Students Fighting Guns Since Adults Won't
Adults have failed us. Everyday, we students walk into school with the promise of an education without threat of violence. However, it has become increasingly clear that hallways of schools across America are no longer a guaranteed safe haven. Whether it's an elementary school in small-town Connecticut or a high school in Florida, it's become apparent that school shootings are becoming an expected part of American life. Since 2013, there have been 291 school shootings, with 18 of them happening in 2018 alone. We simply ask how many shootings will it take, how many innocent children have to die, until adults decide we, as our nation's children, are more important than our nation's guns. Therefore, we ask our fellow students to take it upon ourselves to stand up as our adults remain sitting. We demand change. While most students cannot vote, we are not voiceless to our society. There are about 56 million K through 12 students in the United States. If we mobilize this population -- by signing petitions, contacting lawmakers, and utilizing social media -- we can make our presence felt. Ultimately, our goal is to pressure lawmakers to make comprehensive and responsible gun control policy to keep our schools and society safe. It's not a matter of if anymore, it's a matter of when we will be affected. Students For Gun Legislation
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.
Save Aysha and Her Family from Being Executed by the Taliban
Aysha's father Muhammad is a heroic interpreter who worked with the US military for 9 years in Afghanistan. His military supervisors praised his work ethic, dedication, and trustworthiness, and his incredible skill of fluently speaking six languages made him indispensable on Special Forces night raids on Taliban insurgents. He once saved an American soldier by dashing into an ambushed vehicle under Taliban fire. But the Taliban is working hard to find and kill Muhammad and his wife and his four young daughters. The Sacramento Bee wrote a story about The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)'s recent denial of Muhammad and his entire family for humanitarian parole and my family's efforts to save them. http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article187680333.html Tell the director of the Humanitarian Affairs Branch at USCIS, John Bird, to re-open and approve Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases to save them from the Taliban before it is too late. USCIS admits that leaving this family behind is a death sentence. They just don't care enough about Muslim refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban. When the US military mostly pulled out of Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban gained strength in Afghanistan and killed many interpreters or their family members in revenge. One of Muhammad's brothers and a nephew, Sahil, who was also an interpreter, were shot and left for dead in an assassination attempt on Muhammad and his family. After the Taliban ambush, Muhammad fled his home district, just in time to escape a second Taliban attack that destroyed their family home. Consequently, Muhammad lost all contact with US military personnel who could have helped him apply for an SIV visa. He has been living in hiding for three years with his wife and four young daughters. They are living in daily fear of being discovered and killed by the Taliban and are unable to leave their house. There is no heating in the house, and leaks in the roof have made his young daughters sick on several occasions from getting infections from bacteria in the water or getting cold in the winter. When I learned about Muhammad and his family's plight a few months ago, I was determined to do everything possible to save their lives. Muhammad had tried to apply to the US as a refugee on his own, but he was denied for “discretionary security reasons,” a very common problem for former military interpreters and their families. When Muhammad's refugee case was denied, he was devastated and lost all hope for saving his life and his family's lives. He said the only option left for him was to surrender to the Taliban, thinking that after the Taliban tortured and killed him, they would stop looking for his children. I told him not to give up and promised him to find a way to save their lives. Please help me keep my promise to Muhammad to save his life and his family's lives. They do not deserve to suffer and die because of Muhammad's service to the US military. My family hired a lawyer and filed a humanitarian parole case to sponsor Muhammad and his family to come live in the US while he works to get permanent, legal status in the US. Our humanitarian parole case for them may be our last chance to save their lives. In what our lawyer says is the most egregious case she has ever seen, USCIS denied Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases because his refugee case had been denied and without even bothering to figure out why the refugee case had been denied. Thus, they denied Muhammad's humanitarian parole case for “discretionary reasons” without even knowing what those discretionary reasons were. This is effectively a death sentence for the entire family. When our lawyer pleaded with USCIS to at least let Muhammad's young daughters come live with their aunt and uncle in the US, the director of the Humanitarian Affairs Branch of USCIS, John Bird, refused to approve any of the family's cases