Decision Maker

Kirsten E. Gillibrand

  • NY
  • Senator

Kirsten Gillibrand is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from New York, in office since 2009.


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Victory
Petitioning U.S. Senate

Pass the ABLE Act

My name is Sara Wolff. I am a 31 year-old from Moscow, Pennsylvania, who happens to have Down syndrome but that doesn’t stop me from achieving “my” better life. I work as a law clerk and also at Keystone Community Resources in the Office of Advocacy. I am a board member of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). I'm calling on Congress to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 313/H.R. 647), a bill that will help individuals with disabilities to save for their futures. When the ABLE Act passes into law this year, it will change my life forever. I lost my mother this past year, Connie, to a sudden, rapid illness. With my whole life ahead of me, I need an ABLE account to plan for my future. And, I am not alone, like most individuals with disabilities, people with Down syndrome and other conditions are out living their parents. Families, like mine, need to rest assure that they can equally care for their children and adults with disabilities, just like they can for their other children and family members. Just because I have Down syndrome, that shouldn’t hold me back from achieving my full potential in life. I can work a full-time job, be a productive member of society, and pay taxes – but because of these outdated laws placed on individuals with disabilities, we hold people like me back in life. This is the year, we call on leaders in Congress to put an end to the inequities that exist for people with disabilities by passing the ABLE Act and allowing individuals and families to save for the future and break down the barriers to employment for these individuals. I spoke last week during the NDSS gala in New York City about my personal lobbying efforts on the ABLE Act – before a large audience, I declared that I will be standing right next to President Obama when he signs the ABLE Act into law this year! The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. An ABLE account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.  The ABLE Act was introduced into Congress on Feb. 13, 2013 by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). It currently has 325 cosponsors in the US House and 62 in the US Senate.

Sara Wolff
268,651 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Johnny Isakson, Karen Handel, David Perdue, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein, Bill Nelson, John Cornyn, Ajit Pai, Lindsey Graham, Chris Van Hollen, Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman,...

Save Net Neutrality

     Net neutrality preserves the right to communicate freely on the internet. Net neutrality requires internet service providers (ISPs) to give everyone equal access to everything you use on the internet-- email, watching videos, reading news articles, and listening to music. It prohibits ISPs from slowing down, speeding up, or blocking content on the internet. It is how the internet has always worked. Unfortunately, this is being threatened by the FCC- the Federal Communications Commission.     If the FCC ends net neutrality, then how we’ve used the internet changes completely. ISPs will be able to block content, slow down internet access, and favor websites over others. It will also end the Title II of the Communications Act, which charges ISPs for blocking content or slowing down internet and creating “fast lanes.” “Fast lanes” would allow certain internet service providers to give internet access faster than any other service providers. Ending net neutrality could have global impacts and change the way the world shares information and changes how information is processed.     As high school seniors about to enter into the real world, we cannot imagine what life would be like if we did not have net neutrality. Net neutrality allows us to use our freedom of speech on a platform that is like no other. I can go on the internet and research something without the fear that an ISP has favored a certain website that is completely biased one way or blocked certain websites.     If you believe we should have free access to the internet, sign this petition to show your support. This issue is time sensitive and must be addressed. Support free and open internet! Thank you for your support, Katie Lemon     

Katie Lemon
161,696 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Wells Fargo, Tim Sloan, Carrie. L. Tolstedt, Wells Fargo Board of Directors, Lee Zeldin, Kenneth LaValle, Avid Modjtabai, Franklin Codel, Andrew Cecere, Richard Davis, New York Governor, New York S...

Help save mom's home!

