Decision Maker

Patrick Murphy

  • FL18
  • Representative

Patrick Erin Murphy is the United States Representative for Florida's 18th congressional district.

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Petitioning Florida State Senate, Jeff Miller, Ander Crenshaw, Corrine Brown, Bill Posey, Daniel Webster, Richard Nugent, David Jolly, Kathy Castor, Dennis Ross, Vern Buchanan, Tom Rooney, Patrick Murphy, Alce...

Add a need-based component to Medicaid

My four-year-old daughter Avery has medical conditions so severe that she will need assistance for the rest of her life. When Avery is sick, I quickly find myself drowning in debt and struggling to afford the care she needs. Unfortunately, I make too much to qualify for Medicaid, even though I wouldn’t be able to afford her bills if I made double what I was making now. I am asking the state of Florida to add a need-based component to Medicaid, so that families of loved ones with severe and extremely costly medical conditions can get the healthcare they need without sacrificing their family’s financial security. Families like mine aren’t asking for handouts. Many of us are fortunate enough to have insurance, which covers some of our loved ones’ medical bills. But because we make more than the annual Medicaid income threshold of around $26,000, we are prohibited from getting state assistance, something crucial for families of debilitated children. We are left with two primary choices – hope that our child’s affliction qualifies for the Medicaid Waiver (my daughter does not because her disease is rare) and enter the seven-year long waitlist; or quit working, sacrifice our annual income and family’s well-being in order to qualify for Medicaid. As a single father of three children, I have a responsibility to provide my kids with the best life possible. I cannot do that now, because Florida’s Medicaid program refuses to help me afford Avery’s care for bills that well-exceed the scope of my insurance coverage. How can I keep a roof over my kids’ head,  food on the table, and find a way to save for  their education if the majority of my income is going towards her medical bills? Sadly, my children are the real victims here. I agree that low-income families need help in receiving healthcare, but families who have loved ones with severe and costly disabilities should also be able to get the necessary assistance from Medicaid. I shouldn’t have to quit my job so my daughter can qualify for Medicaid. I shouldn’t be penalized for trying to be a contributor.  That doesn’t help anyone -- not my daughter, my family or society at large.   Please help me change Florida’s Medicaid for the better and ask for a need-based component, so families like mine can take care of their loved ones without sacrificing their family's security.

Greg Creese
132,251 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States

Justice for Military Sexual Trauma Victims: Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act

Of the 26,000 sexual assaults in 2012, only 3,374 were reported and only 302 were brought to trial. I am a retired U.S. Navy Veteran and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) survivor. And like many other victims in the military, I was harassed, and humiliated by my Chain of Command after reporting my abuse. But a bipartisan bill before the U.S. Senate right now can completely change how sexual assaults in the military are handled - the Military Justice Improvement Act.  As it stands now, any U.S. Military personnel, male or female, who are sexually assaulted or harassed are at the mercy of their own Commanding Officers who have full jurisdiction and discretion in prosecuting these cases. In many of the cases the perpetrator is not prosecuted while the victim is treated as the criminal, ostracized and harassed by their own command and often their military service stands in jeopardy. This is why so many assaults go unreported. Even though I was raped while in the Navy, my case it is a story of command harassment.  During a 5 year period I was harassed, by my command because the Maintenance Officer didn't want "women in his Navy".  Between being raped and continuously harassed I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2001.  I was raped and it was traumatizing, but the most devastating thing was the Command Harassment. The Military Justice Improvement Act (S. 967) changes this by taking the Commanding Officer out of the case and providing a specialized legal group in charge of investigating and prosecuting these cases. This is a common sense step that our closest allies, including the UK, Canada, Australia and Israel, have made to their militaries.  The Military Justice Improvement Act has bipartisan support but needs more votes to pass and it will be voted on this week. Your Senator needs to hear from you about this important bill now!  I spent 20 years trying to run away from the hell the Navy put me though. I was told that all of my problems were between my ears. They tried to Court Marshal me, they harassed me on a daily basis, and when I was transferred the harassment continued because my perpetrator picked up the phone and had me labeled a troublemaker before I even checked in. If the Military Justice Improvement Act had been passed then, that wouldn't have happened to me.  Help us get the word to Congress that the rape culture in the military is still prevalent.  Tell them we will no longer allow our men and women in the military to be raped, tell them that we WILL hold them accountable.  I am taking a stand against the unjust persecution of my brothers and sisters that are victims of MST and harassment. Please join me by asking your Senator to support the Military Justice Improvement Act. 

