Allow Transgender People Into the U.S. Military
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Donald Trump announced that transgender individuals would no longer be accepted or allowed into the U.S. Military because their cost is a "burden." This is extremely disgraceful and an insult to all those who have already given their lives for this country. This is not equality, and this is not "supporting the LGBT community," as he said he does. This is utterly transphobic. Many people who served are going to be left jobless, and many others will no longer be able to fulfill their dreams. This is not okay, and this should not be legal. Trans people are still people.
FDA Accelerated Approval of Genervon's GM604 for Use In ALS
My name is Nick and I am 54-years old. In October 2011, I was diagnosed with ALS. Today, I am in a wheelchair and cannot walk or stand. My arms grow weaker almost every day and my breathing is starting to be affected. I used to be very active but now I can only leave my home when I have someone with me who's strong enough to lift me into my wheelchair once I'm done scooting down to the bottom of the stairs on my butt. It can feel like I'm a 100-year old man who can't do things for himself anymore. At 54, I should still be a vibrant part of my community, but this disease is kicking me where it hurts. Through the enthusiasm generated by the Ice Bucket Challenge, many people now know that ALS is a degenerative neurological disease that currently affects over 30,000 Americans, and as it stands the disease is always fatal. Most people with ALS are given only 2-5 years to live. When I was diagnosed, I was devastated - it took me months to accept it. Although I am now resolved, I have not lost hope. Currently, there is only one drug available to treat ALS (Riluzole) and it is only able to extend life expectancy by a couple months. That's why the recent news about a small company named Genervon Biopharmaceuticals and their trial drug "GM604" has been so exciting for the Global ALS Community. While most trials have a hard time even finding a positive trend, the GM604 trial data supports the view that this drug could very well be is a game changer in the battle against ALS. There are multiple, statistically significant data. Not only in clinical data and results alone, but also correlated biomarkers data and results as well. (Please see "Files" section on the campaign website: https://sites.google.com/site/aap4gm6/) Genervon met with the FDA in February 2015 and made a potentially life-changing request on behalf of the ALS community; they asked the FDA to promote GM604 to the Accelerated Approval Program with Post-Marketing Phase 4 Requirements, so all ALS patients can have legal access to GM604 now. Under the FDA's Accelerated Approval Program, the treatments would be covered by health insurance. Although Genervon knows that this request might complicate their relationship with the FDA, they were willing to take a stand and do everything they can to help the ALS community because it is the right thing to do. If the FDA does not grant Accelerated Approval, it will likely be 3 more years before patients are able to access this drug -- meaning that most people currently living with ALS will not live to see it reach market. While acknowledging the paramount importance of public safety in the FDA’s drug approval process, I believe that ALS presents a compelling case for an exception to the usual process. I am asking you to help me appeal to the FDA through their sense of compassion for those of us with this dreadful illness. People with ALS don't have time to wait for another clinical trial to be completed. By signing this petition, you'll be helping patients like me request that the FDA expidite the way potentially life-saving treatments are made accessible to people with ALS -- starting right now with GM604. Doing so could very likely mean a change in the course of ALS progression not only for myself, but hundreds of thousands of other patients worldwide. After you sign, please follow this link to tweet and/or email the FDA: https://www.change.org/p/lisa-murkowski-fda-accelerated-approval-of-genervon-s-gm604-for-use-in-als/u/9475826 Thank you, Nick Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gm604forals Please go to the Genervon website for a true understanding of the facts and the science behind GM604: http://www.genervon.com/genervon/about_pressreleases.php
Provide air conditioning for your mail carriers
Mail carriers are battling the sweltering heat in the summers and are constantly being pushed and demands are high. Parcel volume is at a high level because of the convenience of online shopping, which of course is good for business. However, the Arizona summers get to be 120 degrees and the LLV's get about 20 degrees hotter than that. It is illegal to leave a child or an animal in a vehicle in these conditions, shouldn't the same be applied to us? I know I don't even have a place to cool down on my lunch break. The new fleet replacement is supposed to occur at the end of the year so it would be great if the hottest climate areas be replaced first since this may take a few years to be completed.
