Ohio State House
Ohio State House
PREVENT DOMESTIC HOMICIDE! Make Non-Fatal Strangulation a Felony in Ohio.
On January 31, 2014 Monica Weber Jeter was strangled by her husband until she was "dizzy and unable to call for help". The attack occurred while she was sleeping and their five young children were in the home. One of the children disrupted the attack and called 911. Monica’s husband pled "no contest" and was found guilty on a MISDEMEANOR domestic violence charge. He was sentenced to 11 DAYS of a possible 180 days IN JAIL and six months of probation. The protection order was lifted a month after the attack. Nine months later, on October 8, 2014, Monica's husband assaulted her again. This time viciously beating and stabbing her while she slept in their North College Hill Ohio home. Two of the children witnessed the attack—their twelve year old daughter called 911. Monica endured multiple stab wounds, massive blood loss, painful surgeries, and major organ failure. She spent thirty-two days in critical condition at University of Cincinnati Hospital in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. She fought so hard to survive for her family but her injuries were just too severe. She died on November 9, 2014. She was thirty-six years old. Monica’s large heartbroken family is completely dedicated and focused on raising awareness and making real change in her honor. Our first goal is to get legislation passed in Ohio that specifically makes non-fatal strangulation a felony. The statistics regarding domestic violence and strangulation are staggering. Almost half of all domestic violence murder victims have suffered at least one incident of attempted strangulation prior to a fatal or near fatal violent incident. Strangulation is lethal force and is one of the best predictors of escalating violence and future homicide in domestic violence cases. Strangulation is a red flag for future domestic homicide! If Monica's husband had been convicted of a FELONY for the January strangulation attempt, he could have been in prison on October 8, 2014 and Monica might be alive today. Felony strangulation laws not only secure tougher punishment for domestic abusers; but also promote awareness of a crime that often precedes murder. Ohio needs to join the 30 plus states that have already made this life threatening crime a felony! Please support MONICA’S LAW by signing and sharing our petition. Help us prevent domestic homicide in Monica's memory. To learn more about Monica’s story and support our efforts to make a difference please check out Monica’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/prayersformonicaweberjeter #MonicaStrong
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. 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. 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 2017 creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. 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 struggle to connect to their American military fathers. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017 now!
Remove Front License Plates in Ohio
In Ohio we're required by law to have front plates on our vehicles. Why should we continue to do so when we could save $1.65 million in taxpayer money per year? There is no evidence of a decline in safety as a result of removing the plates. Front plates hurt fuel economy as well as reduce aerodynamic efficiency, not to mention obstruct most vehicles cooling systems causing cars to have higher operating temperatures. If you were to purchase a vehicle in a state that doesn't require front plates (such as Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia for example) and bring it into Ohio you would need to drill unnecessary holes into your cars' front bumper to attach one. And front plates brackets which differ for every vehicle are typically expensive to replace should your factory one become damaged. These are just a few of the many reasons for why we should rid ourselves of the burden that are front license plates.
