Oregon State House
Oregon State House
Stop Internet Service Providers from Selling Our Private Online Data
On April 3rd, 2017 President Donald Trump signed legislation allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to save and sell your private online search data. The legislation was authored by Senator Jeff Flake, R-AZ. This means ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon will have access to anything you have searched for, even in private browsing mode, and can sell that information to the highest bidder. The ISP lobbyists and their cronies in Congress successfully argued that it was unfair to restrict service providers from spying on your browsing habits because online companies like Facebook can already legally use browsing data to advertise to you. But companies like Facebook are opt-in and can be blocked from accessing your data by using private browsing modes or connecting via a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. Your ISP can see what you've looked at online no matter what security measures you take. ISPs also typically have monopoly power over entire areas of the country, all while collecting federal subsidies to expand their broadband capacity. This means consumers have no choice but to be automatically "opted-in" to being actively monitored online by their monopoly-holding ISPs if they want to connect to the internet. It's time to stand up for basic consumer rights and stop the for-profit collusion of our elected officials and greedy, privacy-invading internet service providers. We're calling on our representatives to take the lead by introducing legislation to restore FCC privacy rules.
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!
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
To allow all the tow trucks in the United States to run red and blue strobes on the trucks
Tow trucks run amber lights, while on the road to help people with wrecked vehicles or disabled vehicles. With this tow operators loose their lives because won't move over and slow down while the tow operators are on the side of the road by their person being struck, their tow vehicle being struck or the vehicle they are trying to hook up being struck. I believe that if tow trucks are allowed to run red and blue strobes lights on their rigs that the amount of our brothers and sisters in the towing industry being killed will decrease substantially.
Put in a stop light at 140 and Kershaw
On Tuesday, May 9th 2017, a young man, soldier, wrestling champ, well-known and loved community member 21-year-old Hunter Hoeptner was killed in a fatal accident while riding his motorcycle on highway 140 where it meets with Kershaw in White City, Oregon. Hunter was a good man. He volunteered 100 of his own hours in high school to help others in the community. He was a hard-working wrestling champion for Eagle Point High School, and a leader for others. He also joined the National Guard to help others. He wasn't just any regular guy; he impacted people's lives deeply every day he had on this Earth. He inspired us to follow in his footsteps and make a greater change for our lives. Just being around Hunter made people happy. He didn't have to tell you he loved you or cared about you because you could see it in his actions, you knew he did. Many people of this community are hurt right now because of this tragedy. His death was unexpected and unfortunate, but I don't want it to go down as just another death on this road. There needs to be something done on this highway where Kershaw meets. A little orange light is not enough. Too many people have been in accidents and hurt here to not take action. The safety of other loved community members is on the line. I would like to propose a speed limit change as well as a traffic light. A simple change could save lives as well as heart ache for this community. -Tristan Watson & Taylor Thompson
Pass Melissa's Law in Oregon
On December 13th, 2001, our 14-year-old daughter Melissa was tragically raped, sodomized, and murdered in the backyard of a neighbor while on her way to school. The loss of Melissa could have been prevented, if all rape kits were processed by Portland police. In 1997, three teenagers were dragged behind houses and raped. Two rape kits were not processed until years later, after Melissa was murdered, finally connecting them to our case. Had they been tested with urgency, her killer would most likely have been in jail and not free to kill our daughter. We expect police to test rape kits in a timely and efficient manner; but this is not the case. In July of 2002 we were assured by law enforcement that the backlog of rape kits would be processed. Now in 2016, there are twice as many backlogged. We’re calling on the Oregon House to pass Melissa’s Bill, which will require police to pick up rape kits within seven days of a hospital alerting them and submit the kit for testing within 14 days of receipt. Melissa’s Bill will also provide $1.5 million to the state crime lab to hire nine new DNA and biology evidence technicians to help process the kits. State police will be required to give annual updates to lawmakers on the progress of their testing of kits. In Portland alone there are over 2,000 backlogged and untested rape kits. There are 5,000 throughout the state. This is unacceptable. Melissa’s Bill was just passed by the Oregon Senate. We’re so close to getting it passed in the House and signed into law. That’s why your signature is so important. No family should have to go through a loss like ours. Please sign our petition and ask the Oregon House to pass Melissa’s Bill. Mary Bittler, Tom Bittler & Teresa McPherson
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.
Oregon Carbon Tax
Climate change is a very pressing issue in the world today. Everyone will experience the effects of climate change, and many people already have. Glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising causing the destruction of homes on many islands and in many coastal communities. Weather patterns are changing leading to an adaptation in where certain crops can be grown. This means many farms will have to switch the crops they produce, and some areas will no longer be able to grow crops at all. If we allow the fossil fuel industries to continue to wield their financial power in order to exercise control over governments and politicians, it will only get worse. Your children and grandchildren are likely to live in a world in which devastating natural disasters occur often and the only living animals are those that humans made sure would not go extinct. It is not too late to do our part, to make a difference, and to fight for a better future. One way a number of communities are fighting is by paying a carbon tax. If everyone, individuals and businesses alike, are legally required to pay a tax on the greenhouse gases they put into the atmosphere they will be motivated to reduce the pollution they produce. We, the undersigned, want our state, Oregon, to start paying a carbon tax and leading the rest of our country and the world toward a future in which we can live in peace with the environment and no longer have to fear the effects of climate change.