Teresa Youngs
131,745 supporters
Petitioning Florida Governor, Florida State House, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nat Geo WILD, Richard Nugent, Donald Gaetz, Tom Rooney, Aaron Bean, Kelli Stargel, Wilton Simpson, Bill Nelson, John Legg, The...

Protect Endangered Florida manatees by installing prop guards on propellers

I would like to see manatees become more protected in Florida. The Florida manatee is an endangered species. I am proposing a law that would require boaters to have prop guards on propellers so that if they were to hit a manatee, it would not injure it. It would be a simple requirement that would make a huge impact on manatee population and would benefit the ecosystem. It breaks my heart to see manatees covered in scars. Manatee populations are dwindling due to boating accidents in shallow waters. People need to respect this species by protecting it. If this law is passed it would require all boats and watercraft in Florida state springs, parks, and rivers to have safe guards over their propellers. And if people do not comply, there should be a fair priced fine. It is critical to help prevent the Florida manatee from eventually becoming extinct because they are a very important part of the ecosystem. They come to shallow water areas very frequently, especially during the winter when it is getting colder in most other regions. Manatees surface to breathe every three to five minutes. Slowing down on your boat or watercraft unfortunately is not enough sometimes, and these beautiful creatures suffer on impact from propellers. Installing safe guards would not only protect manatees, but it protects all marine life so that boaters wouldn't have to worry so much about potentially killing innocent wildlife. Some state parks have installed safe guards on their boats because they are aware. I notice that tourists and civilians are not so much aware of this problem but even more are unaware of this solution. Spread the word and help me make this a law!

Holly Kuhns
122,886 supporters
Petitioning Eric Hirschhorn

U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments: Stop Silencing Syrian Voices! #FreeSyriasNet

Every day, Syrians are risking their lives to broadcast pictures and videos of the uprising -- but because of U.S. sanctions on Syria, they don't have access to essential technologies that would protect them from being spied on and tracked down by the Syrian government - often with the use of computer viruses. By easing current sanctions, the U.S. can help Syrian activists share information more safely. Because of U.S. sanctions, Syrian people are denied access to tools important to their online safety and security, such as anti-virus software and automated security updates. Syrians can't make purchases in Apple's App Store for their Apple products and it isn’t even possible to target Syrians with online advertising and PSAs on platforms like Facebook. Widely used products like Java, Yahoo Messenger, and mobile app stores like Google Play, which host important tools such as the Guardian Project's popular anti-censorship tools, do not have essential automatic security updates. Western governments and private corporations have publicly committed to helping Syrian activists, but the reality described by activists on the ground—and documented recently by the Washington Post —does not always match the rhetoric. Recent statements from the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) have made it clear that it is U.S. Government Policy that these tools should be available.  Yet many vital platforms and tools remain inaccessible, because the sanctions are too complex and most companies fear harsh penalties of up to $1m per infractions.  As Syria undergoes unprecedented political upheaval, there is an opportunity for the Departments of Commerce and Treasury to review existing export controls, examining current language and licensure mechanisms, to address the concerns of private companies and reduce the barriers to licensing.  We ask that Commerce and Treasury consider:   • Granting a new general license to provide broader, clearer, and more explicit exemptions on personal communications and security technologies, balancing legitimate concerns over cryptography and financial transactions with the need to protect the safety of at risk populations.   • Streamlining the licensing process for both companies and non-governmental organizations, and offer clearer formal and informal guidance to companies on licensing procedures.  Please join me and other human rights advocates from Syria and across the world in calling on the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Commerce to rise to the challenge.

Dlshad Othman
18,214 supporters
Petitioning Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Theodore Yoho, Patrick Murphy, Alan Grayson, Ron DeSantis, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Kathy Castor, Ted D...

