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.
Net Neutrality Awareness (Illinois)
Despite the fact that millions of Americans use the internet each day, the issue regarding net neutrality still remains almost unheard of to the general population. The basic principle of net neutrality is that internet service providers should provide unrestricted access to all content, applications, and website regardless of where it is coming from. This means that internet service providers are required to provide unbiased service to all customers without discrimination such as the slowing of speeds from certain sources or protocols. This issue is currently being debated and voted on throughout the country. This year, after Chairman Pai of the F.C.C. heavily pushed to undo the Net Neutrality laws put in place by the Obama administration. He aims to reduce the amount of regulation on the businesses that provide internet to users, leaving the industry without strict rules. This could lead to companies giving unfair treatment to certain websites and services, effectively harming the online experience for users all over the country. This may seem like an issue that is out of your hands, but there is always something that you can do to fight against the repeals to net neutrality. In order to raise awareness, contact or write to your respective senator or the FCC. By doing this, you can bring your voice into this debate and show that you care about this issue. Help us raise awareness in order to defend net neutrality and protect internet users, not only in Illinois, but across the country.
Put An End To Puppy Mills!
I am writing to request that Congress pushes for comprehensive federal legislation preventing “puppy mills” from operating and imposing stiff fines on any person or company found to be operating a puppy mill. Right now, some states have laws prohibiting puppy mills outright or regulating this industry, but many states do not have any legislation at all and the laws (in those states that have them) are not consistent as between the states. Comprehensive legislation, at the federal level, will impose uniform standards by which these puppy mills can be judged. This legislation will also allow the federal government to step in and prosecute violators, which will carry greater weight and penalties than just having the individual states pursue these claims. Federal legislation is needed because puppy mills are extremely horrific places. Animals are often forced to walk around in feces, urine or standing water filled with parasites and contaminants. The dogs are crammed into cages too small for them, without adequate food and water. These animals don’t receive proper veterinary care. The Humane Society of the United States' website details the types of horrid conditions and abuses these breeding dogs are forced to endure. Many puppy mill owners have been repeatedly cited and some of them even have USDA violations for a number of years in a row. One can only imagine the pain and suffering these helpless animals have experienced at the hands of the puppy mill operators! These puppy mills supply dogs to pet stores. When people buy their dogs from pet stores, it allows these puppy mills to not only continue operating, but gives them profits to expand their operations. It is a vicious cycle, where the revenue generated from the dogs bred at puppy mills and sold in pet stores are almost immediately funneled back to the puppy mills. All in the name of greed and profit! People must step in and force Congress to address this issue and the masses are the only ones that have the power to make Congress act! I realize Congress has many, many pressing problems and issues that are likely more important and urgent than stopping puppy mills. But no animal should have to endure a lifetime of being crammed into a small cage, being constantly bred with no time to recover between litters and never having a loving home and family. Thus, I am asking Congress to please make passing federal legislation against puppy mills a priority.
