Decision Maker

Louie Gohmert

  • TX01
  • Representative

Serving his fifth term in the United States House of Representatives, Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert proudly represents the First District of Texas.

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Petitioning Greg Abbott, Greg Bonnen, Ted Cruz, Ted Poe, Charles Perry, Randy Neugebauer, Susan King, John Cornyn, Troy Fraser, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ...

Get a law passed in the State of TX that prohibits chaining (tethering) of dogs.

A law should be passed to prohibit chaining (tethering) of dogs 24/7/365/all of their lives, because it is cruel, inhumane, and it is abuse.  Limiting chaining does not work, because it is not monitored. If a person is not standing with the dog, the dog should not be chained...period.   Chained dogs are kept out of sight & out of mind in the back yard, & are most of the time deprived of adequate food, water, & vet care in addition to having their emotional & social needs completely ignored. Chaining a dog for any length of time is one of the cruelest punishments imaginable for social animals that need & deserve companionship, exercise, & mental stimulation. Since 1979 chaining has been recognized as a contributing factor in dog attacks Federal & National Agencies have found.  Nearly 3 times more likely to attack than dogs not chained. Chained dogs are totally vulnerable to other animals & cruel people.  Many have been stolen, set on fire, shot, stabbed, tortured, or poisoned by cruel passersby or neighbors who were annoyed by their barking.  Chaining dogs is not only a animal welfare issue, but a public safety hazard as well.   Chained dogs make housing values decrease & make the neighborhood a less desirable area to live in.  Chained dogs bark more often than a non-chained dog.  Chained dogs are not neutered, therefore adding to more dog abuse.  Chained dogs cause other yards to be infested with fleas & ticks, because they are not sprayed as they should be nor do they get the baths they need. 16 Cities in Texas already has a ban on chaining dogs, and this law should be passed in the entire State of Texas immediately. City councilmen state they do not have the funds to hire more animal control or police if this law were to pass, and assume more dogs will be surrendered to Animal Services.  Statistics from the Texas Humane Society Legislature show that after 3 months of this law being passed, dog surrenders decrease. Fines paid to the city from dog owners that still refuse to obey this law gives the city more funds to deal with the abused dog issue.  There is the other argument that some people do not have fences or the money to build a fence.  I say, put the dog in the house or do not get a dog. There are many ways to help people get a fence for their dogs, and every city can figure out the best way to accomplish this goal in helping the poor.  Then, there are dog owners that already have fences, but still chain their dogs up 24/7.  Some dogs are hard to keep inside of a fence & there are dog pulley's for those types of dogs.  Dogs should not have to live on chains 24/7, because their owners do not want the responsibility of having a dog.  Chained up & neglected is not the way we should treat our dogs.  We are family to dogs and they should be treated as such.  If someone wants a dog to chain up all it's life, they should not get a dog and they should be fined or jailed if they do. Can you imagine being chained up all day long...all after day....week after week...month after month...year after year...until you die?  A dog has no life being chained up all the time, so it would be better off dead than to go through the torture of living its entire life on a chain which is another word for solitary confinement.  A chained dog cannot run, jump, play, exercise, chase squirrels, chase a ball, run across the yard after a rabbit, or anything a dog was created for.  Instead, they live silently on their chain barking, begging, pleading, & crying for their owners to acknowledge they are alive and need their love and help. Please sign this petition....pass it on....share it to everyone you know and lets get this law passed in Texas to show our pets we care.  We are despicable people for allowing this abuse to go on as long as it has, and it is time for us to do something about it and end this abuse.  It is a shame that it takes a petition in order to get our city council, senators, & representatives of Texas to acknowledge chaining as abuse, to have the compassion to do something about it, and the courage to make it a law.            

Debbie Alexander
48,646 supporters
Petitioning Joaquin Castro, Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz, Julian Castro, United States Supreme Court, President of the United States, Texas State Senate, Texas Governor, Texas State House, John Cornyn, Louie Gohmert,...