Justice For Rae'Lynn Thomas
This August, Rae'Lynn Thomas, a 28-year-old trans woman of color, was murdered in Columbus, Ohio. She was murdered by James Allen Byrd, an ex-boyfriend of Rae’Lynn’s mother who lived with the family. Byrd regularly referred to Rae'Lynn as "Satan" and a "devil" for being transgender. He called Rae'Lynn those names right before he shot and killed her. Rae'Lynn's aunt told the press, “He took a light away from all of us that we can’t get back." Her family said they believe that Byrd pulled the trigger out of hatred for Rae'Lynn and her transness. [Source for quotes from family: http://www.10tv.com/article/ family-southwest-columubus- woman-killed-call-it-hate- crime] Despite the hateful nature of Byrd's rhetoric and attack and the family’s belief Byrd killed Rae’Lynn because she was transgender, the Columbus Police are not investigating the incident as a hate crime. This is a miscarriage of justice that needs to be addressed. We can’t let James Allen Byrd or anyone else commit this type of crime and ignore that hatred played a role. An investigation must be conducted in instances like this one. While some lawmakers have blocked the inclusion of specific LGBTQ language in Ohio’s hate crime statute, interpretation of the law allows for a hate crime investigation in this case based on Rae'Lynn's gender and the classification of the trans community as a social group. Rae’Lynn’s story is a personal one for me. I was raised not far from where she was murdered. Growing up, I was terrorized and threatened by classmates for my sexual orientation. I never felt safe, and didn’t feel the laws protected people like me. As soon as I could, I moved to Chicago where I could live proudly as a trans woman. Had I stayed to transition, I can only imagine what could've happened to me. A story like Rae'Lynn's terrifies me. It shows the injustices and fear faced by gender nonconforming people in places like Ohio. That is why I hope you'll join me in calling for justice for Rae'Lynn, her family, and the transgender community. Demand that the Columbus Police conduct a hate crime investigation related to her murder. Make your voice heard by signing this petition. After you sign and share, you can take additional action by contacting the Mayor and Columbus Division of Police directly: Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther TwitterFacebook E-mailPhone: 614-645-7671Mail: Mayor Andrew J. Ginther / City Hall 2nd Floor / 90 West Broad Street / Columbus, OH 43215 Columbus Division of PoliceTwitterFacebookPhone: 614-645-4545Mail: Columbus Division of Police / 120 Marconi Blvd / Columbus, OH 43215
Free Mohamed Soltan
After a military Coup toppled the democratically elected government, Mohamed Soltan took part in the Rabaa Square Protests. Although Mohamed Soltan is not a Muslim Brotherhood member, his desire to help and his ability to speak both English and Arabic fluently, led him to becoming the media spokesman dealing with international reporters. He was a first hand witness when the army took down Rabaa square. On August 14th, he was shot in the arm by an army sniper. As he described it, "I felt like I had been punched in the arm by the hulk." His efforts were not deterred, as he continued to partake in Pro-Democracy protests. On August 25th, police forces arrested Mohamed, along with three other Egyptian youth. He was a sympathizer of the cause that promoted democracy, freedom, and social justice for Egypt. He strongly believed in nonviolence. At the onset of his detention, Mohamed was moved from prison to prison to ensure that his whereabouts would remain unknown. Once his family was finally able to connect with him, Mohamed informed them of the intense brutality he was facing on a day to day basis while in prison. "The brutality with which I have been treated has been mind boggling. During the day, soldiers and police would get in two straight lines, and we would have to run in between them as they beat us with rocks and sticks. They roused anger amongst the officers by falsely proclaiming that we had killed police officers. The officers stripped off our pants and shirts as they beat us with clubs. They put us in jail cells with what must have been 60 other inmates, and it was terribly hot and water was not made available to us. I saw an inmate suffer a heart attack right before my eyes and not receive proper medical attention. The surgical wound on my arm was open and oozing, and not one of the guards seemed to care because I was labeled a political prisoner." Mohamed Soltan's family is still waiting for answers from the Egyptian authorities. He is facing charges on bizarre, fabricated counts, and awaits the day that he is fully absolved and reunited with his family and friends. After months of illegal detention, Mohamed finally stood before a judge, no evidence was presented and no argument was made, the judge simply ordered he be held for another 45 days. In protest, Mohamed entered into a hunger strike immediately following the hearing on January 26th, 2014 with no plans to end it before he is immediately released for lack of evidence against him. His situation grows more dire by the day. This petition seeks to put pressure on the United States government to demand the Egyptian authorities release their American citizen, Mohamed Soltan.
Extend Supports to Foster Youth Through Age 21
To give Ohio's foster children a fair chance at leading successful adult lives.