Three generations of our family have lived in our mother’s home. She has been living there for over 50 years and her favorite part is her yard, which she has lovingly tended to ever since we can remember.  Mom is an 85-year-old, a breast cancer survivor, with Alzheimer's Disease. Her home has always been one of the most meaningful parts of her life. It is all about to be taken away. Our mother is one of many Wells Fargo predatory lending victims. Mom was living alone when Wells Fargo approached her and interviewed her for a number of loan applications. Despite being elderly and living on a fixed Social Security income, they gave her two mortgage loans. When she was about to default on one, they issued a third. How could Wells Fargo give her loans that they knew she couldn’t possibly afford? Our mother had no idea she was trapped in a predatory lending scheme, the type that Wells Fargo has been found guilty of doing time and time again. By the time we realized how much trouble mom was in, it was too late to intervene. The statute of limitations for predatory lending had run out and Wells Fargo was on her doorstep coming to collect the house. An attorney for Wells Fargo recently told our family that they, “are not in the business of running a nursing home.”  We have little time to prevent this foreclosure sale from occurring or she will be torn away from her home. This will surely leave her devastated and confused -- a fate she does not deserve. Please sign our petition and tell Wells Fargo to let our mom stay in her beloved home where she belongs.  Thank you!

Save Mom's Home
138,289 supporters
Closed
Petitioning President of the United States

Justice for Military Sexual Trauma Victims: Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act

Of the 26,000 sexual assaults in 2012, only 3,374 were reported and only 302 were brought to trial. I am a retired U.S. Navy Veteran and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) survivor. And like many other victims in the military, I was harassed, and humiliated by my Chain of Command after reporting my abuse. But a bipartisan bill before the U.S. Senate right now can completely change how sexual assaults in the military are handled - the Military Justice Improvement Act.  As it stands now, any U.S. Military personnel, male or female, who are sexually assaulted or harassed are at the mercy of their own Commanding Officers who have full jurisdiction and discretion in prosecuting these cases. In many of the cases the perpetrator is not prosecuted while the victim is treated as the criminal, ostracized and harassed by their own command and often their military service stands in jeopardy. This is why so many assaults go unreported. Even though I was raped while in the Navy, my case it is a story of command harassment.  During a 5 year period I was harassed, by my command because the Maintenance Officer didn't want "women in his Navy".  Between being raped and continuously harassed I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2001.  I was raped and it was traumatizing, but the most devastating thing was the Command Harassment. The Military Justice Improvement Act (S. 967) changes this by taking the Commanding Officer out of the case and providing a specialized legal group in charge of investigating and prosecuting these cases. This is a common sense step that our closest allies, including the UK, Canada, Australia and Israel, have made to their militaries.  The Military Justice Improvement Act has bipartisan support but needs more votes to pass and it will be voted on this week. Your Senator needs to hear from you about this important bill now!  I spent 20 years trying to run away from the hell the Navy put me though. I was told that all of my problems were between my ears. They tried to Court Marshal me, they harassed me on a daily basis, and when I was transferred the harassment continued because my perpetrator picked up the phone and had me labeled a troublemaker before I even checked in. If the Military Justice Improvement Act had been passed then, that wouldn't have happened to me.  Help us get the word to Congress that the rape culture in the military is still prevalent.  Tell them we will no longer allow our men and women in the military to be raped, tell them that we WILL hold them accountable.  I am taking a stand against the unjust persecution of my brothers and sisters that are victims of MST and harassment. Please join me by asking your Senator to support the Military Justice Improvement Act. 

Teresa Youngs
132,798 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Chuck Hagel

Suspend the Weapons Transfer Program that is Militarizing Police

Our police officers are not our military. Yet military weapons meant for battlefields like the ones I served on as an Army Officer in the Gulf War are being transferred to local police departments around the country. Put simply, these weapons are not intended for local policing and often result in escalating - not solving - situations. We’re seeing this right now in Ferguson, Missouri. Many of the weapons being sent to small police departments are coming directly from the Pentagon through the 1033 Weapons Transfer Program. Since its creation, at least $4 billion worth of equipment has been distributed to local police departments through this program. Thankfully, the Senate Armed Services Committee is reviewing the Weapons Transfer Program to evaluate how these weapons are being used. However, there’s no reason to continue sending weapons through the program while it's under review. So I’m calling on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to temporarily suspend the 1033 Weapons Transfer Program - something he has the power to do.  When local police departments have access to armored personnel carriers, mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, M-4 rifles, camouflage uniforms and assault rifles - we’re clearly seeing the militarization of local law enforcement. But police officers are not at war with American citizens - they are here to serve and protect us. But it only makes sense that if we arm them like soldiers going into battle, they will act like soldiers. As a veteran and executive director of Veterans For Peace, I don't want to see our police militarized here at home. And I know many other troops and veterans agree.  The program has been suspended before in 2012, when some states actually lost track of military equipment. You read that correctly, these battlefield weapons have actually gone missing before. Yet the program was quietly restarted in 2013. It’s clearly time for a moratorium on the 1033 program while it is under review.

