New Jersey State House
New Jersey State House
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!
Protect New Jersey's Dogs and Cats with Jack's Law
Jack's Law would help save the lives of more than 500,000 dogs and cats in New Jersey by restricting the responsibilities of recent veterinary school graduates and require interns to be supervised — in person — by experienced veterinarians, especially in critical care situations. It would also require veterinary hospitals be transparent and honest to consumers about exactly who treats the animals left in their care. Currently there are no laws in New Jersey prohibiting a recent veterinary school graduate from being the sole medical provider in a hospital setting — even in a critical care unit. In New Jersey, an intern works under a veterinarian’s license. However, the licensed veterinarian is not required to be present when the intern is working, or to personally supervise him or her. When we take our dogs and cats to veterinary hospitals, we should be able to trust that the people caring for our loved ones are experienced professionals. Eighteen months ago, I lost my incredibly loved and irreplaceable collie, Jack. Jack died in Red Bank Veterinary Hospital (RBVH) as the result of being left overnight in the Critical Care Unit under the unsupervised care of an inexperienced and incompetent intern. It was only after Jack died that I learned that the sole medical provider caring for him in the CCU had just graduated from veterinary school two months earlier and had only been working as a "veterinarian" for less than two weeks. In fact, she had not even passed the state exam or received a license from the state. Jack died because the intern who was supposed to be taking care of him wasn't paying attention or because of her inexperience, she just didn't know how to help him. For nearly 13 years I kept Jack healthy, happy and strong despite the fact that he was born with a megaesophagus which required continual observation and care. All of that was destroyed with one lie, one intern and one irreversible mistake. In short, Jack had a feeding tube surgically inserted into his abdomen at RBVH. This was to be a temporary measure to help him recover from a serious bout of esophagitis. The surgery was deemed a success. Both the surgeon and admitting veterinarian were so pleased with his progress that they told my husband and me that we could take him home the next morning. In fact, when we saw Jack twice that afternoon, he was alert and coherent. He immediately recognized us and kissed my face. His temperature and breathing were normal. Jack looked so well, we went home—confident that he was being cared for properly and professionally. But by 9 p.m., while under the unsupervised care of the intern, Jack aspirated. By morning, Jack's condition had dramatically deteriorated. He had a raging fever and needed oxygen to breathe. Instead of bringing him home, we buried Jack alongside his brother in Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, the very next day. For most of us who share our lives with dogs and/or cats, our four legged friends are much more than pets—they are members of our family. We love them, care for them and do our very best to protect them. That's the only reason we went to RBVH. It was supposed to provide exemplary surgical and post-operative care. What makes Jack's death even more devastating is the fact that it was completely avoidable. When I told the admitting veterinarian how concerned I was about leaving him in the care of an inexperienced vet tech, she promised to put him in the CCU where he would be kept under the constant, careful supervision of a veterinarian. Had I known that the "veterinarian" had just graduated two months earlier and had only been practicing as a vet for two weeks, I never would have left him there. Unbelievably, there's nothing to prevent what happened to Jack from happening again. While there are no statistics to quote, I called all the emergency hospitals listed on the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association's website and most of them hire interns. Who knows how many unsupervised interns have made similar critical mistakes. Jack was an incredible soul. He made everyone around him feel happy and loved. He was intelligent, funny and beautiful. He was so much more than that. I am heartbroken and will miss him forever. It is unforgivable that Jack died because I wasn't told the truth. It would be unconscionable to allow others to die simply because nothing was done to change that awful truth. I hope that with your help, we can save other families and their beloved dogs and cats from similar heartache. Please do not let Jack's death be in vain. Thank you very, very much.
Adverse effect of GOP tax bill on Graduate students in the US
Graduate students in the US are already living at the survival line. They are working hard to push forward the frontiers of science in all directions and trying to make a better tomorrow than today. Their disposable income is barely reaches 20k per year ( stipend for being TA or RA) and this money goes all to their consumption needs with almost nothing left to save. The new GOP tax bill is going to make the tuition waiver taxable which is estimated to cost each graduate student about $2000 a year and this will push most of the graduate students even lower the survival level. As a result, they should cut down their daily expenses to get along with the new budget and this means they will buy and consume less necessary stuff. On the other side, local businesses will suffer as well because students will spend less money in local restaurants, bars, games and etc. In all, this bill is going to put more financial pressure on graduate students and also hurt local businesses across the US. Please sign and share this petition to support all graduate students in the US and also opposing this unfair tax bill.
