Keep the teacher's tax deduction in our federal taxes
Imagine you are at work and realize that you are in need of something very important to your success at this job. You go through the proper channels to acquire this item but at every turn are told that this essential item is not truly essential to the job. Some might say, well just get it yourself and move on. Well imagine again that this happens with EVERY item that you need. This is the life of some teachers in this country especially in the most needy of districts. These districts are also the ones with the highest achievement gap. Parents can only provide so much for their children. For some it is a matter of buying clothing or buying the books, notebooks, pencils, markers etc. Clothing is a bit more important. Imagine even further that the situation is choosing between clothing and housing. School supplies do not even enter into their consciousness. Teachers provide for these students because we set our students up to succeed in life. The kids are not the ones that have put their families into these situations. They are just collateral damage. The $250 that teachers can get back via taxes yearly only chips away at the mountain we spend out of our own pockets. Every little bit back helps us to provide the best possible education for the future of our country. By doing away with this help, it impacts those who are the most vulnerable in our country, the children. Please help to make sure that our future has an actual future.
Justice for Officer Gannon and Officer Nero
The judicial system in this state needs an overhaul. Our police officers are out putting their lives on the line daily for the safety of the people of the Commonwealth and their hard work is for not when career criminals are allowed to walk free from a courthouse. How many known violent criminals are walking freely in public awaiting their next court date instead of sitting in a cell where they belong? 1 is too many. Officer Sean Gannon is the perfect example of why. On April 12,2018, while serving a warrant with his K9 partner Nero, he was shot and killed by Tom Latanowich, 29, of Somerville. A man with 125 prior convictions and current pending criminal charges and on probation. He had a known violent history and yet he was allowed to freely walk the street. Had he been where he belonged, jail, Officer Gannon would be here today. Instead, a great, young police officer is gone needlessly and his young wife is a widow. His family has lost a key member, Nero has lost his best friend and his department has lost a brother. The judges need to be held accountable for these decisions. We are prosecuting drug dealers in some cities and towns on manslaughter charges and sentencing them to jail, we send drunk drivers to jail after minimal numbers of offenses but we let a man with 125 convictions walk freely amongst us. We the people of Massachusetts want our justice system fixed. it’s time we are allowed to feel safe and it is beyond the time for our police officers to have their hard work followed through on the final end—jail for offenders. Hold the judicial system responsible for these career criminals walking freely amongst us. FIX THE SYSTEM! Save our police officers, DO YOUR JOBS!
Remove sub-Asian boxes on Census Form 2020! Stop racist anti-Asian anti-immigrant legacy!
Dear fellow Americans for justice, brothers and sisters against racism, The glaringly racist legacy of sub-Asian boxes on the Census form was started in 1870, after the Burlingame Treaty of 1868, which eventually led to the infamous, racist, and inhumane Chinese Exclusion Act spanning from 1882 to 1943, which among other terrible abominations, banned U.S. residents of Chinese descent from having children or getting married; their family members in Asia were forbidden from entry to U.S. and reuniting as families. The Census form has no "Asian/Asian American" category. In its place are a group of boxes signifying foreign nationalities in Asia as if Asian Americans were all “perpetual foreigners.” It intrusively identified and collected data on which U.S. residents were of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese...descent. While the Chinese Exclusion Act ended in 1943, did these racist, humiliating, dehumanizing sub-Asian boxes get removed from the Census form? No, they were kept on the Census form by the U.S. government even until today, and if we don't fight back and boycott the Census form with sub-Asian boxes, it will stay on the 2020 Census form and beyond, prolonging a racist American legacy, a shame to all Americans. This legacy treats Americans of Asian descent as perpetual foreigners, and collects intrusive personal ancestral origin data used in many kinds of racial discrimination and persecution. In one example, the U.S. government used information from the Census Bureau to identify native born Americans of Japanese descent and sent them to Internment Camps during the World War II. There were also discriminatory laws against Americans of various Asian descent, such as Filipino. Such horrendous trampling of humanity will happen again unless you and I act now to boycott a 2020 Census form with sub-Asian boxes. We demand these sub-Asian boxes be removed and replaced with one description--"Asian/Asian American." Injustice to one human being is injustice to all human kind. If we don't stop this racist and anti-immigrant legacy, its “logic” and mentality will be repeated in current and future policy-making. Let's keep fighting against racism and improve the human condition step by step. Please join the good fight to make this historically significant change happen for now and forever, by signing this petition and sharing it on social media and by email, word of mouth. Power to the people! Fighting on, Americans against racism and anti-Asian anti-immigrant legacy
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.
