Decision Maker

Kirsten 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 I can work a full-time job, be a productive member of society, and pay taxes – but because of these outdated laws placed on individuals with disabilities, we hold people like me back in life.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
269,145 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, Democratic National Committee, Republican National Committee, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Dianne Feinstein, John McCain, Kirsten Gillibrand, Rand Paul, Bill Nelson,...

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. 

Kaitlin Jozokos
226,308 supporters
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
138,388 supporters
Petitioning Kirsten Gillibrand, Charles Schumer, U.S. Senate, President of the United States, Donald Trump

Stop Hunters from Killing Innocent Bear and Wolf Families

Ever since the initiation of the new Administration in the U.S., environmental and wildlife issues have been given less and less attention and concern. Attempts have been started since day 1 to dismantle protections guarding the safety and preservation of America's lands and animal species.  The attacks on the United States' wildlife have just reached a whole new level. I'd like to take this time to bring your attention to an alarming article regarding restrictions on hunting: https://www.thedodo.com/us-house-alaska-bear-wolf-2268102226.html The House of Representatives has voted to overturn bans protecting  bear species from being hunted during hibernation, when they're most vulnerable and defenseless. The legislation would also allow innocent wolf families, including pups and their mothers, to be slaughtered in their dens. Further, as stated within the article:  "'What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America,' Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), said on Thursday. 'If the Senate and President concur, we'll see wolf families killed in their dens, bears chased down by planes or suffering for hours in barbaric steel-jawed traps or snares.' The overturning of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) ban would also allow hunters to lure animals with food and shoot them at point-blank range." I understand hunting can't be banned altogether, and I'm not saying it necessarily should be, but the restrictions set in place are there for a reason, and there are definitely those who would love to have those restrictions lifted. Are hunters in general evil people? No. But that doesn't mean there aren't people who would gladly operate in ways discussed herein. The ban and restrictions need to stay in place to make sure individuals don't practice inhumane hunting tactics. Please contact your senators and urge them to vote against overturning this ban, and stop hunters from slaughtering defenseless animal families.

Samantha Mistretta
130,239 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
118,327 supporters
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
93,929 supporters
Petitioning Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, John Barrasso, Tom Carper, James Inhofe, Shelley Capito, John Boozman, Roger Wicker, Deb Fischer, Jerry Moran, Mike Roun...

