Decision Maker

Mike Honda

  • CA17
  • Representative

Mike Honda proudly represents California’s 17th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes Silicon Valley, the birthplace of innovation and the national leader in high-tech development.


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Petitioning President of the United States, Wisconsin State Senate, Wisconsin State House, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Mike Honda, Wisconsin Governor, Sean Duffy

Military Rape: change the sex offender requirements and law!!

I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country.  I served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines for over three years.  In that time I was raped and sexually assaulted.  When I decided to report the sexual assault I was led through a maze of questions and excuses and I was even discouraged from reporting the crimes. In the end, instead of getting justice I was ostracized and humiliated. I learned that that offenders are not required to disclose their crimes on their discharge papers, and is not on a background check if they get a Non-Judicial Punishment. Most veterans are honorable men and women who have served our country, but there are some who have committed serious crimes like rape and sexual assault during their service and the military has a responsibility to disclose that information for the sake of the public good. If they are not charged per a Court Martial, the Command does not have to make them register, they do not report to ANYONE that the active duty member has to register, and the crime will NOT always be on their criminal back ground. Most Commands do not turn in the paperwork to the proper Civilians to make sure it's on the background check. When asked why Members who got a Non-Judicial Punishment do not have to disclose on their discharge papers, some of the responses I was given were 1) It will take too long to create a national database or 2) the military is going green and it takes too much paper to add an extra check box to discharge papers, THE COMMAND FORGETS SOMETIMES?? This is part of a larger issue of rape within the military.  Some estimates reveal that more than 1/3 of women in the armed services are raped during their service and of the reported rapes, 55% are males.  If you serve in the US military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member you have an 86.5% chance of keeping the crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding court martial.   Let's get this changed, and make it a requirement that Sex Crimes in the Military should be taken serious, and even if punishment is suspended, or does not go to Court Martial, it should still be on their background for employers and citizens to see while performing a back ground check. And to also include Active Duty Military in our current Database if they were charged per Court Martial (punishment suspended or dropped) Non Judicial Punishment or any form of punishment. If charged one way or another with a sex crime, he/she should also not be allowed to live in Base Housing. Please call (703) 571-3343 and continute to ask WHY they are ignoring our request. Join me in asking the Department of Defense to report criminal history (Military crimes INCLUDING NJP) on their DD214 and request that suspending punishment when being charged with a sex crime not be allowed, Include in Policies and orders that reports MUST be turned into local courthouses to ensure the member registers as a sex offender !!  CONTACT   military.rape12@gmail.com to send stories, ask for help, need to talk, or media inquiries.

Nicole Meserole
373,230 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Mike Honda

Save the Perkins Loan Program

Please note that collection of your street address is strictly for the purpose of notifying your representative of your support for the Save Perkins Now petition. We do not harvest or collect address or other contact information for the purpose of sending unsolicited emails, unsolicited communication, or selling or trading contact lists. STUDENTS, PARENTS, HIGHER EDUCATION ADVOCATES, ADMINISTRATORS AND SUPPORTERS Did the Federal Perkins Loan Program help you afford a college education? Have you worked with or do you know students that have benefited from a Perkins loan?  If so, please help save the Perkins Loan Program by signing our petition today. This proven and longstanding loan program is in jeopardy.  In order for the program to continue beyond the 2016-17 award year, Congress must reauthorize the program or extend the September 30, 2017 sunset date. Perkins Loans provide critical support to students with economic need, offering low-cost loans with flexible repayment terms and generous forgiveness options that are public-service oriented.  In 2013-2014, close to 500,000 students with need were awarded nearly $1.1 billion in Perkins loans, with an average amount of $2,014 awarded per student.  This funding is critical to students who may not qualify for any other financing options, including more costly private loans, and therefore would be unable to complete their education.

Maria Livolsi President of COHEAO
24,055 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Doug LaMalfa, Jared Huffman, John Garamendi, Tom McClintock, Mike Thompson, Doris Matsui, Ami Bera, Paul Cook, Jerry McNerney, Jeff Denham, Mark DeSaulnier, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Lee, Jackie Speier...