and made the absurd claim that the entire family, including Muhammad's 2- and 4-year-old daughters, are a threat to national security. Because of USCIS's policy and Muhammad's service to the US military, Muhammad's children were literally born with a death sentence. Mr. Bird acknowledges that Muhammad and his family meet all the criteria for humanitarian parole, and he does not question that they will be killed if left in their current situation. He just does not care enough about Muslim refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban. Worse yet, two months ago USCIS granted humanitarian parole to family members of Las Zetas drug cartel members who murdered US ICE agents in Mexico, so that the family members of the murderers could attend a trial in Washington, D.C. Thus, USCIS is literally treating Muhammad and his family worse than criminals. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453519/operation-fast-and-furious-victor-avila-betrayed-obama-administration Sign the petition to tell USCIS to re-open and approve Muhammad's and his family's cases quickly. Muhammad is a hero who faithfully served the US military for over 9 years and is now in grave danger because the Taliban is determined to get revenge. He has already lost everything except his and his family's lives because of his service to America, but he is still proud of his choice to work for the US military. All he wants in return is the chance to bring his daughters to safety and to give them a future. If USCIS does not re-open and approve his case, he will be left behind to be killed by the same terrorists that he risked his life to fight for so many years. The Ithaca Voice recently published a story highlighting the absurdity of USCIS blacklisting a toddler. https://ithacavoice.com/2018/02/case-denied-not-closed-fight-continues-afghan-interpreter-trying-escape-pakistan/ For more background information, The Ithaca Voice published a detailed story over the summer about Muhammad and his career with the US military: https://ithacavoice.com/2017/06/former-afghan-interpreter-hopes-find-sanctuary-u-s-help-cornell-student/ No One Left Behind, the non-profit fighting to save Afghan and Iraqi interpreters, also published a blog post highlighting Muhammad's case http://nooneleft.org/2017/12/12/4221/ Some family friends made a 4-min, professional-quality video summarizing Muhammad's story and his current situation. The video is embedded above or can be accessed from this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NowDUr1I2T8 Please call your Congressional representatives and ask them to tell USCIS to approve this case. If you need contact information on your Congressional representatives, use this link to look them up: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/ Email me at email@example.com for more information on Muhammad's case. Please also email me if you know Muhammad personally or if you know any government officials or reporters who may be able to help raise public awareness of Muhammad's case.
We demand that The United States Senate not confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General
As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the Attorney General of the United States must be independent of politics and respect the dignity of all Americans. The Attorney General has a duty to enforce the rule of law fairly and pursue equal justice under the law. One of the core functions of the Department of Justice is to protect Americans’ civil rights, and to defend those who have been denied them. Another key function of the Department of Justice is to protect our security, but never sacrifice our civil liberties. Not only has Senator Sessions been a staunch opponent of reforming the tragic shortcomings in our criminal justice system, he holds a number of views that are inconsistent with how most Americans believe justice should be applied under our Constitution.
Congress: Censure President Trump For His Heinous Remarks About "Shithole" Countries
Please also sign and share our net neutrality petition: https://www.change.org/p/jeff-flake-we-need-one-more-republican-vote-in-the-senate-to-save-net-neutrality And join our group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1721640631484675/ ----------- This petition began in a private, politically active facebook group of 6300 people consisting of Democrats, Independents, Socialists, Libertarians, and concerned Republicans. On Thursday, Jan 11, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump attacked potential immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal. The White House did not deny these allegations. This, a day before the 8th anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that killed over 100,000 people. This is a step too far. If this were any other president, a censure would be an expected course of action. We realize that many in congress have become numb to Mr. Trump's rhetoric, but American voters have not. This is the language of fringe talk radio, not the President of the United States. He dishonors the office with these words. He is our chief diplomat around the world, and he represents millions of Americans who emigrated from these nations. He should act like it. It is time for congress to stand up and censure this president for his dishonorable remarks about our friends in Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, who rightfully look to the United States as a beacon of freedom and opportunity.
Protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Update: February 13th, 2018 President Trump's proposed 2019 Budget calls for the COMPLETE ELIMINATION of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) If you care at all about PSLF then NOW is the time to take action. President Trump's Proposed 2019 Budget was officially released yesterday and clearly calls for pulling all funding from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, along with making several other massive cuts to Federal student loan programs. RIGHT NOW is the time to post this Petition on Social Media, in the comments on related news stories, to your Blog or anywhere else that you can think of where people who care about PSLF and student loan debt will find it, because unless we can show the Congress that there's a huge contingent of Americans standing in support of PSLF, it's likely to be cut for good. Don't let President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have their way on the student loan crisis. Don't let the big banks and corrupt for-profit schools continue to rake in trillions of dollars from hard-working Americans. Stand up for this vital program that supports people wanting to better their lives and give back to their community by making this country a better place! We ask that Members of Congress block President Trump's Proposed 2019 Budget until it includes support and continual funding for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. --- In addition to eliminating PSLF, President Trump's Proposed 2019 Budget Seeks to: Reduce available Income-Driven Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans (IDR Plans) from 4 to 1 Increase Monthly Payments for IDR Plans, raising the Discretionary Income Cap from 10% to 12.5% Offer Loan Forgiveness earlier to the general public, offering it at 15 years instead of the current 20 (this is the one good thing he's seeking) Require Graduate Students to make 30 years worth of payments before receiving Loan Forgiveness Eliminate all Federal Subsidized Loans, meaning that all Federal loans will begin accumulating interest even while borrowers are still in school Embolden the Federal Government to go after borrowers who default on their loans NOTE: These changes will ONLY APPLY to loans borrowed AFTER July 1st, 2019, so people already in repayment do not need to worry about these changes, but they are serious and significant cuts to the benefits that future generations will be offered, which is why it's so important that we stand up for them NOW! For specific details on exactly how President Trump's 2019 Budget will impact student loan laws, student loan forgiveness and specifically the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, please visit: https://www.forgetstudentloandebt.com/student-loan-relief-programs/federal-student-loan-relief/federal-forgiveness-programs/president-donald-trumps-student-loan-forgiveness-program/ --- The Department of Education is proposing eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The stated purpose of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is to “encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs”. To qualify for PSLF forgiveness, people must not only work full-time in a public service position, but also make 10 years’ worth of full, on-time, income-based monthly payments toward their Federal student loans. Who receives PSLF forgiveness? Teachers, Government Employees, Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Employees, Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Park Rangers, Military Personnel, and other qualifying public service workers. 400,000 Americans have chosen to serve their Government and Communities over the past 10 years, and each of these Americans should be able to count on the PSLF benefits promised to them. Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education seeks to end PSLF without having conducted a detailed study to determine how much actual money this dramatic policy reversal and broken promise would even save. The plan to eliminate PSLF is an not only an insult, but also an outrage to everyone who has dedicated the past ten years of their lives working in public service positions. Ending the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is a terrible idea that should be opposed at all costs. We ask that Members of Congress block the Department of Education’s proposal to kill this vital financial assistance program.
Help Veterans & Dogs - Urge Congress to Adopt National Veteran Service Dog Standards
Here's one problem we can solve. Right now there is a lot of confusion over service, therapy, and emotional support dogs. Current service dog laws are being abused because there isn't a national standard. As a result, the validity of service dogs has been questioned. Veterans and their service dogs are being denied entry to public places, such as restaurants and airports. Many veterans report that their service dog allowed them to return to a normal life. Doesn't normal life include living without fear of confrontation? A variety of "service dog" bills have been presented in the House and Senate. We need one national standard. American Humane, National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations (NAVSO) and a group of academic, business and government experts have created the first national standard for service dogs, but we need your help. Sign and share this petition today and let the House and Senate Committees for Veterans' Affairs know you support one common sense national standard for service dogs. Supporting this petition will ensure veterans and their service dogs have the opportunity to become credentialed. Let's help veterans and their service dogs live a life without fear of confrontation. #dogs4vets
Safety of Public and Law Enforcement Threatened by Budget Cuts and Privatization