Remove Florida's "free kill law"

The state of Florida has a Wrongful Death Act (Statutes 768.16-768.26) that protects doctors from being held responsible for their own negligence.   What this law states is that any person who dies from a medical malpractice, who is not married and does not have a child under the age of 25, the doctors and hospitals cannot be held responsible.  I am looking to change this law, my Father was only 53 years old, this hospital and their doctors did not do anything to help him, whatever was wrong with him they made it much worse. My father was at home when he started to not feel well. I was called by his mom to find out what she should do. I asked her to call 911 and have an ambulance come to get him since he was hard headed and would not go to the hospital on his own. I spoke to him before he left and he was perfectly fine. The ambulance came picked him up and took him to Leesburg Regional Medical Center at 430 pm on August 22, 2016. I called to the ER around 630 pm to let them know that my father was there, I was the main person of contact and that he had left his phone at home and would not be able to call me. The nurse took my name and number told me he was there and everything was fine she would relate the information. I did not hear anything back from anyone that night. The next morning at 5 am I was on my way to work when I called and asked how he was since I had not heard anything. The nurse said "Oh he has been transferred to ICU." I said "What, why? nobody has called and told me anything." She said she would transfer me up there. I spoke with a male nurse who told me my father had low oxygen levels and that everything was ok, he just needed to be sedated to be put onto a breathing machine. At this point in my mind everything was ok he just needed oxygen, the nurse spoke to me real calm and told me there was nothing I needed to worry about at this point. He was wrong!! Come to find out he was on 100% oxygen on complete life support. I was told they placed him in a medically induced coma because he was fighting the machine. They strapped him down to bed, forced a tube down his throat to intubate him and put him in a coma. Why did they not try an oxygen mask? Why did they have to strap him to the bed and put him in a coma?  Around 8 am a nurse called me saying they were trying to find another hospital that could accommodate my dad and have him transferred, possibly to Shands in Gainesville. She proceeded to tell me over the phone it doesn't look good his prognosis is poor and I should get all of my family to come up. After arriving, seeing I was clearly upset by seeing my father this way she then proceeded to tell me that its not as bad as it looks. She was very rude and short with me about anything that I would ask of her. She then had a nurse in the room that was fiddling with his IV lines and clearly did not know what he was doing. When asked how long he had been a nurse his reply was 4 weeks!!! 4 WEEKS and he was working in the ICU and did not know how to clear out the air from the IV lines.  Every day a different nurse was there and every day I was asked if I wanted my father to be revived if something were to happen. Of course, I said yes!! I was reminded that his quality of life may not be great and I should really think about that. I fought all the way til Friday to try and get him transferred to another facility that could care for him. I was constantly told things like he would not make transport, once the insurance company starts to pay one hospital and doctor they don't like to pay another. I called his insurance who reassured me I had the right to move him and they would pay whoever billed them. At this point I have not spoken to any Drs. regarding his condition what treatments they were giving him, what their plan was, or even what was wrong with him. I spoke to one on the phone for about 5 mins who said he agreed he needed to be transferred to a facility that could care for him. I argued with one other Dr. regarding the same thing. He told me I needed to call hospitals and find an accepting physician. Which is the case managers job NOT mine! Finally, I was told they had a hospital which would be Tampa General and they were waiting to hear back from the facility to see if they would accept my father. I left that visiting hour and had such high hopes of him being moved. The next morning I was told since he was on life support the machine he would go with was much smaller then the one he was on in the hospital. They had tried him on the smaller machine and he did not do well therefore, he could not be transported.  Later that afternoon, my fathers heart started jumping from a regular heart beat up to 160 and then flat lining. They were not sure why his heart was doing this. A cardiologist came up to speak with me and was asking if he had a heart condition that he should know about. I told him he did not and that he had just had a sonogram done on his heart about 4 months prior and they said everything was great. The Dr. pulled those records and came back saying there was nothing found in his test and that he had a good strong heart. So why was his heart acting up now? He said he may have to put a pace maker in but he was not stable enough to do so AND they did not have an operating room table big enough to hold his size. He said he will monitor him and see what happens in the next day or so. I was then told since he could not be transported they would re-evaluate his condition come Monday. Monday morning my fathers oxygen machine was lowered down to 70% oxygen which meant an improvement from the previous week. I was content and thought things were going to get better. That night when I went back for the last visiting hour session, his machine was back up to 100%.  Tuesday afternoon, August 30, 2016 my fathers heart stopped beating for the last time. They worked on him for about 20 minutes and called his time of death at 4:50 pm. I laid crossed my fathers chest for two hours asking god why he had to take my dad from me! It was the hardest day of my life. When it was time to leave, I had to sign paperwork and let them know who would be picking up his body. When I seen the time of death on the paper something struck a nerve that I checked my phone to see when they had called me. They called his time of death a few minutes after the phone call. I felt as though they didn't try to revive him and the nurses words to me were "Oh, honey they tried for a long time, they think they may have popped his lung with the tube." When she told me this I told her then I want an autopsy. She said well you will have to pay for that yourself the Dr. won't agree to that. I gave her the information of the place who would be picking up my father and was called for several hours after he passed saying who is coming to get him we need him off our floor he is still in the room. 5 hours after passing he was still laying in that hospital bed and had not been taken downstairs yet. I was determined to get that autopsy, the nurse supervisor supposedly called the medical examiner and asked for one and was denied as well. I was told I would have to pay $5,000 for one on my own.  To this day I do not know what caused my father to become so ill. I was told he had pneumonia but it was hard to tell because they could only do a chest x-ray as they did not have a machine wide enough for his broad shoulders. In his medical records everyday they charted "Probably Pneumonia". Then they told me he had ARDS, Acute Respiratory Distressed Syndrome. On his death certificate, they put cause of death being malignant arrhythmia, pneumonia, and staph infection. This Dr. would not even give me the closure of knowing what was really going on inside of him. They kept him in a coma the entire weeks stay with propofol. There were a few times they would stop the sedation and he would try to wake up, I even got him to open his eyes and look at me. As soon as he started to come to the nurse would put the sedation back on and out he would go. He would move his foot when I told him to therefore I thought he was going to be ok. In my heart I feel as though something didn't go right. I have reviewed his medical records and things do not add up AT ALL!! I found in the papers that he was tried on the smaller machine and did fine although the tanks ran out quickly they felt as though he could travel. It was later revised that he could not be transported. I also found an order to stop the Lovenox shots, which is a blood thinner to ensure he did not catch any blood clots while being immobile. The order was put in on 8/24/16 but yet, there is record of them giving a shot every day after this order. On 8/28/16 the Dr. stated it would be fine to continue the shots even though the order was clearly ignored before. His medical records are inconsistent to what I was told about many other things as well.  Both Drs. that were over his care have medical malpractice suits that have been filed against them, both which have resulted in death. One Dr. had a case as recent as 2013. When will this stop? How many more families have to live through these Drs. getting away with murder because of a clause that the Drs. and law makers have come together to make. It is not about money it never is, I want answer as to what happened to my father and why at 53 years old he is gone?  Please sign and share this on all social media networks. This law has to change and these Drs. have to be held accountable for their actions. 