Tell Congress to Maintain EPA & NOAA Funding

Protect Our Oceans. Protect Our Health. Protect Our EPA & NOAA. The White House recently proposed debilitating budget and workforce cuts for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) starting this October when the 2018 fiscal year begins. Every department seems to be affected; from environmental justice programs and science education, to research and monitoring. In the new administration’s plan, many critical ocean grants, programs, and services will be completely eliminated unless our representatives and legislators vote against the cuts in Congress. This comes at a critical time when America’s coastal infrastructure is failing in the face of intensifying storms and rising seas associated with climate change. We should be doubling down on efforts to prepare and defend our coastlines. We should be empowering scientists, researchers, and youth in America to become stewards for our ocean and environment. We should be investing our hard-earned tax dollars into the next generation of ocean innovation. Instead, the proposals drastically reduce fundamental resources to prepare and respond to environmental emergencies. The White House’s plan includes slashing the EPA budget by 31 percent — to the tune of $2.6 billion — and reducing staff by more than 3,200 people. The EPA is already operating on a lean budget – federal funding has been decreased by over $2 billion since 2010. Nearly three-quarters of the EPA’s annual budget goes toward funding grants for states, tribes, and contractors. These grants aid crucial environmental cleanup, monitoring, and preparedness efforts. Commonly known for its weather forecasting services, NOAA also leads the nation on climate monitoring, fisheries, and ocean services. NOAA’s annual budget is $5.6 billion, a small fraction of the overall federal budget. The administration proposed a stiff 17% cut to NOAA’s overall budget. And, a 22% reduction in funding for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which creates and operates weather satellites. This program also houses the National Centers for Environmental Information – an essential environmental science research center and repository of climate data.  Additionally, climate protection programs would suffer a nearly 70% cut, which would thwart efforts to prepare for sea level rise, adapt to hotter urban areas, and buffer our communities for increased storm intensity and flooding. This is particularly important as previous worst case scenario projections for sea level rise in Southern California – 5.5 feet by 2100 – are now being revised to predict even more extreme impacts as ice sheets at our planet’s poles are melting faster than expected. Beach tourism and the coast recreation economy are valued at close to $90 billion, so EPA’s investment of $10 million annually in beach water quality monitoring makes fiscal and public health sense to ensure that beachgoers are healthy and safe. However, the Beach Grant Program would suffer complete elimination. This vital program supports weekly water quality sampling at beaches across the country, and, helps to sustain thriving marine life and public awareness of pollution for the 90 million people visiting our nation’s beaches annually. Environmental education through the EPA would be cut by over 90% - a disservice to preparing and educating our youth, who are the future stewards of our nation. And, communities who are already the most under-served would be disproportionately impacted by the planned 78% cuts to environmental justice programs. Funding would be completely zeroed out for several targeted programs, including the national estuary program – long-term management planning to improve water quality and living conditions for 28 critical estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico, and Sea Grant – a well-leveraged scientific research partnership with top universities throughout the nation. Removing the Sea Grant program would cut funding for important fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and public health research at 33 universities across the country – this is hands-on and applied research that informs management and protection of our economically and environmentally beneficial coastal and ocean resources. The new administration’s proposals would cripple our efforts to safeguard marine habitats, threatened animals, and coastal resilience – placing entire communities and ecosystems at a further disadvantage. The White House has said it is committed to promoting clean water and clean air, but these proposed actions demonstrate otherwise. It seems virtually impossible to maintain basic environmental and public health protections, given such deep cuts and job losses. Please help Heal the Bay and many other trusted environmental groups nationwide in our effort to keep the EPA and NOAA from being disabled. Tell your State Senators, Congressional Representatives and Legislators that funding for the EPA and NOAA is important to you, your family, your business and community.

Heal the Bay
74,737 supporters
Petitioning Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning

Review an innocent soldier’s wrongful conviction

My name is Ken Pinkela. I am a US Army Lieutenant Colonel, and in June 2012, I was wrongly convicted of exposing someone to the HIV virus. Since then, the main witness against me has recanted, explaining how he was coerced into giving misleading testimony. I am fighting to have my case reviewed by President Obama and Secretary of the Army John McHugh, as they are the only 2 officials authorized to directly order a review and change the outcome of a military court-martial.   I served my country for more than 26 years in the US Army and now that sacrifice has been erased by my wrongful conviction for exposing another soldier to HIV. Not only am  I innocent--the accuser and I were never intimate--the Department of Defense has been criticized for prosecuting people with HIV, bringing charges in cases like mine that are not based on any medically accurate understanding of how HIV is transmitted and treated.  Without any real evidence, I was convicted, spent 272 days in prison, and lost all my benefits: retirement, medical insurance for both combat related injuries and the HIV treatment that I require. I won't even get a flag for my coffin when I die. According to the Army, I am a felon, and if I leave New York State I will be required to register as a sex offender. These charges have ruined my life. I have lost the freedom which I fought to defend for nearly three decades. And I have lost the honor of being able to serve my country. My final hope is to get my case reviewed.  The prosecution's only witness has recanted his testimony. He describes being threatened by Army prosecutors, being lied to and says that the prosecution led him in his testimony. This should be reason enough to have my case reexamined and get the charges against me dismissed. That will allow me to get my life back and continue to serve my country and support my family. Please join me in asking President Obama and Secretary of the Army John McHugh to grant me a review of my court-martial, so that I can begin to serve my country with honor and dignity again.

