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Minnesota State Senate


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

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

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

Jenifer Bass
33,373 supporters
Petitioning Pennsylvania State House

Ban Gay Conversion Therapy

Twelve states have moved to ban "ex-gay therapy" for young people -- dangerous "therapy" that tries to change someone's sexual orientation. "Ex-gay therapy" has been linked to suicide, depression, isolation and anxiety, and has been condemned by nearly every medical and psychological body as dangerous, destructive and something no child should be forced to undergo. And yet in 38 states -- including states like New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Ohio -- "ex-gay therapy" remains a practice that's largely legal under the law. But there is national momentum as more and more states move to ban "ex-gay therapy" and protect minors from attempts to "cure" them of their sexual orientation. Hawaii just became the 12th state to ban "ex-gay therapy," and New Hampshire and Delaware are close to following suit. They join states like California, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Oregon. That's nearly 25% of the country! But it's not enough. LGBT kids are still facing dangerous "ex-gay therapy" attempts in more than 30 states around the country.  All these states have seen bills introduced to ban "ex-gay therapy". New York -- which touts itself as one of the most LGBT-friendly states in the country -- has seen legislation pass the State Assembly three times; Pennsylvania has had a bill introduced several times; Ohio now has a bill as well that legislators are pushing; and activists in Minnesota have been pushing for a ban on "ex-gay therapy" programs for years. Let's build on this national organizing momentum, and work to get these states added to the list of states stepping up to protect LGBT youth, and banning harmful "ex-gay therapy" that tries to "cure" LGBT people and change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Max Johnson
27,550 supporters
Petitioning Minnesota State House, Minnesota State Senate, Connecticut State Senate, Connecticut State House, Illinois State House, Illinois State Senate, Maine State House, Maine State Senate

Abolish the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault

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

End Rape Statute of Limitations
9,723 supporters
Closed
Petitioning President of the United States

Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!

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

Dominick Evans
6,863 supporters
Closed
Petitioning California State Senate, California State House, Washington State Senate, Washington State House, Nevada State House, Nevada State Senate, Oregon State Senate, Oregon State House, Hawaii State Sena...

Call for Blue States to Move On

What happened to make this country the focus of judgment, laughter, and fear from the rest of the world? The industrialized world outside of the United States enjoys a better quality of life and general happiness that most of us can only imagine. First class education, comprehensive health care, clean food/water/air and an overall better relationship with their fellow citizens. And as a country, we have higher mortality rates at younger ages, poorer health, and an impoverished population who can't learn new skills without going deeper into debt. As much as we like to blame Donald Trump for our national problems; these problems were here before him, and they will still be here if Trump is removed from office tomorrow.  We have a political system that centralizes power to a consolidated political center in Washington, DC and an economic center in New York City. Our Electoral System will isolate the power to determine the direction of our political system to a very small, easily manipulated portion of the electorate in a strategic location.Worst of all, we have a large portion of the population who will empower a mentally unstable man to the highest office in the world; just so they can say “We Won”. This group is constantly complaining about a simply lost world with plentiful jobs in their communities. And now, they have the nerve to complain about losing the federal government programs they benefited from and voted against.It's time we said “ENOUGH” and have Progressive States and Communities band together and share resources and ideas to provide a better quality of life for its people, that the Trump Administration wants to take away. And furthermore, we need to ensure that we only support States and Communities who will change their policies for its people. We can no longer provide assistance to the Red States, just so they can abuse and neglect their citizens for business interests.   For the future of this nation, we need to explore every legal method possible to protect the people from an extremely dangerous President Trump.   A Values-Based Alliance of the States (VBAS) is one way of resisting this new reality of government, and the dangerous changes that we all know are inevitable. I understand that the constitution will not allow us to directly stop this monstrosity, but it will allow us to devalue it. A VBAS of certain states with similar values and policy preferences can and will use its population centers and economic influence to co-op, share resources, and implement policies with other co-opted states, while not having to depend on or engage the federal government. Examples: There are certain states with a majority of people that believe single-payer healthcare system (CA, MA, VT, NY, WA, OR, IL, HI.). If those states passed laws to provide single payer health care for its people, a Single Payer Healthcare VBAS organization of those states can share resources to improve efficiencies, expand medical training/education amongst the co-opted states, negotiate pharmaceutical/treatment, amend needed tax policies and petition the US Government. This would also force neighboring states to decide if they want to change their internal policies to provide single payer, so they can join the Health Care VBAS. A resident of Indiana might ask his state to join the VBAS because he could literally see his next-door neighbor in Illinois fully covered, and using a Doctor that just came back from his training at a medical school in California.Although the VBAS states cannot legally sign the Paris accords, they can change their internal policies to abide by its recommendations. There could be an environmental protection VBAS, where the states involved agree to abide by the Paris accords, improve safety protocols within its states, take climate change seriously, and provide economic preference to states and nations that do the same. CA, OR, NY, MA, VT, WA HI, and NV could agree to be a preferred customer of states or nations that voluntarily reduce its carbon emissions and address climate change, instead of LA or TX, which most likely will not.Other issues could include minimum wage, education, trade agreements, gun control and virtually every policy not adjudicated solely by the federal government.As more VBASes are organized and more states agree to join them, Donald Trump and the ignorance of future presidents become less and less relevant. Please sign this petition and pass it on to as many people as possible.