ashley cain
2,471 supporters
Petitioning John Mica, Alan Grayson, Corrine Brown, Daniel Webster, Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Frederica Wilson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lois Frankel, Ted Deutch, Alcee Hastings, Curtis C...

Relief for Commuters: Ask our Representatives to Support Commuter Benefits

If you like the idea of less congestion for your commute, more transit benefits, better commuting options, then please read and support this petition: Even if you drive to work by yourself, passage of this bill will help you because less cars will be on the same streets, and more people will be in public transit. In May of 2014 Florida took a step forward in making our cities friendlier to transit with the introduction of SunRail, and in January of 2015 this country took a step back by decreasing commuter tax benefits for everyone. Please read the following letter sent to every member of Congress earlier this year. Let's ask our representatives to take action on passing this bill.   Cosponsor H.R. 990, the Commuter Parity Act of 2015 and restore parity for pre-tax commuter benefits for motorists and transit riders Dear Colleague:On January 1, 2015, almost 3 million of America’s commuters felt a tax increase because Congress was unable to come to an agreement to permanently extend parity between the parking and transit pre-tax benefits. I ask you to join me in co-sponsoring legislation to fix this problem once and for all. H.R. 990, the Commuter Parity Act of 2015, is a bipartisan solution to permanently establish parity in a revenue-neutral manner. At the beginning of this year, the transit portion of the transportation fringe benefit fell to $130/month while the parking portion remained at $250/month. The decrease in the transit portion of the commuter benefit resulted in an increased tax burden for workers who utilize public transportation for their daily commutes. For example, a working family that takes advantage of the full allowable monthly pre-tax deduction could pay as much as $750 more next year in federal taxes without legislation to re-establish parity. In effect, the lack of parity creates a financial incentive for Americans to drive to work alone, further crowding our busy roads. The “Commuter Parity Act” would create a unified cap of $235/month for both parking and transit. In the coming weeks, Congress will have the opportunity to take action to maintain parity in the parking and transit portions of the commuter benefit as it considers important tax-related legislation. We urge you not to forget the millions of commuting Americans that rely on the transit commuter benefit and join us by cosponsoring this bi-partisan legislation. To cosponsor, please contact Jamie Tricarico of my staff at Sincerely,PETER T. KINGMember of Congress

