Tell Congress to Maintain EPA & NOAA Funding
Protect Our Oceans. Protect Our Health. Protect Our EPA & NOAA. The White House recently proposed debilitating budget and workforce cuts for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) starting this October when the 2018 fiscal year begins. Every department seems to be affected; from environmental justice programs and science education, to research and monitoring. In the new administration’s plan, many critical ocean grants, programs, and services will be completely eliminated unless our representatives and legislators vote against the cuts in Congress. This comes at a critical time when America’s coastal infrastructure is failing in the face of intensifying storms and rising seas associated with climate change. We should be doubling down on efforts to prepare and defend our coastlines. We should be empowering scientists, researchers, and youth in America to become stewards for our ocean and environment. We should be investing our hard-earned tax dollars into the next generation of ocean innovation. Instead, the proposals drastically reduce fundamental resources to prepare and respond to environmental emergencies. The White House’s plan includes slashing the EPA budget by 31 percent — to the tune of $2.6 billion — and reducing staff by more than 3,200 people. The EPA is already operating on a lean budget – federal funding has been decreased by over $2 billion since 2010. Nearly three-quarters of the EPA’s annual budget goes toward funding grants for states, tribes, and contractors. These grants aid crucial environmental cleanup, monitoring, and preparedness efforts. Commonly known for its weather forecasting services, NOAA also leads the nation on climate monitoring, fisheries, and ocean services. NOAA’s annual budget is $5.6 billion, a small fraction of the overall federal budget. The administration proposed a stiff 17% cut to NOAA’s overall budget. And, a 22% reduction in funding for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which creates and operates weather satellites. This program also houses the National Centers for Environmental Information – an essential environmental science research center and repository of climate data. Additionally, climate protection programs would suffer a nearly 70% cut, which would thwart efforts to prepare for sea level rise, adapt to hotter urban areas, and buffer our communities for increased storm intensity and flooding. This is particularly important as previous worst case scenario projections for sea level rise in Southern California – 5.5 feet by 2100 – are now being revised to predict even more extreme impacts as ice sheets at our planet’s poles are melting faster than expected. Beach tourism and the coast recreation economy are valued at close to $90 billion, so EPA’s investment of $10 million annually in beach water quality monitoring makes fiscal and public health sense to ensure that beachgoers are healthy and safe. However, the Beach Grant Program would suffer complete elimination. This vital program supports weekly water quality sampling at beaches across the country, and, helps to sustain thriving marine life and public awareness of pollution for the 90 million people visiting our nation’s beaches annually. Environmental education through the EPA would be cut by over 90% - a disservice to preparing and educating our youth, who are the future stewards of our nation. And, communities who are already the most under-served would be disproportionately impacted by the planned 78% cuts to environmental justice programs. Funding would be completely zeroed out for several targeted programs, including the national estuary program – long-term management planning to improve water quality and living conditions for 28 critical estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico, and Sea Grant – a well-leveraged scientific research partnership with top universities throughout the nation. Removing the Sea Grant program would cut funding for important fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and public health research at 33 universities across the country – this is hands-on and applied research that informs management and protection of our economically and environmentally beneficial coastal and ocean resources. The new administration’s proposals would cripple our efforts to safeguard marine habitats, threatened animals, and coastal resilience – placing entire communities and ecosystems at a further disadvantage. The White House has said it is committed to promoting clean water and clean air, but these proposed actions demonstrate otherwise. It seems virtually impossible to maintain basic environmental and public health protections, given such deep cuts and job losses. Please help Heal the Bay and many other trusted environmental groups nationwide in our effort to keep the EPA and NOAA from being disabled. Tell your State Senators, Congressional Representatives and Legislators that funding for the EPA and NOAA is important to you, your family, your business and community.
