Idaho State House
Idaho State House
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!
Protect Idaho's Breastfeeding Moms!
Idaho is the only state left without laws in place to protect breastfeeding mothers. The only law Idaho currently has pertains to jury duty exemption only. In other states, breastfeeding is exempt from public nudity laws and a mother has a right to breastfeed her baby wherever the law permits her to be. There are also laws, in other states, that require employers to allow breastfeeding mothers appropriate, necessary and ample time to pump in order to maintain their milk supply while away from their child. Idaho has no law in place to provide a mother the ability to breastfeed anytime, anywhere their child is hungry and Idaho has no law in place to protect working breastfeeding mothers from termination when needing to pump for their child during work hours. Idaho has comparatively high breastfeeding rates as one statistic reported that 90% of Idaho mothers have breastfed at one point or another. Although statistics show that mothers are choosing to breastfeed initially upon birth of their child, the lack of support through Idaho law makes it increasingly difficult for a mother to maintain breastfeeding AND be protected while doing so. This petition is intended to bring attention to this unfortunate lack in support for breastfeeding mothers and show Idaho lawmakers that breastfeeding mothers deserve to have their rights protected.
Remove the Idaho Mural Depicting a Lynching of a Native American
A law school and a former courthouse represent the lifeblood of justice. A mural in the old Ada Courthouse and soon-to-be campus for the University of Idaho's "Law Learning Center" depicts the horrific lynching of a native American. It is not only not true to regional history, but is grossly insensitive and offensive. In 1964, United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart was one of the Justices called to decide whether a particular piece of pornography was protected speech or not. He said, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." There are hallmarks of the past which carry with them far more emotionally damaging, harmful and insulting images than were seen by those Justices weighing pornography. A swastika, a relic of the holocaust or certain depictions of Adolf Hitler likely carry with it the need to weigh its obscenity or appropriateness. The same goes for a noose or the burning cross of a Klansman. The torture and genocide of Native Americans certainly has become something that has finally become something our nation scrutinizes such that even the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has recently cancelled the federal registrations for the NFL’s “Redskins” trademarks. The depiction of the actual lynching of a race of people who were so callously stereotyped to justify their pillage, rape and slaughter is not justice. Justice is weighed by a jury of one's peers. That is what these students will learn. Not one will face a noose or even suspension without due process. Let's free this nameless native American from the lynching by destruction of this mural. If someone wants it saved, let them purchase the removal.
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
Tell Idaho Not to Condone Rape of Unmarried Women
Last summer, a woman in southwestern Idaho became the victim of her boyfriend's deceit, who tricked her into having sex with a stranger. After reporting this crime to the police, both men were arrested and subsequently indicted by a grand jury on charges of rape, and conspiracy to commit rape. Both men were later set free, and all charges were dismissed, thanks to very specific wording in Idaho's rape law. Bound by this law, the judge had no other choice. According to subsection 7 of Idaho Code 18-6101, rape of a woman by deceit and concealment is only unlawful if she believes the perpetrator is her husband. Idaho lawmakers have excluded a woman's protection against rape that is committed by someone pretending to be her unmarried partner. Tell Idaho lawmakers that deceiving a person into sex is rape, regardless of marital status. Photo credit: 16123758@N06
Save Thunder the Great Dane's Life & Reform Heyburn (ID) City Animal Ordinances
Deb Hopkins firstname.lastname@example.org. The City of Heyburn Police Department is not happy with all of the attention Thunder's case is receiving, and is trying to make saving his life as much of an obsticle as it possibly can be. The City of Heyburn's Police Department in rural Southern Idaho, is intent on killing Thunder, a beautiful 2yr old Great Dane on April 15th, after deeming him as vicious per the current City Ordinance 7-1-3 Section D Vicious And Mischievous Dogs & Section E Rabid Dogs. The Heyburn Police Department has shown continuous disregard for the welfare and wellbeing of the dogs within their jurisdiction, and as the current City of Heyburn Ordinance now stands, the police department and city AC have the final say in determining the fate of dogs like Thunder, with the Mayor & City Council having no authority to issue directives on how the police department proceeds cases like this. The former AC for Heyburn, who was replaced this year and now serves as an Officer with the city police, is now advocating for Thunder to be killed, despite offers from the rescue community to place him with a rescue/rehabilitation organization, in an effort to save his life, and serious concerns about how the police department handled his case. We are petitioning the City Heyburn Police Department along