Peter Martinez
1,474 supporters
Petitioning Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)

Save Voice of America Radio to Tibet

National Public Radio (NPR) reported that “The [Buddhist] monks [in Tibet] listen secretly to Voice of America’s Tibetan service news every night, despite feeling almost physical pain at the bleak news.” Ignoring the suffering of the Tibetan people under the Chinese communist rule and desperate self-immolations of Tibetan monks to shock the conscience of the world, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a U.S. Federal agency which operates the Voice of America (VOA), wants to end VOA radio broadcasts to Tibet. Don't let the Broadcasting Board of Governors deny uncensored Voice of America news and hope to the Tibetan people while BBG executives divert U.S. taxpayers' money to create new high-level bureaucratic positions, pay themselves bonuses and sign a $50 million multi-year contract with the Gallup Organization. As U.S. taxpayers, you fund and support the Voice of America. Demand that your money be used to bring uncensored American news to the suffering people of Tibet, China and other countries without free media rather than being spent on the salaries of government officials at the Broadcasting Board of Governors.   The folowing letter will be sent to Members of Congress:   Open Letter to Members of House Appropriations Committee Dear Members of Congress: This letter is to request your strong support to restore the funding in the FY2013 Budget for Voice of America (VOA) radio and television broadcasting to China and Tibet. We adamantly object to the proposal by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which manages the Voice of America, and their plans to eliminate the VOA Tibetan Radio Service, the entire VOA Cantonese Service, as well as eliminating more than 200 positions and reducing information coverage in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Cuba, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Russian Federation, Turkey and Vietnam. The Voice of America English and Spanish services are also threatened with severe cuts in broadcast operations and staff. The Caucasus region, including Chechnya, and Central Asia are likewise targeted by the BBG’s plan for unprecedented program cuts and reductions. This egregious effort to disappropriate funding from VOA will effectively undermine the purpose of several Congressional mandates, including Public Law 94-340. The Voice of America has a mandate to inform the people in China who speak Cantonese by providing them with news broadcasts that promote freedom and democracy.  There are more than 70 million people in China who speak Cantonese, including in the critical economic hubs of Hong Kong as well as Quangdong province and this effort to deny VOA broadcasts to them in Cantonese will isolate them from uncensored information. This campaign against the Voice of America – during PRC Vice President Xi Jinping’s week-long visit to the United States – is nothing less than another attempt to concede that, little by little, the Broadcasting Board of Governors will dismantle America’s commitment to broadcast news on behalf of the United States not only to China but to other strategic areas of the world. The VOA Tibetan Service was created by an Act of Congress, Public Law 101-246, sponsored by Rep. Dante B. Fascell and signed into law on February 16, 1990, “to provide Voice of America Tibetan language programming to the people of Tibet.” Less than one year ago, the Voice of America was celebrating the importance of Tibetan radio broadcasts, marking the 20th anniversary of the first VOA Tibetan radio program. This campaign against Voice of America also comes during the detention of hundreds of Tibetans into Laogai (re-education through labor camps) upon their return from India after attending teaching sessions overseen by the Dalai Lama.  It comes while Tibetan Buddhist Monks are sacrificing themselves as human torches to shock the conscience of the world as the only way to dispel darkness and ignorance. It comes during the PRC’s ongoing crackdown on Roman Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Uyghur Muslims, Falun Gong practitioners, and all prisoners of conscience in China.  It comes one week after the PRC sentenced Zhu Yufu to seven years in prison for writing a poem. This effort to reduce Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Marti and broadcasting to the Middle East also comes during a time when the Broadcasting Board of Governors has entered into a $50 million dollar multi-year contract with the Gallup Organization. It is doubtful that Gallup or any company can successfully conduct a reliable audience research about Voice of America and other US Government-funded broadcasts into countries like China, Russia, Iran and Cuba.  People are too afraid to even admit that they know what these broadcasts are, much less tell a stranger that they are consumers of these news and information programs, which their governments tell them are dangerous and designed to destroy their nations. What these broadcasts in fact provide is uncensored news and hope. And yet the Broadcasting Board of Governors, known for its lack of transparency and the poorest record of management among all federal agencies, again plans to divert valuable resources away from programs serving information needs of the most oppressed into unproductive operations and bureaucratic positions, while also eliminating jobs of journalists who specialize in human rights reporting. We urge you to require that the FY 2013 Budget funding for the Voice of America’s Cantonese Service and the Tibetan Radio Service be restored, and to undo the proposed cuts in other news and information services so that Voice of America can continue to fulfill its mandate to provide an accurate, balanced and comprehensive view of significant American thought and institutions and to clearly present the policies of the United States to the people of China, Tibet and other news-restricted nations. Respectfully, Harry Wu, Laogai Research FoundationAnn Noonan, Committee for U.S. International BroadcastingTed Lipien, Committee for U.S. International BroadcastingJing Zhang, Women’s Rights in ChinaRobert Reilly, Senior Fellow for Strategic Communication at the American Foreign Policy CouncilTimothy Shamble, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1812Marie Ciliberti, retired Voice of America writer, producer and broadcaster for programs directed to the former Soviet UnionManny Papir, International Human Rights CampaignerRobert A. Senser, Human Rights for WorkersJustin Yu, The Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New YorkAnn Lau, Visual Artists GuildGanden Thurman, Tibet House U.S.Gary Marco, Alexandria, VAJeremy Taylor, Free Burma AllianceReggie Littlejohn, Women’s Rights Without FrontiersNew York State Senator Reverend Ruben DiazKarl Altau, Managing Director, Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC)John Lenczowski, The Institute of World Politics