Support the EPA's ability to address climate change
Gary Palmer, House Representative for Alabama's Sixth District, has sponsored a proposed bill that blocks the EPA's ability to address climate change. The bill repeals the ability of the Clean Air Act, Federal Water Pollution Control Act, National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Endangered Species Act of 1973, and Solid Waste Disposal Act to regulate climate change and excludes carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride from being defined as "air pollutants" under the Clean Air Act. The undersigned voters from Alabama's Sixth District strongly oppose this legislation and support the ability of the EPA to address climate change. The text of H.R. 637: To prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from exceeding its statutory authority in ways that were not contemplated by the Congress is available at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr637/text/ih
Justice For My Husband Bernard Simpson
Hello everyone. Most of you all know somewhat of what my family and I are going through. These last few weeks have been so devastating but I have to remain strong for my husband and continue to fight for him. For those that may not know who I am, my name is Karla Simpson. My husband, Bernard Simpson was arrested December 30, 2016 on a warrant from Alabama stating that he was a fugitive from justice. My husband was then informed that he was released from prison “too early” back in May of 2011 due to a clerical error. He spent time at the local jail here in Georgia until Alabama Department of Corrections came to pick him up on January 8th where he is currently now an inmate at Kilby Prison in Montgomery, Alabama. My husband and I have known each other since middle school. We’ve been married now for 5 years and he is also a new father of a 9 month old daughter. As previously mentioned, Bernard was released from prison here in Georgia in May of 2011 and was placed on parole. He recently completed his parole in November of 2016. Since being released, my husband has completely turned his life around and has become a successful and productive citizen. He has maintained work since being released and has also started his own business in transportation and has made quite an impression on the transportation industry here in Georgia. As his wife and as a new mother, I am completely devastated. My husband and I have started this new life and it has completely changed due to this unacceptable error. My husband had no idea nor was he ever informed that he was wanted in the almost 5 ½ years he’s been out. I want to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers but I am now asking for your support in signing this petition in hopes that the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole, the state's governor Robert J. Bently and the District Attorney Daryl D. Bailey take the state’s error and my husband’s contributions to society into consideration and release him. My husband made some mistakes very early in his life and has paid his debts to society. Financially and emotionally, this situation has hit us very hard. My husband doesn’t deserve to have his years of hard work and family stripped from him because of this error. I am asking that you please take a moment and sign this petition for my husband and me. We would greatly appreciate your support. Thank you
#SAVEH2B: Save Small & Seasonal Businesses!
PLEASE ASK CONGRESS TO #SAVEH2B AND SUPPORT IMMEDIATE CAP RELIEF! American Small and Seasonal businesses are currently approaching their busiest season of the year and they will not be receiving their seasonal guest workers. Without these legal, temporary employees American businesses and workers are in jeaprody. The H-2B Visa nonimmigrant program allows employers to hire foreign workers to come to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis. H-2B workers are not considered immigrants. In order to qualify for an H-2B Visa, an employer must prove that there are not sufficient U.S. Workers who are capable of performing temporary services or labor. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS TAKE JOBS AWAY FROM AMERICANS.FACT: American workers are guaranteed first chance at every job later filled by an H-2B temporary laborer. By law, every open position must be properly advertised in the community and requires employers to hire any able and willing American workers to fill open positions. The fact is that H-2B temporary workers actually support American jobs and the U.S. economy. The H-2B program provides an opportunity for seasonal businesses to operate at a greater capacity, thereby retaining their full-time American workers and contributing more to their local economies. Additionally, temporary foreign seasonal workers help support many upstream and downstream jobs. According to