Recreational & Medicinal Marijuana Legalization In Texas

We are in a new day and age where marijuana has been proven to cure and prevent cancer, seizures, parkinson's disease, glaucoma and more. We need to come together and make the legalization of marijuana available to our great fellow Texans who are in need of this plant. So please join me and other great Texans make it happen. Cause remember we the people can make anything happen if we come together and make our voices heard.

Francisco Hernandez Jr
33,678 supporters
Petitioning Luis Gutierrez, Chuck Grassley, Pete King, Patrick Leahy, Trey Gowdy, Dick Durbin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Charles Schumer, Steve Chabot, Darrell Issa, Louie Gohmert

Make it a Federal Crime to Murder any Police Officer in the U.S. including Puerto Rico

In the past few years their's been this mindset that has taken over this country where people feel it's ok to attack police officers and assassinate them and this presents a clear and present danger to the safety of the public. We call on the federal government to pass legislation making it a federal crime to murder a law enforcement officer. The murder of a federal law enforcement officer or even a K9 and Horse working with a federal LEO agency is already a federal offense. The cold blooded assassinations of NYPD Detectives Rafael Ramos, Wen Jian Liu, Brain Moore, Sheriff Darren Goforth, Sergeant Miguel Perez-Rios and countless others in our country calls for changes in the law. We will not tolerate the murder of law enforcement officers and these cop-killers need to know they will receive the ultimate penalty. We can't leave the states to prosecute these cases since some have banned the death penalty. We are asking our elected officials and the people of our great country who support law enforcement to join us in calling for the enactment of legislation to make it a federal crime to kill a law enforcement officer.

NYPD Hispanic Society
9,923 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, Justin Amash, Dave Brat, Jim Bridenstine, Michael Burgess, Jason Chaffetz, Curt Clawson, Ron DeSantis, Jeff Duncan, Scott Garrett, Chris Gibson, Louie Gohmert, Paul G...