Ted Lipien
879 supporters
Petitioning Richard Scott


The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Kelvin Lawson (a non reappointed trustee), led the charge to not retain the effective leadership of Dr. Elmira Mangum as the 11th President of FAMU. On the 3rd day of the new semester, the BOT met to evaluate the president and then decide on her future with the University. Despite the many accomplishments that Dr. Mangum has made during her time at FAMU and the instability that another leadership change at FAMU will cause, the Trustees voted to put their personal and political agendas ahead of what is best for Florida A&M University and its students. Collectively, HBCUs have had over 40 Presidential changes since 2014. FAMU has had six leadership changes in the last 14 years. This churning of Presidents is not acceptable, and stops the forward momentum of the institution. We do not want FAMU to be the next South Carolina State University, Paine College, or Elizabeth City State University. FAMU's revolving door of permanent and interim presidents created an unstable environment at the university since the departure of our beloved Dr. Frederick S. Humphries in 2001. Since 2001, FAMU has had 6 presidents (3 permanent and 3 interim), and this instability led to two probation periods by SACS, the suspension of the Marching 100 and an erosion in the FAMU brand because of the negative media that has followed FAMU in those years. This would be the 7th change in leadership since 2001. FAMU needs stability in leadership. During Dr. Mangum's tenure, FAMU has improved its performance metrics, raised a university record $6.5 million dollars, improved student success to historic highs, increased the number of degrees awarded to a historic high, increased scholarship supports to students, increased FAMU visibility and reputation that has led to many national rankings, created a strategic plan that positions the university for success, and put the university on the path for a record $100 million Capital Campaign. The University is also preparing for its reaffirmation with its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC). Despite these accomplishments, individual board members have colluded together to giver Dr. Mangum a subpar evaluation in a continuing effort to unseat her as the President.   We know that Governor Rick Scott and other politicians in Florida are using what we call the “South Carolina Strategy” to attempt to destroy FAMU. The SC Strategy includes: 1.) Appointing Board Members (Matthew Carter, Robert Woody, Kelvin Lawson) who create chaos2.) Closing high-impact programs in STEM (e.g. joint engineering school)3.) Ensuring inconsistency in leadership (e.g. consistent dismissal of presidents)4.) Creating failure on state metrics5). Ensuring that enrollment declines6). Highlighting negative stories while burying positive news7). Interfering in the selection process of new presidents Dr. Elmira Mangum's leadership at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University has brought stability to our alma mater despite the consistent resistance to change by the previous members of the FAMU Board of Trustees during here two years in Office, our 11th and 1st Female President has begun to implement the changes necessary to turn FAMU around. Dr. Mangum's time at FAMU has been much like President Barack Obama's time in the White House: major accomplishments despite the consistent obstructionism from Republicans in congress. Dr. Mangum has brought stable and strong leadership to FAMU that has led to increases in the unfair BOG performance metrics. She thwarted an attempt by FSU to steal FAMU's College of Engineering that they were allowed to tag on to in 1982 as a joint engineering college. Despite only being on the job for 24 hours, Dr. Mangum stood up for Rattlers everywhere and said no despite urgings by state Republicans and others to "cut a deal" with FSU. Last year, FAMU was at the bottom of these metrics, yet this year the University was two points behind Florida State University. Fundraising at FAMU is at an all-time high over the last two years. Dr. Mangum has also brought in a dynamic team who is bringing needed changes to benefit FAMU students, faculty, staff and alumni. These include Provost Marcella David who has been responsible for leading FAMU's focus on improving student outcomes; Athletic Director Milton Overton, who has led the charge to revitalize FAMU's dormant athletic program; and Vice President for Research Timothy Moore, who has increased FAMU's ability to attract much-needed research dollars over the last 16 months. On behalf of all REAL RATTLERS who want to see a stable and prosperous FAMU, we urge the FAMU Board of Trustees to stand behind the woman that we have chosen to lead FAMU and the positive changes that she has made and will continue to make on behalf of FAMU. We want to send a clear message that the alumni, students, faculty, and staff of Florida A&M University who have signed this petition are 100% behind Dr. Mangum and we believe that she should have received an excellent presidential evaluation for her great work, but also we believe that her contract should be extended by the FAMU BOT. We believe that any action by the FAMU Board of Trustees, the Florida Board of Governors, or Governor Rick Scott to not extend or terminate the contract of Dr. Mangum will destabilize the University and send the institution backwards in the same ways that have been the case for South Carolina State University, Elizabeth City State University and other HBCUs across the country where states are seeking the demise of our historic institutions. What we seek is FAMU Today, FAMU Tomorrow, FAMU Forever and FAMU Forward!!!! We, the Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Students, sign this petition to make it LOUD & CLEAR that this is unacceptable. We demand that the FAMU BOT reverse its decision and extend Dr. Mangum's contract.