the American Enterprise Institute study on Immigration and American Jobs, every H-2B worker creates or sustains 4.64 American jobs on average. MYTH: EMPLOYERS DON’T EVEN TRY TO HIRE AMERICAN WORKERS TO FILL THESE TEMPORARY HARD LABOR JOBS.FACT: Employers work extremely hard to hire American workers because 1) it is dramatically cheaper to do so, and 2) the law requires that employers demonstrate that every effort has been made to hire Americans before they can start the process of trying to hire a temporary foreign laborer. Again, the fact is that the vast majority of American workers are not interested in temporary seasonal manual labor jobs. Geography is a big obstacle for many employers; for example, many resort communities don’t have a sufficient local labor pool. And, in many cases, these types of seasonal jobs may not be appropriate for high school students due to the hours or labor laws that prohibit the use of heavy machinery by minors. MYTH: PAYING HIGHER WAGES WILL ENTICE AMERICAN WORKERS AND SOLVE THE SEASONAL TEMPORARY LABOR SHORTAGE.FACT: Hourly pay for these types of jobs have gone up significantly over the last few years because employers who use the H-2B program are required to pay their H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premiumwage dictated by the U.S. Department of Labor. These temporary manual labor jobs often pay considerably more than the minimum wage, but American workers still won’t take the positions. Sadly, in many cases, employers who obey the law and use the H-2B program are often competing against businesses that choose to illegally hire undocumented immigrants and pay those workers considerably less. If wages were raised even higher, seasonal employers who use the program would not be able to sustain their businesses or their American workers. MYTH: THE H-2B PROGRAM REPRESSES WAGES FOR AMERICAN WORKERS BY PROVIDING A CHEAPER LABOR SOURCE.FACT: Hiring H-2B workers is a much move expensive and risky option. In addition to the fact employers are required to pay H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premium wage that is often well above the federal minimum wage, complying with the H-2B program is extremely costly, complicated and wrought with uncertainty due to an overly restrictive cap and a constantly changing regulatory environment. Employers turn to the H-2B program as a last resort, after extensive efforts to recruit American workers. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS OVERSTAY THEIR VISAS AND EXACERBATE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA.FACT: According the U.S. Department of Homeland Security visa overstay in the H-2B program are rare. Workers who do overstay their visas are barred from using the program ever again. The fact is that the vast majority of H-2B workers and their employers are meticulous about compliance. Not following the strict program rules means the end of a well-paying seasonal jobs that allows these workers to provide for their families and still maintain their homes in their native countries – a risk these workers are not willing to take since they generally return to the same employer year after year. Additionally, when approving H-2B visas, the U.S. Consulate confirms workers’ ties to their home countries. Further, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires employers to promptly report any H-2B workers who do not report for work or who complete their work earlier in the season than anticipated. MYTH: THE H-2B RETURNING WORKER EXEMPTION IS UNNECESSARY.FACT: The H-2B program’s annual 66,000 cap (33,000 for each half of the fiscal year) is not adequate to meet the demands of a growing economy. The cap for the first half of the fiscal 2017 was reached on January 10. The second-half cap was reached on March 13, leaving many seasonal employers shut out of the program with no access to legal seasonal laborers. Without the returning worker exemption passed by Congress with bipartisan support and signed into law by the President, many companies will have to close their businesses, lay off American workers or turn away customers.This provision is essential to the survival of small and seasonal businesses across the country and should be made permanent. An H-2B returning worker exemption is a narrow solution to a seasonal workforce shortage that focuses on workers who are valuable to their seasonal employers and who have never violated the terms of their past visas or other U.S. laws. These workers do not pose a security risk and they are not taking away jobs from Americans. For more information please visit: https://www.SaveH2b.orghttps://www.h2bworkforcecoalition.com https://youtu.be/UTYVEirlu3o To contribute further, please contact your Congressmen/women and tweet using the hashtag: #SAVEH2B
Stop the inhumane forced breeding of "exotic" and "extreme" American bullies!
