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Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!

Jenifer Bass
33,367 supporters
Petitioning Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senate, Delaware State House, Delaware State Senate, John Carney, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Massachusetts State House, Michael Capuano, Jim McGovern, Niki Tsongas...

Adverse effect of GOP tax bill on Graduate students in the US

Graduate students in the US are already living at the survival line. They are working hard to push forward the frontiers of science in all directions and trying to make a better tomorrow than today. Their disposable income is barely reaches 20k per year ( stipend for being TA or RA) and this money goes all to their consumption needs with almost nothing left to save. The new GOP tax bill is going to make the tuition waiver taxable which is estimated to cost each graduate student about $2000 a year and this will push most of the graduate students even lower the survival level. As a result, they should cut down their daily expenses to get along with the new budget and this means they will buy and consume less necessary stuff. On the other side, local businesses will suffer as well because students will spend less money in local restaurants, bars, games and etc. In all, this bill is going to put more financial pressure on graduate students and also hurt local businesses across the US. Please sign and share this petition to support all graduate students in the US and also opposing this unfair tax bill.

Kaveh Dlv
18,029 supporters
Petitioning Minnesota State House, Minnesota State Senate, Connecticut State Senate, Connecticut State House, Illinois State House, Illinois State Senate, Maine State House, Maine State Senate

Abolish the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault

The historic trial of Bill Cosby for his acts of sexual violence took place this month. While more than 60 women have spoken out against him, Cosby only faced trial for the criminal violence he committed against a single woman. The law that exists preventing many survivors from prosecuting Cosby for the crimes perpetrated against them is a law that still exists in 30 states including Maine, Illinois, Connecticut, and Minnesota. Cosby survivor and artist Lili Bernard shares her story: "In the early 1990s, Bill Cosby mentored me as I prepared for my guest-starring role on The Cosby Show. After he had won my complete trust and adoration, he drugged me and raped me. When I told him that I would report him to the police, he threatened serious consequences to my life. In 1992, during our last contact, he said to me, “As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead. Do you hear me? You’re dead, Bernard. You don’t exist.” I interpreted that as a death threat and feared for my life. In the spring of 2015, empowered by dozens of brave women who publicly disclosed the abuse they suffered at the hands of Bill Cosby, I finally shed the fear and filed a police report against him in the state of New Jersey, in which an assault occurred. However, despite the evidence I saved and the witnesses willing to testify on my behalf, Cosby could not be considered for prosecution because the assault occurred a few months outside of the statute of limitations." Statutes of limitations on rape and sexual assaults are a predator’s best friend and a victim’s worst nightmare. An overwhelming amount of sexual violence -- an estimated 63% -- goes unreported and a pervasive rape culture is responsible. As we work to reduce the impact of social silencing mechanisms, we must dually eliminate laws that bar many sexual assault survivors from seeking the justice they deserve. The election to the highest office in our country of Donald J. Trump - a known sexual predator - cast a great shadow over justice for survivors of sexual assault. It is incumbent upon us all, now more than ever, to take real action to show our country’s most vulnerable that we stand with them. In September 2016, California became the 20th state to abolish the timeline for reporting rape and sexual assault. The bill - which does not change the burden of evidence required to press charges - passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously before being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Senator Connie Leyva, who filed the bill, said that it "shows victims and survivors that California stands behind them, that we see rape as a serious crime, that victims can come forward and that justice now has no time limit.” Senator Leyva was recently recognized by the California Women’s Law Center for her work on the legislation. Elected Representatives - if there is one thing you could do to push back against the rape culture further enabled by the current White House administration, it would be to ensure that justice is served in your state. Abolish the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault in your state, and ensure that every survivor has a chance at justice in our legal system.  Justice knows no time limit. 

End Rape Statute of Limitations
9,588 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States

Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!

When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:

Dominick Evans
6,859 supporters
Petitioning Alabama State House, Alaska State House, Arizona State House, Arkansas State House, California State House, Colorado State House, Hawaii State House, Idaho State House, Illinois State House, Indian...

