Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment
This is the year 2016. Isn’t it time women had equal rights in America? Will you join me by signing a petition compelling your lawmakers to vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment? “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” The Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923 by Alice Paul, is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that affirms that all citizens deserve equal rights under the law regardless of sex or gender. Seems self-evident, right? Do you think that women’s equal rights are guaranteed by our constitution? Sadly, they are not. The ERA never passed, leaving women’s rights up for interpretation. This imbalance has been demonstrated time and time again in the highest courts in the land, where women often lose even when clear bias is shown. Women’s rights are seemingly at the mercy of whoever is in office or on a judicial bench at any given time. Here is what one of our most influential Supreme Court justices said on the matter of sex discrimination: "Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't." —Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia While we in America may think that women are doing fine, the rest of the world does not. The United Nations has deemed the United States to be a country that does not adequately protect women’s human rights. The Equal Rights Amendment may seem unnecessary to some, but the truth is American women do not have explicit rights under The Constitution. There are dozens of areas where a lack of equal rights negatively affects women and the families they support. Here are just a few: • America is the only nation in the world with a rising maternal mortality rate. • 10,000 abused women are turned away from shelters daily, a total of 3.65 million denied requests per year. When looking specifically at the gender pay gap: There is a direct correlation between underpaying mothers and child hunger. It is estimated that half of the 33 million women and children living in poverty in the United States would not be if women were paid their full dollar. Is it any wonder that 1 in 5 children in America go hungry? Seventy-five percent of all African American children are being raised by full time working single mothers who are paid .60 cents on the dollar. Latinas earn .55 cents on the dollar, and white women make .78 cents compared to their white male counterparts. Our transgender sisters are faring even worse. They are four times as likely to have a household income under $10,000 and twice as likely to be unemployed. Over the course of her working life, an American woman will lose between $400,000 and two million dollars due to wage discrimination. The Equal Rights Amendment would provide an express constitutional basis to challenge sex-based discrimination. It would also ensure that laws and government actions that treat women differently are reviewed by the courts with the strictest of standards. With the upcoming 2016 election we need to intensify the conversation around women's issues and compel our lawmakers to protect the basic civil and human rights of American women by passing the ERA. It is time that we finally make this happen for ourselves, our daughters, and for the future of our nation. If even Supreme Court justices don’t believe the Constitution protects women from discrimination, let’s pass an amendment that will. Please join me along with Kamala Lopez, the director of the upcoming documentary “Equal Means Equal,” the ERA Coalition, and Noreen Farrell of Equal Rights Advocates, to sign this petition for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment #EqualMeansEqual —Patricia Arquette
Sign: Stop Plan to Gas Geese to Death for being "Nuisances"
The Wisconsin towns of Twin Lakes and Mondovi are about to begin brutally killing the Canada geese who live in their lakes -- including the newly hatched goslings. The cities plan to round up the geese and their babies and kill them with carbon dioxide in gas chambers. They claim this is a humane way to euthanize the animals, but in reality, the geese will face a painful and terrifying death. Why are these cities planning to cull the geese? Simply because residents claim that they’re too noisy, eat too much grass, and produce too much feces. These innocent animals have been handed a death sentence just for being "nuisances." Wisconsin animal advocacy group Alliance for Animals offers suggestions for ways to remove the geese without harming them, including habitat modification -- which has proven to be the most effective way of controlling goose populations. They also suggest implementing a public ban on feeding geese, and scaring them off with mechanical devices that make noise. These humane ideas are far better long-term solutions; if the cities just kill the birds, more geese will move in to take their spots, and the problem will not be solved. Rounding up and gassing geese is a horribly cruel and ineffective way to deal with this issue. Sign the petition to tell Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to stop the plans to kill these innocent animals.
