Give the Vietnam Blue Water Navy Veterans their presumptive rights.
In 1977, the first claims of Agent Orange exposure came flooding into the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). But it took 14 years for Congress to actually listen, take action and give our Vietnam veterans the benefits they deserved. The Agent Orange Act of 1991 was implemented to provide much-needed care to veterans who were exposed to the harmful chemical cocktail Agent Orange. Many of us thought the fight to get the medical attention we deserved was over, but that wasn’t the case. In 2002, the VA amended its initial plan and excluded thousands of “Blue Water” Navy vets -- vets who served right off the coast -- from receiving our rightful benefits. Because we hadn’t served on land, the VA tried to say we were unlikely to suffer the effects of Agent Orange poisoning. Even though we didn’t serve on Vietnamese soil, we were still exposed to Agent Orange. In fact, a 2011 study by the National Institute of Medicine found that Blue Water veterans could have been exposed in multiple ways, including via the ships’ water distillation system and through the air. The National Institute of Medicine also stated, “Given the available evidence, the committee recommends that members of the Blue Water Navy should not be excluded from the set of Vietnam-era veterans with presumed herbicide exposure.” We are asking for your help in urging Congress to pass legislation (House Bill H 299 and Senate Bill S 422) that will reinstate our right as Vietnam Navy veterans to receive the benefits we deserve for being exposed to this terrible chemical. Nearly 90,000 Blue Water vets are depending on you. We are dealing with serious health issues that range from cancer to diabetes, and from Parkinson’s to heart disease. Many of these diseases have made it nearly impossible for some of us to get steady work. Last year, the VA finally extended benefits to Air Force crew members who flew in C-123s after they had been used in Vietnam to spray the toxic cocktail. The VA came to the realization that even the slightest exposure to this chemical had serious effects on a soldier's health. So why are the Navy vets’ pleas being ignored? We breathed the Agent Orange-polluted air that drifted from the coast and drank water sprinkled with the herbicide, and now our bodies are paying the cost. We ask you to stand with us, and with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. David Valadao, and demand that the VA assume responsibility for the effects of Agent Orange on Blue Water vets. Please sign our petition asking Congress to pass House Bill HR 299 and Senate Bill S 422 and give us our benefits.
We Demand that the U. S. Senate not confirm Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor
Andrew Puzder is among Trump's more controversial Cabinet picks because he has publicly opposed the overtime rule and various other Department of Labor regulations, and because the fast-food industry, from which Puzder hails, is a top wage-theft enforcement target at the department. Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants, which includes Carl’s Jr. and Hardee's. It’s actually very hard to imagine a worse choice for Labor Secretary than Andy Puzder. The Labor Secretary’s job is to look out for American workers. Trump's Labor nominee has opposed increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour and efforts to expand eligibility for overtime pay. It would be kind of funny if it wasn’t so serious. During the election, Trump made a lot of promises to create good jobs. But he’s filling his cabinet with CEOs and right-wing billionaires who have spent their lives undermining working people’s rights to come together in unions, while fighting minimum wage increases, paid sick leave and family leave policies. The evidence clearly demonstrates that protecting the rights of the people who work at Puzder’s company or its franchisees doesn't seem to be his priority. Puzder has run a business model that has produced widespread labor abuses at the companies. According to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA, over the previous seven years, about 60 percent of all Labor Department investigations of Carl's Jr. Restaurants found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. While working people at his fast food chains sometimes were making below minimum wage, Puzder was taking big compensation packages. In 2012, he made 291 times as much as workers at his restaurants. Now, he could be in charge of enforcing our nation’s labor laws—from ensuring workplace safety to investigating wage theft. His companies had the fourth highest incidents of wage theft reported to the government. ‘Wage theft is a rampant, everyday problem in the fast-food industry: Nearly nine out of 10 fast-food workers across the country report having money stolen from their paychecks by their boss,’ Kendall Fells, the Fight for $15 national organizing director, told Bloomberg BNA via e-mail. Bloomberg reported. “Fells referred to a 2014 poll commissioned by the campaign of more than 1,000 fast-food workers nationwide. The survey documented such common worker complaints as being forced to perform tasks before clocking in or after clocking out, having the cost of uniforms deducted from their paychecks, and not receiving breaks during long shifts.” Puzder’s Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain also has a history of sexist television. He thinks it’s appropriate to peddle sex to kids if it sells the product. “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers,” said the CEO in a 2011 press release, according to Fortune. “We target hungry guys, and we get young kids that want to be young hungry guys.” Let’s target Puzder’s nomination instead. Just Say No Puzder at Labor. This petition will be delivered to the full Senate and to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee of the U.S. Senate
Save His Pension!