Urge FDA to approve new treatment for Carcinoid Tumors
Hi. My name is Kerry and I’m a zebra. Now, before you think I'm crazy, I hope you'll please let me have a minute of your time to explain. In medical school, doctors-to-be are often taught the adage “If you hear hoof beats, think horse”. In other words, the most obvious answer is usually the right answer. But sometimes the hoof beats come from something rarer: a zebra perhaps. For nearly 5 years, doctors heard hoof beats as they looked at scans of my liver and saw some small “things” taking up residence. And, for nearly 5 years, they thought horse. They did blood tests, colonoscopies, upper endoscopies; all of the tests you would do looking for the “normal” cancers such as colon cancer, but the tests were negative. So they concluded that my liver had some benign growths on it. Nothing to worry about. In January of 2016 a biopsy of my liver resolved the mystery. I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Carcinoid or Neuroendocrine Tumor (NET). The disease is so rare it is referred to as the zebra of cancers and represents only about 2% of cancers treated each year. In honor of its rarity, the zebra has been adopted as the official mascot of those who suffer from it and we, the patients, are called zebras. In my desperate quest for solutions to my problem, I read about a treatment called Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy, or PRRT for short. It has been available in Europe for more than a decade and clinical trials here in the United States have recently concluded. The results have been very promising. According to one of the doctors who participated in the phase 3 clinical trial, “The findings were, in my opinion, extraordinarily impressive, the median progression-free survival improved by nearly 80%, which is fairly unprecedented in oncologic studies. The finding is important because limited therapeutic options exist for such patients, who comprise 20% to 45% of neuroendocrine tumor cases.” (1) As you can imagine, I have been following these trials with great interest as I am their target patient: my tumors are inoperable and are known to respond to the drug being used in the treatment. Earlier this year, there was hope the treatment would be approved by mid-year 2016. Then it was sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016. The latest timeframe for approval is now early 2017. I understand and appreciate the fact that the FDA has to perform their due diligence to insure that new drugs are safe and effective. None of us want unsafe drugs to be hurried to market. In the case of PRRT, it appears to have proven its worth, both in US clinical trials as well as in more than 10 years of use in Europe. I don’t profess to know or understand what the holdup is in obtaining approval. I’m certainly not a doctor. What I do know is that every day that passes without this treatment being approved thousands of us zebras get sicker and closer to the point where treatments won’t matter any longer. Will you please join me in urging the FDA to keep the approval of PRRT at the top of their priority list? I’m only 55 years old and I’m not ready to leave this world yet. I and my fellow zebras thank you. Kerry (1) Full article discussing PRRT can be found online at http://www.carcinoid.org/2016/05/03/one-step-closer-us-peptide-receptor-radionuclide-therapy-prrt-neuroendocrine-cancers/
Prevent Illinois from killing their police dogs.
In Illinois, a police dog trainer is threatening that legalizing marijuana in the state will lead to the euthanization of police K9 dogs — and an Illinois Sheriff is agreeing with him. This is a horrible attempt to use animal cruelty to stop marijuana legalization. In March, voters in Cook County, Illinois where Chicago is located passed a measure in support of legalizing marijuana. Marijuana is now legal in nine states and Washington, D.C. and 61% of Americans now favor of legalization. For Illinois law enforcement to say that they will kill dogs they no longer need for smelling marijuana is awful. No other state has done this and it is completely cruel and unnecessary. They are using these dogs as a scare tactic for the public so they won’t have legal marijuana. Join in me in calling on Illinois Governor and lawmakers to stop any attempt to kill police K9 dogs. These police dogs can absolutely be retired or trained of focus on more harmful drugs.
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.
Get Justice for Kenneka Jenkins
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-woman-found-dead-rosemont-hotel-20170910-story.html I believe this girl was intentionally murdered by her friends the night before she was pronounced dead. They are not being charged with murder and should be investigated and charged.
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.
