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.
Support Safe Harbor Legislation for Sexually Exploited Children
The average age of commercially sexually exploited children is 14. Juvenile victims of sexual exploitation face a life continually threatened by torture, rape, broken bones, fractures, and extreme psychological manipulation to such an extent that most victims develop symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome as a result of having been trafficked. According to the International Labor Organization, 4.5 million illegally trafficked individuals are forcibly sexually exploited, and 21% of those individuals are estimated to be less than 18 years of age. Children who are victimized in the illegal sex trade are still criminalized in the state of Pennsylvania. The state contends that it is legal for juvenile victims of sex trafficking to receive criminal charges for prostitution, public indecency, obstruction of highways and other public passages. According to the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania, Shared Hope’s Protected Innocence Challenge conducted a study of state laws in 2015 that addressed domestic minor sex trafficking. They found that Pennsylvania ranked 35th on the effectiveness of 41 legislative components addressing domestic minor sex trafficking. In regards to Pennsylvania’s attempts to address protective provisions for juvenile victims, it ranked 45th out of 51 states, with the addition of Washington D.C. Senate Bill No. 554, the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund, which proposes to provide special relief for juvenile victims of sexual exploitation in order to restore dignity, provide necessary services, ensure safety, and provide a safe harbor for sexually exploited children. Provisions proposed by the bill include: reimbursement of funds for the costs of removing a tattoo or identifying mark left on the victim by their pimp, safe and stable housing, access to education, employment and life-skills training, comprehensive case management, healthcare and trauma-based therapy, access to personal care items and adequate clothing, treatment for drug and/or alcohol dependency, and other supportive services. Supporting this petition will make a difference in the lives of children who have experienced severe trauma and chronic emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. The sexual exploitation of juveniles is both an international and domestic issue. Supporting Safe Harbor Legislation in the State of Pennsylvania will make provisions for vulnerable children who have been exposed to extremely traumatic and chronic abuse. Additionally, this legislation has the potential to create a societal paradigm shift in which victims of forced prostitution can be rightly understood and cared for as victims, rather than as criminals. I urge you to support this bill and encourage Pennsylvania to join the two thirds of the United States that have taken a stance against the sexual exploitation of minors. I have both volunteered and worked professionally with individuals who have experienced crises related to trauma, domestic violence, and sexual assault. This form of trauma shakes people to the foundation of their being. We will not be able to foster and sustain an exploitation-free society, if we are not empowering people to heal. The ramifications of criminalizing children who have experienced trauma in the form of violence and sexual exploitation are severe in terms of the implications they carry for the future of rape culture and the social acceptability of violence.
Fund the testing of backlogged rape kits
Eleven-year-old Madison Wertz of Williamsport, Pa., learned about the national backlog of rape kits from a YouTube crime show that she and her dad, Michael, watched in early 2016. Madison was appalled to learn so many victims’ kits have sat untested for years, and she leaped into action. She began collecting signatures on a petition to help pay for Pennsylvania's backlog of untested kits. After about 6 months and 750 signatures, she was nominated for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette's 2016 Person of the Year. Now, with the help and support of my office as Pennsylvania Auditor General, Madison is collecting signatures nationwide to encourage each state to pass legislation that fully funds the testing of its untested rape kits; to upload all usable DNA evidence into CODIS, the federal database that matches DNA to identify serial offenders; and to prevent such a backlog from ever forming again. As auditor general, I produced a special report in September 2016 that evaluated the state of untested rape kits in Pennsylvania and offered 10 recommendations for improvement and action. Please join Madison and me as we fight to help all victims of sexual assault find justice, regardless of what state they live in. Your signature can spur action that helps victims find peace and leads to serial offenders being put where they belong: behind bars, where they can't hurt anyone else.
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.
We Demand that the U. S. Senate not confirm Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor
Andrew Puzder is among Trump's more controversial Cabinet picks because he has publicly opposed the overtime rule and various other Department of Labor regulations, and because the fast-food industry, from which Puzder hails, is a top wage-theft enforcement target at the department. Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants, which includes Carl’s Jr. and Hardee's. It’s actually very hard to imagine a worse choice for Labor Secretary than Andy Puzder. The Labor Secretary’s job is to look out for American workers. Trump's Labor nominee has opposed increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour and efforts to expand eligibility for overtime pay. It would be kind of funny if it wasn’t so serious. During the election, Trump made a lot of promises to create good jobs. But he’s filling his cabinet with CEOs and right-wing billionaires who have spent their lives undermining working people’s rights to come together in unions, while fighting minimum wage increases, paid sick leave and family leave policies. The evidence clearly demonstrates that protecting the rights of the people who work at Puzder’s company or its franchisees doesn't seem to be his priority. Puzder has run a business model that has produced widespread labor abuses at the companies. According to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA, over the previous seven years, about 60 percent of all Labor Department investigations of Carl's Jr. Restaurants found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. While working people at his fast food chains sometimes were making below minimum wage, Puzder was taking big compensation packages. In 2012, he made 291 times as much as workers at his restaurants. Now, he could be in charge of enforcing our nation’s labor laws—from ensuring workplace safety to investigating wage theft. His companies had the fourth highest incidents of wage theft reported to the government. ‘Wage theft is a rampant, everyday problem in the fast-food industry: Nearly nine out of 10 fast-food workers across the country report having money stolen from their paychecks by their boss,’ Kendall Fells, the Fight for $15 national organizing director, told Bloomberg BNA via e-mail. Bloomberg reported. “Fells referred to a 2014 poll commissioned by the campaign of more than 1,000 fast-food workers nationwide. The survey documented such common worker complaints as being forced to perform tasks before clocking in or after clocking out, having the cost of uniforms deducted from their paychecks, and not receiving breaks during long shifts.” Puzder’s Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain also has a history of sexist television. He thinks it’s appropriate to peddle sex to kids if it sells the product. “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers,” said the CEO in a 2011 press release, according to Fortune. “We target hungry guys, and we get young kids that want to be young hungry guys.” Let’s target Puzder’s nomination instead. Just Say No Puzder at Labor. This petition will be delivered to the full Senate and to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee of the U.S. Senate