Impeach Judge Gloria M. Navarro

We the People of the United States petition the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Judge Gloria M. Navarro of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada for committing treason and collaborating in the insurrection against the Constitutional authority of the federal government pursuant to Article I Section 8 Clause 15, Article 3 Section 3 and Article 2 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, 18 U.S.C § 2831 and 18 U.S. § Code 2383. Whereas Judge Navarro, at the direction of the FBI, BLM, and other federal agencies, is unlawfully detaining (Amendment VIII of the Bill of Rights & 18 U.S.C. § 3142), and has been for over nine months, prominent activists within the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom political movement for exercising their First Amendment protected rights—protesting against federal government overreach [the fact it had sold 9,000 acres of public land bordering Bundy Ranch and other people who own grazing rights to the division to a Communist Chinese energy firm represented by Rory Reid (Harry Reid's son), EMM, for $4.5 million, $34.1 million less than its value, and began rounding up the the Bundy’s cattle and holding them in inhumane conditions … at least 60 purportedly suffering death or missing]—and, in order to suppress C4CF 's education of the People, they have been charged by the FBI for violating 18 U.S.C. § 371 - Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States; 18 U.S.C. § 372 - Conspiracy to Impede and Injure a Federal Officer; 18 U.S.C. § lll(a)(l) and (b) - Assault on a Federal Officer; 18 U.S.C. § 115(a)(l)(B) - Threatening a Federal Law Enforcement Officer; 18 U.S. C. § 924(c) - Use and Carry of a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence; 18 U.S.C. § 1503 - Obstruction of the Due Administration of Justice; 18 U.S.C. § 1951 - Interference with Interstate Commerce by Extortion; 18 U.S.C. § 1952 - Interstate Travel in Aid of Extortion; 18 U.S.C. § 2 - Aiding and Abetting. Among the political prisoners are Cliven, Ammon, Ryan and Mel Bundy, Peter Santilli (a journalist), Ryan Payne, Blaine Cooper, Eric Parker and Jerry DeLumus—all of whom provide C4CF with necessary influence. Whereas the discovery comprises substantial evidence proving the innocence of the defendants but is being concealed from the public at the order of Judge Navarro (in violation of Amendment VI of the Bill of Rights and Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure). These prisoners have also been subjected to mistreatment by the FBI, U.S. Marshall Service and employees of the correctional facilities. Whereas Judge Navarro is consciously proceeding with falsified charges filed by the FBI against C4CF and refusing to grant motions to dismiss after learning that Sheriff Douglas Gillespie and many other local, state and federal officials ordered the BLM to return the cattle to the Bundy’s and withdraw from the land, and being presented with relevant laws [Article I Section 8 Clause 17 & Article IV Section 3 Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, Rule 501 of the Federal Rules of Evidence and Nevada Revised Statute 568.225] were presented to her by the defense. Whereas, after being ordered by Sheriff Gillespie to stand down, Special Agent Dan P. Love of the BLM continued to impede on the rights and jurisdiction of the People of Clark County and all People of Nevada unabated; Committing acts of aggression that should be considered attempts to seriously injure or even kill peaceful protesters, including tazing several individuals and using blunt force (some already challenged by physical disabilities)—an apparent result of its militarization. Sheriff Gillespie stated that "anyone who had been in policing would question their tactics." Whereas Judge Navarro is participating in a cover up of the suppression by the FBI (by way of COINTELPRO tactics) of the right to the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, peaceful assembly, and petition the Government for a redress of grievances. One of the main functions of government is to enforce contracts, and in this case not only is the government failing to enforce a contract but it is also the contractor, and have abridged their obligations in addition to preventing the contractee(s) [Cliven Bundy—We the People] from discharging our duties enumerated in Article I Section 8 Clause 15 & 16 of the U.S. Constitution & 10 U.S.C § 311 and pursuant to Rule 501 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Whereas Judge Navarro has proven herself unfit to be an impartial Federal Judge; Consistent to the extreme bias expressed by her assistance given to the federal government and its usurpation of power and by covering up the inhumane treatment of political activists who are being unlawfully detained for exercising their rights protected by the First Amendment to enforce the rule of law—to establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, guarantee a Republican Form of Government, and secure the right to life, liberty and property, as ordained by the Creator in the U.S. Constitution.

Matthew Deatherage
9,526 supporters
Petitioning Texas State House, Texas State Senate, Texas Governor, John Cornyn, Alma Allen, Louie Gohmert, Ted Poe, Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee, Tony Tinderholt, Lamar Smith, Greg Abbott, Al Green, Randy We...

Freedom for Texas Chiropractors

What's at Stake Your ability to see your chiropractor. Through its lawsuit against the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) and the Texas Chiropractic Association (TCA), the Texas Medical Association (TMA) is attempting to position its members as the gatekeepers who control access to health care, effectively driving Doctors of Chiropractic (their competition) out of business. If the TMA is successful, Texas consumers who prefer to see DCs will be at a disadvantage – and certainly Texans who prefer to use chiropractors as their primary doctor will be forced to seek care elsewhere.  We believe that: Chiropractic is affordable and effective and it is the preferred method of health care for millions of Texans. Let’s ensure it remains a viable health care option for Texans. Doctors of Chiropractic are extremely well-trained health care professionals, well-equipped to diagnose and treat patients. The Texas Legislature can, and should, protect your right to choose your own doctor and your own type of care, and lower health care costs in the process. If you want to maintain access to chiropractic care, please contact your representatives in the Texas Legislature. Ask them to support legislation designed to ensure your right to select the doctor of your choice. What Can You Do About It? Contact your state representative and state senator today by joining the TCA MentorMyLegislator group. Your right to continue to see your chiropractor depends on it! Also, make a contribution to the Texas Chiropractic Association's Chiropractic Development Initiative (CDI): CDI donations fund TCA's lobbying, legal and public relations initiatives on behalf of the chiropractic profession in Texas. Please become a mentor to your legislator by joining:  

David Long
6,851 supporters
Petitioning Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Ted Cruz, Thomas Massie, Theodore Yoho, Mike Lee, Jody Hice, Louie Gohmert, Scott Garrett, Mark Sanford, Ron Johnson, Alex Mooney, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney, Jim Jordan, Th...