This week the Bureau of Prisons has started to eliminate roughly 14% (or 6,000) law enforcement positions throughout the Agency. This is catastrophic for the safety and security of our institutions and the community. The proposed cuts are coming at a time of severe understaffing in most of our federal prisons, because the BOP has left thousands of authorized correctional workers’ positions vacant all year. In 2005 the BOP instituted an initiative known as “Mission Critical” in which staffing at the BOP institutions was reduced to the minimal amount necessary to safely operate each facility. Since then we have continued to operate under this “bare bones” approach, which was less staff than what we really needed – the administration did not take into account leave usage, injuries, military service, emergency situations etc. when calculating these numbers. Since then, they have relied upon initiatives such as augmentation at various times (The term augmentation refers to the practice of using teachers, secretaries, nurses, etc. to cover the vacant correctional officer positions as opposed to hiring the law enforcement officers needed). They only left enough personnel in the prisons to cover essential operations, so whenever something happens outside of that, like inmate medical trips or staff using sick leave when they are ill or injured, the Agency is then forced to pay overtime to law enforcement officers to cover it. Their miscalculation in staffing led to massive amounts of overtime due to the sheer amount of disturbances and medical care in the institution, coupled with the injuries and stress borne by the staff. This leaves fewer staff able to respond to emergencies in the prison, and fewer to prevent violence and assaults. It also results in one law enforcement correctional worker supervising hundreds of dangerous felons - terrorists, gangs, and murderers – with no backup. This administration is setting the agency up for failure. As violence and recidivism rises, and our staff struggle to meet ACA accreditation requirements, the line staff will be blamed for these failures, and the administration will point to this as an excuse to contract out our law enforcement role to the private prison industry. The highly trained staff that work for this agency (30% of which are military veterans) have already proven that we provide the essential, inherently governmental function in a much more responsible and cost-effective manner than the private industry. The historical data and evidence backs this up without question. If we allow the administration to sabotage our operations with the dangerous staffing changes and policies, I’m confident that they will use the results against us, and I’m sure the shareholders in the private prison industry will profit from it. The number of staff assaults and inmate assaults continue to rise in the Bureau of Prisons, and it appears the agency is turning a blind eye to the safety of the community that we are sworn to protect from the nation's most violent offenders These poorly implemented tactics have led to the increased escape attempts and assaults within the BOP, for both inmates and our law enforcement personnel. Agency leaders have stated that assaults and escapes are the chances we take in this line of work. Its disheartening to know that they are willing to take chances with the safety of the community as well as the safety of the law enforcement that work behind the fences. We are asking that our elected officials properly fund our prisons, stop the reductions of safe staffing, and support our law enforcement officers. A vote for BOP cutbacks is a vote for unsafe prisons, unsafe communities and a vote against law enforcement. Call 202-224-3121 or 844-669-5146 and tell our law makers not to cut back on safety
PUNISHED FOR BEATING CANCER
We ask you to help Officer Andy Wall, who beat terminal stage four Glioblastoma brain cancer. He has become a spokesperson for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Now, unbelievably, ten months later he's still fighting for his job. After being cleared to work by both Dr. Reardon and Dr. Kloss, of the Danbury, Ct hospital, the Town of Monroe Ct has acted in a shameful and disgraceful manner. Chief Salvatore decided he knew better then two well renowned Oncologist's and held a pre termination hearing, which resulted in an inability to come to a decision. Since then Officer Wall has been treated as a non entity. The town accepted the Doctors opinions that he was medically cleared to work to stop his disability payments. This decorated, well respected Officer deserves to be reinstated. He has stood with our Town through twenty two years of service. He, as well as his fellow Officer's were front and center throughout the horrors of Sandy Hook. They were all honored to watch over the children as they spent three years going to school in our town. Please help us get to the bottom of this and get Officer Wall his life back. That's all he wants. He deserves better then this. Sincerely, The Wall and Keckler Families
Tell policy makers to SAVE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
TELL POLICY MAKERS NOT TO GUT THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT! The Endangered Species Act, which was implemented in 1973, has protected 99% of endangered and threatened species from going extinct since its origin. The act was instrumental in the conservation and preservation of endangered animals like the bald eagle, the California condor, the gray wolf, and the grizzly bear among thousands of others. Currently congress intends to gut the act and transform it, removing vital protections for thousands of plant and animal species. This would not only have detrimental implications for ecosystems and habitats in our country, but it will negatively affect our economy in regards to eco-tourism. National parks with flagship species like the grizzly bear generate billions of dollars a year for our government, and thousands of people rely on these parks and their benefits in surrounding areas for jobs, etc. It is essential to protect the animals within these ecosystems, not only for the integrity of the future of our nation’s natural habitats, but also for our own economical, ecological, educational, scientific, recreational and aesthetic needs as humans. PLEASE sign the petition below to ensure that the Endangered Species Act remains in tact. Without the protection of the act, wolves will be shot and slaughtered without consequence, a bald eagle’s nest could be cut down out of a tree to make way for an apartment building, and grizzly bear cubs could be gassed alive in their dens. For more information go here - http://www.endangered.org/campaigns/protecting-the-endangered-species-act/