No on HJ69/SJ18: killing wolf pups in dens, hibernating bears, stealjaw toe traps on bears
Tell your Senator and President Trump to vote NO on H.J. 69/S.J. Res. 18! 225 heartless House Members voted to overturn a federal rule – years in the works, and crafted by professional wildlife managers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – to stop some of the most appalling practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management. Denning of wolf pups, killing hibernating bears, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and trapping grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares. The stuff of wildlife snuff films. And not just on any land. On our country’s national wildlife refuges. More specifically, on 16 national wildlife refuges covering 76 million acres, all in the state of Alaska. In this case, Alaska has a bloodthirsty Board of Game, whose members enthusiastically implement a draconian policy called “Intensive Management.” That policy dictates that state managers drive down wolf, bear, and coyote numbers to boost caribou and moose numbers for hunters — turning Alaska’s wildlife refuges into what retired Arctic National Wildlife biologist Fran Mauer calls “game farms” — the very thing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted to stop through a rigorous, science-based, and legal federal rulemaking process that was overturned by today’s vote. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shouldn’t run refuges like game farms, as Alaskan officials want to do. Only the U.S. Senate and President Trump can now stop this unwinding of a decision by a professional wildlife management agency. Please contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to steer clear of a disgraceful resolution, and to honor limits in the conduct of wildlife policy in the United States of America. From the Humane Society (http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/02/u-s-house-sanctions-killing-hibernating-bears-wolf-pups-dens-federal-refuges-alaska.html
Temporary ease of sanctions on Iran to aid earthquake survivors
A terrible earthquake hit a large area on the Iran-Iraq border on November 12, 2017 around 21:48PM local time. More than a hundred aftershock tremors are still striking the area, preventing people from traveling back home, entering their homes, or moving inside the towns. In particular, the town of Sarpol e-Zahab, a locality of about 36,000 inhabitants, was one of the most affected areas. Here, the death toll rose to 236 people, and thousands of injured people continue to need medical attention 24 hours later. Rescue teams are still unearthing bodies. Among the casualties are innocent children, whose access to medical care is precarious and who cannot return to school in the near future, as schools have been severely damaged. Many inhabitants lost their home, and their children are forced to sleep in cars and in tents in a weather bordering on winter. While international NGOs are on the ground in Iraq offering relief to those affected, it is very difficult to get into Iran and help in the areas mostly damaged by the trembler. The US sanctions placed on Iran prevent much aid from being sent to where it is most needed right now. While the US Department of State issued a message of sympathy on November 13, 2017, (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/11/275491.htm much more can be done. The US has the ability to help. Many people want and can help, but sending aid to Iran is nearly impossible without a temporary ease of sanctions on humanitarian aid. Former US President, Barack Obama and his administration temporarily eased the sanctions in 2012 for 45 days, when a deadly earthquake hit Iran on August 11. Under the lift, NGOs were able to transfer up to $300,000 in funds to Iran at that time to help those affected. We ask President Donald Trump and the US Senate to please allow a similar ease of sanctions to help the children of Iran who lost homes and family in the earthquake. Mr. President, Senators Casey and Toomey, please support humanitarianism. Please allow aid to be sent to Iran. Thank you.
Saving lives on McNally Bridge
The McNally Bridge that carries route 219 over the Stonycreek River is roughly 1,388 feet long and 192 feet high and has unfortunately been a prime spot for those struggling with the decision to end their lives. On public forums, time and time again the people of Somerset and Cambria counties ask the same question "Why doesn't someone do something about this?". Including representatives for Pennsylvania as our target audience, join me in indicating that something must be done with the McNally Bridge. Suggestions include constructing a fence around the bridge, installing signs for suicide hotline numbers and words of hope, and painting the bridge with local artist's work to create a place that reminds others that even strangers care. In showing strength in numbers, let's make the push for something to be done. Saving just one life would be worth the effort!
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!
Stop the legalization of hunting bears, wolves and their babies while they're sleeping.
There is a bill trying to be passed for the legalization of hunting bears and cubs while hibernating, also with wolves and their pups. If this bill is passed, we go through a bigger mass extinction than we are already going through with elephants, rhinos, polar bears, tigers, etc. By over kill, we lose our "circle of life", and by over kill, we kill ourselves in the future. We kill our children, grandchildren and so forth. By stoping this one thing, we can stop poaching for good, and be wiser when it comes to our environment, for the human race is killing the earth. Bears, wolves, and their babies aren't doing anything wrong, they are so much more afraid of us than we are of them, and the only reason they would attack is for self defense, or the defense of their young. There are so many more bills and issues that need intended attention than killing innocent animals, WHILE they are sleeping. Also, there is no necessary need to kill these animals, only for fun and sport do they wish to pass the bill. We start with the bears, wolves, other animals, and their babies; we end with human civilization looking for alternatives till the death of all life. This is an important, EXTREMELY inhumane problem that needs to be addressed, for it is morally wrong. Thank you.