I love animals and I've seen "exotic" and "extreme" American bullies before without much thought about them except that they look like there's something wrong with them. Yesterday, I delved further into researching these types of American bullies. "Exotic" and "extreme" bullies are bred unethically SOLELY for aesthetics and profit, and whilst the breeder is getting rich, the dog has to deal with a plethora of new health problems just because their owner bred them to look a certain way, which is in reality incredibly harmful to the dogs. One of these dogs owner's, "George Soto/@thebullycampline" owner of "Mr. Miyagi" forces his dog to breed with THOUSANDS of other dogs for a stud fee of $5000 and up. Look up "Toadline Bullies" for more "exotic bullies" that obviously have chrondodysplasia and a myriad of other problems. If you need even MORE PROOF besides what you can see with your own eyes, the breeder literally agreed with what I said! https://prnt.sc/ffmeq1 People also produce these dogs through forced inbreeding, because they have so many health problems, (back problems, joint problems, bracycephalic, PRONE to osteoporosis, extremely beady eyes that probably have very poor eyesight, overheating, short life, among many, many, other things) they only live for 3-5 years because how they're built puts so much strain on them that it kills them, so they breed the dog thousands of times before it dies! No registries or shows will accept these dogs because it's clear they're mixed with French/English bulldog and paraded around as a purebred! Not only are these poor dogs forced to breed with thousands of random dogs and their own kin their entire life, they're extremely overpriced! One of these dogs can go for $15k or more. An obviously defective mutt isn't worth paying that much for and the dog should be taken care of for the remainder of its short life instead of forced to breed thousands of times every year so the owner can make more money and disregard the dog's health. No animal should be bred to appear like they have muscular dystrophy and/or dwarfism and can barely stand. Please help put a stop to this by signing this petition, I didn't know where to start but I knew I had to do something to help stop this cruelty, so contact anyone who you think can help put an end to this and/or make profiting through the sacrifice of these poor dogs illegal. Thank you!If you need more information or visual proof of this blatant cruelty then look here: http://imgur.com/gallery/DVJ7q or search "extreme" and "exotic" bullies. One exotic breeder even had his dogs seized because it's clearly wrong and should be outlawed. http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/before-and-after-dogs-seized-in-cruelty-investigations-now-thriving-in-new-homes Thanks again for signing and please help stop this blight on dog breeding.
Alabama Animal Cruelty and Neglect Law Revision
The state of Alabama has a serious problem with abused, neglected, and stray animals. This petition is an attempt to get the Alabama lawmakers to revise the current laws regarding animal abuse, neglect, and breeding the way Pennsylvania has recently done with the passing of Pennsylvania House Bill 1238. My wife and I work with an animal rescue group located in Walker County Alabama and the number of animals that we have had come through our rescue this year alone is staggering, but what's even more staggering is the number of animals we are unable to help because we are constantly at full capacity. On average my wife and I have between 10-15 rescued dogs and cats at our home waiting to be adopted out to loving families and the happy life that they deserve. Please help us by signing this petition. I don't know if it will do any good, but it's worth a shot. THANK YOU!!!
Urge U.S. Senate to approve $70M NIH funding for lymphedema and lymphatic disease research
United States Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has requested “$70 million in lymphatic and lymphedema research funding be appropriated to the Office of the Director at NIH to support extramural interdisciplinary research relevant to the lymphatic system in health and disease.” This would be an unprecedented achievement in making lymphatics and lymphedema a national heath priority. Its impact on future treatments and cures must not be underestimated. We must fight for this with everything available to us. The Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), its spokesperson Kathy Bates, the research community, and Senator Schumer have brought this issue to the forefront. It is now up to us, as a community, to get this funding in the budget. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services must hear from you. First, sign this petition. Herein, the signers of this petition call upon committee members to add the Report Language of Senator Schumer to the 2017 Committee Appropriations bill. Second, write directly to the Committee Members to voice your support. Links to their webpages are provided below. Both actions are needed to secure this historic funding. Be part of the greatest lymphatic disease and lymphedema research initiative in history. Make this just the beginning. This is where it all starts, and it doesn’t happen without you. Sincerely,William RepicciExecutive Director, LE&RNSenate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services members:Senator Roy Blunt (Chairman, R-MO)Senator Patty Murray (Ranking Member, D-WA)Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)Senator James Lankford (R-OK)Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)Senator John Kennedy (R-LA)Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Make Endometriosis A Recognized Disability In the United States
1 in 10 women suffer with Endometriosis which has no cure. Most of these women are in the twenty to forty age group (can be younger or older) and of the women who have this condition up to 40% are infertile. Unfortunately it can take up to 10 years for a woman to be diagnosed with endometriosis. Many struggle to keep jobs or have lost their jobs due to this painful condition. As of right now social security does not recognized endometriosis on the disability list. It is because they consider the pain to be intermittent and can be manged with medication which endo suffers can agree that that is not always the case. Too often women are turned down because of this reason. This petition has been made so that we can get this condition recognized as a disability in the United States. Too often we must suffer because we have no other resort. I hope that we can reach the white house and make this happen. Everyone please sign, this condition is so common that if you are not a sufferer yourself you know someone (mother, sister, aunt, daughter, wife, girlfriend, friend, etc.) that suffers from it. Thank you for your support!
