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Petitioning U.S. Governors, Pennsylvania State House, Pennsylvania State Senate, Robert Casey, Pat Toomey, Tom Wolf, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Fund the testing of backlogged rape kits

Eleven-year-old Madison Wertz of Williamsport, Pa., learned about the national backlog of rape kits from a YouTube crime show that she and her dad, Michael, watched in early 2016. Madison was appalled to learn so many victims’ kits have sat untested for years, and she leaped into action. She began collecting signatures on a petition to help pay for Pennsylvania's backlog of untested kits. After about 6 months and 750 signatures, she was nominated for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette's 2016 Person of the Year. Now, with the help and support of my office as Pennsylvania Auditor General, Madison is collecting signatures nationwide to encourage each state to pass legislation that fully funds the testing of its untested rape kits; to upload all usable DNA evidence into CODIS, the federal database that matches DNA to identify serial offenders; and to prevent such a backlog from ever forming again. As auditor general, I produced a special report in September 2016 that evaluated the state of untested rape kits in Pennsylvania and offered 10 recommendations for improvement and action. Please join Madison and me as we fight to help all victims of sexual assault find justice, regardless of what state they live in. Your signature can spur action that helps victims find peace and leads to serial offenders being put where they belong: behind bars, where they can't hurt anyone else.    

Eugene DePasquale
97,243 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Pennsylvania Governor

Change PA Hate Crime Law to include Sexual Orientation

In Pennsylvania, LGBT community members are not legally protected by state law because sexual orientation isn’t included under its hate crime definition. My petition seeks to change that. On the evening of September 11 in Center City Philadelphia, two of my good friends were viciously attacked by a group of 15 boys and girls because they are gay. After asking the two young men if they were a couple, the group assaulted and robbed them while repeatedly calling them "dirty f*ggots." One of my friends was beaten so badly that police initially thought he was dead from a gunshot wound- due to his unconscious state and the amount of blood coming from his head. This gap in legislative protection is a gross failure to protect and serve people like my friends who were savagely attacked PRIMARILY FOR THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION. My friends are traumatized but not defeated. They never want this to happen to anyone again. And I won’t standby so I am demanding that the Pennsylvania state legislators act now to pass a law for a hate crime to include sexual orientation in its definition. According to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, a hate crime “is an act motivated by prejudice or bias. To be a hate crime, the act must be criminal - not a mere expression of an intolerant opinion.” Given the initial “Is that your f*cking boyfriend?” question and the constant use of anti-gay slurs during the attack, there can be no doubt that the motivation in this case was prejudice based on sexual orientation. Now it’s time for the state to get its act together. Despite three years of trying to make this change, legislators haven’t been able to get it done. Bills are pending in the state House and Senate, but no action has been taken. Today is the day that we get our state leaders to pass this law. Please sign my petition and help to get this critical law passed immediately. #LeaveYourHateAtHomeItsHideous

Caryn Kunkle
95,406 supporters
Petitioning Pennsylvania Governor

Pass Right to Try

Our son Matthew is six years old. He has a deadly form of Muscular Dystrophy called Duchenne. Right now, Matthew is like any other six year old: he enjoys playing sports and is very competitive. Soon, however, his body will defy his amazing spirit. His muscles will grow weaker and Matthew will need a wheelchair. Eventually, our son will be completely immobilized and face premature death. It's a terrifying future for our family to contemplate. But there could be hope if Matthew gains access to promising experimental treatments not yet approved by the FDA.  So far, Matthew has been denied access to these treatments, and, sadly, he is not alone. Whether it's the thousands of boys in the U.S. diagnosed with Duchenne each year, or the hundreds of thousands of Americans who receive a terminal diagnosis of another kind, many are left without hope because they are denied access to experimental drugs. I would do anything to save my son, and I believe that Matthew and all other terminally ill patients like him deserve the right to try to save their own lives. This petition is an attempt to get a "Right To Try" law passed in my home state of Pennsylvania, which will allow Matthew and other terminally ill patients to access promising new medications that have not yet received full FDA approval. There are currently only 28 states with "Right To Try" laws and I want Pennsylvania to be added to that list. Under the FDA's current system, only 3% of terminally ill patients are accepted into clinical trials each year. "Right To Try" laws open the doors to tens of thousands of terminally ill patients that have been closed for too many people, for far too long. For terminally ill patients like Matthew, that could mean the difference between life and death. I want to see my son continue to run, jump, and grow up achieving his dreams. I want people of all ages with ALS, cancer, Muscular Dystrophy, and other terminal diseases to have hope. Please sign our petition to tell the Pennsylvania legislature and governor to pass and sign House Bill 1104, the"Right To Try" Act into law. Thank you for your support.