Speak up for California Salmon! No to Senate & House Bills 2533 & 2898

We are asking you to take a moment to help us address a critical issue, Water! The current water bills (link to bill 2533 here and bill 2898 here) introduced by Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Valadao in the Senate and House will be up for consideration in Congress before the end of the year. These bills weaken protections for salmon in order to pump more water from the Delta in Northern California for use primarily for big ag in the San Joaquin Valley. Water is a public resource, and therefore should include all constituents. These bills dramatically weaken or completely eliminate consideration of water for the environment, specifically for wild California salmon, which need cold water released at certain times of the year to spawn, rear and migrate to the ocean. They would also promote new taxpayer subsidized and salmon killing dams.   We understand that ag needs water. So do salmon! Sacrificing the environment, salmon and the multi-billion dollar fishing industry to move more water is a dangerous and biased approach. We need a long-term solution for the drought which reflects the needs of all constituents, human as well as wildlife. We know how do to this. More conservation groundwater clean up and management, water recycling and capturing urban stormwater can provide plenty of additional water for cities and agriculture. And restoring habitat and ensuring adequate flows can help restore salmon and the environment.   We are asking for your help, because to risk the health and future viability of wild salmon runs in California due to poor legislation is inexcusable. Speak up for Salmon! 

Farmers, Fishers & Friends of Salmon
11,780 supporters
Petitioning Department of Veterans Affairs, President of the United States, Joni Ernst, Bernie Sanders, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Barbara Boxer, Elizabeth Warren, Mitch McConnell, Charles Schumer, Marco Rubio, Dian...

Expand the post-9/11 caregiver program to all U.S. veterans

 Many of our military veterans have health issues stemming from their service to our country in foreign wars. These issues often require ongoing caregiver assistance. Veterans who served after 9/11 have received the most generous benefits, which has left our other veterans scrounging to cover needed care. Senator Patty Murray’s latest attempt to bridge this disparity, the Military and Veteran Caregiver Improvement Act, has been stuck in Senate committee since 2015. This act is important because so many of the caregiver programs are geared toward post- 9/11 military veterans. Meanwhile, the veterans of our wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and others have been forced to rely on their family and friends for needed care. Many spouses are faced with the tough choice to put their loved ones into a nursing home so they can get a job to help support their family. Others, like my own mother, stay at home to care for their veteran and are forced to scrape and scrounge every single penny to make ends meet. Veterans from all eras have sacrificed to serve and protect our nation. They have seen and experienced things that few of us could even imagine. And many of them have been exposed to weapon materials that are extremely toxic and dangerous -- leaving them with ailments that plague them for the rest of their lives. We have to do more to care for these heroes. If you believe that our veterans are valuable and deserve the resources necessary to ensure a decent quality of life. If you agree, please sign and share this petition to tell Congress to pass the Military and Veteran Caregiver Improvement Act, or a bill similar in wording.

alex wehrspann
2,950 supporters
Closed
Petitioning FOX News, Mazie Hirono, Mike Honda, Doris Matsui, Judy Chu, L. Tammy Duckworth, Grace Meng, Mark Takano, K. Mark Takai

Stand with Asian Americans Against Racism

Here's some context: Link to Youtube = Watters' World Clip From start to finish, Watters bullies Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants with his vitriolic and latent racism while hiding behind movie clips. This is not okay. Ignorance is not funny. Calling it "gentle fun" at the end doesn't change the fact that he waltzed in and belittled an entire community. Picking on the elderly is never okay and neither is continuing to perpetuate harmful and offensive stereotypes under the guise of comedy. Asians are not a comedic trope to be used as entertainment by an ambush journalist who fills half the screen time with movie clips which prevents any sort of intelligible conversations. We demand an apology and implore you to speak out and take action against this commonly accepted racism. I'm not going to bother writing more because it's a waste of my time but here's the clip:  Link to Youtube = Watters' World Clip

K. c.
883 supporters
Petitioning California State Senate, California State House, Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Cook, Melissa Melendez, Maxine Waters, Darrell Issa, Lucille Roybal...

Stop Chemtrails Above SoCal Orange County

Chemical trails have taken over SoCal Orange County's skies. We no longer see clear blue skies or real clouds... When you look up you can see a haze of smog and other pollutants. This needs to stop! Heavy metal ingestion and aerosol pollution has been linked to Alzheimer's, cancer, respiratory problems, adrenal disorders, fetal deformities in pregnant women, allergies and many more illnesses and diseases. This HAS GOT TO STOP!!!! As law abiding tax paying citizens and as humans, it is our natural born right to have access to clean air and water. This is not only polluting our air but it's heavily contaminating our waterways! Please sign this petition to stop the daily poisoning of men, women, and children of Orange County!