Tell the FDA to stop denying ALS patients treatment options
When I became a parent, I knew immediately that I would do anything to protect my daughters from the hardest parts of life. My mission would be to give them as much love and comfort as I possibly could. But now instead of me taking care of them, my daughters are often responsible for taking care of me, because in May of 2014 I was diagnosed with ALS. Now, instead of protecting them, my daughters are forced to watch as my body dies one muscle at a time. ALS is a devastating disease, that currently has no effective FDA approved treatments. However, there are promising therapies in the FDA approval pipeline that might improve my chances and quality of life, but the FDA isn’t willing to expedite the approval of these drugs, even though the average life expectancy of an ALS patient is 3-5 years and the average time it takes for a drug to become FDA approved is over a decade. Please join me and Hope NOW for ALS in petitioning Congress and the FDA to apply Accelerated Approvals (AAP) to promising treatments targeting terminal diseases, and implement faster, smarter, and more humane clinical trials using today’s science. This is not a radical or new idea. In 1992, in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the FDA adopted the Accelerated Approval Program (AAP) – an expedited approval process to treat fatal diseases. This was a process to allow patients fast access to potentially life saving drugs, and has since been used for cancer and heart failure treatments. But the FDA refuses to apply it to ALS and other rapidly fatal diseases. How can it possibly be fair to exclude the most vulnerable and at risk people -- those with fast acting terminal diseases -- from this program? ALS is always fatal, and there are currently over 30,000 patients in the US with no options. We need help. We need options. My diagnosis is the greatest challenge my family has ever faced, and my daughters have amazed me with their grace and strength in taking on this battle with me. I know that even though my life has not turned out like I imagined it, I can still be the dad I always wanted to be, and I can still show my daughters what it means to take a stand for what counts. Please join me and Hope NOW for ALS to help save my life, and the lives of so many others around the country.
Suspend the Weapons Transfer Program that is Militarizing Police
Our police officers are not our military. Yet military weapons meant for battlefields like the ones I served on as an Army Officer in the Gulf War are being transferred to local police departments around the country. Put simply, these weapons are not intended for local policing and often result in escalating - not solving - situations. We’re seeing this right now in Ferguson, Missouri. Many of the weapons being sent to small police departments are coming directly from the Pentagon through the 1033 Weapons Transfer Program. Since its creation, at least $4 billion worth of equipment has been distributed to local police departments through this program. Thankfully, the Senate Armed Services Committee is reviewing the Weapons Transfer Program to evaluate how these weapons are being used. However, there’s no reason to continue sending weapons through the program while it's under review. So I’m calling on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to temporarily suspend the 1033 Weapons Transfer Program - something he has the power to do. When local police departments have access to armored personnel carriers, mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, M-4 rifles, camouflage uniforms and assault rifles - we’re clearly seeing the militarization of local law enforcement. But police officers are not at war with American citizens - they are here to serve and protect us. But it only makes sense that if we arm them like soldiers going into battle, they will act like soldiers. As a veteran and executive director of Veterans For Peace, I don't want to see our police militarized here at home. And I know many other troops and veterans agree. The program has been suspended before in 2012, when some states actually lost track of military equipment. You read that correctly, these battlefield weapons have actually gone missing before. Yet the program was quietly restarted in 2013. It’s clearly time for a moratorium on the 1033 program while it is under review.
Hold Military Moving Companies Accountable
An Open Letter To Our Elected Officials - Every year thousands of military service members and their families pack up and move on military orders. All of their memories, heirlooms, worldly processions, keepsakes, pro-gear, kids toys, and some useless stuff, otherwise known as household goods (HHGs) gets packed up by contracted strangers, loaded onto a truck and driven across country. If you are on the lucky side of things, your HHGs will arrive with a few scratches and maybe a broken bowl. However, most everyone ends up on the other side. Boxes will be unloaded smashed and torn, furniture will come off broken in multiple pieces, and other items will just go missing. It will be brushed off as “don’t worry, you can just file a claim”, and while that might be true, there are things that money just can’t fix. Money can’t replace the broken hutch inherited from my grandmother. Money can’t fix the missing foot board from the custom made bed. Money can’t fix my discontinued, now smashed in to pieces wedding china. And money can’t fix the box of my children’s baby memories box that never arrived. I know, we should just leave these things with family! While that is a good thought, it’s not always possible. Some service members just don’t have the family available to leave these things! Every year, thousands of service members file claims with moving companies. Within the last 2 years the average claim has been around $10,000, with an average of only 50-60% of that being paid out. Over the last 5 years, the PCS season has become more and more horrendous to deal with. The major moving companies being awarded the contracts, often sub contract out to smaller, local companies. Many of these companies do not understand how military bases work- usually sending drivers or crews who have a felony background, can’t access post, or a truck that has expired registration. These companies also do a poor job in packing and handling of the HHGs. Many times the crew will pack as quickly as possible to get to the next job to make more money. In doing so, things are usually packed improperly, allowing for damage to occur. When loaded into the truck or unloaded at the storage facility or destination, everything is