My husband did physically demanding work for over 30 years for Yellow Freight, and he did it happily, knowing that all of his hard work came with the promise of a pension to support us in our retirement. In 2014, Congress decided that those promises don’t matter -- it passed the Multi-Employer Pension Recovery Act (MPRA), which allows for disastrous cuts to the pensions of those who are already retired and on a fixed income. The pension Jeff earned will now be cut by 50%, putting our home and future in jeopardy. The MPRA was slipped into a must-pass Omnibus budget bill just hours before it had to be voted on to keep the government from shutting down. This dirty tactic was the only way such an unfair law could get passed. Now, lawmakers are trying to work to reverse the damage before it is too late, with the Keep Our Pension Promises Act (KOPPA). UPDATE 4/9/16: THE SAME PEOPLE WHO HAD MPRA SLIPPED INTO THE OMNIBUS IN 2014 ARE NOW WORKING ON A BILL TO MAKE IT LEGAL TO SLASH PENSIONS OF RETIREES IN FUNDS LIKE JEFF'S THAT ARE LESS THAN 120% FUNDED. THIS IS BLATANT PENSION THEFT! Tell Congress to protect seniors’ pensions. Pass the Keep Our Pension Promises Act. For lawmakers, many of whom are financially secure and don’t need to worry about their retirement, stories like ours don’t seem to matter when they pass harmful legislation. We don't live extravagantly. Now, because of MPRA, we are not sure if we can keep our home. Even worse, we have to stop helping two relatives with food and medical expenses. Jeff is 69 and I'm 66 and I’m scared we will be expected to go back into the workforce if we want to survive. Even if we wanted to, my husband has two bad shoulders and a bad hip from over 30 years of heavy lifting at Yellow Freight. I have a heart problem. It is a shame we are in a place where seniors even have to entertain this idea. The wealthiest country in the world can do better. Our lawmakers can do better. Jeff is a Vietnam vet. 60% of pensioners affected by this bill are Veterans. Jeff's pension fund still has $18 billion he and 400,000 others worked hard for. People like us cannot afford laws like the MPRA. It must be reversed or seniors like us could find ourselves on the streets and living in poverty. Please join us in asking Congress to pass the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.
Stop the uranium mine at the Grand Canyon
Every year, I visit the majestic waterfalls of Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. People like me come from all over the world and trek 10 miles down just to witness the unrivaled beauty of these irreplaceable landscapes. These places are also a national treasure, and we should be protecting them with everything we’ve got. Instead, a federal judge has given the green-light to the Canyon Mine to reopen and resume uranium mining without the consent or consultation from the Havasupai tribe who live there. The mine could contaminate groundwater, hurt local wildlife, and impact the health of the people in Supai, Arizona. Those who have come to love this part of the world don’t want to see the traditional homelands of the Havasupai people abused or contaminated. Corporate greed should not win out over indigenous rights, sovereignty, and the environment. I do not want to be swimming in contaminated or radioactive water, nor do I want to see the traditional homelands of the Havasupai people abused with a complete disregard for their tribal sovereignty. If corporations can get what they want in a place like the Havasupai inside Grand Canyon, then nothing is sacred and off limits anymore. I am standing in solidarity with Native American nations, environmental groups, and many others who are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt the opening of the Canyon Mine. This fight is also personal to me. I have not only seen the beauty of these places, but I have also networked with the Havasupai people and have gotten to know some of them. In August of 2008, I almost drowned in a major flash flood that hit the main canyon that made national headline news. People from the Havasupai tribe saved my life. With this petition, I’m hoping I can help repay the gift of life they gave me, and the sharing of their beautiful land with visitors. Let's raise our voices together to put a stop to this insanity. Tell the EPA that we are opposed to the Canyon Mine. It is too risky and must be stopped. Let's defend the beauty and stop those who may attempt to destroy it.