Darya Einollahi
692 supporters
Petitioning Mike Thompson, Bill Dodd, California State House, U.S. House of Representatives, California State Senate, U.S. Senate, United States Supreme Court, President of the United States, Jerry Brown, Barb...

PARENTS SHOULD NOT BE DENIED THEIR PARENTAL RIGHTS

What needs to happen and it needs to happen now, is to force CPS to follow the law properly. This may not be a remedy for all the families that have already been harmed, but it does provide a remedy to all families in the future from being victims of the unlawful policy and procedure practices of CPS. CPS is guilty and should be held accountable for denying parents due process, denying parents of their parental rights, denying parents and their children of their constitutional rights, denying children of having the right to familial relations, withholding the information as to how to properly defend themselves in a court of law, discrimination, and premeditated conspiracy to commit a crime. They should be ordered by the court to immediately cease their current use of their unlawful policies and procedures in their departments and to follow the legal policies and procedures that do not infringe on the rights of others and give parents a legal recourse of action in order to defend themselves in a court of law. I've been researching the judicial process and the policies governing the process in order to find what the proper recourse parents have when they have been falsely accused and their children taken by CPS since 2005 and I have finally found the answers I have been looking for. The answers should have been known by multiple departments of the judicial system as well as CPS. One would think that if this information should have been known then it would be a fairly easy thing to find out right? Wrong! It's taken me many years to uncover the information I was looking for that my Public Defender and CPS should have known and informed me of. Parents would have known this information if CPS had included with the petition served to the parents the proper forms for the parent to file a response to the petition with the courts. Oh, but that's right, parents don't get to meet their public defenders till the day of court and here recently the policy is to hand the parents a copy of the petition as they walk into the courtroom instead of mailing it 24 hours prior to the court hearing which is required by law! It's part of the policy to include a response form for the other party to respond to any petition filed with the courts in order for them to be able to defend themselves against false accusations. This is part of the policies and procedures that CPS is ignoring. Now why wouldn't CPS want a parent to be able to file a response with the court to try and defend themselves? Seeing how it is only in the 1st court hearing where the Prima Facie evidence can be disputed, the parent never being informed of the fact that they can file a response to the petition, nor being given the proper documents required to file a Responsive Declaration along with receiving the petition, and not being serviced properly in order to file 9 days before the court hearing, makes it unfair to the parents of the children that CPS is abducting. The balance of justice is not equal, it's one sided. What is even more heart wrenching is the fact that many parents end up having their parental rights terminated because CPS has 18 months to screw with the parents. How many parents get their children back before the 18 month deadline to complete their case plan? CPS accomplishes their task of terminating a parents rights by putting on the pressure and making parents jump through unnecessary hoops all the while knowing the psychological consequences of how a parent may react to such pressure. These parents would still have their children if CPS hadn't stepped into their lives involving themselves and causing them extra add stress and pressure that normally wouldn't be there in the 1st place. The favorite targeted groups of people are: 1) Parents who have had a history of addiction and/or drug related issues. CPS knows that this group seeks chemical solutions to their emotional distress and just because an addict is clean and sober doesn't mean that they can't fall. CPS knows this and plays on that fact. 2) Parents with emotional and behavioral disorder issues. CPS discriminates against this group. Knowing that this group has disability issues, they often don't help a parent find reasonable solutions in being able to parent. Example would be if a parent is dyslexic and can't read. I've seen them use that as a negative against the parent in a report to the court as to why they need to terminate parental rights. A simple solution would be to set up a tutor for the child with the school or a family member who would be willing to read with the child on a daily basis. Problem solved and the parent/child bond doesn't have to be broken.  Foster parents receive a booklet that explains to them: If they have a child in their care that was physically abused, this is the list of possible behaviors to look out for and here is a list of different ways one might try to respond to each behavior on that list. If they have a child in their care that was sexually abused, this is the list of possible behaviors to look out for and here is a list of different ways one might try to respond to each behavior on that list. If they have a child in their care that was abandoned and neglected, this is the list of possible behaviors to look out for and here is a list of different ways one might try to respond to each behavior on that list. One could conclude that if CPS knows and understands the psychological behaviors of how people may or may not respond to different situations, then CPS knows exactly what they are doing and/or causing to happen when they are overloading someone's plate with unnecessary tasks. They are also painfully aware of the devastating effects of separating a family and yet do it anyway.   If this is true, then CPS is guilty of denying parents due process, denying parents of their parental rights, denying parents and their children of their constitutional rights, denying children of having the right to familial relations, withholding the information as to how to properly defend themselves in a court of law, discrimination, and premeditated conspiracy to commit a crime. As for the consequences CPS should have placed upon them? I'm at a loss because there is no dollar amount that can be set for the amount of emotional damages that have been caused due to their actions, those have to be mended with time. The blame lays on Child Protective Services who initially abducted the children from their parents and illegally made the family participate in completion of a case plan in their system out of greed in order to acquire federal dollars, the Public Defender's that didn't properly inform their clients of their legal options, including the option to ask for a continuance to allow them the proper time to invoke their legal right to file a response to the petition in their own defense, and anyone else who knew the proper policies and procedures of petitioning the courts who were asked by a parent as to what their legal recourse was in defending themselves against the lies in the CPS caseworkers report to the court. There are many unanswered questions as to how to we reconcile all the damages caused to all the parties involved. What about the parents whose children have been wrongfully adopted out, how do we fix things for those parents? What about the children that are settled with their new families, do we cause them even more emotional damages by forcing them to live with their biological parents? What about the damages to the adoptive parents who are now attached and emotionally invested with their child/children that they adopted? I don't know how to answer or solve those questions. It's not the fault of biological parents nor is it the fault of the adoptive parents nor is it the fault of the children. Perhaps maybe the 2 families could come together and co-parent the child/children for the benefit of the child. What is known is that each of these groups were harmed by CPS and others in these acts of greed that were allowed to go on for far too long. CPS should be ordered to cease petitioning the courts and parents with their current unlawful procedures that they are currently using in their departments because it is discriminating and is premeditated conspiracy. It also denies parents their right to due process, denies them of their parental rights, denies parents and their children of their constitutional rights, denies children of having the right to familial relations, and denies them the right to be informed of how to properly defend themselves in a court of law. What needs to happen and it needs to happen now, is to force CPS to follow the law properly. This may not be a remedy for all the families that have already been harmed, but it does provide a remedy to all families in the future from being victims of the unlawful policy and procedure practices of CPS. If you are a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, parent, step sister, step brother, mother in-law, father in-law, brother in-law, sister in-law, cousin, grandparents, great grandparents, etc... your life and connection with a child could be affected due to the current unlawful policy and procedure practices of CPS.  PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION!!!