Save Net Radio! We Need Your Help To Petition Congress. 100,000+ Stations Will Perish!

SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!   SAVENETRADIO 3.0 Just before the holiday break 2015 the CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) made a decision on new royalty rates for all U.S. based webcasters that helped the BIG webcaster and eliminates the small webcaster. Prior to this decision there was a special CONGRESSIONAL LAW titled the "Small Webcasters Agreement of 2009" or SWA which made these ridiculously expensive royalty fees affordable to the small webcaster and kept innovative programmers and new emerging artists on the air. (The SWA expired on Jan, 1 2016 at midnight ) They are now being SHUT DOWN by the tens of thousands.. Nearly 100,000 small webcasters will go off the air without YOUR help!   Update: is already closed down. With this new ruling by the CRB there was NO provision for small webcasters and the prognosis is not good for about 100,000 United States small internet stations. The old rates under the Small Webcasters Agreement of 2009 (set by congress) were adequate, as long as you didn't make over $1.25 million a year and had less than 5 million listener hours monthly. These NEW rates, albeit lower ( for the BIG BOYS ), apply to everyone and there is NO provision for the small webcaster. These new rates are effective January 1 2016, but we can change this if we act NOW!  Here's how this insane system works: The new royalty rates apply to EVERY COMMERCIAL BROADCASTER at .0017 per performance. If you had 1000 listeners on at all times, each song would cost you $1.70 to play. If you play 15 songs an hour, the royalties alone are $25.50 an HOUR! That's $612.00 per DAY and $223,380.00 per year. Here's the reality: In stream advertising rates are currently $1.69 per thousand impressions. That means if there are 1000 people on line and hear an ad (commercial), you make a whopping $1.69 (less 60%). That is the "going rate" nationwide. With 8 commercials an hour, (we will use 1000 listeners as a basis here).  and 1000 listeners plus a 100% "fill rate" (meaning all 1000 listeners receive an ad), you would make $13.52 an hour, less 60% commission leaving $8.11 net revenue per hour.  It doesn't add up and it's designed that way: Net Income is $8.11 minus SoundExchange royalties $25.50 = ($17.39) That is negative income of ($17.39) per hour.. That adds up to a net loss of ($152,366.40) annually in negative cash flow. No small business can survive this. This does not include royalty rates from ASCAP, BMI, SOCAN or SESAC, music purchases, overhead, employees (really?), computer hardware, software, web and stream hosting costs.. The kicker?  AM & FM radio pays ZERO!! They are EXEMPT from these royalties. Could you imagine if an FM station had to pay over $2 Million in annual performance royalties for every 10,000 listeners in their market? The airwaves would be silent! The only difference between AM & FM and webcasting is how the audio is delivered. I don’t care how you monetize, a small webcaster can’t come close to breaking even under these rates and neither can AM & FM. (That's why they're EXEMPT) We’d be better off sending our listeners each a check for $200 and telling them to go out and buy some CD's Webcasting is the only businesses where a large audience is far more likely to be a liability than an asset. Who would possibly want that? This is crony capitalism at it's WORST. Internet radio was just regulated out of business in the dead of night just before the holiday break. We were told, " you're done." It shouldn't be like this. Everyone deserves to be heard.  RAIN news stated that deliberations were going on for two years.. Really? NO small webcaster knew.. No small webcaster was notified. NPR was notified, Pandora, Spotify, Sirius/XM, college and high school radio was represented as well.  ( they receive special rates for royalties the small webcaster is not privy to) The small webcaster was NOT represented. Small webcasters were not represented because they cannot afford to be represented. If they could they wouldn’t need Small Webcaster Agreement of 2009 to begin with. If one’s future were being decided in a court of law one would at least get a court appointed attorney. But there’s no such provision in copyright court. That should be a eye opening concern – an entire segment of the industry is effectively denied representation in government hearings that decide their future. In my mind that ought to be grounds for a lawsuit. But of course if one could afford a lawsuit one could afford to have been represented. What kind of insane, screwed up system is it where an organization does not have any way of knowing at all what their cost of doing business will be beyond two weeks into the future? How are any of these radio stations supposed to make any operational or business decisions when one doesn’t know what one’s expenses will be or even whether one will even be able to remain in business? Why isn’t there some law that requires advance notice? It isn’t like nobody knew that rates for 2016 would need to be set. What were these people doing? Why did they sit on their butts and wait until the very last minute with no announcement? Are they afraid that the small webcasters will go back to Congress before the decision takes effect as they did in years past? And of course this will kill niche formats and reduce opportunities for small and niche artists. The big corporate webcasters will just strike direct licensing deals with the major mass market labels. So new artists will not only have the usual struggle just to be noticed by programmers their music will be more expensive to play because they are too obscure to make it worth anybody’s while to cut a direct license deal. Most new and niche artists would gladly swap the pennies they get in SoundExchange royalties for wider exposure. It is the small and niche stations that provide such artists their best opportunity of getting airplay and exposure. And with small stations off the air those artists, even if they did prefer royalties over exposure, won’t likely get anything at all from SoundExchange. That will probably make SoundExchange’s bookkeeping easier not having to mess with tracking royalties for all those names that nobody ever heard of before except for freaks who listen to "pesky small" stations. The end result is that major label music has less competition from unsigned artists. Despite their posturing and professed concern about “artists” the only artists the major labels are concerned with are those they have under contract. All other artists are long tail competitors and thus a potential threat. If an emerging artist can build up an audience and following without signing with one of the major labels – then what are the labels good for in a digital world? The whole thing stinks from beginning to end from the lack of representation of small webcasters to waiting until the very last minute. Where is the oversight? Who holds these people accountable? It seems to me that maybe this needs to once again be brought of the attention of Congress. In conclusion: We are asking congress to step in quickly and put an INDEFINITE STAY on the Small Webcasters Agreement of 2009 OR DISCONTINUE RADIO ROYALTIES altogether and represent the tens of thousands of small webcasters facing execution. All radio stations PROMOTE the artist being played.. It's a trade off that has been in place for decades. This is reverse payola..  AM & FM pays nothing, why should anyone else? The THOUSANDS of companies and radio outlets affected:All shoutcast stations, All icecast stationsAll live365 stationsiTunes internet radio.Windows Media GuideCar radios and players on the internet..The list goes on & On The execution has started already with live365 shutting down operations, firing their staff and vacating their offices, January 1 2016. There's still some time to save the rest of us, Please help! Sign the petition and save net radio.     