Bill Summary This bill will require the creation and installment of a new student reporting system that will be accessed by all agencies that deal with children, create an educational seminar on child abuse incorporated into their early education curriculum and up through high school, add additional changes to the way Child Protective Services operates, and restrict records for deceased children from being redacted Background We have heard many stories of child abuse and neglect as a nationwide, systemic problem, citing case overloads as part of a bigger issue. According to the 26th Child Maltreatment Report created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1575 child fatalities reported in 2011; 1619 child fatalities reported in 2012; 1551 child fatalities reported in 2013; 1583 child fatalities reported in 2014; and 1585 child fatalities reported in 2015, nationwide. In 2015, nationwide, 78.61% of those children were all school age or otherwise, < 2 years old. On May 22, 2013, Gabriel Fernandez, DOB February 20, 2005, received emergency response services due to full arrest as a result of approximately 8 months of child abuse and neglect at the hands of Pearl Sinthia Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre. Over the course of 8 months, over 50 reports were phoned into social workers to report abuse that went undocumented and unfounded, along with phone calls made to sheriff’s deputies, in regards to Gabriel. In particular, Gabriel’s teacher, Jennifer Garcia, made numerous phone calls to the social worker on his case, citing his injuries. Gabriel succumbed to his injuries on May 24, 2013, in what we know now as one of the worst cases of child abuse known to the United States of America. On November 15, 2017, Isauro Aguirre was found guilty of 1st-degree murder with special circumstances of torture. A trial for Gabriel’s mother, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, and the four social workers involved with Gabriel’s case are still pending. When looking into other child abuse fatalities, it was found that the Department of Child and Family Services began redacting all of their records to prevent the community from researching cases. Transparency is vital to instill confidence in the agencies entrusted to protect children. According to “The economic burden of child maltreatment in the Unites States and implications for prevention” (Child Abuse and Neglect. The International Journal. Fang, Brown, Florence, Mercy 2012), cited by the Center of Disease Control, “The estimated average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child maltreatment is $210,012 in 2010 dollars, including $32,648 in childhood health care costs; $10,530 in adult medical costs; $144,360 in productivity losses; $7,728 in child welfare costs; $6,747 in criminal justice costs; and $7,999 in special education costs. The estimated average lifetime cost per death is $1,272,900, including $14,100 in medical costs and $1,258,800 in productivity losses. The total lifetime economic burden resulting from new cases of fatal and nonfatal child maltreatment in the United States in 2008 is approximately $124 billion. In sensitivity analysis, the total burden is estimated to be as large as $585 billion. Findings concluded that the cost of living children who suffered maltreatment, in 2008, estimated a lifetime amount of approximately $210,012, while those whose maltreatment resulted in fatality cost an estimated lifetime amount of approximately $1.3 million. Problem There is a systematic failure in communication with regards to the safety and welfare of at-risk children who depend on adults to protect them. Had there been a system in place to allow for all agencies to effectively communicate with one another, and track all reports and documents, in regards to any reported child abuse, that may have helped save Gabriel’s life. Children depend on adults for protection and safeguarding. We are in an era of technology where we have need to improve, exponentially, our ability and duties to safeguard children. Records for child abuse fatalities should be unsealed and social workers who have repeat fatalities need to be investigated and retrained. Solution I. A nationwide system needs to be installed, in all schools, child welfare agencies, law enforcement agencies, doctor’s offices, and district attorney’s office, that help mandated reporters create electronic SCAR (Suspected Child Abuse Report), allow the agencies to track reports and status of child abuse. a. The system shall have an alert for law enforcement and social worker of any extended absence that doesn’t have any parent contact/medical documentation over a 2-day period/as reported by the attending school. b. The system shall have an alert for law enforcement and assigned social workers and their supervisors of any non-enrollment of children within a 2-day period. c. The system shall have an alert for CPS supervisors for a daily review of any child that