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Petitioning Michigan State Senate, Michigan State House, Bryce Feighner, Matt Gamble, Gretchen Whitmer, Liesl Clark, Dana Nessel

Limit Nestle’s Michigan Water Withdrawals

***PLEASE READ UPDATES BELOW FOR LATEST NEWS*** We have chosen to raise awareness of Nestle’s water pumping practices in Michigan and petition the state legislature and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to reject an increase in Nestle’s pumping rates in White Pine Springs, Osceola County, Michigan. Why This Issue Matters  In many countries, including the United States, there is little limitation on the rate at which water can be pumped out of aquifers (underground water reserves).  Water bottling companies have been pumping billions of gallons of water out of aquifers and impacting the watershed and surrounding environment and selling water bottles for 3000 to 5000 times more than they pay for it.  One such pumping site is Nestle’s well field in White Pine Springs, Osceola County, Michigan, which is part of the Muskegon River watershed.   What This Means for Michigan  Nestle runs a plant for its two water bottle brands, Ice Mountain and Pure Life, in Stanwood, Michigan.  The company operates three well fields with a total of seven wells, all within the Muskegon River watershed.  According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Nestle pumped more than 3.4 billion gallons of water from its three Michigan well fields between 2005 and 2015.  In 2015, Nestle was given approval by the MDEQ to pump 250 gallons per minute at White Pine Springs Well in Osceola County.  The company now wants to increase the amount of water it pumps from this well to 400 gallons per minute. Nestle would pay the state of Michigan $200 per year for this increase. According to a test conducted in August 2000 by Malcolm Pirnie Inc., Nestle’s White Pine Springs Well pumps water from an underground aquifer that is connected to the aboveground water system through a permeable layer of Earth, called a leaky aquitard.  Pumping water from the aquifer can drain significant amounts of water from above. This indicates that the wetlands and wildlife above the ground are at high risk of being harmed by Nestle’s pumping.  Residents, like Rhonda Huff, as reported by the MLive newspaper on April 9, 2017, noticed that water levels in Osceola County’s Chippewa Creek, which flows into the Muskegon River watershed, have significantly dropped in recent years, affecting trout populations.   Nestle needs a permit from the MDEQ in order to increase the rate at which it pumps water.  The MDEQ requires the use of a Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool to determine the impact of proposed water withdrawals on fish and wildlife in the area.  Nestle’s proposed water withdrawal increase to 400 gallons per minute failed to pass MDEQ’s Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool. However, the MDEQ can and did overrule the failing grade determined by the Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool. Nestle’s plan to increase the amount of water withdrawn to 400 gallons per minute would undo an agreement with environmentalists reached more than seven years ago for a well field in Sanctuary Springs, which is also part of the Muskegon River watershed.  In 2001, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation sued Nestle over potential damage to the system of lakes, rivers, and streams that its water withdrawal would cause.  An agreement was reached in 2009, limiting the amount of water the company could pump. What You Can Do To Help Please sign our petition!  Help us in reaching our goal of 10,000 signatures to present to the state legislature and the MDEQ. Thank you for taking the time to protect our most precious resource – water.  

Yousef Emara
159,749 supporters
Petitioning Michigan Governor, Michigan State House, Michigan State Senate

Justice for Sterling

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/man-tortures-kills-adopted-dog-leaves-body-under-picnic-table-at-utica-park-police-say   Two year old dog, Sterling was stabbed to death and left to die by Alexander Gerth - who is now being charged.  We, citizens of Michigan, realize this may/may not have occurred in your district; however it is reflective of a state-wide issue.  We are contacting you because one life lost, one life abused is too many. We are reaching out to you, my representative, to amend THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT) Act 328 of 1931, SECTION 750.50b. We are pushing for an amendment that creates an animal cruelty registry (the Sterling Amendment). This registry would create a state level database of those have been charged and sentenced with a crime as outlined in the law above, and the amended portion that goes into affect March 2019. According to the Michigan State Police, reports of animal cruelty is on the rise. According to Michigan State Police Quality Assurance report, animal cruelty rose 575% statewide between 2016-2017. This is an issue that must be addressed and considered a priority. The lives of animals should not be considered partisan, while funding may be issue in state government, I would again remind your colleagues that a 575% increase in this crime makes aggressively addressing animal cruelty a high priority for 2019. Animals do not have a voice; it is the job of humans and the state to create a protected life that ensures safety and a place to thrive. An animal that is surrendered and then adopted should be ensured, to the highest degree possible, that it's new home is loving and safe. This was not the case for Sterling. Sterling was adopted through already existing shelter loopholes, he was then stabbed, and left to bleed out and freeze in a park.  We can do better for animals. Michigan can do better for animals. Please propose the Sterling Amendment to create a registry of animal cruelty offenders to ensure the welfare, protection, safety and quality of life for animals. 