Rattlers4FAMU Real Rattlers
458 supporters
Petitioning Kathy Castor, Donald Gaetz, Alan Grayson, Ted Deutch, Patrick Murphy, Corrine Brown, Alcee Hastings

Safety and Welfare of Florida Citizens During and After a Hurricane

To whom it may concern, My name is Sandi Klug-Lard. I am a concerned Florida resident in Jacksonville, Florida. This is something that is concerning me right now, because of impending Hurricane Matthew, and has always concerned me. Unlike some states, Florida does not have a law which prohibits employers from taking action against employees who refuse to work because of an impending hurricane. What this means in reality: We can’t evacuate if we need to because our employers could fire us. Also, the employer is not obligated to pay their workers one cent if they are forced to close for a hurricane. They can, however, require us to hand over our leave time in order for us to be compensated. If employers don’t offer leave time anyway, then their employees will simply go without pay; leaving them in financial strains they may not be able to recover from. Again, what does this mean in reality? This means our leave time we worked hard to accrue for Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays can be stolen from us by our employer because of a natural disaster we have no control over. For those unfortunate enough to not have any sort of paid leave or paid sick leave, they will simply be forced to be unable to make ends meet because of the time missed from work. Many employers in the state of Florida will wait until the day of a hurricane to make a decision concerning its operations. A few years ago, I worked through a hurricane at a fast-food establishment because I was afraid they would fire me if I didn't. How is a fast-food chain "essential" in a hurricane? Non-essential businesses should give their workers time to prepare for the impact of a hurricane and/or evacuate. This is simply common sense and common decency to ensure Florida residents safety. However, many businesses do not follow this protocol, forcing their employees into dangerous situations out of fear for losing their jobs. I watched Governor Rick Scott urge Floridians in affected areas of Hurricane Matthew to evacuate. However, many Floridians are more scared of losing their jobs or not being able to pay their bills because of this storm than they are of the actual storm. They are more afraid of being fired from their jobs which are forcing them to work in dangerous conditions than they are of being sure they are safe. I’m sure you are just as concerned about Florida residents and their welfare during and after a hurricane as I am. I urge you to take action to put new legislation in place to protect the welfare of Florida citizens during and after natural disasters like a hurricane. Best Regards,Sandi Klug-Lard

Sandi Lard
260 supporters