savenetradio 3.0
4,069 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, Justin Amash, Dave Brat, Jim Bridenstine, Michael Burgess, Jason Chaffetz, Curt Clawson, Ron DeSantis, Jeff Duncan, Scott Garrett, Chris Gibson, Louie Gohmert, Paul G...

Impeach Judge Anna J. Brown

We the People of the United States petition the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Judge Anna J. Brown of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon for committing treason and for her participation in the insurrection against the Constitutional authority of the federal government pursuant to Article I Section 8 Clause 15, Article 3 Section 3 and Article 2 Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, 18 U.S. § Code 2831 and 18 U.S. § Code 2383. Whereas Judge Brown, at the direction of the FBI and other federal agencies, is unlawfully detaining, and has been for over eight months, prominent activists within the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom political movement for exercising their First Amendment protected rights. Among the political prisoners are Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who both provide C4CF with necessary influence. These prisoners have also been subjected to mistreatment by the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service and employees of the correctional facilities. Whereas Judge Brown denied the Motion for mistrial after two of the government's witnesses introduced prejudicial information.  Whereas Judge Brown is consciously proceeding with falsified charges filed by the FBI against C4CF and refusing to grant motions to dismiss after relevant laws (60 stat 1065 & Article I Section 8 Clause 17)  were presented to her by the defense. Whereas Judge Brown is participating in a cover up of the suppression by the FBI (by way of COINTELPRO tactics) of the right to the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, peaceful assembly, and petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Whereas Judge Brown has been/is conspiring with the prosecution and FBI by prohibiting the defense to admit relevant evidence and to sufficiently question the witnesses, and by sustaining objections never raised by the prosecution but rather herself. Whereas Judge Brown has proven herself unfit to be a impartial Federal Judge; Consistent to the extreme bias expressed by her assistance given to the federal government and its usurpation of power and by covering up the inhumane treatment of political activists who are being unlawfully detained.