Marlene McCabe
443 supporters
Petitioning Jared Huffman, Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison, Alcee Hastings, Nancy Pelosi, Doris Matsui, Ami Bera, Michael Turner, Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Mikulski, Jerry McNerney, Mike Honda, Eric Swalwell, Pet...

REINSTITUTE TAX BRACKETS THAT GREW A MIDDLE CLASS

In the ‘60's hard working Midwestern families could invite family and friends over for weekly summer barbecues and still pay their kids' college tuition.  Not anymore. From the ‘50's through the ‘70's, America's Middle Class grew.  Then, marginal tax rates on the richest Americans ranged from   70% to 91%.  Then, well paid CEO's of American-centric companies, who built real stuff, earned about 9x's what their mostly American field workers earned.  Not anymore. For decades, America's uber-rich have funded foundations and K Street lobbyists to reframe and rewrite America's tax system.  Their wealth and influence tumbled their top marginal tax rate to 35%, which has allowed their effective tax rate (what they actually pay) to be about 16%.  Today, the too long inattentive to public policy middle class has trouble buying hot dogs, let alone throw steaks on the barbee, as it moves in mass into the lower class. A fair tax policy is the foundation of a strong fiscal policy and smart public policy.  That's why you should sign People's Lobby's petition to move Congressional visionaries to introduce and pass the Fair Tax Bracket Reinstitution Act (FTBRA) http://peopleslobby.us/fair-tax/ .  Without a more equitable tax structure, which built an educated middle class decades ago, America will continue expanding an uneducated and unaware lower class. http://peopleslobby.us/fair-tax/fair-tax-bracket-reinstitution-proposal/   Click "TAKE ACTION" and sign the interactive petition. If you take exception to the above sentiments, do some research.  You can start with linking to a variety of graphs at: Fair Tax Bracket Reinstitution http://peopleslobby.us/fair-tax/fair-tax-bracket-reinstitution-proposal/ Graphic info... Wealth Distribution http://peopleslobby.us/fair-tax/econ101/  http://peopleslobby.us/fair-tax/graphic-info/Debt And, if you want to usher in a service/employment program that will employ 21 million Americans over 27 years and make America smarter and less dependent on wars: Click & sign the NEW INTERACTIVE American World Service Corps petition, Or paste http://www.change.org/petitions/view/field_21_million_american_world_service_corps_volunteers_over_the_next_27_years http://www.peopleslobby.us/">www.PeoplesLobby.us Recruit supporters by clicking the brown E-mail widget (or Facebook or Twitter) in the right column and mailing the note there to some of your friends.