Kenneth Pinkela
74,148 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Jane Chu, National Endowment for the Arts, Donald Trump, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chris Collins, Peter T. King, Elise Stefanik, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Don’t eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts

      Multiple news outlets say the Trump administration may soon announce plans to eliminate both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) entirely as part of a plan to curb spending. The administration plans to cut $10 trillion, nearly all of our budget’s non-discretionary spending, over the next 10 years. The NEA and NEH account for less than .002% of our federal spending -- about 46 cents each, for every American, every year. The NEA has been the life-blood and foundation of the arts community across our nation since 1965. They provide grants for dance, music, drama, literature, outreach education, and so much more. The NEH offers research funding to museums, libraries, and colleges. Did you enjoy films like Ken Burn’s Civil War documentary series? That was funded by the NEH, along with 16 other Pulitzer prize winning productions. Together, these two organizations enrich the arts in America -- giving creativity and freedom of speech a voice and continues to nurture humanity at large. These vital organizations must be spared. Don’t allow these organizations to slip away quietly into the night. Sign this petition right now and tell Congress to save the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities and help us petition for policy that protects this valuable resources from future partisan shifts with a permanent funding mandate.

Jonathan Estabrooks
51,056 supporters
Petitioning Jack Reed, Tulsi Gabbard, L. Tammy Duckworth, Adam Smith, Rob Wittman, Joe Heck, Mac Thornberry, Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton, Christopher Coons, Brett Guthrie, Jeff Miller, John Kline, Rand Paul, Kirste...

The Return Boot Camp

The military has a specific process that turns a new recruit into a Warrior, but they lack a similar process to help transform that Warrior back to civilian life. This leaves so many men and women without purpose or a place to turn after the military. This, we believe, often has a part to play in suicidal thoughts and actions, and contributes significantly to the 20 Veterans who die by suicide every day. The community of non-profit organizations in conjunction with our partners are advocating for a Return Boot Camp program to help transitioning Service Members be better prepared for post-military life. Specifically, this program would: (1) Ensure every Service Member receives a safe, confidential behavioral health evaluation, including an interview with a licensed, clinical behavioral health provider at the beginning of the transition process. (2) Require (based on the outcome of #1 above) Service Members participate in individual and group treatment / therapy sessions and programs for physical wellness and mindfulness. (3) Require all Service Members attend an initiation program for the transition process to educate and prepare them for their new life beyond the military. (4) Provide professional career counseling services and programs of the same scope and quality as services offered at the best universities. (5) Ensure Service Members get "credit" for and receive the necessary civilian accreditation for technical and management skills learned through the military. Whatever skills they were trained for can transfer over and be "worth" something in civilian life. (6) Provide a mentor that connects with Service Members at the beginning of the transition process to provide transition support and life coaching for up to one year after they have departed the military. (7) Ensure continuity in programs, services, and documentation between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs – including electronic transfer of records and medical history. (8) Form a commission of non-profit, corporate, and government agencies to implement a pilot Return Boot Camp program as early as September 2018. The Return Boot Camp focuses on the process of transition with the intended objective of enabling Service Members discover the post-military quality of life they fought to protect. They should be able to come home as prepared for life as they were trained to be prepared for military service.

The Return Boot Camp
43,838 supporters
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.

6 months 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!

1 year 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!

2 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.

2 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.