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
URGENT: Help Baby! Stop ODNR from murdering an innocent tame rescued deer named Baby in Vermillion, Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) continues to dishonor the most compassionate citizens of Ohio and in so doing steps violently upon our God given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The state does NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to make compassion illegal by forcing people to commit negligence. Debbie is a retired nurse who owns a dog rescue in Vermillion, Ohio called St. Francis Animal Sanctuary. She saved the life of a little fawn named Baby who has known nothing but love. The ODNR is threatening to kill this precious tame animal and arrest Debbie. The ODNR needs to be stopped! Baby has a life. DNR has a trail of death. This is senseless wasteful barbaric killing must stop. Please sign this petition to save BABY. FYI. After signing the option to donate to further promote this petition is given.
Get Pit Bull Breeds off of the aggressive breed list! It's the owner, not the dog!
The Pit Bull breeds, American Pit Bull Terrier/American Staffordshire Terrior/Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Bull terrior, are really misunderstood dogs. It is never the dog who chooses to be aggressive, it's the owner who makes them aggressive. Any dog, any breed can bite. Any dog, any breed can attack. If you think about it, how many times does a small dog such as a chihuahua bite? Every day, but they're not on the BSL. Pit bulls are actually a mix of terriers and English Bulldogs. Have you ever heard from someone that Pit Bulls have lock jaw? Well, that's not true. Pit Bulls just have really strong jaws. In fact, German Shepherds actually have stronger jaws then Pit Bulls. German shepards got off the list not too long ago. So why not this beautiful breed with a weaker jaw? When it comes to temperament, these breeds are actually really patient animals. They are great with family's, babies and children. So great that they were once called "Nanny Dogs." The American Temperament Testing Society has proven that Pit Bull breeds can be less aggressive than Beagles and Golden Retrievers! These loyal pups can be trained to be service animals, therapy dogs, and if you want, police dogs! During WWII, this amazing breed was used as a symbol of bravery. They were the symbol of our great country during that tough time. All of the people out there that say Pit Bulls are mean, have clearly never owned one. Yes, horrible people fight dogs, but it's not the dogs fault. Once they are rescued, they should be given a second chance at life. It's the dog fighter who should be euthanized. Not the dog. These companions are smart, therefore they are easy to train and learn fast! They are naturally sweet, cuddly, and love their humans unconditionally.
This Dog is dying chained to a tree, and ARC threatened me for reporting it!
Ohio is years behind on animal abuse compared to other states. I want to tell you about our story here in Dayton, Oh... and introduce you to our most recent failed attempt to save an abused and horribly neglected dog. For the sake of this story, we will call him 'Blue.' I have always rescued dogs. Usually in my own backyard. We are in Montgomery County Ohio, and most residents here who attempt to save these poor animals know that The Animal Resource Center of Montgomery County (aka ARC) is probably the worst place to get involved, but the only place that holds any power to take action. ARC has a horrible reputation. Visit their Facebook page and you'll see they have numerous complaints for putting animals down before their mandatory hold time is up, breaking promises to animal owners, not doing their job to help animals. If you run a basic google search... it only gets worse. In almost case that I have found an animal, I refused to call them. If I file a complaint, they will take the dog... and they WILL find a reason to put it down. If a dog is starved for months, and you feed him/her... and try to take it away, what do you think the reaction will be? Should't they be allowed some time to settle down before their temperament is tested? I know if I were starved and someone tried to take my food, I wouldn't be happy about it. Let me tell you about my friend Blue. Blue is a pitbull. For years he has sat faithfully in a neighbors backyard, chained to a tree. A chain that probably weighs 50 pounds. He was always a happy dog. He would play with kids and dogs on the other side of the fence, and despite that he lived on a chain with no shelter, and no human contact (except through the fence) he was a very sweet loving, and for the most part- healthy dog. I no longer live in the area but i visit occasionally. The whole family is familiar with Blue, we would all give him treats, and sometimes snacks. On February 