Child abuse needs stronger penalties and laws need to be enforced. Ezra deserves justice
This is Ezra’s Story that started when he was 2 1/2 On November 19, 2017 the nightmare began. Ezra was taken to ER with what my daughters now ex boyfriend said was from a fall. He was airlifted to Portland and there is where we were told they had to perform immediate brain surgery or he will die. Surgery was performed and even then we were told he’d most likely not make it through the night. Then fourteen hours after this nightmare began I was pulled out of his room where I was sitting, crying and praying, begging to God to please save my grandsons life, we were told it wasn’t an accident. I would have never fathomed that another human being would do such an horrific act to an innocent child. Not my grandson. This doesn’t happen to people like me...Right??? I chose to put the hate behind me and channel all my energy into Ezra’s recovery. I knew the enemy that did this to Ezra would pay for this and I would fight for that but not that day. That day Ezra needed all the love and support just to make it through the night. Ezra did survive that night only face more challenges. He had what doctors referred to as Shaken Baby Syndrome. His brain was severely injured. Traumatic brain injury, is what they said and now that he survived the three nights that the doctors told us he wouldn’t, they wanted us to take him off life support because he would most likely live in a vegetative state the rest of his life. His brain was so damaged that they said he’d most likely not see or hear or even open his eyes. However, Ezra did open his eyes and he can hear. Ezra is along way from the rambunctious little boy he once was and he has a long road ahead of him but we have faith he will continue to improve. Nine months later we are battling the judicial system. The man that did this isn’t going to get the life sentence he gave Ezra. In fact he is looking at 60-90 months. I was told that improvements in Ezra could lessen that sentence. The man is only 21 years old and will have the chance to attract young vulnerable women with small children to do this again. He has to be stopped! NO CHILD should EVER endure the pain and suffering that Ezra deals with almost on a daily basis. Almost five children a day die from child abuse. We have to stop this. Get these people off the streets and out of the homes of children. Let’s get them registered as child abusers and make others be aware of what they are capable of. Let’s get stricter penalties longer sentencing. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A CHILDS LIFE. Please support me in fighting child abuse and getting these perpetrators in jail for longer periods of time. Put yourself in my shoes when you read my story...it could happen and it did.
Save Lives: Require Spinal Muscular Atrophy Newborn Screening
August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month. Please join our efforts to require SMA newborn screening, and help end the deadly effects of SMA. About SMA: • SMA is the number one genetic killer of babies and children under the age of two.• SMA is a motor neuron disease like ALS.• SMA robs the ability to move, swallow, and eventually breathe. • One in 40 unknowingly carries the gene responsible for SMA.• When two carriers have a baby, there is a 25% chance the baby will have SMA, a 50% chance the baby will be a carrier, and a 25% chance the baby will be unaffected.• One in 10,000 babies is born with SMA. The FDA approved Spinraza as the first treatment for SMA on December 23, 2016. However, newborns continue to go untreated when they would receive the most benefit, as no states are performing SMA newborn screening. Newly diagnosed Type 1 SMA babies treated with Spinraza didn't lose their ability to move, swallow, and breathe, but instead gained strength. Some even crawled and took steps — steps away from the deadly effects of SMA. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks never lost abilities to SMA, and developed as average babies do. They crawl, eat, stand, and walk. Only newborns with older SMA siblings have been treated this way, as their parents knew to screen for SMA. Every newborn needs to be screened for SMA, so babies born with SMA can develop just as babies without SMA do. For this to happen, SMA needs to be added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), states need to require SMA newborn screening, and funding needs to be provided for SMA newborn screening. The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Committee) is scheduled to vote to add SMA to the RUSP at its February, 2018 meeting. Once the Committee votes favorably to add SMA to the RUSP, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will add SMA to the RUSP. This is an important step, as many states look to the RUSP when adding new conditions to screen for. This petition will be delivered to both the Committee, and the Secretary of HHS. States also need to require newborn screening, as the RUSP is only a recommendation, it does not mandate states to test for conditions. We will continue to pursue SMA newborn screening in every state, and this petition will help our efforts. Missouri is the only state to enact newborn screening legislation, and will begin screening for SMA in January of 2019. Federal and state funds are also needed to begin and continue SMA newborn screening. This petition will help us as we advocate for funding with the appropriate federal and state congressional members. Act Now: With an FDA-approved treatment, it is urgent we secure SMA newborn screening. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks will have the best chance at progressing as they would without SMA. Every baby born with SMA should be afforded this life-saving treatment. Please sign our petition urging Committee to vote to add SMA to the RUSP, urging states to require SMA newborn screening, and urging federal and state congressional members to provide funding for SMA newborn screening.