Tell the Trump Administration: Don't spend taxpayer money on a military parade!
On February 6, the Washington Post broke the story that Donald Trump has been pressuring military leaders to organize a military parade in Washington, D.C. There are three reasons why this is a serious mistake. 1) The Cost To put on a military parade of the magnitude Trump purports to want would cost the taxpayers millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars in training, maintenance, and transport dollars alone, not to mention the extra fuel required for driving tanks down Pennsylvania Avenue and flying fighter jets over Washington. How does this expense make sense when the government can barely fund itself? How does this expense make sense when there are around 40,000 veterans sleeping on the streets each night? 2) The Logistics Washington streets and bridges cannot support the weight of seventy-ton tanks. Such a parade would do serious damage to D.C.'s already strained infrastructure. Moreover, organizing and orchestrating a parade would snarl D.C. traffic for days, not only day-of, but also in the days prior as manpower and materiel were put into place. This would profoundly affect the lives of D.C. residents, many of whom are trying to get to work to help provide services for veterans in need. 3) The Readiness Implication Every tank and plane used in this parade is a tank and plane a soldier or airman is not using for training purposes. The lost training days damage our military readiness, and the excessive hours added onto the equipment on parade are an unnecessary use of precious resources. America doesn't need to prove its military strength as if it were ruled by a tinpot dictator. But more importantly, neither the Democratic nor the Republican party should support such an egregious waste of tax dollars and manpower. This is not a partisan issue. This is an American issue.
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.
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 and Virginia Rowlett
Save Aysha and Her Family from Being Executed by the Taliban
Aysha's father Muhammad is a heroic interpreter who worked with the US military for 9 years in Afghanistan. His military supervisors praised his work ethic, dedication, and trustworthiness, and his incredible skill of fluently speaking six languages made him indispensable on Special Forces night raids on Taliban insurgents. He once saved an American soldier by dashing into an ambushed vehicle under Taliban fire. But the Taliban considers his faithful service to the US military a capital crime and is working hard to find and kill Muhammad and his wife and his four young daughters. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently denied Muhammad and his entire family for humanitarian parole because they don't care enough about Muslim refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban. Tell the director of the Humanitarian Affairs Branch at USCIS, John Bird, to re-open and approve Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases to save them from the Taliban before it is too late. When the US military mostly pulled out of Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban gained strength in Afghanistan and killed many interpreters or their family members in revenge. One of Muhammad's brothers and a nephew, Sahil, who was also an interpreter, were shot and left for dead in an assassination attempt on Muhammad and his family. After the Taliban ambush, Muhammad fled his home district, just in time to escape a second Taliban attack that destroyed their family home. Consequently, Muhammad lost all contact with US military personnel who could have helped him apply for an SIV visa. He has been living in hiding for three years with his wife and four young daughters. They are living in daily fear of being discovered and killed by the Taliban and are unable to leave their house. There is no heating in the house, and leaks in the roof have made his young daughters sick on several occasions from getting infections from bacteria in the water or getting cold in the winter. When I learned about Muhammad and his family's plight a few months ago, I was determined to do everything possible to save their lives. Muhammad had tried to apply to the US as a refugee on his own, but he was denied for “discretionary security reasons,” a very common problem for former military interpreters and their families. When Muhammad's refugee case was denied, he was devastated and lost all hope for saving his life and his family's lives. He said the only option left for him was to surrender to the Taliban, thinking that after the Taliban tortured and killed him, they would stop looking for his children. I told him not to give up and promised him to find a way to save their lives. Please help me keep my promise to Muhammad to save his life and his family's lives. They do not deserve to suffer and die because of Muhammad's service to the US military. My family hired a lawyer and filed a humanitarian parole case to sponsor Muhammad and his family to come live in the US while he works to get permanent, legal status in the US. Our humanitarian parole case for them may be our last chance to save their lives. In what our lawyer says is the most egregious case she has ever seen, USCIS denied Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases because his refugee case had been denied and without even bothering to figure out why the refugee case had been denied. Thus, they denied Muhammad's humanitarian parole case for “discretionary reasons” without even knowing what those discretionary reasons were. This is effectively a death sentence for the entire family. When our lawyer pleaded with USCIS to at least let Muhammad's young daughters come live with their aunt and uncle in the US, the director of the Humanitarian Affairs Branch of USCIS, John Bird, refused to approve any of the family's cases and made the absurd claim that the entire family, including Muhammad's 2- and 4-year-old daughters, are a threat to national security. Because of USCIS's policy and Muhammad's service to the US military, Muhammad's children were literally born with a death sentence. Mr. Bird acknowledges that Muhammad and his family meet all the criteria for humanitarian parole, and he does not question that they will be killed if left in their current situation. He just does not care enough about Muslim refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban. Worse yet, two months ago USCIS granted humanitarian parole to family members of Las Zetas drug cartel members who murdered US ICE agents in Mexico, so that the family members of the murderers could attend a trial in Washington, D.C. Thus, USCIS is literally treating Muhammad and his family worse than criminals. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453519/operation-fast-and-furious-victor-avila-betrayed-obama-administration Sign the petition to tell USCIS to re-open and approve Muhammad's and his family's cases quickly. Muhammad is a hero who faithfully served the US military for over 9 years and is now in grave danger because the Taliban is determined to get revenge. He has already lost everything except his and his family's lives because of his service to America, but he is still proud of his choice to work for the US military. All he wants in return is the chance to bring his daughters to safety and to give them a future. If USCIS does not re-open and approve his case, he will be left behind to be killed by the same terrorists that he risked his life to fight for so many years. The Ithaca Voice recently published a story highlighting the absurdity of USCIS blacklisting a toddler. https://ithacavoice.com/2018/02/case-denied-not-closed-fight-continues-afghan-interpreter-trying-escape-pakistan/ For more background information, The Ithaca Voice published a detailed story over the summer about Muhammad and his career with the US military: https://ithacavoice.com/2017/06/former-afghan-interpreter-hopes-find-sanctuary-u-s-help-cornell-student/ The Sacramento Bee wrote a story a couple of months ago about my family's efforts to help Muhammad and his family. http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article187680333.html No One Left Behind, the non-profit fighting to save Afghan and Iraqi interpreters, also published a blog post highlighting Muhammad's case http://nooneleft.org/2017/12/12/4221/ Some family friends made a 4-min, professional-quality video summarizing Muhammad's story and his current situation. The video is embedded above or can be accessed from this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NowDUr1I2T8 Please call your Congressional representatives and ask them to tell USCIS to approve this case. If you need contact information on your Congressional representatives, use this link to look them up: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/ Email me at email@example.com for more information on Muhammad's case. Please also email me if you know Muhammad personally or if you know any government officials or reporters who may be able to help raise public awareness of Muhammad's case.
Change SC tether & outdoor dog laws
All throughout South Carolina dogs are being left chained to trees all night and day. Never moving or experiencing a decent life. Leaving dogs tied to trees is legal in South Carolina. With the temperatures we are experiencing now in the winter, it can get into the single digits. It is also legal to leave your dog outside (in freezing temperatures), as long as their shelter has 3 sides. This law needs to change immediately. If this petition gets enough signatures, we can help protect these animals from a life of solitude and despair. I own three dogs who are very well cared for- leaving them outside or having them chained up makes me sick thinking about it. One dog in particular I see everyday is chained up 24/7. It’s shelter is a plastic dog house. Plastic. This dog lives a miserable life and freezes in the winter and is left in the extreme heat in the summer. This is ridiculous and inhumane. The law needs to be changed immediately. Shamefully, the human race needs a law for common sense. Why have a dog if you do not want to provide the basics of caring for a living thing.
Protect Immigrant Physicians From Executive Order, Protect Patients From Losing Doctors
Dear Madam, Dear Sir, On January 27th 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) which implemented a 90-day suspension of visas and other immigration benefits to all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. Legal experts believe this suspension may be extended indefinitely. We have learned that there is a tremendous amount of confusion regarding the implementation of this order. The latest information we have obtained reveals that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has put a hold on all visa extensions and immigration benefits (including adjustment of status and employment authorization) for citizens from the above-mentioned countries who are inside the United States. We have been notified about cases involving physicians and their families who left the United States for a short vacation or a humanitarian mission and were not allowed back into the United States. The unrealistic conditions required in the EO for discontinuing the suspension make it very likely that this EO will turn into a permanent ban. We, physicians and healthcare providers of various nationalities practicing medicine in the United States in a variety of different fields, are directly impacted by these decisions and we would like to voice our deepest concerns and strongest opposition to this measure, as it directly affects patient care as much as it affects us. This EO will result in a lot of hard-working, compassionate physicians who go above and beyond in patient care not being able to have their legal status extended, not being able to continue practicing medicine, not being able to serve their patients and communities because their work authorizations will not be renewed, and not being able to see their families abroad for years. As it is, many physicians have not seen their families in several years due to the unfortunate and tumultuous events in their home countries. Many International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who are in search for residency training positions will also be blocked from matching to a residency spot, and many medical researchers will not be able to continue contributing to science and development. These bans have highly negative consequences. The unethical and discriminatory treatment of law-abiding, hard-working, and well-integrated immigrant physicians fundamentally contravenes the founding principles of the United States. The long term effect of this EO will result in a decline in the number of practicing healthcare providers in USA causing abrupt cessation of patient care, which will affect patient safety and work flow in vast institution throughout the country. We appreciate all the supporting statements issued by multiple medical organizations including the statement by the American College of Physicians on Jan 31st, 2017. We find it a source of relief knowing that our medical society realizes how important immigrant physicians are to the American communities. However, we would like to respectfully ask for more. We would like for all possible legal action to be taken to make sure that physicians will not be forced out of the country and out of practice. We also need a strong push towards allowing physicians from the above-mentioned countries to enter the United States. We strongly urge the use of all possible legal power to have this Executive Order rescinded due to its tremendously negative impact on physicians, their families, and on patient care.