4th, 2016, I went to visit relatives, stepped outside to find Blue completely emaciated. His entire bone structure showing through his bones. His eyes were sunken in, he was depressed and could barely carry the giant chain because he was too weak. He had an untreated wound on his ear, where the tip had been completely cut off, and his nose had been split open with noticeable dried/frozen blood on it. We immediately fed him and gave him water every day going forward. For days we tried to make contact with the owner and got no response. We were warned by neighbors that the owner was armed and dangerous. On February 11th, 2016, in order to avoid confrontation, I contacted a well known organization across Ohio. The group requested to remain unnamed, however they also contacted another human agent who is well known and is on T.V. all the time. He personally went to the address himself, after a 2 hour drive. This is the response he got when he tried to speak with the owners and the response I received after he visited "A girl answered the door, stated their dog was healthy and in good condition, they didnt need help with food or vet bills or worming because he sees the vet" So the only explanation for Blue's condition is blatant neglect. They have no reason to neglect or abuse him, yet they do it anyway. About an hour after that agent visited the property, I watched an ARC employee, pull up to the home... knock on the door, get no answer so HE GOT BACK IN THE VAN AND LEFT! This is important to know, you'll understand why shortly. They refused to even read the signed statements we had from 5 different people regarding the treatment and conditions the dog lives in. The laws for the State of Ohio state this sort of abuse and neglect are a felony. Ohio code 959.131 section 'D' states: "(2) Deprive the companion animal of necessary sustenance, confine the companion animal without supplying it during the confinement with sufficient quantities of food and water, or impound or confine the companion animal without affording it, during the impoundment or confinement, with access to shelter if it is substantially certain that the companion animal would die or experience unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering due to the deprivation, confinement, or impoundment or confinement in any of those specified manners." This law also states anyone in violation of section D is guilty of a felony in the 5th degree! WHY ISNT THIS BEING ENFORCED? The laws were written, but poorly. The law states that the local city or county animal enforcement agency (ARC) is who should handle all animal abuse complaints, and enforce laws... but it does not give them any more power to do so. They cannot make arrests, or force anyone to do anything, but the bigger issue is that they barely do their job to begin with! The city has an anti chain ordinance but we would have to record hours of the dog being on a chain in order to prove it and even if I did that, it is still only a misdemeanor and Blue would still be in the same situation. We are left with 1 city law that is barely worth pursuing, the State law that nobody can/will enforce, and ZERO county laws, but the county is the only entity that can enforce it? What good does any of this do?! After all of this, and another complaint, and investigation was supposed to be held by the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. We never heard anything back on that. As of today, ARC threatened me, and protected the owner! This is the latest response from ARC: "Our evaluation of the dog both 02/11 and 02/15 (with the owner present in close proximity on 02/15) finds that the score of 1-2 is accurate with the dog being slightly less than ideal but not UNDERWEIGHT. Our officers observed the dogs stools which were well formed and consistent with a dog receiving adequate nutrition (no diarrhea or obvious parasites). The owner been apprised of the Dayton tethering ordinance (not enforced by our agency) The chain was of sufficient length to reach the garage and and bowls. He advised that he is going to place a dog house outside in addition to the garage which the dog has access to during the day. He noted that he will taking the dog inside some evenings as needed. Absent your letter our office received one anonymous complaint on 02/11 which was received at 10.:26 dispatched at 11:26 and cleared at 12:29 It has been observed that the alleged complaint has been observed since October of 2014 but has waited until February 2106 to lodge an official complaint. We handled this immediately upon the first complaint and did so again when we received your email. The cruelty and neglect complaint is without merit and is being closed as unfounded. As stated in the opening, no probable cause exists to seize or confiscate this animal. removing it absent probable cause may constitute theft and, anyone to