Matthew Deatherage
3,636 supporters
Petitioning Tom McClintock, Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy, Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher, Robert Aderholt, Rick Allen, Justin Amash, Brian Babin, Lou Barletta, Andy Barr, Joe Barton, Dan Benishek, Diane Black, ...

Pass H.R. 2737: Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015

On June 11, 2015, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Mazie Hirono introduced HR 2737 & S 1555 respectively as the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015.  The pending legislation, “directs the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to make appropriate arrangements for the award of a single Congressional Gold Medal to the Filipino Veterans in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.”  Other groups have been formally recognized by the United States with the Congressional Gold Medal for World War II service; they include the Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point Marines, Navajo Code Talkers, Women Air Service Pilots, Japanese American Nisei Soldiers and Puerto Rican Soldiers.  Filipino World War II Veterans are equally deserving of this honor.  In order to pass HR 2737, the bill requires sponsorship from 290 congressional representatives, S 1555 needs 67 senators.  Today, HR 2737 has 312 cosponsors, S 1555 has 71. I would like to ask your assistance in reaching out to your congressional representative to get their support as a sponsor for the pending legislation.  Time is not on our side; the number of remaining Filipino Veterans is fast decreasing.  We need to pass these bills before the 114th Congress come to a close at the end of the year.

Veterans Equity Center
3,442 supporters
Petitioning Greg Abbott, Louie Gohmert, Kevin Eltife, Ted Cruz, Myra Crownover, Charles Schwertner, Lois Kolkhorst

Save Critical Therapies for at Risk Children in Northeast Texas!