Jonathan Anning
90,884 supporters
Petitioning Thomas Wolf

Help pass Ally's Law

Most people take for granted access to restrooms. For people like my daughter, having to use the restroom can be a medical emergency. My 11 year-old daughter Amber has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). At any moment, she could have a sudden and painful urge to use the restroom. Waiting to go is not an option and it often happens when a public restroom is not available. That is why my daughter and I have joined the fight to get Ally’s Law passed in Pennsylvania. Ally’s Law, also known as the Restroom Access Act, requires businesses that only have employee restrooms to grant access to customers if they have a medical condition requiring immediate access to a toilet. The law originated when a young girl named Ally was denied access to a store restroom and was forced to soil herself. Ally’s mother vowed that such an embarrassment would never happen to another person. So far a version of Ally’s law has been passed in 14 states. With your help, Pennsylvania could be next. An estimated 1.6 million people in the United States have IBD. When these people need to use the restroom, it is not out of convenience. The Restroom Access Act raises awareness and protects those with IBD. Please sign to allow people in Pennsylvania, people like my daughter like Amber, access to restroom facilities. Even if you are not a Pennsylvania resident, please sign and share. Every time a version of Ally’s Law becomes law, it’s a win for people with IBD everywhere. Hopefully there will be a day when the law is passed in all 50 states.

melissa todaro
57,160 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members reunite with their families

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy Veteran, who served for 10 years mostly 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. sailors and military contractors previously stationed overseas. In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. Many Amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. sailors 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 reunite 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 reunited 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 reunite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2016 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 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 reunite with her dad. You can find them in the Amerasian group pages on Facebook. Search angel services are available to both sides.There is a PBS documentary called "Left by the Ship" (2010), the video above, documenting everyday life and their personal struggles as a Filipino Amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggle to connect to their American military fathers, to bridge the gap between the past and the present. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2016 now!

Jenifer Bass
32,984 supporters
Victory
Petitioning The Governor of PA

Save Upper Darby Arts (www.saveudarts.org)

A PETITION FROM THE CONCERNED CITIZENS OF UPPER DARBY TOWNSHIP & THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA TO THE HONORABLE TOM CORBETT AND THE PENNSYLVANIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHEREAS, the Governor has expressed his conviction that state money should “follow the students,” and WHEREAS approximately 90% of Pennsylvania children attend public schools; WHEREAS, the $860 million in funding slashed from public schools in the 2011-2012 budget and the additional $100 million in cuts to public education proposed for 2012-2013 have decimated Pennsylvania public schools’ mandate to provide a complete, rigorous, and holistic education to all children; WHEREAS, the Upper Darby School District and its approximately 12,000 students, in spite of significant and remarkable progress toward standardized AYP goals, have suffered directly and indirectly under the stipulations of these budgets; WHEREAS, the loss of state reimbursement for the education of charter school students has cost the Upper Darby School District approximately $10 million over the course of the last five years; WHEREAS, the District is now faced with the need to eliminate art, music, library science, and physical education classes and their associated instructors from all District elementary schools and technology and foreign language classes and their associated instructors from District middle schools; WHEREAS, the academic, emotional, social, and cultural benefits of these programs to elementary and middle school-aged children are widely recognized; WHEREAS the loss of these beloved and enriching programs must be considered a blight upon not only the students of the Upper Darby School District but upon their parents and upon all citizens of Upper Darby Township whether publicly or privately educated, and; WHEREAS, the dismissal of certified, subject-specific instructors and the redistribution of their lesson plans and responsibilities to classroom teachers will marginalize the art, music, library science, physical education, technology, and foreign language curricula insofar as to make compatibility with the academic standards set down in Chapter 4 of the Pennsylvania Code vastly unachievable; BE IT RESOLVED, we, the undersigned parents, students, alumni, teachers, and taxpayers of Upper Darby Township and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania respectfully but emphatically call upon the Governor and the General Assembly to restore the millions of dollars slashed from funding public schools and public schoolchildren. We demand that our school district be funded in such a way as to enable it to do full justice to the academic, artistic, and fitness-related needs of our children and to properly prepare them for success in diverse communities both within and beyond the classroom. www.saveudarts.org