Save Lives: Require Spinal Muscular Atrophy Newborn Screening

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month. Please join our efforts to require SMA newborn screening, and help end the deadly effects of SMA.  About SMA: •  SMA is the number one genetic killer of babies and children under the age of two.•  SMA is a motor neuron disease like ALS.•  SMA robs the ability to move, swallow, and eventually breathe. •  One in 40 unknowingly carries the gene responsible for SMA.•  When two carriers have a baby, there is a 25% chance the baby will have SMA, a 50% chance the baby will be a carrier, and a 25% chance the baby will be unaffected.•  One in 10,000 babies is born with SMA.  The FDA approved Spinraza as the first treatment for SMA on December 23, 2016. However, newborns continue to go untreated when they would receive the most benefit, as no states are performing SMA newborn screening. Newly diagnosed Type 1 SMA babies treated with Spinraza didn't lose their ability to move, swallow, and breathe, but instead gained strength. Some even crawled and took steps — steps away from the deadly effects of SMA. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks never lost abilities to SMA, and developed as average babies do. They crawl, eat, stand, and walk. Only newborns with older SMA siblings have been treated this way, as their parents knew to screen for SMA. Every newborn needs to be screened for SMA, so babies born with SMA can develop just as babies without SMA do.  For this to happen, SMA needs to be added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), states need to require SMA newborn screening, and funding needs to be provided for SMA newborn screening. The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Committee) is scheduled to vote to add SMA to the RUSP at its February, 2018 meeting. Once the Committee votes favorably to add SMA to the RUSP, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will add SMA to the RUSP. This is an important step, as many states look to the RUSP when adding new conditions to screen for. This petition will be delivered to both the Committee, and the Secretary of HHS. States also need to require newborn screening, as the RUSP is only a recommendation, it does not mandate states to test for conditions. We will continue to pursue SMA newborn screening in every state, and this petition will help our efforts. Missouri is the only state to enact newborn screening legislation, and will begin screening for SMA in January of 2019. Federal and state funds are also needed to begin and continue SMA newborn screening. This petition will help us as we advocate for funding with the appropriate federal and state congressional members. Act Now: With an FDA-approved treatment, it is urgent we secure SMA newborn screening. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks will have the best chance at progressing as they would without SMA. Every baby born with SMA should be afforded this life-saving treatment. Please sign our petition urging Committee to vote to add SMA to the RUSP, urging states to require SMA newborn screening, and urging federal and state congressional members to provide funding for SMA newborn screening.   

Hunter Has Hope
2,107 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President of the United States, United States Supreme Court, James Clyburn, Mike Thompson, Alabama State House, Alabama State Senate, Alaska State Senate...

Ban Assault Rifles in the US

Note: This petition is supporting an improved version of the original federal Assault Weapons Ban. Now, when gun violence is running rampant in our country, when 96 innocent Americans are fatally shot every day, when countless citizens are forced to live their lives in fear - we know that it is not the time to stay silent, it is the time to act. The deadliest shootings in US history were all committed using an AR-15. Just imagine the countless innocent lives that would have been saved ... and now will be once this ban is enacted. During the original ban on these weapons beginning in 1994, school shooting victims were reduced by 54.4%, and the number of overall mass shootings decreased sharply. When the ban expired, however, the number of mass shootings in the US nearly tripled. With an improved version of this ban, it is only obvious that even more lives will be saved. These weapons cause immense tissue destruction, when compared to other guns, and easily pulverize multiple large organs on impact with only a single bullet. In fact, Ernest Moore, an award-winning trauma surgeon and avid hunter for over 40 years stated that these rifles were, "designed to deliver fatal wounds to multiple individuals within a short time period; having no other purpose." The only possible argument for keeping these weapons would be the constitutionality of the issue, however, this argument is fictitious, as they are not actually protected by the second amendment. With the power of jurisdiction, federal courts have ruled four times that bans on assault weapons were constitutional. In fact, no federal appeals court has ever ruled that assault weapons were protected by the second amendment. This clearly depicts how a ban on assault weapons would not infringe on anyone's rights.  Now, we as a country must make a choice. We can choose a safer future for our children, a future where we have the right to feel secure in our schools and communities, and a future where dozens of innocents are not slaughtered daily. Or, we can choose to do nothing. We can choose to sit back and watch our children shot down, and mass shootings become only more pervasive. But I have faith in our country's people. I believe that we, the citizens of the United States, will make the right choice, the choice for survival. I believe that we will stand together and against all odds, prevail. With this in mind, I strongly urge you to stand with us, to stand on the right side of history and to support this petition to prohibit assault rifles in our country. Sincerely, a student concerned about our nation's future,Lela Tolajian