"Autumn's Law" - Hold Abusive/Neglectful Parents Partially Accountable
My daughter, Autumn Pasquale was a typical all-American 12-year-old girl. Autumn loved BMX bike riding, skateboarding, playing soccer, cheerleading and art. She possessed so much promise for a bright future. She was a straight “A” student, was accepted into the gifted & talented program at her middle school and was involved in many extracurricular activities. She was the light of my life. But on October 20 2012 all that ended. Forever. And so did Autumn’s life. Why? I truly believe it is because Autumn believed all children were well-adjusted and innocent, just like her. On that fateful day, Autumn was lured to the home of acquaintances/brothers 15-year-old Justin Robinson and 17 year-old Dante Robinson under the pretense that one or both boys wanted to trade bike parts with her. My innocent daughter left my home that Saturday afternoon NEVER TO RETURN. Prior to this event, I did not know the Robinson family. Watch Media confirm Autumn’s was lured to trade bike parts here: http://news.yahoo.com/video/brother-autumn-pasquales-confessed-killer-164903873.html Watch Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton’s statement regarding the arrests/charges that were initially filed against the Robinson brothers here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UvgPYiAzXk It took several law enforcement agencies two harrowing days to find my Autumn and when they did, it was a scene from a horror film. Autumn had been beaten, strangled to death and stuffed in a trashcan. Justin Robinson later accepted a plea deal and received a 17-year prison sentence. He could be out of prison as early as his 30th birthday…possibly before. His brother Dante was freed. The reason for the plea deal and Dante’s release came as a result of a lack of DNA evidence. *****I BELIEVE THAT MINOR CHILDREN ARE RARELY IF EVER BORN MURDERERS. MOST ARE CULTIVATED AND IN AUTUMN’S CASE, I BELIEVE HER MURDERER WAS NO EXCEPTION. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE FACTS TO PROVE THAT CLAIM***** Justin Robinson suffered from a neurodevelopmental disorder. This was confirmed by Robinson’s own attorney and stated in open court during his sentencing hearing. At Robinson’s sentencing hearing his own attorney stated in open court that his actions against Autumn were a “learned behavior.” She added that Robinson had witnessed his own father choke his mother (possibly on more than one occasion). These parents, knowing their child(ren) already had serious mental disorders, exposed them to violence in the home. It is no coincidence that my daughter’s cause of death was strangulation. The most influential person in Robinson’s life, his same sex parent, taught him that. Various neighbors of Robinson’s gave statements to the media indicating they were aware that Robinson brothers were known to engage in criminal activity and were “always in trouble.” In fact, their own father admitted to the media that his boys were known for stealing bikes. A Clear sign of lack of respect for authority and the law. In May 2017, a now 21 year old Dante Robinson is charged with a home invasion: http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2017/05/man_involved_in_autumn_pasquale_murder_injured_dur.html See admissions from community members and Robinson’s father here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/autumn_pasquale_death_2_teen_b.html One of my best friends witnessed Justin Robinson running from police and pulling off his hat and shirt while in stride (presumably to disguise his appearance) just days before he murdered my daughter. At the time of Autumn’s murder, Robinson’s biological father, Alonzo Robinson admitted to the media that he had not seen his sons for a year (and possibly up to 7 years). Alonzo Robinson completely abandoned his parental responsibilities, all while knowing his sons suffered from serious mental disorders and were known to engage in crimes. Police told Mr. Robinson they found bike parts stockpiled in the basement of the Robinson’s home. Robinson told reporters one of the boys had been previously charged with theft. See Alonzo Robinson’s admissions here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/father_police_questioned_sons.html 6. Autumn was murdered in the home in which the Robinson boys resided with their mother Anita Robinson. The home is approximately800 square feet in size. Investigators believe Autumn’s time of death to be approximately 3:30 p.m.. They also believe Autumn’s body was not moved to the trash can until late that Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Yet Anita Robinson had no idea a murder took place in her home and that my child’s body and all of her belongings including her bike were laying in her home for several hours. See prosecutor’s statement regarding investigator’s timeline here: http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2013/09/gloucester_county_prosecutor_wanted_to_finish_autumn_pasquale_murder_case.html Justin Robinson was not only able to murder my child in his home, but was able to clean up her murder scene, tamper with evidence, hide all the evidence, hide Autumn’s body and all of her belongings including her BMX bike and move her dead body (while rigor mortis had to have set in) to a trash can. Again Anita Robinson saw and heard nothing. Parents/guardians who neglect, abuse, abandon or ignore the warning signs of their children’s propensity toward violence are direct contributors to their minor children’s murders. If the minor who murdered my daughter was properly treated, parented, disciplined and supervised my daughter would probably be alive today. Accordingly, I and everyone who signs this petition are asking for consideration of “Autumn’s Law.” A law that would make abusive and/or neglectful parents/guardians who have custody of their children CRIMINALLY responsible for murders committed by their minor children, when they know or should have known the propensity toward violence existed. When a parent/guardian knows or should have known that their child may pose a threat to third persons, it is the parents/guardian’s responsibility to minimize that risk. A child’s issues are not the responsibility of his/her school, state, teacher, counselor, law enforcement, community, neighbors or church, but instead, the primary responsibility of the child’s parents/guardians. When the parents/guardians of a minor murderer are proven to have failed in their parental responsibilities by ignoring warning signs, failing to treat their children’s mental/emotional/behavioral issues and by fail to ensure proper supervision of their child, the parents/guardians actions/lack of actions becomes a contributing factor to the loss of life and lifelong devastation inflicted on their victims and their victims’ families. As such, they should be held criminally responsible. WE ARE ASKING OUR GOVERNOR & STATE LEGISLATORS TO CONSIDER “AUTUMN’S LAW.” A LAW THAT WOULD MAKE NEGLECTFUL AND/OR ABUSIVE PARENTS/GUARDIANS WHO FAIL TO TREAT, CONTROL AND SUPERVISE THEIR MINOR CHILDREN, HELD CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLE WHEN THEIR CHILDREN MURDER Thank you, Anthony Pasquale