has repeated reports. d. In conjunction with each agency, especially if a school alert comes in, an immediate action plan is put in place to ensure the safety of the child. e. Doctor’s may flag any injury as possible child abuse which will create an electronic SCAR. f. District Attorney’s office will have the ability to create customizable reports and alerts based on criteria needed to help with cases and decisions made in regards to court cases and as needed. II. A child abuse curriculum needs to be created and implemented starting at early education and moving up through high school. This curriculum needs to be implemented into the foster system and the juvenile hall system as well. The curriculum should include a discussion on all forms of abuse, from sexual harassment/sexual assault to all types of child abuse that can occur within the home. III. Specific changes need to be made within the Child Protective Services to ensure adequate and complete recording. a. Assign nurses to social workers for house visits and documentation of any abuse to any child. b. Social workers assigned to Child Protective Services need to be able to handle the caseloads and demonstrate effective investigative and communicative skills. The requirement is 40 hours of in-service training to advance from CSW II to CSW III. c. If a worker cannot perform their tasks effectively, there needs to be immediate consequences or corrective discipline to ensure the safety of children in their care. d. Supervisor technique training needs to be provided to all current and future supervisors, to help ensure supervisory skills. Additionally, they need to also have all the knowledge of working as a Child Protective Services social worker prior to being a supervisor for that department. e. Computer systems must be well maintained and updated on a 5-year basis, to the most current technology, to keep up with efficiency. f. Any fatalities under a social worker must be thoroughly investigated and the worker must be removed from the Child Protective Services department until uptraining is completed and they can prove themselves capable of the position. g. Mandatory recorded interviews with social worker, nurse, and interviewee. IV. Law Enforcement needs to be accountable and understand that child abuse claims are not only important but need to be documented. a. Any type of child abuse needs to be reported, via the new system, which will generate a SCAR b. Any call to a scene should include an address lookup to see if there are children residing at the residence and if there are any child abuse reports made, to make sure they have a well-rounded understanding of what they are walking into. c. The alert for suspected child abuse reports should be reviewed by Special Victims Unit, or a specific unit, to ensure that follow up. V. Educational institutes should have the ability to have access to the system and file reports based on extended absences, tardiness or signs of abuse. a. Teachers should be able to file a SCAR from their desk in their classroom b. An alert from school should immediately trigger with Law Enforcement and Child Protective Services. VI. Doctor’s office will be able to flag and note a child’s record in ways that will flag agencies depending on the situation. a. Extended absences will be flagged to go directly to school’s attendance office and immediately alert school of extended absence. b. The doctor can flag any abnormalities that appear to be child abuse that will create a SCAR to alert Child Protective Services of injuries and suspicions. VII. All documents pertaining to a deceased child shall be made available, via an amendment to privacy laws, with all redaction markings removed. VIII. Increase Statute of Limitations for felony child abuse should be increased from 3 years to 6 years. In Many cases, children are not aware that they are victims to begin with. Often, it is not a single event, but consecutive instances over a span of time which requires that the statute be extended to the point where the victim first files a report of abuse. IX. Failure to Report Child Abuse should be changed from a straight misdemeanor to a “wobbler” with a 3 or 6-year statute of limitations. Negligence to report abuse is not an acceptable excuse to prevent a child from obtaining criminal action. Purposefully declining or avoiding to file a report of abuse should be met with the more severe penalty. X. Children who are in a coma or dying in manners consistent with murder or suspected foul play must undergo autopsy once deceased. XI. Mandatory Child Abuse Education classes for all new welfare applicants. XII. Adults living in a household, and witnesses to abuse of any minors within that household, who fail to report or try to prevent abuse to minors shall be charged as follows: a. Non-fatal injury to child - Accomplice to Child Abuse – min. 1-year b. Child Abuse resulting in fatal injury – Accomplice to Child Abuse resulting in Fatality – min 10 year.