Lela Tolajian
1,201 supporters
Petitioning Maine State Senate


Temperatures are normally in the 20's and yet here in Corinth, Maine there are 2 remaining of 3 emaciated/dehydrated dogs tied up in a shed, insulated with only some hay. These dogs were found by a friend of the owner after dropping off a trailor at the residence, he went out back to visit the pups just to find a shed of starving and cold dogs, ONE OF THREE WAS ALREADY DEAD AND HAD BEEN DEAD FOR AWHILE. The owners admitted that one dog had been sick, and needed extra food and care, which they did not provide. They let their sick dog die by "natural causes because its cheaper than the vet" and "so what if we do things differently than you guys", so the owners daughter said. There is so much wrong in this case, they truly think they are caring for these dogs, and we really need the attention of the country. With no foot paths in the snow, it's evident that these dogs were left alone for days without food or water in the harsh Maine winter weather. The family members have defended that they feed the dogs a mere 2 cups a day, NOT NEARLY ENOUGH, especially considering they live outside and need more meat on their bones to help them stay warm. Their water would freeze in these temperatures, and their bodies cannot stay warm. These dogs are being severely neglected,being forced to live outside in the cold, hungry and alone. The family claims the hounds are "TOO BIG TO BE INSIDE dogs" and have admitted that they "cannot bring them inside" due to space limitations.**Animal control has made a visit out there and made requirements for improvement to be met by this sunday, but this case needs to be addressed and charged to the fullest extent possible. It is a Class D crime to let your animal go without proper shelter, medical attention, and food in Maine... This family did ALL of those things, and are being given another chance for the other 2 dogs. These dogs deserve a chance to live healthy, happy.. indoors, with full bellies! Please, call 207-947-7382 and make a claim, ( be calm, be respectful, we need results!) then ask to be directed to Animal control officer Noel Sirabella, he has 6 dogs himself and should be doing something about this! Stress that we cant let this happen. Justice must be served. Please help us!Again, The owners name is David Hallett. 3 hound dogs, 1 dead, 2 in desperate need. A case is started already, if everyone joins together we can save these dogs and maybe teach these people a real lesson on how to care for animals.

ashley eddy
1,116 supporters
Petitioning The ME State Senate

Stop Maine Legislation That Will Make it Harder to Rent With Pets

Americans love their pets. Unfortunately, it's often difficult to find landlords that allow tenants to have dogs or cats. ME HP 62/ LD 74 is pending in the Maine legislature. This bill would shift the burden of liability for a pet from the tenant to the landlord AND the tenant. The bill provides: "A tenant and that tenant's landlord are jointly and severally liable for damages caused to a 3rd party by that tenant's pet."  In essence, this ill-concieved measure would discourage any landlord from renting to people with pets because their own liability would be too high. People who can't afford their own home shouldn't be discouraged from caring for a dog or cat. If ME HP 62/LD 74 passes, many pets will be abandoned in shelters. Please sign the petition to stop this inhumane measure.

Ledy VanKavage
941 supporters
Petitioning Maine State House

Ban the Sale and Production of Products containing Plastic Microbeads in the State of Maine

Plastic microbeads are tiny bits of abrasive plastic that are used in many toothpastes, soaps, and cosmetics. These microbeads may not seem like an environmental threat, but they have a substantially negative impact. Because of their small size, most microbeads are not filtered out by water treatment plants. The microbeads then end up in oceans and other bodies of water, rapidly accumulating and posing more of a problem than many environmentalists originally thought.  Microbeads are the same size as many types of fish eggs (less than 5 millimeters in diameter) which means they look exactly like the food that most fish, crustaceans and other organisms eat. When fish eat plastic they absorb toxins, which can then be passed through the food chain to humans and other wildlife. One of Maine's largest financial assets is its fisheries, which makes it crucial that they are protected, not to mention the millions of animals that are important to a healthy ecosystem and a healthy planet. I have started this petition in order to urge the state of Maine to take action against these harmful plastic pollutants by banning cosmetics containing microbeads. Please sign this petition if you would like to see Maine take a step towards being more environmentally conscientious, and if you'd like to keep more plastic out of the oceans and waterways.

Willow Razsa
901 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Governors, Florida State Senate, Texas State Senate, Pennsylvania State Senate, Ohio State Senate, Ohio State House, Florida State House, Texas State House, Pennsylvania State House, North Car...

Replace the Electoral College with a National Popular Vote

It is fundamental to democracy: the candidate with the most votes wins. Yet twice since 2000, the candidate with the most votes for President has lost. The good news is that we can make 2016 the last election in which the popular vote loser wins the presidency – and we can do it without amending the Constitution.   We can replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote through the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Under the Compact, states agree to cast their electoral votes for the national popular vote winner - instead of the winner of their state. Once states with a total of 270 electoral votes approve, the Compact becomes effective. Through the National Popular Vote Compact, the United States can elect a President by popular vote as early as 2020. This is not a pipe dream – states with a combined 165 electoral votes have already enacted it. But in order for the Compact to take effect, and a truly national election to take place, additional states with a combined 105 electoral votes must sign on.   If you live in one of the 40 states that have not yet joined, tell your state legislators and governor that you support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. 

One Nation One Vote
311 supporters
Stop State Budget Cuts to Scarborough Schools!