PREVENT DOMESTIC HOMICIDE: Create law that removes bond option for felony DV/SA charges
On January 9th 2018, in Appleton, Wisconsin, Sarah Schmidt, a mother of 3, was murdered by her husband following her filing for divorce. During an assault on New Years eve, he“held the gun to her head, tied her up with a cord and duct tape (to which he admits to not leaving here there for "more than a couple of hours"), cut off her clothes" and assaulted her. According to his own testimony he recently purchased the firearm on December, 31st, and put a tracking device on her car. He further explains in his testimony, that "he snapped" and the use of the gun was, "spur of the moment." He admitted to his crimes and yet he was released back into the community. 5 days after being released on a $10,000 bond he murdered his wife and killed himself, leaving their 3 kids without either parent. She was brave enough to come forward and report her abuse and then file for divorce. She was brave enough to stand up for herself and do what she felt was best for her children, yet our judicial system let her down. She did what we "expect" domestic abuse victims to do, and yet she was murdered because our systems did not protect her. They let a man charged with 2 violent felonies back out into her community, into her neighborhood and it resulted in her murder. We cannot stand by and let such lax laws exist any further. Approximately 75% of women who are killed by their batterers are murdered when they attempt to leave or after they have left an abusive relationship. Bond should not be an option when charged with 2 violent crimes, and in this case, one including a deadly weapon. We must do better for victims/survivors. We demand change of the laws to keep abusers with charges of a violent nature behind bars until they have their day in court. Not only does the protect the community, it more importantly protects the brave survivors who come forward to report their abuse. Enough is enough, let's demand a change. This petition will be sent to Wisconsin's Attorney General, Brad Schimel and several WI representatives, demanding that bond options are removed for felony domestic violence and sexual assault cases.
Make “upskirting” a punishable crime
This year, in my beloved state of Wisconsin, a man was arrested for secretly recording up the skirts of more than 300 unsuspecting women. This act of photographing women’s body parts without their consent is actually common enough that it has a name: “upskirting”. Despite the silly word, it’s no laughing matter. Victims of this act experience similar effects as those of other sexual assaults, namely fear, guilt, and shame. Wisconsin doesn’t have any laws on the books to punish upskirting. Perpetrators have been given the very petty charges of disorderly conduct, invasion of privacy, and sometimes nothing at all -- if the victim is wearing the “right” kind of undergarment when the photo is taken, the photo is considered perfectly legal under current state statutes. This is obviously absurd and must be changed. A bipartisan bill to address this issue recently passed the Wisconsin State Assembly, but it has stalled in the Senate. The bill would create a new charge and punishment for upskirting, one that fits the crime. Please join me in calling on Wisconsin state senators to schedule and pass AB8-SB4. Upskirting goes far beyond invading privacy, and should be treated with the gravity of other sexual assaults. It is non-consensual, unwanted sexual misconduct, and should be punished as such by law enforcement and prosecutors. It’s a matter of technology moving faster than legislation -- before cell phones, upskirting was not a widespread phenomenon, and the laws currently on the books reflect that fact. Let’s catch up, join the 21st century, and protect women’s right to safety and privacy in public places. I’m ashamed that this is happening in my state, but we can act immediately to deter it by urging our state senators to schedule and pass AB8-SB4. Please, in the name of decency. Thank you.
MILWAUKEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS UNHEALTHY LUNCHES ARE NOT MAKING THE GRADE!!!!!