No on HJ69/SJ18: killing wolf pups in dens, hibernating bears, stealjaw toe traps on bears
Tell your Senator and President Trump to vote NO on H.J. 69/S.J. Res. 18! 225 heartless House Members voted to overturn a federal rule – years in the works, and crafted by professional wildlife managers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – to stop some of the most appalling practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management. Denning of wolf pups, killing hibernating bears, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and trapping grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares. The stuff of wildlife snuff films. And not just on any land. On our country’s national wildlife refuges. More specifically, on 16 national wildlife refuges covering 76 million acres, all in the state of Alaska. In this case, Alaska has a bloodthirsty Board of Game, whose members enthusiastically implement a draconian policy called “Intensive Management.” That policy dictates that state managers drive down wolf, bear, and coyote numbers to boost caribou and moose numbers for hunters — turning Alaska’s wildlife refuges into what retired Arctic National Wildlife biologist Fran Mauer calls “game farms” — the very thing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted to stop through a rigorous, science-based, and legal federal rulemaking process that was overturned by today’s vote. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shouldn’t run refuges like game farms, as Alaskan officials want to do. Only the U.S. Senate and President Trump can now stop this unwinding of a decision by a professional wildlife management agency. Please contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to steer clear of a disgraceful resolution, and to honor limits in the conduct of wildlife policy in the United States of America. From the Humane Society (http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/02/u-s-house-sanctions-killing-hibernating-bears-wolf-pups-dens-federal-refuges-alaska.html
Tell ICE to Stop Deportation of 19-Year-Old Aspiring Pastor, David Morales
Morales is a DREAM Act eligible student who was brought to the United States from Mexico when he was only 9 years old. After graduating from Granite Peaks High in Utah, David Morales, 19, planned to pursue his dream of higher education and becoming a Christian pastor. But on his way to a Bible college in Louisiana, he was stopped by immigration agents who boarded his Greyhound bus. An upstanding student with a track record of community service, Morales now finds himself in removal proceedings. His next court date is Thursday, October 6th and we need to put as much pressure on ICE as possible before then. Ask ICE to halt removal proceedings and grant Morales deferred action so he can continue his education in the United States. Please sign this petition and spread the word. Photo Credit: The Salt Lake Tribune
Congress, Pass the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016
Republican, Democrat, Independent -- we all know someone who has been affected by mental illness and I think we can all agree that mental health reform is too important to be held up by petty politics. The Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 will, among many other things: Modernize grants to provide mental health and substance use disorder services to homeless individuals; Ensure that vets are connected with a veterans' suicide prevention specialist when calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline ; Strengthen the leadership and accountability for federal mental health programs; and Ensure that programs incorporate the most up-to-date approaches to treat mental health conditions. These are all common sense solutions that need to be enacted, so let's together as a country say loud and clear that we will not wait, we will not stand by until an election year is over because we want and we need for Congress to pass this act!
Students Against Habitat Destruction
Our goal is to preserve and protect animal habitats. Habitat destruction is a continual issue. In today's world, humans are destroying wildlife and habitats through all of their activities. Many habitats are being harmed, which harms the species themselves. We want to be able to reduce endangerment of species worldwide through this project. We are determined to make a difference in the world, and with your help, that can become possible.
Preserve Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument!