To Gov. Greg Abbott, the Honorable Louie Gohmert, and other Texas Policy Makers: I am writing to you as the mother of a nineteen-month-old baby girl with a disability. Her name is Collins. My purpose is twofold. The first is alert you that Early Childhood Intervention services for Smith, Wood, Henderson, Anderson, Van Zandt, Cherokee, and Rains county will be closing on Sept 30, 2016. This is an absolute infringement of our children’s right to education in accordance with the Free and Appropriate Public Education Act (FAPE) and the Individuals with Disabilities Act – Part C. My second is that the drastic cuts for pediatric therapy providers appear to be so severe, that even the government cannot sustain their own federally funded and mandated program. ECI provides case management, speech, occupational, physical, nutritional, vision, and auditory therapies for children ages 0-3 years. Services are provided in the home because the primary goal of ECI is to educate children and families in their natural environment, creating a nurturing, educational, healthy home for children with disabilities regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic status. They have helped us prepare for entry into the school system and explore ways to care for Collins both now and in the future. I have also been made aware that counties in the Wichita Falls area are also undergoing a difficult transition due to being underfunded and neglected. I have been a pediatric speech therapist in Texas for the last eight years. Being a therapist requires working closely with children and their families for the best possible outcomes. At times, it also means helping them find their voice in a chaotic system so that their child can receive the help they need to thrive. Upon hearing of ECI’s closing in East Texas, it is time for me to find my voice as well. On August 27, 2015, at only 6 months old, my Collins was diagnosed with a regressive seizure disorder caused by a rare genetic mutation. Her seizures, called Infantile Spasms, are catastrophic to brain development. Collins would have approximately 70-100 seizures upon waking and going to sleep. We approximate that Collins had more than ten thousand seizures within two weeks before they responded to medication. When we left the neurologists office, he explained that early intervention therapy would be critical for her development of functional skills. Skills necessary for preschool, friends, play dates, college, jobs, weddings. From birth until the age of 5 will be the most critical and telling years for her overall outcome. After all, 90% of the brain is developed by age 5, and neurological synapses are more than doubled during the first three years of life. What that means in simple terms is this: the brain is drastically expanding and developing during the first years of life. Motor pathways are routing, rejuvenating, and rapidly developing. How else can a neurotypical newborn transition from her only skills being primitive reflexes, sleeping and crying to an infant who can sit, crawl, stand, walk, and talk all within 12 months or less?! The first years lay our children’s foundation for how they will move, interact, socialize, and learn. For Collins, and many children like her, none of these things can happen without extra help from multiple therapeutic disciplines, which is why I had to find ECI services for her immediately. The professionals with ECI were comforting and compassionate. They gave me steps to take to help us get things organized with Collins until they could see her for an evaluation. Because of the extensive need for ECI in the East Texas area, we waited two months before getting an evaluation. As I previously explained, two months for a baby is a lifetime. Therefore, we pursued private therapy for her OT and PT needs. This is a luxury many families do not have as there is no road map (outside of ECI) to tell families how to obtain skilled services for their child. Empowering and educating parents in how to teach their children is one of the highest values ECI offers to our nation. When ECI did evaluate Collins, they told us she qualified for all services: PT, OT, ST, and Vision. However, since ECI for our county is already spread so thin they would only be able to see her at a frequency of once or twice per month, and it would cost us approximately $140 per month. As a team, we created her Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) recommending ongoing Case Management, Vision Intervention, and Orientation and Mobility Services. Collins has greatly benefited from these services! Approximately 3 months ago, we were informed that the Andrews Center was terminating their contract with the state, and they would no longer be the provider. We were assured that the transition would be smooth as the State attempted to find a new provider for the federally mandated program. However, on Tuesday I was informed this would not be the case. On September 30, 2016, ECI will have no provider, leaving many East Texas professionals without jobs, and 7 counties without mandated ECI Services. Over 300 families will be affected. As it stands today, all therapies and case management will stop until another provider is found. This is time lost for our children that we cannot get back. They will be casualties of transition, which is simply unacceptable. Over 100 children are on the referral list to get into the ECI program, with new referrals coming in daily. Children are still being placed on a waiting list when referred to ECI, even though the state knows there is no contracted provider to meet their needs. Due to recent and drastic cuts to Medicaid for Texas therapy providers, the Andrews Center reportedly lost over $300,000 for housing ECI last year. ECI cannot find a non-profit provider who will agree to a contract with the State of Texas. Other reports say that a provider in Longview was in negotiations with the State; however, the State refused to cover the cost of start up to a new location, and the negotiations were stopped. It is my understanding that under the Free and Appropriate Education Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act part C, ECI services are a child's right. If the state of Texas does not urgently seek out a contract and provide adequate funds to cover the transition, they will be infringing on our children’s right to education. It is a breach of contract that each family has with the state of Texas as we all have an IFSP. A provision of IFSP (like IEPs in school) also states that if the state of Texas cannot provide a service recommended in the IFSP, then the state is responsible for paying for the child to receive those services privately. I ask that you please bring this to the attention of Governor Abbott, Senator Eltife, Senator Cruz, and any other state representatives whose counties this may affect. I have alerted the media to this issue, and am finding ways to educate others in how to find their voice until this matter is resolved. My new passion is that not only would the program be saved, but that it will be revived as a program that has enough funding to thrive in Texas. My hope is that it will be funded and staffed appropriately where children can receive the services they are entitled to at a more beneficial weekly frequency. This program was developed for a reason. For many families, it is their lifeline. It is our children’s chance to live normal, healthy and fulfilling lives. Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter. I would love to meet with you soon to discuss this further. Sincerely, Collins' Mom M.S., CCC/SLPP.S. Because of her therapists and the family support our therapists have provided, I am thrilled to report that Collins is imitating sounds, belly laughing, crawling, and so very close to walking. She loves to be told she's pretty! Girls. She loves her therapists and lights up when they come to see her. She’s exploring, loves bath time, and plays peek a boo. ECI matters. Therapy matters. I look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Kristi Hickman
2,761 supporters
Petitioning Greg Abbott, Sheila Jackson Lee, Joaquin Castro, Beto O'Rourke, Lloyd Doggett, Jeb Hensarling, Michael McCaul, Will Hurd, Louie Gohmert, Blake Farenthold, Lamar Smith, Sam Johnson, Pete Sessions, K...