Protect and Preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
As a result of the recent election, the time to preserve vital progress in our nation has come. President-elect Donald Trump’s anticipated immigration plans pose a significant threat to undocumented immigrants nationwide. Undocumented high school graduates wishing to go on to college to further their education, wanting nothing more than to contribute to their communities and to the United States, face a harsh reality after graduating high school. DACA presented hope for a future for many undocumented students across the country. Young children and young adults with aspirations of becoming future doctors, teachers, lawyers, and countless other career paths were given an opportunity to pursue their dreams when Obama announced the DACA program. Donald Trump plans to terminate this, effectively ending all young undocumented students' hopes of obtaining driver’s licenses, work permits, and a college education and putting them at an increased risk for deportation. What is DACA?“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal. PLEASE NOTE: DACA does not grant a path to permanent residency or citizenship. The DREAM Act, which would lead to permanent residency, has NOT passed.” http://undocu.berkeley.edu/legal-support-overview/what-is-daca/ “On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.” https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca DACA Eligibility RequirementsYou may request DACA if you: 1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; 2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; 3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; 4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; 5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; 6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and 7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. DACA is not amnesty, nor a direct path to citizenship. DACA allows eligible immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, obtain a work permit, and stay in the country to work toward a path to citizenship without great risk of deportation. Thanks to DACA, these immigrants can share their experiences and talent while developing their skills and education as they work to establish themselves as U.S. Citizens. Pew Research Center estimates there are 11.1 undocumented immigrants in the country while the Department of Homeland Security estimates there are 11.4 undocumented immigrants in the United States as January of 2012—the number only continues to increase. These immigrants are our friends, neighbors, classmates, coworkers, and students. President Obama’s announcement of DACA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RXSlMu5EDI Obstacles Faced by Immigrants · “Most immigration lawyers charge between $5,000 to $7,500 to accompany a client through the green card process.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 · “Some cases can cost closer to $15,000 before adding on application fees and any potential family members.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 · “Applicants can spend years marked by a feeling of lost opportunity and helplessness as they wait for the process to conclude.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 · Many colleges do not accept DACA students · Out of state tuition for many DACA college students if they can find a college that accepts them · FAFSA cannot be utilized by undocumented students and many scholarships cannot be awarded to undocumented students, putting them at a major disadvantage when it comes to the college application process. · Constant association and comparison to terrorists and criminals—including racial profiling. While terrorists and immigrants with malicious intent do get into the country, this is a very small proportion and must not be overgeneralized to the population as a whole. Immigrants, legal or undocumented, tragically face a growing hatred that has been inspired by negative framing of immigrants, use of misleading information, and the strategy of using them as scapegoats. · Immigration raids in their communities · Being forcibly taken or separated from their families. Children are often separated from their parents because of the deportation process. Without DACA:• According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are an estimated 1,932,000 DACA eligible immigrants in the U.S. If Donald Trump carries through with his plans to end DACA, these almost 2 million immigrants will be unable to obtain driver’s licenses and work permits, will not be able to work toward their educational dreams, and will be at great risk for deportation • We will be ending the work, progress, and achievements of young immigrants. All of their hard-work and progress will essentially be destroyed • According to the American Psychological Association, there are one million children under the age of 18 who are undocumented and 4.4 million under the age of 30. Those who currently are in the DACA program or are eligible for DACA, will be at major risk for deportation if DACA is ended. • We will be ending the educational paths of future doctors, businessmen and women, skilled trade workers, teachers, and more • We will be tearing apart and ruining families who only wish to work toward becoming U.S. citizens Please pledge your support to prevent the termination of this vital program and show Donald Trump we do not want to see these young, hardworking, patriotic immigrants separated from their families and forced out of our country. Let us show President-elect Donald Trump that these young students want nothing more to contribute to our country by protecting the program that allows them to work toward their ultimate goal of becoming U.S. citizens. Please remember that DACA is just one program that is