Preserve Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument! The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument's vast and austere landscape embraces a spectacular array of scientific and historic resources. Utah HCR 12, the Concurrent Resolution Urging Federal Legislation to Reduce the Boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, is an archaic and illogical assault on one of the crown jewels of America’s National Monuments and an economic threat to the gateway communities of the Grand Staircase-Escalante. Our elected officials have made factually ungrounded assertions on the impact of the Monument, while turning their back on the vibrant and growing industries that represent the key future of Utah’s growing economy. The facts tell a very different story, and represent what those of us living in these communities know - the Monument has been very good for all of us. The Presidential Proclamation & Antiquities Act provide a clear mandate -- to protect the myriad historic & scientific resources on Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. To meet this objective, the Monument will be managed according to two basic principles. First and foremost, the Monument will remain protected in its primitive, frontier state, ensuring the remote, undeveloped nature of this landscape remain for generations to come. Second, the Monument will serve as an outdoor laboratory, providing scientific & educational opportunities to study biological & earth sciences, prehistoric life & environments, archaeology & pioneer history (GSENM Management Plan - 2000). · The economic benefits of the designation of Grand Staircase-Escalante have improved property values, household income and per capita income within Garfield County. “Garfield County's average annual real per capita personal income growth …surpassed Utah's average throughout the 2000s (1.34% vs. 1.15%), and outperformed Utah's average over the 6 year period of the last decade, 2010-2015 (2.86% vs. 2.15%)” (Bureau of Economic Analysis, n.d.). · The overall investments in the communities of the Garfield County since 1996 have been directly connected to the designation of the Monument. · Our vibrant, growing businesses and quality of life are dependent upon the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument remaining intact as designated in 1996, · The Monument has not negatively impacted local high schools’ enrollment. Bryce Valley and Panguitch High Schools’ enrollments remain steady, therefore, Escalante High School must be experiencing more complex pressures leading to the declining enrollment (Garfield County School District, 2016) · The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is part of America’s Conservation Lands and belongs to all people, not Utahans alone · The boundaries of the Monument were thoughtfully and scientifically designated with community input in 1997 (US Government Publishing Office, 1997) · Grazing on Grand Staircase-Escalante is currently managed by rules and regulations that predate the Monument, thus claims of the negative impact of the Monument on traditional grazing on public land are false (US Bureau of Land Management, 1999). · Actions by the State of Utah to attack the designations of National Monuments have already had serious economic impacts to the 8.12 billion dollar tourist industry (Alberty, 2017). · Extractive industries are in decline all over the United States, with two major facilities shutting down due to economic impracticality in West Virginia and Arizona (Dennis & Mufson, 2017). We, the people implore our elected officials to cease all efforts to diminish the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument until such time that any factual data is presented indicating that such an act would substantially benefit the citizens of the state of Utah and the United States over and above the current boundaries. The Bill: HCR12 Dennis, D., Muffson,S. (2017, 14 Feb). The West’s largest coal-fired power plant is closing. Not even Trump can save it. The Washington Post Garfield County School District. (2016).145 E Center St, Panguitch, UT 84759 (435) 676-8821 Southern Utah Oral History Project. (2011). Jayne Belnap. Retrieved from US Government Publishing Office Utah Regional Economic Analysis Project. Bureau of Economic Analysis United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management. (1999) Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument approved management plan. The Monument Plan
Stop the US Forest Service from trading land to private developers without public comment.
The US Forest Service is attempting to trade 160 acres our public recreational land to a local developer for residential use with out any comment or discussion. As it stands the law does not require that the Government investigate the impact that a trade like this would have on the local residents. Not to mention the stress it could cause on the local infrastructure. Development will permanently eliminate public access to hikers,bicyclists, ATV riders, sportsman, recreation enthusiasts and, in short, everyone in our community. This project would permanently adversely affect our quality of life. We value this undeveloped land and want it to stay just the way it is, free and open to the public. The property in question is on the east bench of Bountiful, Utah in the Twin Hollows area. Locally known as Cheese Park.