gain custody an owner by alleging violations of the Ohio Revised Code would b e subject to potential theft by deception charges. Anyone attempting to obtain the animal by intimation is also subject to potential charge theft by intimidation or threats. All of these under ORC 2913.02 and are misdemeanors of the First Degree Our office responded and conducted an investigation on February 11 and determined the dog was care for in compliance with the applicable Ohio Revised Code. The owner has a 2016 license for the dog. As a follow up in response to your letter, our office conducted a second inspection today 02/15 and again found no violations of the code. The dog is not emaciated , has access to shelter, and unfrozen water and is currently licensed. the dog is not suffering, injured or in a state that present and imminent threat to its life, health or safety and no probable cause exists to remove the animal." If this is true then why do I have VIDEO on my phone time-stamped that same day, February 11th, of him trying to drink from a frozen water bowl?Why did I witness with my own eyes, the agent leaving the home without ANY contact with the owners, or entering the backyard? Why did they say they would bring the dog in the house if need be, but the temperature that day was documented at 22 degrees, with a wind chill bringing it close to 0, and I have video at multiple times during the day that poor blue never left his chain, and walks funny because of his feet being cold? WHY do I have pictures of him less than 24 hours beforehand, with bones showing through his skin? If this is the job they are trained to perform than they need a serious overhaul. Blue was not AS emaciated when they saw him because WE were feeding him, which they were aware of and I have pictures and video of that as well. I have pictures of the injury they said does not exist. They said he was in good shape on the 11th yet all my pictures and videos still show his ribs, and a bloated belly from them trying to hide the abuse. I have CLOSE up from February 10th, showing he is completely Emaciated, yet he magically got better overnight? pics are here : https://goo.gl/photos/peCc7gMEZNDGaAm5A ARC has lied and as you can see above is now threatening me for trying to help the dog escape his abuser, on top of filling false reports, and failing to do their basic job duties. I will ensure all videos and proof I have accompany this petition. I am asking Ohio, ARC and our Governor to step up and do the right thing. Amend these laws so they can actually be enforced, give the county the power they need and tell ARC they cannot take short cuts that will cost an animal its life! This abuse could've been stopped but as of today 03/03 Blue is STILL on that chain in the rain and cold, Still no dog house! If he is in better condition today, does that mean we turn the cheek and pretend like the abuse never happened? We are being punished for feeding a dog that otherwise would have starved and died. Now that he has been fed, I suppose we are supposed to forget it all happened right? JUST BECAUSE HE MAY BE IN BETTER SHAPE NOW DOES NOT MEAN THE ABUSE DID NOT OCCUR! Blue is one of 12 dogs cited in the city of Dayton living on a chain. Some are fed, some aren't. This is not only inhumane but it is also what creates aggresive dogs! You will also see upon a basic search that Mark Krumpf (the director of ARC) is well known in the media for ignoring complaints. A woman was mauled by a dog after his office was called numerous times prior. In 2013 he was accused of making false statements on a report to execute a warrant for a property. This is just the beginning of the complaints against him and his office. I believe ARC needs a NEW DIRECTOR, someone who hasnt lost their passion for animals. Someone who can run ARC in a way that those of us who rescue animals wont be afraid to call them. Ohio has a Good Samaritan that law that states anyone can remove a dog that is neglected or abused, as long as the owner is notified. Now that ARC is involved they have threatened anyone who wishes to invoke that right. Most people call ARC for help, not knowing that if they seize the animal, it will die, or they could be threatened like I was. HELP ME HELP BLUE AND ANIMALS LIKE HIM ACROSS THE STATE BEFORE ITS TOO LATE! ARC NEEDS A NEW LEADER THAT WILL NOT ENCOURAGE LIES, AND THAT WILL ACTUALLY HELP ANIMALS IN NEED INSTEAD OF ONLY ACTING WHEN IT BENEFITS THEM. This is the website for ARC: http://www.mcohio.org/departments/animal_resource_center/index.php Let them also know how you feel about the situation: but we ask that you keep any contact professional. This will explain the Good Samaritan law mentioned above: https://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/goodsamaritan.html This is the link to the current State laws: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/959