Blake Green
5,426 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Mark Dayton, Al Franken, Minnesota State House, Minnesota State Senate

Having the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament be a state holiday in Minnesota

We as Minnesotans like our events, for example the Minnesota State Fair.  Minnesota is the State of Hockey, and we all know as students, workers, as Minnesotans, that the State High School Hockey Tournament is probably the biggest.  Let's be honest, how many students, as well as workers, are watching it more than what they are supposed to be doing when it is on?  I don't see it as a bad thing, but I have heard from MANY people when asked about The Tourney, say something like "It should be a state holiday" or "We shouldn't even have school." So I am asking that The Tourney become a state holiday so that all of us Minnesotans can relax and enjoy themselves, their family, as well as their fellow classmates and friends, for those three days we all love SO much.  Students don't have to worry about school and workers get time off. It would be another "great Minnesota get together" we would all enjoy!

Daniel Daugherty
3,861 supporters
Petitioning Mark Dayton, Debra Hilstrom, James P. Metzen, Al Franken, Chris A. Eaton, Minnesota State House, Minnesota State Senate, Minnesota Governor

Minnesota State Legislators: Enact "Cameron Norris Law" as New Child Homicide Statute

What Happened to Cameron Samuel Christopher Jones, was a close family friend of Cynthia Sweats' family for years. He was trusted to watch Cameron for Cynthia on one occasion, so she could go to work. Samuel Jones brutally beat baby Cameron Norris to death on February 7, 2003. Jones was released March 8, 2017 after only serving 14 years, of his 20 year maximum sentence. Jones is now a free man, on parole until 2023. Jones has never showed remorse, had no mandated rehabilitation, nor has he faced Cynthia to apologize, for what he did. In the courtroom he smiled and scoffed at the victimized family members during his sentencing.  Cynthia Sweats will never receive justice for Cameron's death. However, her goal is to provide justice for other children fatally victimized at the hands of an adult. The courts should hold offenders fully accountability for these crimes.  WCCO 4 NEWS TAKES THIS CAUSE SERIOUSLY: https://youtu.be/WmhYqntlFjY?list=FL_kuA4kWArUtz6GBNKmCmVA Cameron Norris Law – A focus into the future, for a new Child Homicide Statute in Minnesota.  MISSION: Enact Cameron Norris Law in response to child homicide. Offenders must be held fully accountable for the crime they committed. Parents need to feel some sense of justice. The cycle of violence needs to be broken with mandated intense rehabilitation for those found guilty of these heinous crimes, if any plea bargain is offered.  Society Needs Lawmakers to;  See society's need for harsher sentencing and mandated treatment for those who harm a child.  Ensure that all parents feel heard and represented throughout the process. Mandated Restorative Justice Rehabilitation to offenders that seek the plea bargain.   Outline of Cameron Norris Law Offender will be charged with 1st degree homicide, when arrested and booked into jail. Offender is given the choice to decide if he/she wants to go to trial or take the "Intentional Second Degree Murder" plea deal. If offender chooses to go to trial; He/she can be found guilty or not guilty, in court of law. If found guilty, offender will be sentenced to life in prison If offender chooses intentional second degree murder plea deal; Plea deal sentence terms; 40 years max, possible parole after 26 years (2/3rd of 40 years)  Offender can only reach parole in 26 years by compliance with all requirements of the plea deal. If offender is not in compliance with all requirements, the offender must serve the remaining 14 years (of 40 year maximum sentence) before parole will be offered one more time.  Plea deal requires; The offender to confess and provide all details of the child's murder. Offender to successfully complete extensive, intense treatment, structured rehabilitation, goal training, anger management, coping and skills training, educational and job coaching skills. Offender must complete all phases of the rehabilitation program,  show progress and remorse. If all requirements of the Restorative Justice Rehabilitation Program have not been met, the offender will forfeit the agreement and will then serve life in prison.   IMPORTANT LINKS FOR YOU TO KNOW Send PayPal  Love Contribution  www.facebook.com/ffcak www.ffcak.org   TWEET US!   THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT SHARE this petition with everyone that you know. God Bless you!        