Colleen Kennedy
18,623 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Cumberland County township,Pennsylvania

South Newton Township, Cumberland County, Pa: Stop their plans to kill all feral and free roaming cats by a paid trapper on September 7th & 8th,2013

These cats are clearly being marked for extinction through the Townships' witch hunt of these innocent animals! South Newton Township in Pennsylvania is going to have a feral cat "cull" trapping and killing free roaming farmcats because of an incident with a cat having rabies in the area. They have hired a local "trapper" who will trap and kill (and I am not talking about a TNR trap, ie leg hold and other methods) and will be killing any cats caught. Residents have been warned to keep their pets indoors during the timeframe of September 7-8th. ALL cats, healthy or not will be killed!! Please visit our Facebook page...https://www.facebook.com/Savethenewtontownshipcats

jf richards
15,176 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Pennsylvania State House

No Syrian Refugees in Pennsylvania

Due to the rise in terrorism across Europe, and to the threat of terrorism to the United States, we wish to ban the Syrian refugees from gaining freedom in the state of Pennsylvania. It has already been seen, the threat that arises to other countries that have already allowed access to these "Refugees." As fellow Pennsylvanians, we wish to deny access to our state, as well as citizenships to them.

Troy Hoke
12,272 supporters
Petitioning Pennsylvania State House

Tell Lawmakers: Oppose the PennEast Pipeline

The PennEast Pipeline Company is trying to build a massive pipeline from the Marcellus Shale wells in north-central Pennsylvania out of state that will pollute the water supply and scar preserved land. We’ve seen how dangerous pipelines can be. A natural gas pipeline exploded in Westmoreland County earlier this year. No matter what PennEast does, the pipeline creates a permanent threat to thousands of our citizens. The good news is that there’s massive opposition to the project. Local townships in the pipeline’s path, residents across the state, and members of Congress have weighed in, and they’ve managed to delay PennEast’s application for months. If we can mobilize state lawmakers to speak up, we can keep the pressure on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and get the attention of the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), both of which need to approve PennEast’s application. Tell your state legislators to oppose the PennEast Pipeline and urge FERC and DEP to reject the application!

Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania
9,962 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Robert Casey

PROSECUTION FOR THOSE WHO FILM VIOLENT ACTS AGAINST PEOPLE AND POST IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

  On Thursday, April 21, 2016, 16-year-old Honor Student Amy Joyner-Francis was violently attacked by several other students inside of a bathroom at the Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington Delaware. This young student subsequently died after this violent attack. The violent attack was allegedly recorded on cell phone video and allegedly disseminated on social media. These types of violent acts are becoming far too frequent, and the glorification of these types of violent acts are becoming the new norm. I am making the following proposaIs: 1. I propose that local, state or federal legislation be passed to identify and prosecute those individuals who video violent attacks against other persons with the intent to display these senseless, violent and gratuitous acts of violence on social media; 2. I propose, that any individual who records these violent acts and who fails to intercede (summoning help) or act as reasonably as to contacting authorities be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as an accessory to the violent act in which they are recording; 3. I propose, that the individual recording such violent acts be given reasonable time (within 12 hours of the incident) to turn such recordings over to the proper law enforcement entity with jurisdiction over the location of the incident or be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as an accessory to the act; 4. I propose, that individuals who video these violent attacks be prosecuted to the full extent of the law as accessories to the act, if these recordings are uploaded to any social media platform with the intent to circulate and redistribute, prior to the notification of the proper law enforcement entity with jurisdiction over the location of the incident; 5. I propose, that any social media entity which allows the uploading of these senseless, violent and gratuitous recorded acts make attempts to identify the location of these acts and forward such recording to the proper law enforcement entity with jurisdiction over the location of the incident or any other local, state or federal law enforcement entity which can further investigate these acts; 6. I propose, that any social media entity which allows the uploading of these senseless, violent and gratuitous recorded acts be financially sanctioned for every day that these videos/recordings are displayed on their social media sites without making an attempt to identify the location and notification of proper law enforcement entity with jurisdiction over the location of the incident or any other local, state or federal law enforcement entity which can further investigate these acts; 7. I propose, that any social media entity which allows the uploading of these senseless, violent and gratuitous recorded acts be held financially liable for damages to the victim of these violent acts if the social media entity makes no attempt to identify the location and notification of proper law enforcement entity with jurisdiction over the location of the incident or any other local, state or federal law enforcement entity which can further investigate these acts. Social media entities which allow the uploading of these types of videos/recording are in essence glorifying these types of violent acts. I believe that holding these social media entities accountable, financially and from a social responsibility perspective will eliminate the medium for these types of acts to be displayed and viewed. These sanctions will hopefully reduce the supply and demand for these senseless, violent and gratuitous acts. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of 16-year-old Amy Joyner-Francis, and I pray that governmental interventions such as those that I have proposed will end the glorification of these senseless and tragic, violent acts. Please stand with me and forward this petition to as many people as you can so we can save the lives of our children and change their mindset on violence. J.D. Josey IIPhiladelphia, PA

