Ohio State Senate
Ohio State Senate
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.
The Aniya Law: Emergency removal of minors in imminent danger.
The Aniya Law We the undersigned demand for child protection laws to include emergency removal of minors in imminent danger. The tragic case of Aniya Day-Garrett brings to light the need for a statewide change in Ohio’s Department of Children and Family Services process and procedures concerning the handling of the reported abuse of minors. Statewide legal provisions are urgently needed to allow specific-designated representatives to take emergency action to save abused children that are injured or in imminent danger. THE LAW MUST BE CHANGED SO THAT NO CHILD WILL BE HANDED OVER TO AN ABUSER YET AGAIN. We are demanding our Government officials to consider the “Aniya Law,” to assure the safety of all children. Under the Aniya Law, we’re asking that the following protocols be implemented: If a minor is thought to be injured and/or in immediate danger of physical harm or death, it should be considered an emergency. Law enforcement, designated school officials, and care givers should be legally allowed to request a 24-72-hour hospital admittance to allow time for a medical examination, treatment, interviews, and a determination by the Department of Children and Family Services on if the child should be removed from their home. An emergency visit to a home when an urgent call is received, accompanied by a thorough interview and physical evaluation of the subject minor with a thorough investigation of the home. In the case that the subject minor is not made present, impart citations on all adults in the home with a 24-hour window to take minor to the nearest hospital for a full evaluation. Emergency removal of a child from a resident, displaying signs of abuse until further investigation. Stricter penalties for Department of Children and Family Services representatives who do not follow laws and statutes, or perceived to be acting in favor of the offending parent, guardian, or caregiver.Mental evaluations completed on foster parents periodically Mandate on the number of case workers based on population A required child abuse registry Without the Aniya Law, children will continue to suffer from abuse and death in silence. Aniya’s Story On March 11, 2018, four-year-old Aniya Garrett was tragically taken from her family. Paramedics found her unresponsive with scald marks on her feet and legs, a bruised left eye and a cut on her face. Aniya died of a stroke triggered by blunt force trauma delivered to the emaciated and scarred girl's head while in the care of Sierra Day, and her boyfriend, Deonte Lewis. During the last year, Aniya’s biological father, Mickhal Garrett pursued full custody through the courts, but was continuously met with delays due to legal procedures and the actions of Sierra Day, which included her absence at mandatory court dates and the avoidance of the child appearing in public. Reports of abuse were reported by relatives, Aniya’s daycare, Aniya’s father and Aniya called 911 to report abuse. In each case, Sierra Day was given custody of the child. Children and Family Services investigated three reports alleging abuse against Aniya in 2017, but the agency did not find cause to remove her from the home. We’re calling the Governor, State Legislatures, and the Federal Government to act and institute uniform national child protection laws applicable across the nation.
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
Get Rid of the Resident Educator Program: Override Governor Kasich's Line Item Veto
On June 30th, Ohio Governor John R. Kasich completed several line item vetoes in H.B. 49, which is the FY2018-2019 State of Ohio Operating Budget. Item number 10 vetoes the Elimination of the Ohio Resident Educator Program. Governor Kasich explained why he thinks Ohio's New Educators need to complete the Resident Educator Program: "This provision eliminates the four-year program for new teachers that they complete in order to prepare for a professional educator license issued by the State Board of Education. Elimination of this program creates a situation where teachers have no path to move from resident educator to professional licenses. One-on-one mentoring support, instructional guidance and detailed, objective feedback on classroom performance help new teachers drive improved student learning and achievement. Having a program that provides feedback and support to teachers in their first years of teaching is critical for student success and for retaining teachers. Therefore, this veto is in public interest." Although we would not argue that the need for support and mentors are key to retaining teachers in the education field, the Resident Educator Program does not improve teacher performance as Governor Kasich believes. He stated that the program provides detailed, objective feedback. For anyone that has completed the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA) in their third year of teaching, they could tell you that the feedback is vague and does not provide guidance for the teacher to improve their practice. In fact, many of us have been evaluated through the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) while being considered Resident Educators. We often receive more valuable feedback during the OTES process than the RESA process. Additionally, the RESA tasks are incredibly time-consuming and that takes time away from our students. As an educator, we completed an accredited teacher-prep program, we were immersed in several field experiences to practice our skills under the guidance of mentor teachers, and we took state-mandated assessments in our areas of expertise to earn our license. We have already jumped through hoops to start our career, we should not be required to complete tasks that do not help us become better teachers to stay in the field. Let us do our jobs and help our students succeed. We are asking that the Legislators in Ohio override Governor Kasich's veto of the Elimination of the Resident Educator Program.
Metal Detectors in Ohio Schools
In order to provide safety for our children I feel this is becoming a necessity. Children are entering schools with guns and killing innocent people. We as concerned parents are scared to send our children to school, having metal detectors installed would ensure the safety of our children. This is becoming a problem in our schools nationwide. I feel this would help our society tremendously and help our children and their parents to feel they are safe while at school. If we can come together as a community and get the proper donations and have fundraisers to fund these metal detectors as they have fundraisers for everything else why shouldn't our children's safety be a first priority!?