Michael McPhearson
118,128 supporters
Petitioning Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Secretaries of the Armed Forces and Congress, Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senate, Bernie Sanders, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten E. G...

Hold Military Moving Companies Accountable

An Open Letter To Our Elected Officials - UPDATE 1 to the petition: https://militaryspousechronicles.com/2018/10/02/pcs-petition-brings-change/ Every year thousands of military service members and their families pack up and move on military orders. All of their memories, heirlooms, worldly processions, keepsakes, pro-gear, kids toys, and some useless stuff, otherwise known as household goods (HHGs) gets packed up by contracted strangers, loaded onto a truck and driven across country. If you are on the lucky side of things, your HHGs will arrive with a few scratches and maybe a broken bowl.  However, most everyone ends up on the other side. Boxes will be unloaded smashed and torn, furniture will come off broken in multiple pieces, and other items will just go missing. It will be brushed off as “don’t worry, you can just file a claim”, and while that might be true, there are things that money just can’t fix.  Money can’t replace the broken hutch inherited from my grandmother. Money can’t fix the missing foot board from the custom made bed. Money can’t fix my discontinued, now smashed in to pieces wedding china. And money can’t fix the box of my children’s baby memories box that never arrived.  I know, we should just leave these things with family! While that is a good thought, it’s not always possible. Some service members just don’t have the family available to leave these things!  Every year, thousands of service members  file claims with moving companies. Within the last 2 years the average claim has been around $10,000, with an average of only 50-60% of that being paid out.  Over the last 5 years, the PCS season has become more and more horrendous to deal with. The major moving companies being awarded the contracts, often sub contract out to smaller, local companies. Many of these companies do not understand how military bases work- usually sending drivers or crews who have a felony background, can’t access post, or a truck that has expired registration.  These companies also do a poor job in packing and handling of the HHGs. Many times the crew will pack as quickly as possible to get to the next job to make more money. In doing so, things are usually packed improperly, allowing for damage to occur. When loaded into the truck or unloaded at the storage facility or destination, everything is usually just thrown around without a care. When Service members and families speak up about how things are being handled, we are usually scolded, degraded, and told to just let them do their job.  In one of our recent moves we had a mattress come off the truck soaking wet. When I questioned it and ask what my son was suppose to sleep on, the driver took a furniture pad off the dresser and said he could sleep on that.  When we moved to our current location, I questioned the driver about my high value list, and the markings on the inventory about the furniture. The response I received was “this is just how we do it.” Then when we arrived, our range bags complete with range equipment were missing.  Our military service members and their families already sacrifice so much for this country. The deployments, holidays missed, birthdays not celebrated, their children’s firsts moments, training time, and sometimes even their life. Is it so much to ask that moving companies take a little more care in handling our memories? Is it so much to ask our elected officials to step in and protect our service members from the headache and heartache during a PCS?  I challenge you to start holding these companies accountable. I challenge you to step up your game and ease the worry burden on our military families.   MilitarySpouseChronicles #PCSChronicles #MemoriesSmashed         

Military Spouse Chronicles
106,975 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. Senate, John Barrasso, James Inhofe, Shelley Capito, John Boozman, Roger Wicker, Deb Fischer, Jeff Sessions, Jerry Moran, Mike Rounds, Joni Ernst, Dan Sullivan, Tom Carper, Ben Cardin, Bernie ...