L M
65,170 supporters
Petitioning Michigan State House, Judge Mary Ellen Brennan, oakland county courts, Michigan Governor, Michigan

Grace needs to be back at home, she is in Juvenile Detention for not doing homework

Per acticle from Propublica  Grace a 15 year old girl was sent to a juvenile facility for not doing online homework. I understand holding kids accountable, but this was an overreach. The judge should have found a different method for her to be at home. We have a pandemic going on and the best place for this child to be is with her mother. Being in the facility for a minor reason is not fair to her. It also will make her feel more caged in (as article state she was having cabin fever, due to the pandemic). From the article seems as if she is feeling lonely, depressed, not motivated and an outcast.  During this time with the pandemic we have been releasing adults. But we are going to lock up a child for something minor, when it was a different way to deal with the issue.  Per the article she was doing her work, she also asked for one on one help from the teacher. Her teacher says that she was doing well. She had permission to do her work at her own pace, and the work was supposed to be turned in at end of the semester. The semester was not over, how can she be accused of not doing work, when what she had done the teacher said was fine.. 15% of the county's youth is black, yet 42% of cases that went to Oakland court were black - -and per the article they are less likely to be offered any type of diversion, removed from home and sent to a facility--just as we are seeing in Grace's case. We have to band together as a community for our Black children. If this did not happen to her, it could have been my child or your child. But doing something we are putting them on notice saying, we see what you are doing, it is not right, and we will not stop until it is corrected. They are not even giving our children a chance, they are already sentencing them to the system as a child. We have learn the effects of confinement for adults, why are we doing this to our children? Other ways have to be found to hold children accountable for behavior, besides locking them up. Please sign so we can get her back home to her mother.

Kavalon Gilliam
56,346 supporters
Petitioning Gretchen Whitmer, Donald J. Trump, Gary C. Peters, Debbie Stabenow, Debbie Dingell, Elissa Slotkin, Rashida Tlaib, Justin Amash, Haley M. Stevens, Fred Upton, Andy Levin, Daniel T. Kildee, Jack Ber...

Allow Motorized Boats on Michigan Waterways during COVID-19 Quarantine

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today (4/10/2020) that they are no longer allowing motorized boats on any Michigan waterway during the stay at home order. However, they are allowing kayaks and canoes. Those of us that enjoy the outdoors and only have a motorized boat are now not able to. The original executive order stated that the Michigan government encouraged people to use the state's natural resources and that boating is allowed as long as you are going with someone in your own household. By changing these rules to not allow motorized boats, nothing is being done to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it only limits who can go enjoy Michigan's waterways. In these tough times, some people are having a hard time finding meat in the super markets as well, by keeping the waterways open to all, this will allow people to legally catch food for their families. Lastly, by allowing people to take their boats out, you are in a way helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as people are on their boat away from others in society. By closing these things down, it will cause people to go out in public more and interact with more people as they will become bored in their houses on a nice day.

RYAN BRADWAY
52,158 supporters
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
34,401 supporters
Petitioning Michigan Governor

Create a public registry for those CONVICTED of physical child abuse.