Stop DuPont Chemical from Poisoning New Jersey Families
From 1902 to 1994, the DuPont Chemical company dumped chemicals into New Jersey’s Pompton Lakes. While the company abandoned the explosives site years ago, it has yet to clean up the mess it left behind. The closed work site is still owned by DuPont.For decades, families like mine have been suffering from the toxic pollution left in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey by DuPont Chemical. Hundreds of families suffer from poisonous gases in the soil that migrate up into our basements. The air we breathe inside our homes is filled with cancer-causing TCE, and the full extent of all this pollution in our community is still not fully understood.DuPont Chemical, the company responsible for this pollution, has had years to clean up their mess--but they have failed. It's time the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) declare Pompton Lakes a Superfund site and take over the clean-up once and for all. Two years ago, the New Jersey Department of Human Health and Senior Services released a shocking report with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It found a "significantly elevated" cancer rate in the region potentially linked to contamination from the Pompton Lakes DuPont explosives site. DuPont Chemical has proposed a five-year cleanup plan--but that plan will not make our community safe. DuPont's plan does not address the high levels of mercury, lead, and other toxic chemicals that they left in our creeks and lakes.It’s clear that DuPont doesn’t care about the Pompton Lakes community, so it’s up to the USEPA to take a stand and protect our health. The USEPA must list this site on the federal Superfund National Priorities list. Cleanup cannot be left in the hands of DuPont Chemical.
Require ISP's with New Jersey state contracts to abide by net neutrality principles.
I'm calling on Governor Phil Murphy to issue an executive order requiring internet service providers with state contracts to abide by net neutrality principles. This would mean that in order to receive a contract with the state of New Jersey government, internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast must not block or throttle web content or create internet fast lanes. State governments can be some of the biggest consumers of internet services so this will send a strong message. Furthermore, this can be done. In January of 2018, Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) signed an executive order to do just this, explaining “This is a simple step states can take to preserve and protect net neutrality. We can’t wait for folks in Washington DC to come to their senses and reinstate these rules.” Please sign my petition asking Governor Phil Murphy to require all internet service providers with state contracts to abide by net neutrality rules.
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
Justice for Gaffney:
With GAFFNEY'S LAW
Stop LEO's from being allowed to DRINK & CARRY
On May 13th, 2016, Michael Gaffney 37, beloved, father, son, partner, and friend senselessly died at the hands of an off duty officer that had been drinking and engaged in a bar fight, that ended when the officer chose while under the influence, to shoot an unarmed man. We want a law, Gaffney's Law, to make it illegal, punishable by law, for off duty law enforcement to carry service weapons into any bar or establishment where they intend to consume alcohol. Alcohol and guns don't mix. If you cannot drive under the influence, it only makes sense you shouldn't carry under the influence. Michael Gaffney was not armed, he had no weapons. The officer involved knew Michael, they had been to parties and BBQ's together. Yes, they were both drinking, yes, a fight ensued, but never should an intoxicated officer with a gun solve drunken anger with his service weapon. Police officers are to protect and serve, not get served and shoot. Please, I urge you to consider Gaffney's Law. Make it illegal to mix guns and alcohol, so this might not leave another daughter, girlfriend, mother, and friends without someone they love. We have decided to try to get justice for Michael by helping create Gaffney's Law. Please help us with our petition to change current Attorney General guidelines to make them enforceable laws that prohibit law enforcement from engaging in alcoholic consumption while carrying. Thank you for considering, Gaffney's Law.
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.
Allow pets in NJ Breweries
Since the brewery I work for opened, we’ve welcomed well-behaved, leashed dogs. Two dog-loving years have passed without incident. People enjoy bringing their pets, whether they be dogs, rabbits, and even the occasional parrot. We are animal lovers at the brewery, and even have an in- house brew dog. We have always welcomed animals and children as we are a family establishment, and want to be a place where everyone gathers to relax and unwind. Pet owners all realize that they are a part of your family. We are committed to our customers being able to be able to continue these experiences, and fully support them. We even provide healthy home made dog treats and supply water for our four-legged friends. We have never seen an issue with having pets in the brewery, but that all came to a halt yesterday, April 19th. Up until these past few months, dogs have been welcomed in breweries that allowed it across the state. Recently, breweries have began getting Cease and Desists about allowing pets in their own businesses by local Health Departments due to “complaints”. The wording of breweries as “retail food establishments” is confusing, as breweries already are not allowed to serve food, so this classification is inherently wrong. Aside from this classification, we believe the main issue is that business owners should be able to choose how they run their own business. Small business is what drives our communities, and holding them back because of archaic and/or unfitting laws is no way to support growth. We ask that the state lawmakers review the current law, realize that there is a major difference between what a “retail food establishment” does, and what we actually do at breweries across the state. I encourage the lawmakers and anyone in the position to make a change to come out to these breweries and take a tour to see what actually goes on.