Demand A Strong EPA For Our Bays

Let’s not trash the EPA. Reject Scott Pruitt as its new chief. Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works recently boycotted the vote for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  This comes as widespread, bipartisan concerns are being raised about Pruitt's record of challenging the core mission of the agency he’s been asked to lead. Many question Pruitt’s future commitment to protect public health, enforce the law, and hold corporations accountable to maintain healthy water, air, and land in their business practices. Pruitt has sued the EPA on behalf of regulated industries more than a dozen times in an attempt to weaken regulations such as the federal Clean Water Act. These regulations form the bedrock of our work at Heal the Bay and our sister organizations across the nation. They are hard-fought gains that were direct responses to past disasters. We cannot go back. A silenced, weakened EPA is a threat to our Bays. The U.S. Senate will vote on the appointment of Pruitt as EPA chief in the coming hours amid growing concerns about a broad directive from the new administration to censor EPA research, indefinitely. As a trusted ocean and watershed advocate, Heal the Bay is guided by the best science, not emotion. Over the last 30 years, we have seen first-hand how the EPA and its partner organizations can improve public health for Angelenos through environmental policies and regulations. A weakened EPA means turning back the clock on our critical programs in Greater Los Angeles that monitor beach water quality, prevent unsafe consumption of locally caught fish, protect our dwindling wetlands, and keep our streams and watersheds healthy to buffer communities from climate change. Scott Pruitt won’t do it. Our vital work is far from over. Sea level rise poses a real and immediate threat to many U.S. cities that are unprepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change. We need strong EPA leadership and funding now more than ever. These issues affect us all.  Sign this petition urging the U.S. Senate to reject Pruitt’s nomination for EPA chief. Tell our elected officials to maintain strong EPA funding for programs that affect our Bays nationwide. Call your local senators directly in the next 24 hours to make sure your voice is heard.  

Heal the Bay
94,213 supporters
Support the Equality Act

As Senator, I have committed to doing everything I can to ensure that LGBTQ individuals have equal rights at every level of society. I was proud to sign on as an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, and I’m grateful to Taylor for using her voice on this issue and encouraging others to use theirs in this march for equality. Here’s why the Senate has to pass this legislation now: Despite all the hard-fought progress America’s LGBTQ community has made in recent years to overcome bigotry, hatred, and even violence, there is still no federal law in the books that explicitly protects civil rights for LGBTQ Americans. Without that law – and with more and more of President Trump’s hand-picked, anti-LGBTQ judges being appointed to our federal courts – our LGBTQ community will continue to be at risk of discrimination, without a guarantee that they’ll have any legal recourse to fight back in federal court. In other words, our country is failing to stand up for LGBTQ Americans, and that is shameful. So let’s pass the Equality Act once and for all. I believe we can get it done because I know how much we’ve already accomplished. We are about to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, which sparked a half-century of progress for LGBTQ rights. Those heroes continue to inspire us today as we stand on their shoulders. I was proud to lead the fight in the Senate to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and end President Trump's hateful ban on transgender troops in our military. We have a lot more work to do. Fighting for civil rights is never convenient, and it’s never easy. But it is always worth the fight.

3 months ago
Don’t eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts

Thank you, Jonathan, for starting this petition. As a mom of two young sons, I share your belief that art and culture are essential to a well-rounded education that gives all our children the opportunity to succeed. Every Congressional district in America benefits from this crucial funding. Every town or city, whether large or small, has schoolchildren who need art and music education, including kids who have the potential to grow up and become the next generation of American cultural icons. But not every school has the funding needed to cover these important experiences. And every community has families who want to take their children to see what art masterpieces look like, but not every family can afford to travel far to see that art. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities help create more equal access, for all students, to the benefits of arts and culture programs. They give veterans a new lens to understand their experiences and reintegrate into their communities. They give local museums in small towns more resources to teach students on field trips. They fund educational programming on PBS, which is loved by children and helps them keep learning outside of school. Without the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, it would be much more difficult for anyone outside of a big city to experience the arts and humanities. We should never eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and I will do everything in my power as a Senator to stop any effort to do so. But I can’t do it alone. I encourage all of you to keep speaking out about this important issue. If art, music, drama, and the humanities matter to you, then call your representative and tell them why. Make it clear to them how cutting the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would hurt your community, your school, or your family. Tell everyone you know to call them too. If enough of us raise our voices in defense of the arts and humanities, we can prevent these devastating cuts.