2 years ago
Give Title IX teeth to stop campus sexual violence

Thanks to Know Your IX and The Nation for starting this petition and making your voice heard on behalf of survivors of campus sexual assault. And thanks to all the signers, this is such an important issue and it's important that we let survivors know they're not alone in this fight. The simple fact is that the cost of college admission should not include a 1 in 5 chance of being sexually assaulted. Nor should going to college make women more likely to be victims of assault, but that's precisely what the data shows. To help combat this epidemic, I've been working with my colleagues to craft commonsense bipartisan legislation to support survivors and hold colleges accountable for how they handle these crimes. On Wednesday, I was proud to stand alongside survivors, advocates and 7 of my colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, to introduce the Campus Accountability & Safety Act. This bill will inject transparency and accountability into the adjudication process and flip the incentives so colleges no longer sweep these crimes under the rug. Our bill would: - Increase support services for survivors on college campuses - Improve training for campus personnel - Increase transparency for colleges, including mandating online reporting of crime statistics - Increase accountability for colleges, including increased fines for noncompliance with federal law - Improve coordination with local law enforcement I agree with you that the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights must have real teeth to be able to hold colleges accountable for how they adjudicate these crimes.That's why we've given the Office for Civil Rights the ability to impose fines of up to 1% of an institution's operating budget for violations of Title IX related to sexual violence. We believe this measure will succeed in increasing transparency and accountability on the part of our colleges and universities while also protecting the students who did nothing wrong from being caught in the crossfire. These are crucial steps if we are going to end the scourge of campus sexual assault and I'm confident we'll continue to build bipartisan support over the coming months. You can help by making your voice heard during the month of August by asking your representatives to support the Campus Accountability & Safety Act. It's time for all of us, regardless of party, to stand with survivors, hold universities accountable, and make college campuses safe for all students.

3 years ago
Pass the ABLE Act

Thank you so much, Sara, for making your voice heard on this important issue, and to everyone who has signed this petition and supported Sara's campaign to urge passage of the ABLE Act. The ABLE Act is bipartisan legislation that would amend the tax code to allow disabled Americans to open tax free savings accounts to cover qualified expenses. I'm proud to co-sponsor the ABLE Act because only by helping Americans with disabilities plan for their futures will they, as Sara put it so beautifully, be able to "achieve their full potential in life." Which is an opportunity every American deserves. I urge the Senate to take up the ABLE Act this year so we can put millions of Americans with disabilities, like Sara, on a more secure path to their future.

3 years ago
Justice for Military Sexual Trauma Victims: Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act

I wanted to alert you to the need for urgent action to help pass the Military Justice Improvement Act. We are expecting a vote on the Senate floor perhaps as soon as tomorrow. We need you all to join with survivors of sexual assault and make your voices heard today to help build support for this important reform. We have a strong majority of the Senate -- 55 Senators and counting -- who are publicly supporting this bill, just a few shy of the 60 we'll need to overcome a filibuster. Can you add your voice to help us win those few extra votes and get us over the finish line? Please call, write or tweet your Senators right now, urge them not to filibuster justice for sexual assault survivors and to allow an up or down vote on the Military Justice Improvement Act. Thanks for all you're doing to help us pass this important legislation so we can create an impartial system of justice within our military that is worthy of the sacrifices our brave men and women make for us every day.

3 years ago
Justice for Military Sexual Trauma Victims: Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act

Teresa, thank you for telling your story and for making your voice heard on behalf of so many survivors of sexual assault in the military who haven't had a voice. Your story unfortunately is all too common, but together, by passing the Military Justice Improvement Act and bringing real reform the military justice system, it's my hope that we can ensure no one goes through what you went through ever again. And thanks to the over 100,000 signers of this petition. It really makes a difference that Americans all over the country of all political stripes are raising their voices to say, enough is enough. After decades of inaction in the face of a growing epidemic of sexual assaults in their ranks, it's time for our military commanders to relinquish their authority over whether or not to prosecute sexual assault cases, and transfer that authority to trained, independent military prosecutors where it belongs. Only in the U.S. military does a boss get to determine whether or not their employee was sexually assaulted. This policy must end. The brave men and women of our military sacrifice every day for our country and deserve a justice system worthy of that sacrifice. They deserve better than to fear an enemy within their own unit more than they fear an enemy abroad. And they deserve better than to be victimized all over again by the very military they serve even after being physically traumatized by their attacker. It's my hope that we will get a vote on the Military Justice Improvement Act in the coming weeks, and while a clear majority of the U.S. Senate is behind us, unfortunately, we'll likely need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in order to be successful. That means I need you all to take the next step beyond signing a petition. I need you to contact your Senators and urge them to support the Military Justice Improvement Act. Get on Twitter and Facebook and join the voices of so many others speaking out about this injustice at #passMJIA. Because only by passing this important legislation will the survivors of sexual assault in the military get a fair shot at the justice they deserve.

4 years ago