with the new AC Officer, to not euthanize Thunder and instead agree to release him to an approved 501c3 out of state animal rescue and rehabilitation organization on April 15th, when his time in quarantine is up. We are also petitioning to change the current City of Heyburn Ordinances pertaining to the welfare of animals within the city's jurisdiction, and to give the Mayor, City Council, and current AC officer authority, in which to issue directives, to review cases, and to have more power to advocate for the animals in the City of Heyburn, especially for cases in which an animal may be euthanized due to a violation of the Heyburn City Codes as reported by the City of Heyburn Police. Inconsistencies in reporting, lack of due diligence, along with a continued disregard for the role of rescues in advocating for the welfare of dogs within the department’s jurisdiction, is both unacceptable and unethical from our point of view. We stand united in our ongoing efforts to advocate for the dogs of this small southern Idaho town, and each signature on this petition serves as a voice on behalf of Thunder, and for all of the other dogs that have and will continue to suffer at the hands of the current City of Heyburn police department. Each signature is a voice demanding the release of Thunder to an approved out of state rescue on April 15th, and a call to change the power structure within the city, which as it now stands, places the life and death of animals in the hands of police officials who have demonstrated continued disregard for the welfare and rights of the animals within Heyburn city limits. We demand that the city codes be modified to limit the power and set a higher level of accountability for the City of Heyburn police department in matters of animal welfare and wellbeing, and for a review of the current city ordinances and protocols pertaining to animal code violations within the City of Heyburn's jurisdiction. We advocate for the implementation of new regulations to allow for the Mayor and City Council to review and issue directives, and for the public to have a forum from which to discuss matters relating to the treatment and governing regulations of animals under the jurisdiction of City of Heyburn officials. The City of Heyburn Police Department and past AC Officer have clearly demonstrated their disregard for the plight of animals in their small town, and we stand united in our pursuit to better their lives and to hold all city officials to a higher standard of accountability when it comes to the development and implementation of city ordinances relating to animal control and the welfare and wellbeing of the animals within the Heyburn City limits. We ask for the city to recognize and partner with animal advocacy and rescue groups in our ongoing efforts to give the animal of Heyburn, Idaho a voice, and to provide every opportunity for these animals to have the second chance at life that they all deserve.
Recall Deputy State Attorny General Casey Hemmer
This abuse culminated in an incident in October 2015, when the victim, an African American disabled male was under the pretense of receiving a hug from a teammate, was bent over and had a coat hanger inserted in his rectum, according to court documents. The teammate who performed that action was allegedly Tanner Ward. The documents then say that John R.K Howard kicked the coat hanger up the victim’s rectum repeatedly, causing internal injuries. It's also been cited that there was a third member involved in this horrible act of violence, but has not been identified in public records yet. John R.K Howard is being dubbed "a nephew of a local sports legend" rather than what he really is, a rapist. The school superintendent interviewed 30 witnesses and confirmed that the teen was sexually assaulted. Prosecutors agreed with their investigation — which also determined that the victim was also called “Kool-Aid,” “chicken eater,” “watermelon,” and even “n----r” by students at the school. In spite of all of this evidence, this week John Howard was given the break of his life. Instead of getting life in prison for what he did, he won’t be going to jail for 10 years or five years or a year or six months or even a day. Instead, he’s getting two years of probation and 300 hours of community service. With good behavior, the judge said his record could be expunged. He’ll also be allowed to do his community service in his new home in Texas where his family peacefully relocated. Judges in Idaho can reject plea deals if the proposed reduced charges and sentencing does not match the crime. It is disturbing that these criminals are walking our streets. Mental health services were not addressed as they should have been mandated. It is not normal to shove a hanger up another person's rectum. Deputy Attorney State General Casey Hemmer has gone on record stating,“It was egregious behavior, it caused this victim a lot of suffering, but it is not in my view a sex crime, which is why the state has amended this charge,” Hemmer told the Statesmen. “We don’t believe it’s appropriate for Mr. Howard to suffer the consequences of a sex offender, but he still needs to be held accountable.” We don't believe he is being held accountable for his terrible acts, when Howard originally was facing the possibility of life in prison, a 50,000$ fine to the victims family and being a registered sex offender. Now he is relocated peacefully in Texas and going to be doing a lousy 300 hours of community service. Sign and share this petition to end rape culture and help reform the justice system.