To open and maintain more public ATV/Dirtbike Trails in MA
As of right now I am up to $750 in fines for simply riding an ATV on public town land. The areas in which I and other ATV/Dirtbike enthusiasts use are created by ATVs and Dirtbikes to go in and around areas like landfills and powerlines. These are not beautiful places to hike or walk your dog but they suit us just fine. The problem is our State's strict laws on offroad vehicle use. Basically, if you own an ATV in MA the only place you are able to ride is Pittsfield MA, which is practically in another state form where I live. Because of this I and many others head to their local spots. Some are old quarries, sandpits and powerlines. However these are all illegal and I can attest to that. Like I stated before I am up to $750 in fines for simply wanting to have fun and not bother anyone. The state is not doing its part in providing enough safe space for outdoor recreational use for all of its residents. In my town alone there are over 70 acres of protected land that are permissible to be used by foot, bicycle or horseback. Some of this army land looks like it was used for nuclear experiments (no growth in forest and all sand). Yet still these sandy areas, perfect for riding ATVs and dirt bikes, is still illegal. As riders and residents of Massachusetts we need to propose the State to do something about this. Riding ATV's and dirtbikes should not be considered a crime! There is a need to have more legal places to ride! In order to do this people need to register their machines. If everyone in the state registered their machines the state might be persuaded to take action. Massachusetts should also look to change the rules of legal dirt bike only areas to allow both ATVs and dirtbikes; for example Freetown State Forest and the Wrentham Trails. This would at least give ATV riders some other options without traveling 3 hours. Regardless we need to start a conversation with the State!
Change MA law regarding child abuse. Harsher jail sentences and more rights for Children!
Our current laws in Massachusetts to protect innocent children and to get the justice they rightfully deserve is broken. Your attention to this matter is requested. The laws in Massachusetts regarding child abuse are not acceptable. My two year old was physically abused by a "man" named Nathan St. Pierre. This man got out on $1,000 bail! The parents of the abused child (myself and Joshua Renaud) were never notified. I am living in fear of this monster constantly. A protection order means nothing. My daughter deserves to see justice from what this monster did to her. 5 years is nothing! He took her innocence away, caused her PTSD, night terrors and separation anxiety.To top it off the MA law states that the accused has a right to face their accuser. Well the accuser is a 3 year old little girl who was a victim of his malicious violence. If we go to trial she will have to face the monster who abused her. She has to sit and point him out and say what he did to her. No child should have to be victimized again. The MA law as it is right now is victimizing children for a second time. The child should be able to sit in a separate room and see a picture of the man and say that is the man/woman who hurt me. They should not be expected to go on the stand. I am looking for harsher punishments and to help our child not be re-victimized again! I want to make a law called Chloe's Law. Please help our system change. Our children need to know they got justice! #JusticeforChloe.
Reinstate the Death Penalty for Cop Killers in MA
On April 12th, 2018, a 32 year old K9 police officer, Sean Gannon, and his K9, Nero, were both shot, while serving an arrest warrant to a career criminal with 125 prior charges on his record. This promising Yarmouth Police officer's life was cut short when he was fatally shot in the head, forever changing the lives of his loving wife, his family, his friends, his Department, and the tight knit Cape Cod community that he called home. The criminal, Thomas Latanowich, now known only as "125" to the community, has been described “a notorious and violent criminal,” by the Yarmouth Police Department. His adult criminal offender record details his most serious charges that ended with a conviction: Nov. 24, 2014, Fall River District CourtConviction: Misdemeanor; operating under the influence of liquor June 28, 2010, Barnstable District CourtConviction: Felony; carrying a dangerous weapon, a double edge switchblade Feb. 1, 2010, Barnstable Superior CourtConviction: Felony; assault with a dangerous weaponConviction: Felony; witness intimidationConviction: 25 Counts: Felony; Possession of a firearm without a permitConviction: 8 Counts: Felony; Possession of a large capacity weapon/feeding device May 7, 2008, Barnstable District CourtConviction: 2 Counts; Felony; possession of a firearm without a permit He served almost 4 years in prison and was out on probation. In 2016, he was accused of strangling his pregnant girlfriend. In an ironic twist of fate, Sean Gannon responded to the call and testified to seeing the red marks and slashed tires left by "125", but the case was dismissed in the absence of the testimony of the girlfriend. This man was involved just two weeks prior to the killing of officer Gannon, in a car chase with MA State Police, that ended without result, when "125" drove into a residential area and the pursuit was halted for the safety of area residents. "125" has been given opportunity after opportunity and has proven that he is not worthy of redemption. When he's found guilty of this last, most heinous crime, he will become a burden on the State for the remainder of his life. There is no justifiable reason to keep him alive. The State Supreme Judicial court abolished the Death Penalty in MA in 1984, but there is renewed interest in a bill presented by Rep. James Micelli (D-Wilmington) to reinstate the death penalty. MA State Representative, Shaunna O'Connell (R-Taunton) also signed her name to the bill. Governor Charlie Baker stated in 2016 with the death of Auburn Officer Ronald Tarantino, that he would be in favor of the death penalty for cop killers, a sentiment he reiterated recently. Please send a message to our MA State Legislators to reinstate the Death Penalty in Massachusetts for Convicted Killers of Police Officers.