in place to help immigrants assimilate into our nation. With Donald Trump’s election, this is only one facet of the immigration progress that is at risk. There is much more that needs to be done. This is just one step. Please share this with friends, family, and coworkers, and remember that we must all come together as Americans or watch our great nation continue to grow divided and crumble before our eyes. Resources and Further Information: https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states https://immigrationforum.org/ http://inthecountrywelove.com/ http://www.nationalimmigrationproject.org/ https://www.ilrc.org/ https://www.nilc.org/ http://saalt.org/policy-change/immigrant-rights/daca-stories/ http://unitedwedream.org/dreamer-narratives/daca-stories-arian/ https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2015/07/09/117054/results-from-a-nationwide-survey-of-daca-recipients-illustrate-the-programs-impact/ http://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca-profiles http://www.apa.org/topics/immigration/undocumented-video.aspx https://thinkprogress.org/heres-how-much-trump-s-mass-deportation-policy-would-cost-everyone-3e19f51ff8cf#.8ey83fmt6
No on HJ69/SJ18: killing wolf pups in dens, hibernating bears, stealjaw toe traps on bears
Tell your Senator and President Trump to vote NO on H.J. 69/S.J. Res. 18! 225 heartless House Members voted to overturn a federal rule – years in the works, and crafted by professional wildlife managers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – to stop some of the most appalling practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management. Denning of wolf pups, killing hibernating bears, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and trapping grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares. The stuff of wildlife snuff films. And not just on any land. On our country’s national wildlife refuges. More specifically, on 16 national wildlife refuges covering 76 million acres, all in the state of Alaska. In this case, Alaska has a bloodthirsty Board of Game, whose members enthusiastically implement a draconian policy called “Intensive Management.” That policy dictates that state managers drive down wolf, bear, and coyote numbers to boost caribou and moose numbers for hunters — turning Alaska’s wildlife refuges into what retired Arctic National Wildlife biologist Fran Mauer calls “game farms” — the very thing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted to stop through a rigorous, science-based, and legal federal rulemaking process that was overturned by today’s vote. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shouldn’t run refuges like game farms, as Alaskan officials want to do. Only the U.S. Senate and President Trump can now stop this unwinding of a decision by a professional wildlife management agency. Please contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to steer clear of a disgraceful resolution, and to honor limits in the conduct of wildlife policy in the United States of America. From the Humane Society (http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/02/u-s-house-sanctions-killing-hibernating-bears-wolf-pups-dens-federal-refuges-alaska.html
South Carolina Pass a law for Animal welfare in inclement weather conditions
Animals can be left outside in any kind of weather as long as they have shelter and water. That’s not just Berkeley county South Carolina ordinance that’s state law. Cold and Hot weather can be deadly for pets. As the temperature plummet Or rise in many parts of the country. Cold: Pets left outside in extreme temperatures, especially without food and shelter, are at risk of hypothermia, frostbite and even death. In my opinion this is neglect especially in those cold months. Many people have the misconception that the fur on their backs of animals will insulate them from suffering, Not true. Their fur might provide more warmth than a human’s skin does, but think of it this way: If you had a coat on, but you still had to sit on the wet, freezing ground for 24 hours a day, your coat would do very little to protect you from the ice-cold winter. Heat: The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for pets and people. It's difficult enough simply to cope with rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity, Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly." Being left outside for extensive amounts of time can lead to a heat stroke in dogs. Some sates have passed a law that regulates the length of time a dog can be kept outside in extreme weather. The law states that dogs cannot be tied up outside for more than 30 minutes if the weather is below 32 degrees (or if the weather is above 90 degrees). People who break this Law will face a fine and potentially even jail time, a sentence of 6 to 12 months. Let's Make a change
Pass legislation to turn on the FM radio chip in cell phones.
Did you know that every cell phone In the US has an FM chip which can receive your local FM radio stations? The problem is that the cell phone companies have turned the chip off in an effort to force you to consume more data. The purpose of this petition is to tell lawmakers to create legislation to require the cell phone providers to turn on the FM chip in cell phones. This will provide an equal playing field for terrestrial radio stations by unlocking the mobile interface while also giving consumers access to critical information during times of emergencies. When a hurricane strikes, radio is the only form of communication still able to reach the masses. It does not make sense that cell phone providers are blocking us from this free, potentially live saving content. Please sign this petition to tell your lawmakers to pass legislation that would require the FM chip to be turned on in mobile phones.