MPS has started their school year over 2 weeks early. The change was made due to low test scores, and the new start date was set to allow students more classroom time to increase these scores. If we care about test scores (not to mention good health!), school lunches should provide healthy fuel for our children's minds and bodies, and help them learn healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. The average MPS Middle School/High School Lunch for one day ranges anywhere between 30-50 grams of carbs. According to Livestrong.com the average child should comsume between 22 to 31 grams of carbs in one day. MPS is drowning our kids in DOUBLE the amount recommended! MPS school district is providing unsatisfactory school meals which include fast food style menus with processed foods that contain artificial additives and preservatives. Our kids are paying for this with their health. Lifestyle and diet related health problems are on the rise in children. At least 30 percent of children in the US are overweight, childhood obesity has more than doubled, and it is predicted that one in three will develop diabetes before adulthood. For many of our students, school lunch is their only complete meal of the day. We need to make sure it is a healthy and nourishing meal. We need a change in philosophy not a change in costs. The USDAs Farm to School Program currently has 277 school districts in the State of Wisconsin participating in their program that issues up to $100,00 in grant money to schools to particpate in growing gardens, buying locally, creating new menu items and offering fresh fruits and vegetables to our kids. MPS has not participated in this program since the 2013-2014 school year. That year there were over 236 schools with gardens being grown in Wisconsin. How many MPS schools were participating and growing gardens that year? THREE!!!!!!! They tell us as parents we should be grateful that lunch is free. Almost 9 million lunches were served to MPS kids during the 2014 school year. 9 millions times MPS had our children ingest food that is sometimes cold, sometimes not even fully cooked and ALWAYS with very little nutritonal value. Wauwatosa School District, who uses a different food provider, has reduced lunches for only 40 cents a day if you qualify. And offers healhty Ala Carte Items daily, all under $2.55 a piece. This year they even offer their kids something new to keep them busy AND eating smarter: NEW -- Smoothie Bike coming to the District! A bike with a blender that will make smoothies while you pedal. Keep an eye out for this fun way to incorporate exercise and make a nutritious treat on the Sodexo. (This is from Wauwatosa School District Website). One of the single most impactful and sustainable ways to make immediate changes to school lunches is to implement healthy salad bars with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins. Fresh fruits and vegetables at a salad bar can replace the typical school lunch vegetable - "baked" fries or tater tots. Two schools have won grants from Whole Foods for Salad Bar hardware, but these are not being fully utilized. Full salad bars and nourishing, tasty soups should be made available to all schools in the district. If highly processed food, chocolate milk, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and canned fruit are not your idea of a healthy lunch, get involved and help make school lunches healthier. Let's give our kids the right food to fuel their academic performance and teach them how to make healthy lifestyle choices. Our kids should NOT have to be going home hungry or feeling like they cannot eat healthy just because of the zip code they are from or because of the school district their parents reside in. Show your support for better meals service by our school district by signing below. We'll be in touch soon with more ways to help.
Heroin overdosing should get the opinion of drug court and rehabilitation!
I am a recovering addict myself and I'm sick of seeing all of my friends die. As long as the person who calls for help doesn't get in trouble, I think the person who overdoses and needs EMS to come and help bring them back need to be given the option of drug court and forced to get clean so they realize what they are doing to themselves.... It all boils down to not wanting to change! One thing that makes us living things is the ability to adapt, the war on drugs has done nothing but overpopulated prisons and make people not be able to see a better future... once you have a record, you're screwed, I get it, so have the charges be able to be removed from your record so you can go on with your life and end up a doctor or psychotherapist or even a Government official?! Who knows?!!?!?!?!!!! Division of vocational rehabilitation center is so underutilized and that's where tax payers money should go, not to 3 hots and a cot for someone who cannot help the chemical imbalance that drugs have caused them! Most addicts are mentally ill before they use, they are just self medicating!!! I don't want to admit how many times I have had to call for help after giving Narcan and rescue breathing for 20 minutes and the cops were more focused on me and how they got high than the person who is overdosed!!!! Too many of my generation is dying from this epidemic and charging the dealer when they die just makes it so the other dealers can charge more $$!!!! It's the person's mental I'll they either had before they used or the chemical imbalance they caused by using that made them pick it up.... I have never overdosed unless I really wanted to die and at that point it was a cry for help!!! Nothing else has worked so why don't we try something else? So do more than just pray for the addicts, sign this petition so they get a wake up call!!!! Thank you for your time! Please like anshare!!!!!!!
