Richard J. Durbin
Richard J. Durbin
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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/
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
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.