Prevent the Use of Warfarin to Poison Wildlife and Damage our Environment

The Texas Department of Agriculture has adopted an administrative rule to allow for the use of the anticoagulant warfarin to poison feral hogs in Texas. This rule was adopted as an emergency provision, circumventing the public comment process. The use of this poison, marketed as “Kaput Feral Hog Lures,” is unacceptable, unethical, and is an environmental threat to Texans. We urge the department to repeal this rule immediately. Using Warfarin to poison feral hogs endangers Texas wildlife, people, livestock, and pets. According to product data and usage instructions:  “Warfarin has been clearly established as a human teratogen, as it causes birth defects in the offspring of women receiving clinical doses of the compound during any trimester of pregnancy.” Certain questions about the toxicity of warfarin to fish remain. No study has been performed to show that Warfarin will not adversely affect endangered or threatened species. According to the usage instructions: “This product may be toxic to fish, birds and other wildlife. Dogs and other predatory and scavenging mammals and birds might be poisoned if they feed upon animals that have eaten the bait.” Placing Warfarin in the proposed baiting locations threatens our environment. The proposed application sites are in or near probable resting areas for hogs, including brush along streams, but according to the manufacturer: “Do not apply this product directly to water, to areas where surface water is present or to intertidal areas below the mean high-water mark. Do not contaminate water when disposing of equipment wash waters.” Using Warfarin to poison feral hogs or any intelligent animal is inhumane.  Warfarin is not a fast-acting poison. A pig will show signs of illness within a few days and will suffer from the effects for 7-9 days. During that time the animal will endure extensive internal and external bleeding and pain. Commissioner Miller claimed warfarin has been used in Australia without ill effects, however, that country has banned the use of the warfarin to reduce the feral hog population because it is inhumane. The Australian Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Center determined  that poison is the least humane method of controlling feral hog populations,  even when compared to hunting the hogs from helicopters.   This Administrative rule is against the Texas Constitution. As a “right to hunt” state, the Texas Constitution clearly states that hunting is the preferred method of managing and controlling wildlife.  Texas hunters are strongly against this rule as well. Texas Department of Agriculture and Commissioner Sid Miller have overstepped the bounds of their authority and misused the “emergency action” mechanism to approve an administrative rule that is not supported by the people of the State of Texas; this action is not approved by animal rights advocates, environmental protection advocates, or Texas hunters. We demand that this rule be immediately and unequivocally repealed before permanent damage is caused!

Dan Illescas
2,143 supporters
Require all MLTS/PBX Phones Dial 911 Easily: Help Enact Kari's Law

This petition, led by Kari’s grandfather, has caused an outpouring of concerned constituents in east Texas. My role, as a servant of east Texans, is to listen to the cries and concerns of the people and do what I can about them. When faced with a terribly traumatic event, neither children nor adults normally think ‘what do I dial to get an outside line?’ They think '911'. So it is necessary that we work with all the impacted stakeholders to find a solution which allows guests or employees in trouble to dial 911 and immediately reach an emergency dispatcher. Because of the critical importance of the desperate being able to reach someone who can send the needed help, I will continue to work to find a solution so a tragedy like this will not happen again.

4 years ago