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Illinois State House

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Petitioning The Governor of IL

Governor Quinn: Don't Let Big Plastic Bully Me!

My name is Abby Goldberg, and as a 13-year-old girl who, after seeing the devastation that millions of plastic bags have caused the environment and ocean life, I made my school project this year to be getting a local ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in my home town Grayslake, IL. My friends and I were making great progress, until the oil and chemical industry pulled a dirty trick to kill my campaign; these lobbyists used the politicians that they bought to pass a bill that would make it illegal for towns across Illinois to create plastic bag bans!  Even worse, they’re trying to make it look like a green environmental bill, by putting in a few ridiculously-low requirements for so-called “recycling” of plastic bags, and are bragging they’re going to make it "a model bill for all states!” Now it’s in the hands of our Governor to stop them with a veto, but he needs to hear from all of us! I am heartbroken and so angry, because kids and adults like me are standing up to Big Oil and Big Plastic by creating bans everywhere, including in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Seattle, Toronto, Austin, Mexico City, Mumbai, Italy, Rwanda and more! Why? Because bag bans can be literally 2000% more effective than “bring your own bag” campaigns! I am not scared – even though I’m just a kid, I care too much about animals, our environment, and our future natural resources to let them beat down my town, just so they can make an extra buck. Now I need your help to stop them, and give hope to other people around the world that they can stand up for their own rights! The governor could sign at any minute, so we need your voice as soon as possible, or my dream of getting a healthier environment for my town, our environment and our world will be totally crushed. Thank you!!  

Abby Goldberg
172,737 supporters
Petitioning Illinois State Senate, Illinois State House, Bruce Rauner

Dog Protection Act - Illinois

A horrifying headline as written in December 2016 by Fox News in Denver after two companion animals were shot in Battle Creek, Michigan: Federal court rules police can shoot a dog if it moves or barks when officers enter a home.  The Department of Justice estimates that nearly 25 dogs are killed by law enforcement every day in the United States, which makes a total of 10,000 per year. It is as simple as this - in Illinois there is currently no means to protect companion dogs, including in your very own home, from being shot and killed if local law enforcement, in any way, deems your dog a threat to their safety. This is a petition to Illinois State Senate and House to put forward legislation that protects dogs from this possible fate. The statute would require local law enforcement to undergo training in order to prevent the shooting of dogs by local law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Specifically, this statute would put forth assistance in the training of law enforcement officers so that they can differentiate between threatening and non-threatening dog behaviors, as well as to employ non-lethal means whenever possible.  I urge you to read Colorado's new legislation, Dog Protection Act, which was developed for exactly this reason: Colorado's Dog Protection Act. I am asking for replication of these efforts in Illinois and, eventually, U.S. wide. I have a Boxer who loves to bark and even run at the door. She would rather lick you to death than harm you, but it is a huge fear that if law enforcement needed to enter my home and my dog ran at them or barked that she could be killed for it. It is for this reason, and for all of the other dogs out there, that I propose this legislation.

Laurie Krook
59,407 supporters
Petitioning Senate, Illinois State House

Casey's Law In Illinois

My daughter is 24 and a drug addict. She has been using drugs since she was 13. Her father died when she was only 6 and this has affected her very much.  She has been addicted to Heroin but she is now using Methamphetamine. I don't hear from her for several days at a time. She has been to 25 different rehabs never finishing any of them because of her ability to simply sign herself out only to go out and use.  Due to her continued drug use her teeth are falling out, the veins all over her body are collapsed and she has liver disease. A solution that I feel will not only save my daughter's life but the lives of hundreds of American citizens is Casy’s Law. This act provides a means of intervening for someone who is unable to recognize his or her need for treatment due to their impairment. This law will allow parents, relatives, and/or friends to petition the court for treatment on behalf of the person who is substance abuse impaired. This law allows for involuntary treatment which studies have shown is just as successful as voluntary treatment.  My daughter would not be allowed to simple sign herself out of treatment to go and use again. The Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance abuse intervention was created and pushed by Casey’s mother 2 years after drugs took the life of her son Casey.  The statute 222.430 - 222.437 became effective for the state of Kentucky on July 13, 2004. I am part of an online support group and on it at least once a week someone's kid dies at the hands of the dreadful disease. Please help me get this law passed in the state of Illinois where it will save not only my daughter’s life but the lives of so many more just like her.   So many times I feel that if my daughter was forced by the court to finish her rehab treatment She would be in long enough for the her to start thinking rationally and make better decisions. By signing this petition we want to get the Illinois House, Senate and Governor to see how much this law is needed in Illinois.

Renee Portokalis
53,053 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

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!

Jenifer Bass
34,402 supporters
Petitioning Senators, Representatives, insurance lobbyists, Illinois Governor, Illinois State Senate, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Illinois State House

Make Insurance Companies Grant Full Benefit Access During Covid

My 84-year-old mother has Alzheimer’s and a brain tumor; the brain tumor impacts her mobility. She no longer drives and is therefore unable to run errands on her own and increasingly can't perform daily self care and management tasks. She is often disoriented including unaware of time of day or where she lives, can’t recall how many cats she has, periodically loses use of her legs, etc, etc. She has long term care insurance through AARP MetLife that she has been paying into since 2005. However, while still at home, she is not eligible for the full benefits awarded as if she were in a retirement/memory care facility...but the facility we selected isn’t taking memory care residents until at least spring 2021, saying they can't ensure keeping residents safe during Covid.  Her local paper daily reports Covid cases and deaths in elder care facilities/retirement homes...even if we could place her in a retirement/memory care facility, given Covid, it would not be the ethical thing to do. While her insurance does cover some in home care, she needs access to her full benefit as she would receive if in a facility.  The right thing to do is for insurance companies to open up full benefit access during this unprecedented time. I called the Alzheimer’s association for help and they directed me to the Illinois elder advocacy office; I left a message and have not heard back. I’m sure we’re not the only family in such a situation. Help, please. Quickly advance legislation instructing insurance companies to change policy for benefits access during Covid.

ann mordine
22,867 supporters
Petitioning Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, U.S. Senate, Arkansas State Senate, Alabama State Senate, Texas State Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse, Donald J. Trump, Tennessee State Senate, Arizona State Senate, Asa Hut...