Justice For Destiney, Put a STOP to Child Molestation
When someone does something wrong, you expect people to be held accountable for their actions. In this case, her seventeen year old half brother wasn't. When someone does something inappropriate to you they always tell you, especially as a younger child, to tell someone so they can be punished for their actions. Unfortunately, Destiney this nine year old girl, as frightened as can be did exactly that and still didn't receive the justice she deserved. He, who's name cannot be mentioned, helped destroy and damage her thought of mind and her train of emotions. Yet, as soon as she finally let it out, she knew something had to be done. She's spent months going through court cases, hearings, meetings, and still she did not receive justice. This poor nine year old girl was turned down by the Milwaukee Wisconsin District Attorney and her case was let go. It wasn't fair because this was suppose to be her own blood brother and he molested her, more than once and still was given "the right" to walk around without a care in the world... All he got was a night in jail and the unfair right to live as freely as can be. He knew what he had done and knew it was wrong but claimed all times were just an "accident". Destiney and all her stories she had told the police remained exactly the same. She started falling behind in school and even missed school to attend more hearings and even therapy. In which she found out that she lives and suffers from PTSD, but what was the point of telling anyone when nothing was done. Yet, till this very day she lives in fear that something like this will happen to her and that he will come back to harm her for telling someone and it's all because of him. So all that we ask is to please help Destiney and I her mother, get the justice she deserves so my daughter doesn't have to live in fear. We need her case to be reopened and for him to be punished for what he had done to her, so please take the time out your day to sign our petition. It's very appreciated she deserves to live at peace and we thank you so very much in advance.
We Urge Governor Walker to Reconsider His Position and Approve the Menominee's Proposed Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Kenosha.
When Governor Walker announced his decision on Jan. 23 to reject the Menominee's proposed casino in Kenosha, he acted without considering the big picture -- 10,600 jobs, $810 million private investment in Wisconsin, new revenue-sharing payments totaling $1 Billion, a $250 million bond that protects Wisconsin taxpayers, and an opportunity to help the Menominee, Wisconsin's original residents, pull themselves out of poverty. Good governance and effective leadership demands that public officials consider the common good, and not bow to threats, intimidation & bullying.
CDC/ATSDR APPROPRIATE $7,000,000 FOR US FIREFIGHTERS FOR PFAS STUDY RE AFFF/PPE ** IDLH **
America's firefighters have been on the front line of PFOA/PFOS exposure since 1983 while using it in AFFF, being sprayed in our eyes, mouth, nose, wading in it, having it adhere to our PPE/personal protection ensembles/turnout gear, and exposing our families to this toxin after bringing home contaminated gear. We were not aware how toxic this substance was. We have just recently learned our turnout gear, or PPE has been impregnated with PFOA since 1999 (at least) to make our gear water repellent so that it meets the NFPA 1971 water resistance standards for firefighting. We were not made aware. We do not know how much. Only the chemical giants have that information. We sweat in this gear, our body temperature rises and our skin absorbs these toxins. We start our careers in our child bearing years. PFOA and PFOS are designated by California Prop65 as causing 'reproductive cancers'. In 2006 the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) notified the chemical giants that they would be restricting PFOA in 'textiles'. One of those textiles is firefighter PPE. By 2012 PFOA was designated Substance of Very High Concern by the ECHA. Turnout gear manufacturers were made aware of the decision to restrict the amount of PFOA in turnout gear to 25ppb and 'precursors' to 1ppm. As of today, January 18, 2018, they have not advised the US of this issue formally. While the manufacturers are discussing and teaching about the issue in Europe, they have not mentioned it here. They have only minimized the issue when it came up recently by way of a firefighting article here in the US. https://station-pride.com/2017/03/28/the-real-cancer-in-your-gear/ We are in a particularly high risk exposure setting as our gear has been degrading in our fire stations where we work, eat, sleep, since 1999. The coating on our gear degrades in UV lighting, in many stations our gear is stored in open lighting next to the engines and trucks in our bays. There may be as many as 30 sets of gear in a station in one week. The gear is designed to be used for 5 years and 30 washings. Over the course of 20 years we have had thousands of sets of gear in our stations releasing particles of PFOA into our 'home'. As of this date, there has not been a PFAS dust