My son Wyatt was a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome when he was just a year old on November 1, 2013. He suffered a fractured skull, a major brain bleed, and bilateral retinal hemorrhages. He spent 7 weeks at Children's Hospital of Michigan and now has a permanent shunt in his brain. Since then he has had multiple tests, another brain surgery, and an eye surgery. He has been in, and is currently still in intense outpatient therapy. The woman who alledgedly abused my son is currently sitting in the Macomb County Jail as we wait to go to trial. This woman was my ex husband's girlfriend. When we were going through our divorce custody hearings, I had asked the judge not to grant my ex any overnights because I had my concerns about his girlfriend. It was all hearsay and of course even after searching her name on the internet, I found nothing to support my suspicions and therefore the judge granted my ex husband several overnights. After this horrific act happened to my son, I learned about her wrap sheet. She was priorly convicted of 3rd degree and 4th degree child abuse. If she was on a list similar to the sex offender list that showed she had been convicted of these prior counts of child abuse, I would have been able to find out and this would have never happened to my son. With as high as divorce rates/break up rates are, you can't always know who your child is around. With this extra source of information, I guarantee many lives would be saved. We need to protect our child, as they are our future. Child abuse will not be tolerated.

Erica Hammel
28,040 supporters
TO change the laws regarding the Auto Insurance policies from No-fault to At-fault policies and demolish the "unlimited" personal payout to the insured involved in accidents.

Thank you for contacting my office through this Change.org petition, “To change the laws regarding the Auto Insurance Policies form No-fault to At-fault policies and demolish the “unlimited” personal payout to the insured involved in accidents”. While there are my many different sides to the no-fault issues that had been portrayed in the media so may believe that by just eliminating the no-fault system and becoming an at-fault system will “cure” high automobile insurance rates in the State of Michigan. That is just untrue. Michigan voted for a no-fault system and then voted again (in or around 1994) to keep that no-fault system. The elimination of lifetime coverage for catastrophic accidents will result in a substantial cost shift to the Medicaid and Medicare systems, thus raising taxes and forcing competition for a very limited pot of funds. The under-funding of treatment for severely injured auto accident victims will result in thousands of jobs lost in the medical care industry. Michigan residents who cannot afford the highest level of coverage created under this legislation could face inadequate medical care or financial ruin if a catastrophic injury results from an auto accident. If those proposing such reforms were serious about reducing auto rates in Michigan, they would look at the MCCA (Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association). MCCA is a private organization that provides for the care of Michigan drivers who are catastrophically injured in an auto accident. It reimburses no-fault auto insurers for all benefits that exceed $500,000, spreading costs among all motorists since every Michigan driver is required by law to carry valid insurance. The association has raised its annual rates from $5.60 to $175 per insured vehicle since 2000 – an increase of 2,489 percent, without having to explain whether these increases are necessary. All the voting members of the board represent big insurance companies. Insurance companies claim that the reforms are needed because the MCCA is not financially stable enough to continue reimbursing for catastrophic claims. Yet financial information regarding the MCCA is not public and these claims are impossible to verify. It has been estimated that the MCCA controls $14.9 billion in assets, yet the insurance industry refuses to support legislation that would require the MCCA be subject to public scrutiny. In March of this year, I introduced bi-partisan legislation to add accountability and transparency to the insurance industry. The bills would: • Make the MCCA Board subject to the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act. This means that decisions must be made at public meetings and documents must be made available upon request. • Add one member representing the public to the MCCA Board and makes the Commissioner of the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) a voting member. • Require that an independent Certified Public Accountant appointed by the Commissioner conduct an annual audit of MCCA and report to OFIR and the House and Senate Insurance Committees. Additionally, the Detroit Caucus has been working on an alternative package that would ACTUALLY help lower insurance rates. Among the topics we are focused on are eliminating file and use, a practice which allows insurance companies to raise rates without any justification; preventing insurers from considering education, credit score and occupation when they are calculating premiums and surcharges (currently under this practice a convicted drunk driver will actually have a lower insurance rate than a person with a perfect driving record and less education); requiring insurers to spend 80% of their premiums on clients or refund the difference, and several other important factors that could result in lower premiums for drivers in Michigan. Every Michigan driver will be affected by the proposed changes to our no fault insurance system. We deserve to know the full picture before making a decision that will have such broad sweeping and potentially negative consequences. I could not support any auto insurance reforms that did not look at every component of auto insurance to truly decrease rates across the board. Thank you again for contacting me regarding issues that are important to you. Believe me as someone who insurers multiple vehicles with three young drivers in my household, and living just miles outside the city of Detroit, I would love to have been able to tackle the issue of high auto insurance rates. Sincerely, Phil Cavanagh State Representative, 10th District