Dwayne Hunn
375 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Jerry Brown, Barack Obama, California State Senate, California State House, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Norma Torres, Nancy Pelosi, Paul Cook, Melissa Melendez, Kevin McCarthy, Maxine Waters, ...

California's Secession from the Union!

In light of the current election results, we need to make a drastic move and demonstrate that California is not in favor of the racist, misogynistic, and archaic principles displayed by the current GOP candidate. We need to PROGRESS, not REGRESS and America will NOT be great under the misguided leadership of a president with no commitment to his own so-called values. As we have seen throughout his campaign he has repeatedly lied to our faces by claiming the truth of his comments were false. He is not apt or qualified enough to preside over our country and California should not have to endure four years of unsound leadership. A Democracy is representative of what people want, however, with the Electoral College in this country the results are not always a representation of what people want. With the power vested in us as citizens, we should exercise our rights and show our displeasure by seceding from the Union. In the spring of 2019, California will hold a referendum to seek its exit from the Union. We seek secession not only due to the election results but for a myriad of other reasons. Including, but not limited to the following: Peace and security, elections and government, trade and regulation, debt and taxes, natural resources, immigration, education, the environment, health and medicine.  This is the best decision for our state and our people, being a part of the union is holding us back from the greatness we can achieve on our own.  Please spread the word.  Inform yourselves!  https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/yescalifornia/pages/1/attachments/original/1475330254/Yes_California_Calexit_Book.pdf?1475330254 #CALEXIT  

CALEXIT
226 supporters
Petitioning Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Darrell Issa, Loretta Sanchez, Kevin McCarthy, Dana Rohrabacher, Mike Honda, Ami Bera, Xavier Becerra, Judy Chu, Maxine W...

Save Aleppo

As it stands, there are thousands of civilians left cold in the crossfire in Aleppo. The bare minimum we seek to do with this petition is ensure that they make it out safe.  In the past few days, air strikes, shelling and street-to-street combat in Syria, particularly in Aleppo’s eastern neighborhoods, have killed or injured scores of civilians. Since December 13th, thousands more fled the fighting in besieged eastern Aleppo with nothing more than the clothes on their back and their children in their arms. We write with urgency to request that you use the full authority of your office to convene international negotiations designed to stop the modern-day genocide in Syria, stabilize the country, effect the return to Syria of all refugees, provide for political change towards a popularly supported, accountable Syrian leadership, and hold Bashar Al-Assad’s regime accountable for all war crimes it has been inflicting upon the Syrian people. The international community must do everything they can to put a stop to this inhumane war. The Syrian regime must give safe passage to citizens trapped in the city and allow aid workers into Aleppo to save as many lives as they can. This is not politics, this is human rights. Please, let us not be responsible for witnessing genocide being committed on an entire city and not moving the masses in order to stop it.  

Students for Justice in Palestine at Sacramento State
78 supporters
Don't drop bombs in my backyard!