study done in our stations. Yet, biomonitoring has shown firefighters PFOA serum tested in ranges from 243 ng/mL to 423 ng/mL from a 'yet unknown source'. The 'DuPont Water Works' plant workers were high at 32 ng/mL. Adding to this IDLH issue is the October 2, 2017 NH DES letter to every fire station in NH that of 6 of 7 New Hampshire fire stations water wells tested at 'elevated' levels of PFAS. https://www4.des.state.nh.us/nh-pfas-investigation/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Fire_Department_H20Sample.pdf Since September 5, 2017, Environmental Attorney Robert Bilott, along with C8 Science panel member Dr Paul A Brooks, and Fire Chief Jeffrey Hermes have demanded testing and studies of the EPA, CDC/ATSDR, and US Attorney General on behalf of all responders in the US due to their exposure from these areas. See letter here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3988104-Firefighter-Letter.html On January 16, 2018 Attorney Bilott did receive a reply from Patrick Breysee PhD CIH Dir ATSDR indicating the monies Attorney Bilott requested (7,000,000) from the recently found funds available, was not yet designated for FIREFIGHTERS. We seek immediate support and decisiveness that these funds are designated for the front line, who while already at a very high risk for cancer., was unaware of the toxin in our PPE and the extent of the toxicity of PFAS in the AFFF. The manufacturers were well awaare of the extent and danger of this toxin, yet chose to not issue the hazard in warning labels in our gear. They actually belong to a group called Fire and Emergency Manufacturers Association (FEMSA) THAT FOUGHT FOR, AND WON THE RIGHT, TO NOT PUT WARNING LABELS IN OUR GEAR. https://www.femsa.org/whois_femsa/history/ These same manufacturers sit at our NFPA standards committees deciding everything from the balance of a helmet to the width of reflective tape on our gear. Not once did they disclose this danger to us. These are very complicated drawn out committees, at any time a manufacturer could have provided a 'notice of concern'. They did not. We cannot wait one more day for money to be found while we don gear that is coated in PFAS and use AFFF that may or may not be safe. We have sacrificed enough, we have given enough of ourselves, we expect immediate action from each and every individual on this petition. We deserve nothing less. We have been kicked down the road long enough in this ruse of deception and omission of the toxic hazards of PFAS from the manufactures that provide our PPE and AFFF. Charge this back on them if need be. The PPE industry alone in the USA is over 5 billion dollars. On August 11, 2017, we received the test results of NEW, NEVER WORN 2004 turnout gear. We had it tested to determine if there could still be PFOA in the gear after 13 years. The testing was performed by Professor of Physics, Graham Peaslee, Notre Dame, IN. Here are his results: Dear Diane, Sorry for the slow response, but we ran your samples earlier this week (on Tuesday), and I have just looked through the results for four samples: Left Under Arm firefighting suit FF-LUAMoisture Barrier firefighting suit FF-MBTLRight Sleeve by Cuff firefighting suit FF-RSCTail firefighting suit FF-T The Moisture Barrier sample actually had two parts to it, a thin underlining fabric and the thicker outer layer. We labeled the thin fabric as MBTL2. The results are pretty unambiguous...Everything except that thin underlining fabric was heavily fluorinated: Sample counts/uC error ppm F Percent FFF-LUA 24682 2472 10555 1.62FF-MBTL 57530 5756 24603 3.77FF-MTBL2 485 98 207 0.06FF-RSC 20691 2073 8849 1.36FF-T 18212 1826 7789 1.19840 ppm F std 1964 128 We typically measure in parts-per-million, but these fabrics are so heavily fluorinated, they are better measured in percent fluorine content...each of the pieces contained between ~1 and ~4% fluorine (last column on right). This would typically indicate a very heavy treatment in PFAS chemicals to impart water and flame resistance to the fabric. We have seen values like this before, but typically only on fire-resistant fabrics. We also looked at these fabrics yesterday with an X-ray Fluorescence unit, just to test for the presence of other flame retardants in the material, and we did not see any chlorinated nor brominated compounds nor heavy metals, so it looks like the flame-resistant properties of these materials are being given by fluorinated compounds alone... I hope this information is useful to you. If you want to know which specific PFAS compounds are present in the fabrics (it can often be a mixture), then you would have to perform a chemical measurement using an instrument called Liquid-Chromotrography - Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). There are commercial companies that make these measurements (TestAmerica, for example), but they are complicated measurements and they typically charge several hundred dollars for a single analysis. Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide for you.... GRAHAM ************************************************************* We need water testing in our stations, dust studies in our stations, new technology that does not require PFAS and precursors for coatings that will form PFOA to meet our NFPA Standards, we need serum testing to follow us thorough our careers. We sacrifice enough. Please act. Respectfully, Diane Cotter Fireman's Wife
