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.
Stop the Deportation of Iraqi Christians Now!
Honorable Michigan State Representatives and Senators: We are writing to ask you to STOP the deportation of Iraqi Christians, specifically, Iraqi Chaldean Christian and US Army Veteran, Nahidh Shaou. We are his mother, sisters, family, friends and concerned citizens. The state of Iraq is dire and rife with sectarianism and violence. ISIS specifically targets and murders Christians and seeks to eradicate all religious minorities from the country. If the US government deports Iraqi Christians back to Baghdad, directly into the hands of ISIS, it is committing an inhumane crime. President Trump declares he seeks to protect Christian minorities in the Middle East. The US government can first help Iraqi Christians by not deporting them into the lion's den of Baghdad. This is the story of Nahidh Shaou. He immigrated to America at the tender age of five years old and has lived in America ever since. Dedicated and patriotic to his new home, he voluntarily enlisted in the US Army as a teenager and was deployed to Korea. His father died while he was overseas in Korea. When Nahidh returned to America for his father's funeral, he suffered from depression, guilt, anxiety and PTSD. He received an honorable discharge and returned back to Michigan to take care of his mother and siblings. His mother was then diagnosed with cancer in her early 40's and Nahidh stuggled to provide for the family. Unfortunately, under the weight of his circumstances and PTSD, he committed a serious crime and served 35 years in Michigan state prisons. Nahidh quickly reformed, was a model inmate, and even received a college degree and a Certificate of Welding while he was incarcerated. Nahidh's dream is to attain a PhD in welding. Unfortunately, Nahidh was not afforded American citizenship, therefore making him eligible for deportation. Six months ago, he was finally released from prison but was detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE). On Monday morning, April 10th, 2017, he was escorted to a holding location in preparation to be deported back to Iraq, a country that he does not even remember. All of his family members are American Citizens living in America;he does not know a single Iraqi in Iraq. He only speaks English and will be unable to survive in the war zone of Iraq, especially as ISIS hunts for Christians in the country. If deported to Iraq, he will be deported to his death. Nahidh does not have an Iraqi Passport or any Iraqi identification documents. The Iraqi Government has provided a signed, sworn affidavit stating they cannot prove his Iraqi nationality and do not want him to be deported back to Iraq. We plead on his behalf to STOP the deportation of US Army Veteran Nahidh Shaou to Baghdad. Please help protect Iraqi Christians and don't let Nahidh be deported into the hands of ISIS. Sincerely, The Iraqi Christian Community and concerned citizens.
Treat Ohio Service Dog Owners Equally
Why are ALL of us, as owners of service dogs, NOT being treated equally in the State of Ohio? We are being divided into different categories, with the result that some of us are being denied equal access to a State program that provides for free and permanent registration of our service dogs. Ohio Revised Code 955.011 titled “Registration for guide, leader, hearing or support dogs to be free and permanent” contains language that prevents ALL owners of service dogs from having equal access to a State program. Definition of Discrimination by Merriam-Webster ... the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people. Ex: John Doe has a disablity and his service dog is privately trained, by himself and an experienced friend over the last 2 years. Jane Doe has a disability and her service dog was trained by a nonprofit agency for 6 months. If both service dog owners walked into the auditor office together and documentation is requested, John Doe and all owners like him (with privately trained service dogs) would be seperated, treated less than, and ultimately denied the free and permanate tag and registration for assistance dogs. The owner must then pay a fee, many are embarassed and some experience negative reactions from others. Jane Doe and all owners like her service dog (whom is agency trained) and can produce a certificate or badge would be approved and acknowledged. ORC 955.011(A) requires that the owner “show proof by certificate or other means that the dog is an assistance dog” in order to be exempt from an annual fee for registration of a service dog. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the U.S. Department of Justice, "...entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal...". "There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal." Since the ADA provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and takes priority over State or local laws or regulations, the current language in ORC 955.011(A) is contrary to the ADA and denies ALL owners of service dogs equal access to a State program. ORC 955.011(B) defines the meaning of “mobility impaired person, “blind”, “assistance dog”, “guide dog”, “hearing dog,” and “service dog,” but it fails to define the meaning of the words “leader” and “support” that are included in the title of ORC 955.011. ORC 955.011(B)(3) defines an assistance dog as “a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog that has been trained by a nonprofit special agency." ORC 955.011(B)(6) defines a service dog as “a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a mobility impaired person.” The ADA defines a service animal (which includes a service dog) as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability." If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or registered by a state or local government. The ADA does NOT limit the definition of “service dog” to one that provides assistance to a mobility impaired person, while ORC 955.011(B)(6) does. The ADA definition of “service animal” states that the animal is individually trained, while ORC 955.011(B)(3) states that a service animal (i.e. service dog) must be trained by a nonprofit special agency. Since the ADA often provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and takes priority over State or local laws or regulations, the current language in ORC 955.011(B) is contrary to the ADA and denies ALL owners of service dogs equal access to a State program. Owners with privately trained service dogs vs Owners with agency trained service dogs - They are being divided into two groups based on documentation. One group is not afforded equal opportunity to the same benefits or ability to the same outcome that is provided to the other group. The Americans with Disabilities Act under Section 28 C.F.R. 35.130(b)(3)Provide a qualified individual with a disability with an aid, benefit, or service that is not as effective in affording equal opportunity to obtain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as that provided to others; In summary, ORC 955.011 denies equal access to a State program that provides free and permanent registration of a dog that provides assistance to its owner who has a disability. Ohio Revised Code 955.011 permits the denial of equal access to this State program by: Requiring documentation, contrary to the ADA. Defining “service dog” to apply to only a mobility-impaired person, contrary to the ADA. Defining “assistance dog” to apply to only those trained by a non-profit special agency, contrary to the ADA. ALL owners of service dogs should be treated equally and respectfully when attempting to avail themselves of this program. Owners of service dogs should NOT be subject to discrimination, intimidation, and embarrassment when applying for free and permanent registration of service dogs through each Ohio county’s auditor’s office. The State of Ohio must ensure that its agents in each county’s auditor’s office are educated about the rights afforded individuals under the ADA. "Staff may ask two questions according to the ADA: Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task." Your help is needed not only now, but for our future as well. Thank you for taking the time to read this. ❤️ Together we can make this change! Sources: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/955.011 http://www.ada.gov/