Protect and Preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
As a result of the recent election, the time to preserve vital progress in our nation has come. President-elect Donald Trump’s anticipated immigration plans pose a significant threat to undocumented immigrants nationwide. Undocumented high school graduates wishing to go on to college to further their education, wanting nothing more than to contribute to their communities and to the United States, face a harsh reality after graduating high school. DACA presented hope for a future for many undocumented students across the country. Young children and young adults with aspirations of becoming future doctors, teachers, lawyers, and countless other career paths were given an opportunity to pursue their dreams when Obama announced the DACA program. Donald Trump plans to terminate this, effectively ending all young undocumented students' hopes of obtaining driver’s licenses, work permits, and a college education and putting them at an increased risk for deportation. What is DACA?“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal. PLEASE NOTE: DACA does not grant a path to permanent residency or citizenship. The DREAM Act, which would lead to permanent residency, has NOT passed.” http://undocu.berkeley.edu/legal-support-overview/what-is-daca/ “On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.” https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca DACA Eligibility RequirementsYou may request DACA if you: 1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; 2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; 3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; 4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; 5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; 6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and 7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. DACA is not amnesty, nor a direct path to citizenship. DACA allows eligible immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, obtain a work permit, and stay in the country to work toward a path to citizenship without great risk of deportation. Thanks to DACA, these immigrants can share their experiences and talent while developing their skills and education as they work to establish themselves as U.S. Citizens. Pew Research Center estimates there are 11.1 undocumented immigrants in the country while the Department of Homeland Security estimates there are 11.4 undocumented immigrants in the United States as January of 2012—the number only continues to increase. These immigrants are our friends, neighbors, classmates, coworkers, and students. President Obama’s announcement of DACA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RXSlMu5EDI Obstacles Faced by Immigrants · “Most immigration lawyers charge between $5,000 to $7,500 to accompany a client through the green card process.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 · “Some cases can cost closer to $15,000 before adding on application fees and any potential family members.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 · “Applicants can spend years marked by a feeling of lost opportunity and helplessness as they wait for the process to conclude.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 · Many colleges do not accept DACA students · Out of state tuition for many DACA college students if they can find a college that accepts them · FAFSA cannot be utilized by undocumented students and many scholarships cannot be awarded to undocumented students, putting them at a major disadvantage when it comes to the college application process. · Constant association and comparison to terrorists and criminals—including racial profiling. While terrorists and immigrants with malicious intent do get into the country, this is a very small proportion and must not be overgeneralized to the population as a whole. Immigrants, legal or undocumented, tragically face a growing hatred that has been inspired by negative framing of immigrants, use of misleading information, and the strategy of using them as scapegoats. · Immigration raids in their communities · Being forcibly taken or separated from their families. Children are often separated from their parents because of the deportation process. Without DACA:• According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are an estimated 1,932,000 DACA eligible immigrants in the U.S. If Donald Trump carries through with his plans to end DACA, these almost 2 million immigrants will be unable to obtain driver’s licenses and work permits, will not be able to work toward their educational dreams, and will be at great risk for deportation • We will be ending the work, progress, and achievements of young immigrants. All of their hard-work and progress will essentially be destroyed • According to the American Psychological Association, there are one million children under the age of 18 who are undocumented and 4.4 million under the age of 30. Those who currently are in the DACA program or are eligible for DACA, will be at major risk for deportation if DACA is ended. • We will be ending the educational paths of future doctors, businessmen and women, skilled trade workers, teachers, and more • We will be tearing apart and ruining families who only wish to work toward becoming U.S. citizens Please pledge your support to prevent the termination of this vital program and show Donald Trump we do not want to see these young, hardworking, patriotic immigrants separated from their families and forced out of our country. Let us show President-elect Donald Trump that these young students want nothing more to contribute to our country by protecting the program that allows them to work toward their ultimate goal of becoming U.S. citizens. Please remember that DACA is just one program that is in place to help immigrants assimilate into our nation. With Donald Trump’s election, this is only one facet of the immigration progress that is at risk. There is much more that needs to be done. This is just one step. Please share this with friends, family, and coworkers, and remember that we must all come together as Americans or watch our great nation continue to grow divided and crumble before our eyes. Resources and Further Information: https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states https://immigrationforum.org/ http://inthecountrywelove.com/ http://www.nationalimmigrationproject.org/ https://www.ilrc.org/ https://www.nilc.org/ http://saalt.org/policy-change/immigrant-rights/daca-stories/ http://unitedwedream.org/dreamer-narratives/daca-stories-arian/ https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2015/07/09/117054/results-from-a-nationwide-survey-of-daca-recipients-illustrate-the-programs-impact/ http://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca-profiles http://www.apa.org/topics/immigration/undocumented-video.aspx https://thinkprogress.org/heres-how-much-trump-s-mass-deportation-policy-would-cost-everyone-3e19f51ff8cf#.8ey83fmt6