Richard J. Durbin
Richard J. Durbin
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.
Make Election Day a Federal Holiday. Americans Deserve Time and Equal Opportunity to Vote.
We the people believe that voting is the heart and soul of democracy. Nearly 60% of voting-eligible Americans did not vote in the last midterm elections, citing work or school-related conflicts as the primary cause. Americans deserve time and equal opportunity to vote. Blue Point Brewing Company, along with other forward-thinking companies, has committed to giving our employees the day off to vote. But we need implement this change on a bigger scale. Join us in creating the change and protecting democracy. Convince Congress to establish Election Day as a Federal holiday. Blue Point Brewing Company is committed to this initiative and will be making Voters' Day Off beer cans available for supporters to sign and further inspire change.
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/
Protect America's Wild Horses from a Dangerous Plan
A plan being considered in Congress right now could mean the beginning of the end of wild horses and burros. Drawn up by cattle industry lobbyists, the plan calls for the roundup of 130,000 wild horses and burros over the next decade – more than exist today on the range. This will triple the number of wild horses and burros incarcerated at taxpayer expense, at a cost of close to $1 billion over the next decade, without any guarantee of long-term funding to ensure safety from slaughter for these cherished animals. Herd numbers will diminish beyond minimum viable populations, gruesome sterilization experiments for wild mares will remain on the table, and herds left on public lands will be manipulated with unnatural sex ratios that will wreak havoc on social organization and dynamics. The plan is a ten year attack on wild horse populations, and nothing short of a surrender of the decades-long fight for fair treatment, humane management and preservation of our nation’s wild horse and burro herds. We call on Congress to stop this disastrous plan, and to vote against the appropriations that threaten the future of wild horses and burros.