Changing The Legal Status of "Pets" From Personal Property To "Companion Animals"
I have never been a huge fan of petitions but I feel like this 1 needs to really take a stand and fight for what we believe in. I fully stand behind Bill H.2290 presented by 4th Bristol District Representative Steven S. Howitt. This petition will go to every political figure in the state of Massachusetts. From the Governor on down!!! Let our voices be heard!!! Everything on this bill is what animals lovers need!!! From holding animal abusers responsible to protecting the animal rescue organizations. Running a local rescue like I do, a Do Not Adopt List would also be so crucial to making sure these animals are going towards the best forever home possible. Mr. Howitt of Seekonk (by request), a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2290) of Elizabeth Cabraldipippo relative to the penalties for a guardian abusing a domesticated companion animal. The Judiciary. The effort to establish a legally meaningful distinction between pets and living room sofas has recently gained momentum. Draft legislation was just introduced in Massachusetts to change the legal status of dogs and cats from property to companion animals. Presenter:Steven S. Howitt (By Request) Status:Referred to Joint Committee on the Judiciary Bill H.2290For the purposes of this bill a “companion animal” shall be considered a dog, cat or any domesticated animal. Domesticated animal for purposes of this bill shall include birds, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, or any animal sharing a home with a caregiver. Caregivers of “companion animals” shall be considered “guardians”. Guardians of “companion animals” have a duty to protect the health and safety of the animal. A companion animal may not be left outside during extreme weather including extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, or hail or any weather condition which poses an adverse risk to the health and safety of the “companion animal”. Guardians and/or any person who abuses a “companion animal” shall have the animal seized by animal control and shall be punished by: First offense - imprisonment in the house of correction for a period of 6 months, but not longer than 2 ½ years and a $2,500 fine, “companion animal” abusers may not be permitted to obtain another animal. Second offense – imprisonment in the house of correction for a period of 1 year but not longer than 2 ½ years and a $5,000 fine and shall be put on a “do not adopt to” list. This list will be published publicly. the list will be provided to all shelters, rescues, animal controls offices and pet stores. Third offense – imprisonment in the house of correction for a period of 2 ½ years and a $10,000 fine and shall be put on a “do not adopt to” list. This list will be published publicly. the list will be provided to all shelters, rescues, animal controls offices and pet stores.
Send Helicopter Aid to Puerto Rico to save lives NOW!
Supplies getting to Puerto Rico have been bottlenecked. They are sitting in warehouses in Puerto Rico and are not being distributed to the people on the island that are in desperate need. People are living without access to food and water. Because of the Jones act the island is unable to receive aid from anywhere but the USA unless the USA decides to waive this (which as of 9/26 they have not). We also have failing infrastructure throughout the island due to the overwhelming amount of debt we hold and an unyielding attitude to allow us to restructure the debt or have access to bankruptcy court. PROMESA was nothing but broken promises to our people. We have still seen no debt relief in any form since the passing of the bill. We demand respect and dignity as people who have been continuously exploited by the USA despite the immense sacrifices we have made for this country economically and militarily. We demand the following: 1. Suspend the Jones Act just as was done for FL & TX & allow foreign relief vessels into Puerto Rico. EEUU controls air and marine frontiers in Puerto Rico. They need to be open NOW for any and all international help. The Jones Act needs to be waived for hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.2. Send immediate and massive aid to Puerto Rico beginning with helicopters to distribute donations and rescue people in areas that are cut off & including cell towers to aid in communications for residents & relief workers.3. Pass bankruptcy relief legislation & negotiate public debt relief immediately.4. Pass a major reconstruction bill that includes solar energy & other sustainable technology that will save millions in the long run.