Thank you all for signing this petition calling on the Secretary of Navy to cancel military exercises on Tinian and Pagan Islands. The United States Marine Corps has proposed to expand and develop new live-fire military ranges and training areas on Tinian and Pagan islands within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The geological diversity of Pagan Island supports a vast ecosystem of biological diversity, including many threatened and endangered species. While most of the residents of the island were forced to evacuate years ago due to a volcanic eruption, many prior residents still intend to return. Establishing a live-fire military range on the island would have significant negative impacts on both animal and human inhabitants. In June 2015, the House of Representatives considered the National Defense Authorization Act. My good friend Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan from CNMI offered an amendment that would have required the Department of Defense to reach an agreement with the Government of the Northern Marianas on the nature and scope of activities before any funds could be expended for expanded military activities in the Northern Mariana Islands. His amendment sought to level the playing field, to ensure that the territorial government is able to make local land use decisions about whether or not to lease lands to the military, and if so, what the terms and conditions of any lease might be. As Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I have been a vocal advocate for America's island territories in the Pacific, which is why I voted in support of the amendment. Unfortunately it was defeated by a vote of 173-256. Protecting our water, oceans, and biological diversity is more than sound public policy - it's an obligation. Throughout my time in Congress, I have built on the strong environmental record I established as a County Supervisor when I created the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, and as a State Assembly member when I fought for millions in funding for the Nature Conservancy and expansion of Henry Coe Park. As a founding member of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, I have remained an unwavering champion for responsible environmental stewardship. I am proud of my environmental record, which has earned me the highest possible ratings from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters. Thank you for starting this petition and raising this profile of this important issue.

2 years ago
Pass the CARERS Act and protect medical marijuana patients

Thank you for signing the petition in support of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act. I am pleased to say that I have agreed to cosponsor this important legislation. The CARERS Act would allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies and eliminate federal prosecution of patients, providers, and businesses in states with medical marijuana programs. It would also recognize legitimate medical use of marijuana, allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana, expand opportunities for research on marijuana, and allow access to banking services for marijuana-related businesses that are operating pursuant to state law. I have consistently supported efforts to decriminalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, and to stop federal prosecution of patients and caregivers who use medical marijuana in states where it is legal. These changes would not only help alleviate the challenges our justice system faces, but also provide a new source of revenue for local, state, and federal governments. For example, I voted in support of the amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill. This amendment, which passed by a bipartisan vote of 219-189, prohibited the use of federal funds to prevent certain states from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana. I have also co-sponsored both the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act and the States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act. Both bills sought to reduce inconsistencies in law enforcement regarding state marijuana laws, so that our nation's already resource strapped police departments can focus on dangerous and violent criminals instead. I have also supported legislation that would prevent the Department of Justice from arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and caregivers in states where their activities are legal. Once again, thank you for signing this petition.

2 years ago
Save the Perkins Loan Program

Thank you for signing this petition in support of the Perkins Loan Program. I, too, support the Perkins Loan Program, which is why I have cosponsored H.Res.294, a bipartisan resolution in support of the program. Perkins Loans are need-based loans which foster access to higher education for low income students by providing low interest loans to students in need. Perkins Loan borrowers are predominantly from lower income families and are often the first in their family to attend college. The success of the program is a result of the central role of the colleges and universities that originate the loans, counsel their students through repayment, and select contractors for servicing and collection. The schools tailor the program to best fit borrowers' and institutions' situations, and they are invested in the success of the program because they share some of the lending risk since they contribute one-third of their students' awards. As Congress begins to consider a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, it is important to make it clear that the Perkins Loan Program must be included, because otherwise it will expire on September 30, 2015. That is why I have cosponsored H.Res.294. As a former high school teacher, principal, and school board member, education has always been one of my top priorities. I believe that educating its youth is the greatest investment a nation can make. Quality education ensures that the nation remains strong and economically competitive. As such, I will work to continue the Perkins Loan Program. Once again, thank you for signing this petition.

2 years ago
Respect our privacy and let Section 215 of the Patriot Act expire!