usually just thrown around without a care. When Service members and families speak up about how things are being handled, we are usually scolded, degraded, and told to just let them do their job. In one of our recent moves we had a mattress come off the truck soaking wet. When I questioned it and ask what my son was suppose to sleep on, the driver took a furniture pad off the dresser and said he could sleep on that. When we moved to our current location, I questioned the driver about my high value list, and the markings on the inventory about the furniture. The response I received was “this is just how we do it.” Then when we arrived, our range bags complete with range equipment were missing. Our military service members and their families already sacrifice so much for this country. The deployments, holidays missed, birthdays not celebrated, their children’s firsts moments, training time, and sometimes even their life. Is it so much to ask that moving companies take a little more care in handling our memories? Is it so much to ask our elected officials to step in and protect our service members from the headache and heartache during a PCS? I challenge you to start holding these companies accountable. I challenge you to step up your game and ease the worry burden on our military families. MilitarySpouseChronicles #PCSChronicles #MemoriesSmashed
Stop Forcing Mail Order Pharmacy as Only Choice of Coverage & Monitor Package Temperature
My son, received a life saving liver transplant at the age of 2. His life depends on the potency and effectiveness of chemotherapy/immune suppression medications. In the past mail order delivered his liquid oral medications in nothing but a plastic envelope on a 102 degree day on a hot enclosed not temperature controlled UPS truck. Shortly after, he went into liver rejection which could have resulted in complete liver failure or death. I speculated that the medication could have been too weak after the delivery of medications in high heat. I vowed to never again risk his life with mail order pharmacy. Recently, we were mandated/forced to only use mail order pharmacy in order to receive coverage for his life saving medications. Hesitant, I begged for an ice pack. The package arrived on an about 90 degree day again without an ice pack. His labs elevated again afterwards. My son wants to know, "Why would they do that?" I contacted the manufacturer, who completes all of the testing for my son drugs who stated that both of my son's medications should be discarded and considered less potent once stored above 86 degrees as higher temperatures and freezing could result in lower potency. I also found out that the liquid medication that the youngest children take are the most harmed by the mishandling of medications outside of the manufactures temperature storage guidelines. Our youngest of children's lives are being threatened. I contacted the mail order pharmacy who refused to take replace or take back the medication. They said the law & USP Pharmacopoeia allows them to ship up to 104 degrees, although the manufacturer states it is not proven safe at these temperatures. I contacted the FDA, who states that the mail order pharmacy should be using the manufacturer's guidelines that have been proven safe. Not the reference range by USP that has not tested my son's exact medication. However since the mail order pharmacies are regulated loosley by the State Board of Pharmacy, not the FDA there was nothing that the FDA could do. I spoke with a UPS driver. He states temperatures on his truck are far above 104 degrees on a 90 degree day. He is mandated to keep his door closed unless getting a package. He states it gets so hot on a 90 degree day that he cannot breathe when he opens the back. I made over 30 calls to the insurance company begging for them to please let us pick my son's medications up at the local pharmacy at which they are filled. My son's physician wrote a note/appeal as his transplant team has stated that they have tried to voice their concerns about this issue with their pediatric/child patients and no one is listening! The insurance company still denied the doctor's appeal for us to pick up my son's medications in the safest way. It was not until the Media became evolved that the insurance company budged. I felt helpless and have untied with many other pharmacist, physicians, patients, mothers and fathers, and caregivers who feel the same way. Helpless. Mail order of prescription drugs should be a choice not the only option of coverage. Mandatory mail order programs from all plan types (INCLUDING the plans that are regulated by ERISA) needs to cease until mail order pharmacies are forced to store and monitor medications during their deliveries at the temperatures tested and proven safe by the manufacturer. I would never put my son's medications in a hot non-temperature controlled environment, and shoudn't be forced to only use this option in order to get coverage for his life saving medications. Mail order pharmacies may appear to save money, but when my son ended up in the hosptial after taking medications that could have been compromised by having lower potency, the cost of the rejection was thousands of dollars. If his liver would have fully failed, the cost of his liver transplant for just 5 days (he was in the hospital for 5 weeks) was over $1,000,000. The lax regulation and oversight may save money on prescription drug plans, but may come at an increased cost to the health plan itself. Also, keep in mind the endless waste of medications that automatically are sent regardless of whether or not patients need them. Also, people with chronic, complex conditions, should always have the option of face to face interaction with a pharmacist who knows their complex needs and medical history. Could you imagine being required to go to a different doctor every time you needed medical care for you or your family? The pharmacist and patient relationship is crucial to the successful outcome of the patient's overall health. Taking this away is harmful to patients and be more costly to our already stressed healthcare system. Another important fact. Mandatory mail order programs are discriminatory. It is estimated that 40% of our homeless are disabled. How is mandatory mail order fair and working for them as they may not have an address and not even know where they will be from day to day? We need legislation to protect all patients by ending the mandatory mail order pharmacy coverage in every type of plan offered in the nation. We need your help to make mandatory mail order an option not a mandate. YOUR URGENT SUPPORT WILL SAVE LIVES! THANK YOU!!