3 years ago
Congress: Stop blocking gun violence research

Thank you, Sarah, for starting this petition and for turning the tragedy of Sandy Hook, which impacted your family so deeply, into activism to end the scourge of gun violence. The lack of action by Congress in the face of continued gun violence in this country truly is outrageous. This week I was extremely disappointed that the Senate once again defeated commonsense gun safety measures to expand background checks and to prevent suspected terrorists from accessing firearms. But we will not stop fighting. On Tuesday, I stood on the floor to announce the introduction of my bipartisan bill to end gun trafficking to finally make the trafficking of firearms a federal crime. I also introduced amendments to allow the ATF to ban the import of military style weapons and to require weapons dealers to keep accurate inventories. I also strongly agree that the CDC must be allowed to study gun deaths just as they study any other cause of death in this country. I've signed on to a letter to Senate leadership urging them to end the ban and to appropriate funds to allow the CDC to conduct this crucial research. Thanks to everyone who has signed this petition – keep up the pressure by sharing this petition with your friends and contacting your representatives and ask them to support commonsense gun safety reforms. Enough is enough!

3 years ago
Tell Congress we will never forget 9/11 first responders and survivors

Thank you, John, for starting this petition and for your unwavering commitment on behalf of your fellow first responders, volunteers and community survivors who have suffered so much as a result of exposure at Ground Zero. We truly do owe you all a debt of gratitude and it is our moral obligation to make sure these 9/11 health programs are funded long into the future. And thank you to everyone who has signed this petition, it really makes a difference. Only by raising all our voices will we succeed in passing the re-authorization of funding for these critical 9/11 health and compensation programs. On Wednesday, we're going to have a day of action on Capitol Hill and I hope you'll all join in. While John and his fellow first responders will be joined by Jon Stewart to walk the halls of Congress urging my colleagues to support this legislation, you can help too by contacting your members of Congress and letting them know you support the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Re-Authorization Act. You can reach them by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Thank you for raising your voices on this important issue!

4 years ago
Pass the CARERS Act and protect medical marijuana patients

Thank you, Kate, for speaking out so strongly on this issue and for your incredible advocacy. It was an honor to stand alongside you and Morgan last month when we introduced the CARERS Act. By making your voice heard, you are speaking for so many other families around the country who simply want to ease their loved ones' suffering. I also want to thank everyone who signed this petition and added your voice to the growing chorus calling for common sense reform of our medical marijuana laws. It really makes a difference. Right now, our federal medical marijuana laws ignore the rule of law in 23 states, not to mention modern science. The CARERS Act would modernize the federal approach to cannabis, by classifying it as a Schedule 2 drug. This would allow doctors in states with legal medical marijuana programs to write prescriptions, and scientists to finally expand research into the medical uses of marijuana. It would also give patients and families around the country access to critical treatment without fear of federal prosecution or separation from their loved ones. Please continue to speak out in support of the CARERS Act by posting this on social media and contacting your members of Congress to urge them to stand with Kate and Morgan in favor of reform. Congress is lagging far behind the American people on this issue and it's going to take all of our voices to change the status quo.

4 years ago
Pass the FAMILY Act & Guarantee Working Americans Paid Family Leave

Thank you, Dana, for telling your story so eloquently and for making your voice heard in support of the FAMILY Act so we can finally implement a national paid leave program right here in the U.S. It's unacceptable that the United States is the only industrialized nation in the world not to offer paid leave to new parents. The FAMILY Act, which I've re-introduced in the U.S. Senate today, will finally ensure no new parent has to choose between caring for a newborn child and receiving a paycheck. Thanks also to everyone who has signed on to Dana's petition, I hope you'll continue to make your voice heard on this issue. You can help us pass the FAMILY Act by sharing this petition on social media and by contacting your Senators and Representatives to urge them to support the FAMILY Act. Momentum is building for paid leave in this country, but only with your help will we gain the support to pass this important legislation.

5 years ago