family and loved ones will provide him with emotional and financial support to ensure that he is given a fair chance at becoming a productive citizen. We will also assist him with his desire to mentor youth that are at a crossroad, just as he was as a grieving young adult. Robert has much to offer society, if given the opportunity. Please sign my petition asking President Donald Trump to grant my brother Robert Shipp's petition for clemency. He has more than paid his debt to society for his 5 months involvement in a nonviolent drug conspiracy at the young age of 20. Robert has been in prison for 23 years now...over half of his life. He was sentenced to life before his young life even really got started.