Remove the Marriage penalty against couples
People with disabilities may have to do things differently than non disabled people, and may look and act differently, but we are alike in so many ways . We all want to have love and our own families. We want to experience life and how it feels to fall in love . We want to experience how it feels to love someone who loves us in return. Finding love with someone that understands our medical needs can be challenging at times but not impossible. But a lot people with disabilities depend on financial support from the supplemental security for income and getting married makes things more challenging for people with disabilities because they would lose so much by getting married .Like for a couple who are both disabled and both receive help from one of the government programs, they will receive 25% less income (than two individuals living together or separately) if they get married . There is another problem that both disabled and non disabled couples are fighting to change and that is the fact that people are not always allowed to see their loved ones in the hospital for surgery if we are not legally related to the patient . If you get married in order to have those rights, if you are also disabled, you could be giving up necessary financial help. When rules prevent people with disabilities from having normal couple and life relationships, those rules need to be changed. We just want to have the same rights as our other non disabled friends and family. Please take a look at this petition and Please consider signing and sharing this petition . This is a problem that needs to be corrected. We can't do this alone . We need all the support we can get . Thank you
Madelyn's Law- Require full lab results before hospitals can notify DHR
December 22,2016, my family faced the loss of my niece, Madelyn. My sister's placenta had ruptured in her 8th month of pregnancy,which killed my unborn neice. After a few pints of blood and an emergency c-section, Madelyn was stillborn and absolutely beautiful. That day was horrible and traumatic for all of us, but at the time we did not know that the worst was yet to come. Hospital standards are to test the urine of the mother for various reasons (including drugs) when a fetus is in distress. The following day, the nurse asked my sister if she knew that she had tested positive for amphetamines during the routine drug screening. She had no idea as she is not a drug user. Shortly after, a DHR worker came to interview all of the family and my sister. We were all grieving the loss of Madelyn, right at Christmas time, and now we were all under scrutiny from a government agency over something we all knew was not possible. The DHR caseworker asked all that were willing to accompany her to the county office for drug screening for the placement of my sister's other child, Micah, who was also required to come with us. The testing for myself, my mother, and my sister's father finally concluded around 3pm. Due to the time, our results could not be lab verified until the following week due to the Christmas holiday. DHR took my nephew to a foster home, solely based on a URINE drug screen. We spent Christmas extremely sad as we had not only lost Madelyn, but Micah was now gone as well. After hiring an attorney and a court appearance, Judge Kim Taylor of Alexander City, required my sister to submit to hair follicle testing. Due to the distance I lived away from Tallapoosa County and the amount of time it would take my home county of Tuscaloosa to do a home study, DHR requested that my nephew be left in foster care until the results were in. My sister went to the required lab for testing on the morning of her daughter's funeral. Multiple times, my sister and our family requested supervised visitation with Micah. Each time we were met with "We have other appointments scheduled, it's not a good time, call tomorrow " When we followed instructions, our calls went unanswered or we were met with the same excuse. For two weeks, we did not see Micah or know who he was with and if he was OK. Finally, the results came in. My sister's positive drug screen was a result of her Obstetrician prescribed medication PHENEGRAN, a medication used to treat nausea and vomiting. The saddest part is that this all could have been prevented if HOSPITALS WERE REQUIRED TO HAVE A BLOOD TEST,rather than urine only, in the case of fetal death or distress. This medication was noted in my sister's chart, however most nurses/doctors I have spoken are not aware that it can CAUSE FALSE POSITIVES FOR AMPHETAMINES, despite extensive and proven/trusted research. We are asking for support for "Madelyn's Law" which would require hospitals to have BLOOD proof that the presence of a drug in a mother's system is in fact a street drug, rather than a prescribed drug that can cause a false positive, before notifying the Department of Human Resources /Child Protective Services. Had the hospital performed more than a urine screening only, it could have saved an entire family from the burden of undue stress and heartache when we were already facing so much. Furthermore, it could have saved the state of Alabama money in its pursuance of a dead end case. Please help us prevent this from happening to another family!