J D Josey II
9,449 supporters
Stop Wind Turbines in Penn Forest Township

Thank you for your interest and investment in this incredibly important issue. I stand with all of you in opposition to this windmill project in Penn Forest Township. Windmill projects of this magnitude are neither efficient nor safe for our environment. I summed up my thoughts in an op-ed which you can read here (http://www.repheffley.com/NewsItem.aspx?NewsID=263618). I am also submitting a letter to the Penn Forest Township Board of Supervisors and Zoning Board stating my opposition to this project. In order to give you a forum to voice your concerns about the project, I am holding a town hall meeting on Thursday, May 26, from 6-7 p.m. at Penn Forest Fire Company No. 2, State Route 534, in Albrightsville. Again, I appreciate your efforts and support of this cause. I hope to see many of you on Thursday. - Rep. Doyle Heffley

— Doyle Heffley, State Representative
11 months ago
No Septa high speed train line in Upper Merion Township.

Thank you for your petition regarding the proposed SEPTA High Speed Line Extension into King of Prussia. Many of those commenting are constituents of mine, and I always appreciate and believe it is very important to hear the views of local residents on their concerns. As you are aware, Upper Merion over many years has become an economic engine of Southeastern Pennsylvania. This growth has brought many challenges related to traffic and congestion, and will only become a more significant problem for our area as we continue to move forward. I support many studies to explore potential solutions to these challenges, like PennDOT’s recent decision to explore the feasibility of utilizing the shoulders of the Schuylkill Expressway during morning and afternoon rush hours as well as funding studies, improvements and the eventual expansion of Route 422. I take my position seriously and obtaining accurate information is an important component to making any decision. However, with everything in life it is also necessary to be able to find a balance. A balance between protecting our great neighborhoods and community and allowing Upper Merion to move forward by supporting our commercial and retail assets in order for them to thrive in the future. This is the approach I have taken in regards to exploring the possibility of extending a rail line through King of Prussia. SEPTA is currently in the process of studying various routes that an extension of the high speed line could make and will determine one that will be called the Locally Preferred Alternative (“LPA”). It is important to note that this project is still in the very early stages of consideration, and I have attended many public meetings that were open to our community. My understanding of the process is that once SEPTA recommends an LPA the next step would be the adoption of the LPA by the Upper Merion Board of Supervisors and County Commissioners. For the extension to be pursued further, there must be agreement between SEPTA, county, and local officials regarding the proper route, as well as obtaining significant funding from the federal government and other sources. Although I do not have ANY vote regarding these next steps, I will only support this project if it finds the right balance. Many of the aspects that are currently being considered are not what I had in mind when this was initially being discussed. It is also essential that the concerns of UM residents be taken into account throughout this process. I will continue to listen to my constituents, and I encourage you to attend upcoming SEPTA community meetings as well as contacting SEPTA, the Township Supervisors, and County Commissioners to let them know about any specific concerns you might have. Below is their contact information: Montgomery County Commissioners • Josh Shapiro (Chairman) – josh@montcopa.org • Val Arkoosh (Vice-Chair) – val@montcopa.org • Joe Gale (Commissioner) – joe@montcopa.org Upper Merion Board of Supervisors - Contact Page • William Jenaway (Chairperson) • Greg Waks (Vice-Chair) • Erika Spott • Carole Kenney • Greg Philips SEPTA Comment Form - http://kingofprussiarail.com/comment.html Thank you again for contacting me regarding this important issue. Tim Briggs

— Timothy Briggs, State Representative
1 year ago
No Septa high speed train line in Upper Merion Township.