Remove sub-Asian boxes on Census Form 2020! Stop racist anti-Asian anti-immigrant legacy!
Dear fellow Americans for justice, brothers and sisters against racism, The glaringly racist legacy of sub-Asian boxes on the Census form was started in 1870, after the Burlingame Treaty of 1868, which eventually led to the infamous, racist, and inhumane Chinese Exclusion Act spanning from 1882 to 1943, which among other terrible abominations, banned U.S. residents of Chinese descent from having children or getting married; their family members in Asia were forbidden from entry to U.S. and reuniting as families. The Census form has no "Asian/Asian American" category. In its place are a group of boxes signifying foreign nationalities in Asia as if Asian Americans were all “perpetual foreigners.” It intrusively identified and collected data on which U.S. residents were of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese...descent. While the Chinese Exclusion Act ended in 1943, did these racist, humiliating, dehumanizing sub-Asian boxes get removed from the Census form? No, they were kept on the Census form by the U.S. government even until today, and if we don't fight back and boycott the Census form with sub-Asian boxes, it will stay on the 2020 Census form and beyond, prolonging a racist American legacy, a shame to all Americans. This legacy treats Americans of Asian descent as perpetual foreigners, and collects intrusive personal ancestral origin data used in many kinds of racial discrimination and persecution. In one example, the U.S. government used information from the Census Bureau to identify native born Americans of Japanese descent and sent them to Internment Camps during the World War II. There were also discriminatory laws against Americans of various Asian descent, such as Filipino. Such horrendous trampling of humanity will happen again unless you and I act now to boycott a 2020 Census form with sub-Asian boxes. We demand these sub-Asian boxes be removed and replaced with one description--"Asian/Asian American." Injustice to one human being is injustice to all human kind. If we don't stop this racist and anti-immigrant legacy, its “logic” and mentality will be repeated in current and future policy-making. Let's keep fighting against racism and improve the human condition step by step. Please join the good fight to make this historically significant change happen for now and forever, by signing this petition and sharing it on social media and by email, word of mouth. Power to the people! Fighting on, Americans against racism and anti-Asian anti-immigrant legacy
The Return Boot Camp
The military has a specific process that turns a new recruit into a Warrior, but they lack a similar process to help transform that Warrior back to civilian life. This leaves so many men and women without purpose or a place to turn after the military. This, we believe, often has a part to play in suicidal thoughts and actions, and contributes significantly to the 20 Veterans who die by suicide every day. The community of non-profit organizations in conjunction with our partners are advocating for a Return Boot Camp program to help transitioning Service Members be better prepared for post-military life. Specifically, this program would: (1) Ensure every Service Member receives a safe, confidential behavioral health evaluation, including an interview with a licensed, clinical behavioral health provider at the beginning of the transition process. (2) Require (based on the outcome of #1 above) Service Members participate in individual and group treatment / therapy sessions and programs for physical wellness and mindfulness. (3) Require all Service Members attend an initiation program for the transition process to educate and prepare them for their new life beyond the military. (4) Provide professional career counseling services and programs of the same scope and quality as services offered at the best universities. (5) Ensure Service Members get "credit" for and receive the necessary civilian accreditation for technical and management skills learned through the military. Whatever skills they were trained for can transfer over and be "worth" something in civilian life. (6) Provide a mentor that connects with Service Members at the beginning of the transition process to provide transition support and life coaching for up to one year after they have departed the military. (7) Ensure continuity in programs, services, and documentation between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs – including electronic transfer of records and medical history. (8) Form a commission of non-profit, corporate, and government agencies to implement a pilot Return Boot Camp program as early as September 2018. The Return Boot Camp focuses on the process of transition with the intended objective of enabling Service Members discover the post-military quality of life they fought to protect. They should be able to come home as prepared for life as they were trained to be prepared for military service.
Tell the Senate to vote NO on Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill
We call on Senate to vote no on the Graham-Cassidy bill. Passage of this bill would result in millions of Americans across the country losing healthcare coverage. Approval of this bill would also result in massive cuts to the Medicaid program, sharply reducing or eliminating coverage for people who have disabilities, individuals living in poverty, and other vulnerable persons. We call upon Congress to work in an orderly, non-partisan, and meaningful way to find solutions that address problems with the Affordable Care Act that result in improved healthcare for all Americans.