FIGHTING FOR CAMERON AND KIDS
3,162 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Alabama State Senate, Alaska State Senate, Arizona State Senate, Arkansas State Senate, California State Senate, Colorado State Senate, Connecticut State Senate, Delaware State Senate, Florida Stat...

Require Amazon to Collect and Remit Sales Tax For All FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) Sales

Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Requiring the hundreds of thousands of small businesses to register in every state and collect and remit in all applicable states is not practical -- it is a complex, heavy financial burden on small businesses and it is causing states to lose billions of dollars in tax revenue each year. With E-commerce now playing such a big role in the local economies, and with Amazon being THE major player, it is time for new legislation to be passed so that these matters can be properly addressed, removing any doubt regarding State sales tax liability and nexus -- especially as it relates to Amazon FBA and similar programs. If Amazon FBA was recognized as consignment, from a sales tax perspective, as it should be, then this would solve a lot of the associated issues that we are currently seeing. Laws vary from state-to-state, but most states require that the consignee (the store, or, Amazon in this case) should collect and remit sales tax. Arguments regarding consignment, who the seller really is and who the 'supplier' is: 1. FBA 'Suppliers' (as they should be called, and not FBA 'sellers') do not choose how/where their products are stored/shipped. 2. Commission is paid to Amazon on each unit sold. 3. FBA 'suppliers' must adhere to Amazon policy. Suppliers do not have the right to refuse sale/shipment without consequence and do not collect any money on transactions (all transactions are handled and controlled by Amazon, the store owner, with the supplier having no participation in said transactions). 4. FBA 'suppliers' have no real relationship with the customer as nearly all communication is prohibited as per Amazon (this relationship is owned and controlled by Amazon, the real seller). 5. Amazon provides advertising for products that they sell, including FBA products. Suppliers have no say in that message or how it's presented. 6. Amazon charges a 'monthly, rental fee' (FBA subscription fee) to display FBA products at their property, as well as additional fees for special exposure (e.g. special ad types or brand page vs. window or end-cap at front of store), as well as additional fees for how the product may be presented (e.g. videos on listing vs. in-store display). 7. Product ownership does not transfer to Amazon (the store owner), but sits on Amazon's shelves until a buyer is found...at which point, the buyer should pay the appropriate sales tax (Amazon/the store owner, is responsible for collecting and remitting this, as they handle all transactions with the end-buyer and own the property where all merchandise is stored and sold). 8. et al. Amazon should be charging and then remitting the sales tax to all applicable states -- not the FBA seller. Not only would this eliminate any argument about complexity or what constitutes nexus amid the varying, questionable and ever-changing interpretations that each state has established, but convincing the States to get behind it should be easy if they only had to pursue one entity (Amazon), in lieu of the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that currently operate within the US marketplace. It is estimated that the majority of the FBA sellers that sell on the Amazon-US marketplace are operating on foreign soil, and do not have a legal entity that is locally established inside of the United States. How are the states going to force compliance if a foreign seller, using a foreign bank account, is operating outside of the jurisdiction of local law? This poses serious problems and creates an environment of unfair competition if foreign sellers can offer products 10% cheaper due to not having to collect and remit sales tax. If Amazon were required to collect and remit on all FBA sales, not only would this reduce costs, man hours and complexity etc., but it would be a lot easier to ensure compliance and remittance. States could get the tax dollars that they desperately need, instead of missing out as they do now. If things continue as they are, States will waste tons of money auditing individual sellers and pursuing legal action, all, unnecessarily. Since Amazon has decided to take full custody of its customer base and is essentially acting as consignment, this should put sales tax liability on Amazon's shoulders, not on FBA sellers. Since FBA sellers are currently required to collect and remit for all states where they are deemed to have a substantial nexus, then, in order to do that, they must first register their business in that State, apply for permits etc., and admit to having a substantial nexus. Just having a single box of inventory in one of Amazon's warehouses will be sufficient for establishing nexus for most applicable states. Amazon may move inventory around, however they see fit, and in doing so, will force FBA sellers to have nexus in those states, oftentimes, unknowingly. Once nexus is established for a particular state, it applies to ALL subsequent sales to that State -- so, if a seller wants to sell something on Ebay, and the buyer is located in the nexus state, then that seller would need to collect and remit sales tax, even if that inventory was stored in and shipped from their home. If FBA sellers are required to register in all of the applicable states and admit that they have a substantial nexus, they would then potentially be subject to Corporate/State income taxes for that state, use-tax for all products/services, franchise taxes, non-resident taxes, opportunity taxes and other, associated fees/taxes etc.. If non-local businesses have to admit that they have substantial nexus due to a single box of inventory, and if they have to remit in the same way (or worse) as a local business that is actually operating out of that state, then what other tax implications and responsibilities will they be subjecting themselves to? And wouldn't this put undue burden on FBA sellers? And isn't that illegal? Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Thank you.