Stop The Statute of Limitations (SOL) on Sex Crimes - Sexual Assault, Pedophilia, Rape
Lesley Barton’s WWII hero father once said to her, “You should never take advantage of someone that is weak or vulnerable just because you can." Little did he know how much his simple words would one day mean to his beloved daughter as the 1st survivor of 10 (4 in SOL 6 outside of it) known victims to report a 15 yr active and violent serial rapist who continuously got off with slaps on the wrist. The time is NOW to Stop The Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes for children and adults. Please click the link below to learn more about her and her sisters’ fight against sadistic and emboldened rapist Marc Winner and to really understand the gravity of predators like him who are able to use the statute of limitations against their victims to their advantage. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/December-2016/Marc-Winner/__________________________________________Lesley’s story... Over 16 years, she’d hoped and prayed this day would actually never come, because although she knew he couldn’t stop-it was her greatest wish that he would, so no one else would be violently raped by him again. Painfully, that was not the case with 4 in the Statute of Limitations and 10 known total in a 15 year period. The continuous promises made to her when they wanted her to be okay with the plea deal, were not kept. Woman after woman reported him only to be disbelieved and disregarded, because of archaic belief systems even within the justice system and Chicagoland Cook County City and Suburbs being on different computer systems. How senseless is that? This has not been an easy road for her and her sisters. It’s actually been harder than any victim survivor could ever be able to explain. Our msister and brother survivors understand why sexual assault is the most under reported crime, because coming forward in order to protect others from a monster has no upsides due to the revictimization of stigma, harassment, a pretty inept and broken system, and those who want to make rape of all things about politics or shaming and blaming the survivor rather than stopping the perp. It’s been a long 16+ years for Lesley Barton who was the first to report Marc Winner for criminal sexual assault. Even after she came to terms with the unthinkable by finding some joy again she was really thrown for a loop that invasion day almost two years ago now when she found out he was back or actually never left. For he remained active and her reporting him, going to all their trial dates, and his slap on the wrist plea deal didn’t keep him from continuing his proclivity to do irreparable and permanent harm. Lesley no lomger feels any of the unfounded shame or blame any longer. She could really careless what the ignorant callous bullies towards survivors of rape think or say either. She does however feel an immense responsibility to her sisters who survived him, all sister and brother survivors, and the community at large to see this through to the end-to finish this-and to help convict him anyway they lawfully can so he never hurts another living soul again. Many confusingly mock and attack survivor activists who put it all on the line to stop criminals by using the term social justice warrior as a negative connotation on the internet and elsewhere. However, what they don’t seem to understand is that this is NOT a political issue and a violent despicable crime such as rape can never be referred to as “social.” It’s a matter of stopping a violent criminal from seriously hurting others in a way that the survivors receive a life sentence. Rape is actually a CRIMINAL JUSTICE issue-always has been, always will be. As a Criminal Justice issue, one way to end the emboldening of predators like Marc Winner, Brock Turner, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Louis CK, USA Gymnasts Dr. Larry Nassar, Thad Alton, and Denny Hastert (to name only a small few) is to Stop the Statute of Limitations Clock. Predators know very well that they have a time clock they can easily run out during the often decades of time it takes a victim to come forward and be a survivor. The time is NOW to #StopTheStatute of Limitations on Sex Crimes in every state for children and adults, once and for all. There are no statutes in different states on Forgery, types of Fraud, Murder, Manslaughter, Attempted Murder, Arson, types of DUI accidents, and even in a few on Rape, but a few isn’t good enough-Rape is a life sentence, so should be the time period it takes to report it (which remember does not mean the lack of burden of proof) in order to help deter. The system needs to give survivors the time they need to come to terms with the heinous violation to their body and spirit in order to get closure and justice-How can’t everyone have some common sense, reasonably understand, and get behind that? #metoo#Ibelieveyou#stopthestatute