Tina's Law: Domestic Violence Offender Registry

On the morning of November 24th 2017, Tina Stewart was brutally murdered by her boyfriend. Tina's boyfriend beat her to death; beating her to the point that he broke both of his own hands. On the day of court the judge stated, "This individual has a history with violence and why wasn't this known?".  It was at the moment, Don Estes, Tina's Uncle, made a promise to his niece, he would do everything in his power to change the law so there wouldn't be a next time that a judge, girlfriend, boyfriend, or anyone have the need to ask why they weren't aware of someone's violent history.  It's time to make a difference. It's time to take a stand. And, it's time to change the law!  We have a registry for sex offenders and we even have a registry for animal cruelty across the country. Why do we not have one for individuals that are abusing men, women, and children?  Tina's Law would require any person with a history of domestic violence, violent offenders, and individuals with Protection Orders Against them to be registered; similar to sex offenders. We need to hold these individuals  accountable for their actions. Making this change in the law across all states would prevent someone that's been charged (as mentioned above) from moving to another state and starting over, as if they've never been convicted of a crime. This would be a national registry so hiding or moving to another state is not going to keep anyone from knowing their history with violence. If you're convicted of domestic violence, you will go on the registry.  If Tina had known about her boyfriend's violent history, she would have never gone out with him. This law will save lives! We need your help by taking a stand with us to change the law. We're not only asking you to sign the petition, we're asking you to also share the petition and help us with making a change. 

Allyson Hottinger
18,858 supporters
Petitioning Illinois State Senate, Illinois State House, J​.​B. Pritzker

End Death By Incarceration in Illinois

Note: As of March 21, 2021, this petition have been updated to represent the bill's current title and number. Originally introduced as SB3233, Earned Discretionary Release, it has been reintroduced as SB2333, Earned Discretionary Reentry. The COVID-19 crisis in U.S. prisons has shone a light on the horrific conditions and overcrowding that have turned many prisons into death traps. But it is only a reminder of the fate of many people incarcerated in Illinois who face death-by-incarceration every year, due to decades of extreme and inhumane sentencing policies. Victims of crime, convicted people, and their loved ones all suffer when people are locked up for years beyond the needs of public safety. Nearly every other state has mechanisms to release long-term incarcerated individuals who are ready to rejoin society. Illinois does not. If nothing changes, over 5,000 Illinoisans will be required to grow old and die in prison. We stand with Parole Illinois, a coalition of activists inside and outside of prison dedicated to reversing the harms of extreme sentencing, in urging you to support Illinois Senate Bill 2333 (SB2333), Earned Discretionary Reentry. Sponsored by State Senator Celina Villanueva (D) and State Representative Carol Ammons (D), Earned Discretionary Reentry (SB3233) takes a crucial step toward healing our communities by establishing the state’s first fair and inclusive system of Earned Discretionary Reentry (EDR). It also gives every incarcerated Illinoisan the right to rehabilitative programming and requires that any needs-assessment tools be periodically reviewed for bias.  Earned Discretionary Reentry (SB3233) would not let everyone out. It would, however, ensure that no person is warehoused and forgotten about without at least having fair opportunities to return home. It thereby gives incarcerated Illinoisans incentive to improve their lives and paths to productive return to society. Earned Discretionary Reentry provides relief for victims of racial bias. Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2011. But the same biases that plagued implementation of the death penalty continue to infect long-term sentences. In fact, while Black people comprise only 15% of Illinois’ population, they make up 68% of the people sentenced to spend the remainder of their lives in prison Earned Discretionary Reentry makes good financial sense. Experts agree that we would save millions of dollars with very little risk to public safety by releasing people before they become elderly and infirm and when they still can be productive members of society.   Most importantly, Earned Discretionary Reentry (SB3233) would give hope to the many family and loved ones of people incarcerated across Illinois that their mothers, fathers, children, and loved ones can finally have a fair chance of coming home. We urge you to take a bold stance for rehabilitation and redemption and make Illinois a model of community healing by passing SB3233, Earned Discretionary Reentry.  Sincerely,  Parole Illinois Over 40 community organizations in Illinois have endorsed the bill (list in formation):  Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF)Uptown People's Law CenterBlack and Pink Chicago Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD)Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICCIRR)Liberation Library Grassroots Collaborative Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of IL MAMAS (Mothers Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity)Illinois Coalition for Higher Education in Prison (IL-CHEP)Freedom To Learn IllinoisChicago Votes BPI Chicago#LetUsBreatheSoapbox Productions and OrganizingChicago 400 AllianceGood Kids Mad City Chicago Books to Women in PrisonJudicial Accountability PACFaith In Place Action FundIndivisible IllinoisPrecious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation To see the full list of endorsing organization, visit If your organization would like to sign on to endorse, please email to be added.  # Parole Illinois is a coalition of people inside and outside of prison who are raising awareness about inhumane sentencing policies in our state. We believe in the power of redemption and transformation; and that it is inhumane to order people to spend decades in prison until they die there without any periodic assessment of whether such sentences are necessary for public safety. The bill can be found here. More information about the bill can be found here.

Parole Illinois
11,963 supporters