In response to this petition, please take a moment to read the comments that I have submitted to the Scarborough Board of Education (BOE) and the town council. It has been communicated to me that the Finance Chairs of the BOE and town council acted of their own accord to initiate this petition and did not recieve direct approval from either the BOE or town council to file this petition. Thank you for interest and for taking the time to learn more by reading this information. If you would like to review the documents that I reference, please email me at and I will forward them to you. Regards, Heather Dear Members of the Scarborough Board of Education and Town Council: It has come to my attention that a petition sponsored by the Chairs of the Finance Committees is being circulated via “” regarding the state school subsidy. I welcome engaging with constituents from my House District in open and respectful dialogue. It is always beneficial to listen and learn what others are thinking. I admit, however, that I found the decision to petition me in this manner to be rather curious. Did elected town officials from both the BOE and the town council discuss the idea of engaging me in this manner at open board meetings? Additionally, I was dismayed to receive this e-mail message, “Why are you blocking the Appropriations Committee work on expanding funding for public schools?” As one of the thirteen members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and serving in the minority in the House, I do not have the power to “block” the school subsidy. While I certainly may express my opinion, I do not have sole authority to take funding from one vital program and shift it to another. And while I do serve on the budget committee, I have never served on the education committee. We must abide by the formula as it is set in statute. The state subsidy formula has been developed over time in the legislature, but it is not set in stone. If you have suggestions for re-adjusting the formula, legislation may be introduced at a later time. It may help you to have a frame of reference. In ten years, 2003 to 2013, the state has had a 12% drop in the student enrollment, while at the same time the cost has increased by 31%. During this time period the state contribution has increased 17% over the rate of inflation while the local share on average has only risen .001%. Gov. LePage has consistently included increased funding for education in his budgets, and this year’s budget is no exception. The total cost of PK- 20 education is $2.2 billion, and the state share is $964 million. I recommend that you read the attached documents. The preliminary numbers show that communities with stronger economies will receive a smaller subsidy. Scarborough, compared to the rest of the state, is a vibrant coastal community, thus we are losing an estimated $1.1 million state aid, while other struggling rural communities may see a significant bump in aid. During the appropriation process, there will be an effort to trim funding from other vitally important programs to increase money for the EPS formula. Even with increased appropriations from the state budget, it is important for you to understand that Scarborough is considered a “low receiver” and would only benefit minimally due to the existing formula while communities with a higher student headcount, higher debt levels, and/or lower property valuations would see more of an increase. The general perception regarding school funding for Scarborough and other coastal communities seems to be one of unfairness, and Scarborough taxpayers do pay more into the system via taxation and economic activity than we receive back in subsidy. That is how socializing the cost of education works. As Sen. Rebecca Millett, former chair of Education Committee, explained several months ago to the Scarborough Board of Education, the current funding formula has been deemed “good” by independent experts in the field that evaluated Maine’s formula as compared to other formulas across the country. (Source: PICUS Report) A flat, per student rate, has been proposed, which would help Scarborough and many view as fairer, but those proposals predictably fail in the committee process. Several things affect the amount of state aid that school districts receive including student head count, property values, and debt. Head count: Scarborough, like the rest of the state, has been experiencing a declining student population since the 1970’s. Last year our town’s student headcount decreased by dozens. Fewer students results in less state aid. Since 2011, statewide student enrollment has dropped by more than 8,000 students, and since the 1970’s the count has dropped from about 250,000 to less than 185,000. We have been an aging state for quite some time, indeed we have the dubious distinction of being the “grayest “state in the nation, and more recently we entered into a negative population growth rate. Property Valuation: Scarborough also has strong coastal property valuations and a vibrant economy. Relative to the rest of the state, this increased value also decreases our aid. Debt: Furthermore, Scarborough’s Middle School loan associated with the state will be paid off this year. This decreased debt service also decreases our aid. While it is true that we still have outstanding loans for the previous $28 million high school renovation and the new $38 million intermediate school, I was informed those are local decisions, thus they are not factored into the subsidy formula. The complex state subsidy formula was tweaked in 2011 to distribute more of the “pie” to Maine’s poor, rural communities, and it is true that this change hurt Scarborough. The struggling areas of the state are dependent on the money from towns like Scarborough. Sensitive to how this would affect Scarborough, I voted against it, but I was in the minority. While our fledgling economy is gaining strength, tremendous fiscal strain has been placed upon our state. It is difficult to keep pace with our growing “demographic winter,” constrained federal funds, and the expectations of those who have been promised funding from the state’s limited resources. I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards, Heather Heather W. Sirocki State Representative District 28 - Serving part of Scarborough

— Heather W. Sirocki, State Representative
3 years ago