American Citizen
3,143 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Minnesota State Senate

Legalize darker window tint

Minnesota has one of the most restrictive automotive tint laws in the country, and tint tickets start at over $100 dollars.  One more thing to add.  Right now current tint laws allow for a 3% + / - before you get a ticket or fine.  To account for tint built into the window from the factory, I propose the 3% be changed 8% + / -. Ignorance may be no excuse, but many people getting pulled over weren't even aware that they were breaking a law, and are hardly criminals. Such a strict law hurts citizens interested in investing in the benefits window film can provide:           -Adds crash safety from passenger ejection and shattered glass           -Reduces the sun's glare, helping prevent accidents due to excess glare           -Blocks 99.9% of UV radiation           -Keeps vehicles more comfortable by reducing solar heat gain           -Adds privacy for drivers, passengers and belongings           -Discourages smash and grab theft           -Helps protect interiors from fading           -Eliminates the need for mounted shades, which can become dangerous projectiles in the case of an accident This law has also been devastating to local shops across the state. Why hurt Minnesotan businesses when customers can just go across the border or to a back alley to get a tint job done? All we want is a 35% limit, which is more in line with 47 other states. 35% is dark enough to allow Minnesotans the full benefits of window film, but light enough that our police officers can feel safe.

john hartmann
3,095 supporters
Petitioning Mark Dayton, Tina Smith, Minnesota State Senate, Keith Ellison, Amy Klobuchar

Motorcycles use of shoulders during traffic jams in MN

Dear Minnesota law makers, We the people of the great state of Minnesota are requesting the permit for motorcycles to use the shoulder during heavy traffic, back ups, and rush hours. Thousands of motorcyclists are being killed on the road by getting rear ended by distracted drivers during heavy traffic back ups. We need YOUR HELP to minimize the number of deaths on Minnesota roads by accepting this petition and consider adding a law that satisfies the body. Here are some but not all reasons to consider the new law: Motorcycles rely on air to cool down the engine; over heated engines will cause the machine to stall and increase traffic problems and decrease safety. Motorcycles DO NOT have bumper guards like automobiles. Any rear end collision will cause sever injury or death. Allowing motorcycles to use the shoulder ONLY during severe traffic jams with limited speed up to 20 miles per hour. Motorcycles are to reengage in traffic when flowing using safety and precautions. This will decrease the number of deaths on Minnesota roads. Some states such as California allows motorcycles to split lanes to escape the danger of rear end collision. We found that lane splitting is not the safest idea and found the shoulder is the safest route to avoid getting hit. Metro Transit and other public bus services are allowed to drive on the shoulder to "stay on time". We ask for it to "STAY ALIVE". We believe in our considerate MN law makers when it comes to safety, so please consider this as a LAW.We the people of Minnesota are thankful for your time to review our request to keep Motorcyclists safe. We believe that the safety of motorcyclists is NOT on the bottom of your list. We believe YOU can save lives! SAVE US! Citizens of Minnesota

KC Dozer
2,986 supporters
Give back Thanksgiving to employees

Now open on Thanksgiving... It is my belief that this world we share and these lives we lead have an order (or balance) that pervades them. Examples of this order are so commonplace we often do not think about them. Some simple examples: citizens have rights and responsibilities; people have moms and dads, etc. Sadly, such order is not always clear to us in everyday life. Despite our lack of clarity, we do well when we attempt to properly balance our civic lives and personal lives in a manner that mirrors the larger common order. Why am I taking the time to commit to print such a seemingly arcane bit of philosophy as this? Because sometimes things that seem to me to be violations of this order have a direct and negative impact on others. One such current example is Macy’s recent announcement that it is breaking a 155-year-old tradition in order to be open on Thanksgiving Day. I won’t pick on Macy’s. They are simply the most recent business to follow a trend that has more and more retail workers away from their family and friends on that special Thursday and the wee hours of Black Friday when families should be spending time together. The Minnesota state legislature spends quite a bit of time discussing policies like the minimum wage, a livable wage, and what the correct balance is that will reward labor without raising costs to a level that reduces employers’ ability to hire people. These are good and important discussions. It is right that people are rewarded for their labors. It is right that businesses can conduct their work with a great degree of freedom. It is clear that the legislature cannot and should not be the chief mediator between people and employers. The preceding observations are simply prologue to this simple request. Can we as parents, children, consumers and employers please restrain our shopping impulses for one day? Would you be willing to hold off shopping for 24 hours in order to have your son, daughter, mother, father, relatives or friends around the table with you on Thanksgiving Thursday? There is a bigger order to these lives we share. We are more than consumers. We are family!

5 years ago