Save Lives: Require Spinal Muscular Atrophy Newborn Screening
August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month. Please join our efforts to require SMA newborn screening, and help end the deadly effects of SMA. About SMA: • SMA is the number one genetic killer of babies and children under the age of two.• SMA is a motor neuron disease like ALS.• SMA robs the ability to move, swallow, and eventually breathe. • One in 40 unknowingly carries the gene responsible for SMA.• When two carriers have a baby, there is a 25% chance the baby will have SMA, a 50% chance the baby will be a carrier, and a 25% chance the baby will be unaffected.• One in 10,000 babies is born with SMA. The FDA approved Spinraza as the first treatment for SMA on December 23, 2016. However, newborns continue to go untreated when they would receive the most benefit, as no states are performing SMA newborn screening. Newly diagnosed Type 1 SMA babies treated with Spinraza didn't lose their ability to move, swallow, and breathe, but instead gained strength. Some even crawled and took steps — steps away from the deadly effects of SMA. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks never lost abilities to SMA, and developed as average babies do. They crawl, eat, stand, and walk. Only newborns with older SMA siblings have been treated this way, as their parents knew to screen for SMA. Every newborn needs to be screened for SMA, so babies born with SMA can develop just as babies without SMA do. For this to happen, SMA needs to be added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), states need to require SMA newborn screening, and funding needs to be provided for SMA newborn screening. The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Committee) is scheduled to vote to add SMA to the RUSP at its February, 2018 meeting. Once the Committee votes favorably to add SMA to the RUSP, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will add SMA to the RUSP. This is an important step, as many states look to the RUSP when adding new conditions to screen for. This petition will be delivered to both the Committee, and the Secretary of HHS. States also need to require newborn screening, as the RUSP is only a recommendation, it does not mandate states to test for conditions. We will continue to pursue SMA newborn screening in every state, and this petition will help our efforts. Missouri is the only state to enact newborn screening legislation, and will begin screening for SMA in January of 2019. Federal and state funds are also needed to begin and continue SMA newborn screening. This petition will help us as we advocate for funding with the appropriate federal and state congressional members. Act Now: With an FDA-approved treatment, it is urgent we secure SMA newborn screening. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks will have the best chance at progressing as they would without SMA. Every baby born with SMA should be afforded this life-saving treatment. Please sign our petition urging Committee to vote to add SMA to the RUSP, urging states to require SMA newborn screening, and urging federal and state congressional members to provide funding for SMA newborn screening.
Save children from religious motivated medical neglect. Children have a right to live.
Children born into the Followers of Christ church in Idaho are dying. Their only medical care is prayer and anointing with olive oil. Their deaths are often prolonged, painful, and easily preventable. Children are permitted to die as a way to show the congregation how strong the faith of the parent is. To seek medical help is perceived to show weakness and is therefore not tolerated. Adults simply stand by and watch until the last breath is taken. I am only one of the many survivors who suffered from abuse and neglect at the hands of faith healing parents. I personally have attended over 100 funerals for members of the Followers, about one quarter of the dead are children. The picture of the baby on the petition is only one of the dead. He is the first of four children to be buried by my aunt and uncle. He was stillborn. His mother never received any type of prenatal care. Every day that the religious shield laws remain in the law books means another child will die. Help me save the kids.
Return the Osborne Kids & Protect Idaho Families!
Regardless of Idaho laws surrounding Marijuana, a parent's responsibility is for the care, control, and the well being of their children. Idaho laws should reflect science and logic and not impede upon a parent's rights to choose what is best for their children. The Osborne case shows the failure of prohibition in Idaho and the need for reform of the archaic laws and CPS policies that prevent families from choosing a safer medical alternative for their families. Return the Osborne children to their mother, and change Idaho Marijuana laws/policy! http://420mommy.blogspot.com/2016/10/marijuana-injury-to-child-dangerous-vs_21.html