Thank you for your petition regarding the proposed SEPTA High Speed Line Extension into King of Prussia. Many of those commenting are constituents of mine, and I always appreciate and believe it is very important to hear the views of local residents on their concerns. As you are aware, Upper Merion over many years has become an economic engine of Southeastern Pennsylvania. This growth has brought many challenges related to traffic and congestion, and will only become a more significant problem for our area as we continue to move forward. I support many studies to explore potential solutions to these challenges, like PennDOT’s recent decision to explore the feasibility of utilizing the shoulders of the Schuylkill Expressway during morning and afternoon rush hours as well as funding studies, improvements and the eventual expansion of Route 422. I take my position seriously and obtaining accurate information is an important component to making any decision. However, with everything in life it is also necessary to be able to find a balance. A balance between protecting our great neighborhoods and community and allowing Upper Merion to move forward by supporting our commercial and retail assets in order for them to thrive in the future. This is the approach I have taken in regards to exploring the possibility of extending a rail line through King of Prussia. SEPTA is currently in the process of studying various routes that an extension of the high speed line could make and will determine one that will be called the Locally Preferred Alternative (“LPA”). The next step of this process once would It is important to note that this project is still in the very early stages of consideration, and I have attended many public meetings that were open to our community. My understanding of the process is that once SEPTA recommends an LPA the next step would be the adoption of the LPA by the Upper Merion Board of Supervisors and County Commissioners. For the extension to be pursued further, there must be agreement between SEPTA, county, and local officials regarding the proper route, as well as obtaining significant funding from the federal government and other sources. Although I do not have ANY vote regarding these next steps, I will only support this project if it finds the right balance. Many of the aspects that are currently being considered are not what I had in mind when this was initially being discussed. It is also essential that the concerns of UM residents be taken into account throughout this process. I will continue to listen to my constituents, and I encourage you to attend upcoming SEPTA community meetings as well as contacting SEPTA, the Township Supervisors, and County Commissioners to let them know about any specific concerns you might have. Below is their contact information: Montgomery County Commissioners • Josh Shapiro (Chairman) – josh@montcopa.org • Val Arkoosh (Vice-Chair) – val@montcopa.org • Joe Gale (Commissioner) – joe@montcopa.org Upper Merion Board of Supervisors - Contact Page • William Jenaway (Chairperson) • Greg Waks (Vice-Chair) • Erika Spott • Carole Kenney • Greg Philips SEPTA Comment Form - http://kingofprussiarail.com/comment.html Thank you again for contacting me regarding this important issue. Tim Briggs

— Timothy Briggs, State Representative
1 year ago
Keep the American way of life in our schools!!!

Thank you for voicing your concerns regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. There is nothing in federal or state law to prevent a school classroom from reciting the pledge. I am a strong supporter of reciting the pledge. In Pennsylvania, local school districts are responsible for these policies. The issue should be addressed with your child's classroom teacher, building principal, school district superintendent or local school board of directors. I would recommend, if you have concerns, to schedule an appointment with the classroom teacher to discuss, whether or not, the classroom is reciting the pledge. If you disagree with the classroom teacher, schedule an appointment with the building principal or the superintendent. You may also contact the school district administrative office and request to address the board of directors. You may be required to request being placed on their meeting agenda. Parents have a right, and a duty in my opinion, to play an active role in their child's education. I would encourage you to know, not just whether or not your child says the pledge, but what is taught throughout the school day. Thank you for contacting me regarding this issue. Rep. Kathy Rapp

— Kathy Rapp, State Representative
2 years ago
Protect Pennsylvanians from Secondhand Smoke!

Thank you for your e-mails and for signing the Petition. I understand and appreciate your points. For many years, I was the victim of secondhand smoke, having worked in an office setting where I was surrounded by chain smokers. I was pleased to help pass Pennsylvania's Clean Indoor Air Act which prohibits smoking in most indoor workplaces. HB 1485 would go further by prohibiting smoking in the few indoor public settings permitted under current law. I am certainly open to considering this bill. It is currently in the House Human Services Committee and must be scheduled for a vote by the Chairman of that committee, and receive an affirmative vote, before being in position for a vote on the House Floor. I am not a member of the House Human Services Committee, but will keep my eye on this bill in the event that it comes to the House Floor for a vote. Once again, I thank you for your advocacy on this important matter. State Representative Mark Longietti.

— Mark Longietti, State Representative
3 years ago