6 years ago
Urgent: Help stop discrimination in Michigan

Thank you for contacting regarding updating the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect Michiganders against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Michigan’s business economy has been involved in a global war for talent for years, looking for the brightest workforce to compete in our 21st century economy regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. This was a topic of conversation amongst business leaders at the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference in May and have been advocating for a change in the state’s civil rights law. Sixty-five percent of residents support making Michigan an equal opportunity state and that percentage goes up even higher among younger residents. Our state’s economic health depends on the ability of Michigan’s cities to be competitive in attracting both job creators and those seeking employment. September 10, 2014, bills were introduced in the House and Senate to amend the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Discrimination in any form is wrong and these bills would provide immediate protections for people. I am in support for updating the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act but there are many different versions and amendments proposed, so I have to see what is presented for a vote. I do appreciate you taking the time to reaching out to me with issues that are important to you. Please keep me in mind if I may be of assistance to you on state issues in the future. Sincerely, Phil Cavanagh State Representative 10th District

6 years ago
Michigan: Strengthen pet store and animal cruelty laws

Thank you for your interest in SB 285 and SB 286 regarding treatment of animals and increase penalties for animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. The current penalties for crimes against animals can fall far short in egregious cases. Michigan law should include enhanced penalties for offenses that involve large numbers of animals, companion animals, intentional abuse, psychological trauma to a pet owner, and repeat offenders, as well as pet shop owners or breeders with multiple violations of the pet shop law. Currently, the most severe penalty for animal neglect or cruelty applies to cases involving 10 or more animals, or two or more prior offenses. Crimes involving the killing or torturing of animals are not distinguished based on whether the animal was someone's pet, or whether the offender intentionally committed the act or intended to cause someone mental distress or to control a person. The bills would factor in these circumstances, and adjust penalties accordingly. Also, Senate Bill 286 would include enhanced sentencing scoring for acts intended to manipulate, or cause psychological injury to, a victim. In cases of domestic abuse and child abuse, abusers may control victims through threats and violence against family pets, which can cause psychological harm to the pet owner. The bills could make it easier for law enforcement to target and isolate individuals, such as murderers, domestic abusers, and other violent offenders, who pose a danger to society. Many studies and reports suggest that animal abusers are likely to commit other violent crimes. Ultimately, by establishing harsher penalties for crimes against animals, the bills could help prevent violent crimes against individuals. These bills were referred to the committee on criminal justice, of which I’m not a member. I am hopeful they will come before the house for a vote. Being a pet owner myself, I am in support of SB 285 and SB 286. We must always look out for our furry friends. Sincerely, Phil Cavanagh

6 years ago
We are demanding Justice For Rock! We are demanding to exercise our right to file a complaint and we are demanding that an unbiased outside investigation be conducted.

Thank you for contacting me through Change.org asking for justice for Rock. I did see the news story on WDIV and my heart went out to Rocks owners, Bianca Alakson and Ryan Showalter. It has grown increasingly common for police officers to use deadly force when dealing with animals. It is an unfortunate that police officers are viewing dogs as a threat first, instead of as a family member of the home they are entering. As the owner of two large breed dogs which are very friendly, but can be perceived as dangerous, I would be distraught if they were a causality of a police officer. As a state representative and dog owner I would support legislation that would provide for: • Improved training to officers about non-lethal options for handling dogs and understanding dog behavior • Use alternative equipment such as catch-poles, nets and batons. • Establish clear departmental procedures with a scale of options to exhaust before discharging a weapon-procedure that reduce or eliminate the automatic shooting of an animal as a response to tense situations. • Provide training at the police academy to new officers on all non-lethal options accessing canine behavior and dealing with pets while on duty. Thank you again for contacting me through Change.org. If there is anything I can be of assistance on regarding state issues please don’t hesitate to contact my office. Sincerely, Phil Cavanagh State Representative 10th District

7 years ago