Thank you for signing this petition in support of sunsetting of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. The scope and scale of surveillance programs by the intelligence community to log large amounts of the electronic communications and telephone calls that originate and pass through the United States is astounding. The disregard for individual privacy is at the very least unethical, and at the very worst unconstitutional. While we live in a dangerous world, and there are many people who seek to harm American citizens, there must be an appropriate balance between security and privacy. I believe that Americans should have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their email and electronic communication, just like they do with their mail. Throughout my time in Congress, I have taken a strong stance for privacy by voting against SOPA, PIPA, CISPA and the PATRIOT Act, because I was not convinced that these pieces of legislation adequately protected privacy rights. My position has been validated by the use of the PATRIOT Act to justify pervasive and intrusive surveillance programs. In particular, I have a strong objection to the continuation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. This is the section that expanded the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to compel records by enlarging the scope of materials that could be requested and by lowering the standard demanded of the government to receive approval to conduct surveillance. This rubber stamp process must be overhauled in orderly to effectively protect Americans from the overreaching, invasive, and often unjustified surveillance of the US government. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to examine the various national security collection programs and consider amendments to the law to ensure that Americans' privacy and civil liberties are preserved in our national security efforts. On May 13th, I voted against the USA FREEDOM Act. Despite supporting some of the provisions that help rein in the scope of the bulk collection and bring some transparency and accountability to the surveillance process, I believe that the bill did not do enough to effectively end the intelligence agencies' gross overreach into the personal privacy of American citizens. With the May 7, 2015 ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in ACLU v. Clapper, the legal standing of the government's mass collection of American phone records is being questioned. The court found that the government's program exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized in the PATRIOT Act. With this ruling, the good intentions of the USA FREEDOM Act to place limits and constraints on the bulk collection programs could now be interpreted by the Administration as authorizing and providing a legal basis for the very activities the Second Circuit has just found unlawful. This will undermine our progress towards ending mass surveillance. The USA FREEDOM Act settles on amending some of the flawed PATRIOT Act provisions. This is not good enough. I am focused on preventing the government's overreach and violation of Americans' privacy entirely, and I will continue to push for reform that brings transparency, rule of law, and respect for personal privacy to the intelligence arena and not settle for half measures. I remain committed to meaningful reform of our nation's surveillance policies to ensure that privacy and civil liberties are preserved while protecting our nation.

2 years ago
Help Stop Bullying: Pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act

Thank you for signing this petition in support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act. As a lifelong educator, I have seen firsthand the negative impact that bullying and harassment have on the education of our students. We must end bullying in our public schools and create safe environments in which each and every child can learn and thrive. That is why I have cosponsored the Safe Schools Improvement Act in the past, and I look forward to supporting it again in the 114th Congress. To more broadly address the scourge of bullying, I launched the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus in June, 2012. The mission of the caucus is to uncover all forms of bullying, from school bullying to elder abuse to LGBTQ discrimination; making it possible for victims of bullying to come forward; protecting all individuals that are victims of any and all forms of bullying; and preventing bullying behavior by recognizing its manifestation as symptomatic of other, larger issues. Through events such as the Be a STAR anti-bullying rally I held with World Wrestling Entertainment, the Creative Coalition, and the mayor of the City of Santa Clara we are working to end bullying across this nation. Once again, thank you for signing this petition in support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act.

2 years ago
Pass the PAWS Act

Thank you for expressing your support for the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act of 2015, H.R. 1258. Introduced by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), the PAWS Act will empower the approximately one-third of domestic violence victims who have delayed leaving their abusive relationships out of concern for the wellbeing of their pets. I am proud to say that I am an original cosponsor of this legislation. Studies have shown that it is common for domestic abusers to target pets for abuse to exert control over their partners. H.R. 1258 would make it illegal to threaten or harm a victim's pet and redefine "full amount of the victim's losses" to include costs for any harm done to the victim's pet. The bill would also establish a federal grant program to assist in acquiring a safer shelter for pets. As a senior member of the House Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I have worked for years to bring an end to domestic violence. I have secured funding for the Child Abuse Training for Judicial Personnel Program, which helps ensure the court system is effectively serving and protecting the well being of children and victims of domestic violence. I authored the Domestic Violence Judicial Support Act to improve the capacity of courts to provide assistance in domestic violence case, which was included in the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Additionally, I have consistently fought to protect the welfare of animals as a dedicated member of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus. I have supported legislation such as the Animal Welfare Act, Horse Protection Act and the Humane Cosmetics Act. Because of my support for animal protection, I have received top scores on the Humane Society Legislative Fund Congressional Scorecard. You can count on me to continue my work to end domestic violence and to protect the welfare of animals.

3 years ago
Revoke the Tax-Exempt Status of the National Football League

Thanks for signing a petition about the National Football League's tax-exempt status. I share your concern about the impact of what are known as "tax expenditures" on our federal budget and believe they deserve renewed scrutiny. Tax expenditures are tax breaks given to particular industries or individuals, such as the NFL's tax exempt status, that reduce tax revenue and, as a result, impact the ability of the federal government to provide services to those in need. Our economy, which was built for incremental course correction, has gradually shifted to the wrong track, to a point where we now need a substantial overhaul. On tax reform, I believe we must find ways to simplify the tax code, remove distortive and unnecessary loopholes, broaden the base, and encourage investments that will return us to a high growth economy that can be globally competitive and fiscally sound. We can come together in a bipartisan manner to develop a plan that enhances the global competitiveness of our businesses; promotes growth, innovation, and investment; supports the middle class and those striving to enter the middle class; and ensures long-term fiscal solvency. I look forward to working with my colleagues to craft a package that helps all Americans realize a brighter future. During my time serving on the Budget Committee, I came to appreciate that developing budgets is an exercise in stating our values. For me, that means protecting vulnerable populations, seniors, our children, working class families, those on fixed incomes, and our veterans. We must combat income inequality head-on by raising the minimum wage at the national level, as I have fought to do locally. We need to protect and empower our nation's most vulnerable with extensions of emergency unemployment insurance as well as increases to anti-poverty tax initiatives like the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, and tax breaks that help send kids to college so that each and every family has the same opportunities to live an economically stable future. These are the elements of sensible tax code that I will fight for as Congress continues tax negotiations. Once again, thank you for taking the time to sign this petition.

3 years ago
Give More Rights to H4 Visa Holders

Thanks for signing this petition about immigration reform, specifically H-4 visas. As you know, the family members of foreign workers who are admitted to the United States on H-1B visas are themselves admitted under the H-4 category. Family members that qualify under the H-4 category include only the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old. The H-4 program enables skilled workers to bring their nuclear family support network with them to the U.S., but under current law it does not guarantee those family members admitted on H-4 visas the ability to work. H-4 visa holders may apply for permission to work in the United States, but whether they are granted that permission is up to the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security. This is just one of the many ways in which America's immigration system is broken. Throughout my time in Congress, I have been an outspoken advocate for immigration reform - to mend our broken system so that it is comprehensive, inclusive, and humane, and invests in America's future. I believe we should have an immigration system that respects the dignity of immigrant communities and recognizes their contributions to American society. This is why I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 15, the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced this Congress. Section 4102 of this bill would change the H-4 visa program by authorizing the spouses of H-1B holders to engage in employment in the United States and providing them with the appropriate authorization or work permit. I support this provision of H.R. 15, along with others that would increase the number of H1-B high skilled visas for Silicon Valley workers while also giving those workers more protection from abuse by unscrupulous employers, reunite families, and provide a pathway to citizenship for those living in the shadows. This bill enjoys broad bipartisan support, with over 200 Democratic and Republican cosponsors. I believe that immigrants and their families should be able to participate in the American Dream and contribute to our economy. You can be sure I will continue fighting to pass H.R. 15 and reform our broken system, including the H-4 visa. Once again, thanks for sharing your opinion with me.

3 years ago
Pass The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2015

You will be glad to know that I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3899, the Voting Rights Amendment Act. This bill would strengthen the Voting Rights Act by updating the pre-clearance formula so that states that have changed their voting laws in ways that violate federal law five times over the past fifteen years will be required to submit future election changes for federal approval. This new formula would currently apply to Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Local jurisdictions would be covered if they commit three or more violations or have one violation and “persistent, extremely low minority turnout” over the past fifteen years. I have always supported equal access to the polls and fought against discriminatory practices that prevented vulnerable populations from getting a chance to exercise their right to vote. As a former teacher and principal, and now a Member of Congress, I understand the importance of ensuring that everyone is included in the political process through the exercise of the right to vote. Protecting voting rights and ensuring the integrity of federal elections is of great importance to me, and I will continue to fight for these principles.

3 years ago
Pass TEACH Act: Equal Access to Educational Materials for Students with Disabilities

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on H.R. 3505, The Technology, Education, and Accessibility in College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act. You raised some good points about the need to improve education for the blind and disabled, and I will take them into consideration. Many residents of the First Congressional District of Wisconsin have expressed their support for the TEACH Act. And I agree that all students should have access to quality higher education. In this global economy, students must learn the skills they need to succeed. As Congress considers proposals to make educational materials more accessible to blind and disabled students, I welcome the opportunity to hear from my constituents, and I look forward to working on real solutions to this issue. Please know that I appreciate your sharing your opinions, and I will continue to monitor this piece of legislation carefully. Should the TEACH Act reach the House floor for a vote, I will keep your thoughtful considerations in mind.

4 years ago