Poor children deserve a question in the presidential debates
No child living in America today should have to worry about whether they’ll have a place to sleep at night or enough food to eat. But these are daily realities for the 1 in 6 poor children in this country. Children like me. Growing up on the North Side of Minneapolis, I know what it means to struggle. I’ve been homeless, spending school nights sleeping on park benches. I’ve been hungry, not knowing where my next meal would come from. I know what it means to have to work to support your family when you need to be focusing on school. And I know that other kids shouldn’t have to face these struggles. Every child in America should be able to focus on learning, growing, and just being a kid. Did you know it’s been 20 years since there was a question about how to address child poverty in a presidential debate? But a child is born into poverty every minute in this country. Those children will face hunger, homelessness, illness, violence and toxic stress. And those children deserve answers about how the next president of the United States is going to make sure they get a fair shot at a better life. Ignoring this issue on the national debate stage sends a signal that children living in poverty are not a priority. To fix the problem, we need to put a spotlight on it. That’s why I’m calling for a question in the presidential debates about child poverty. I want to know what the next president is going to do to make sure the next generation won’t struggle like I did. Will you join me? Please sign the petition today.
Allow spectators at high school sports and performances
Our students deserve to have their families cheer for them at sporting events and music and theater performances! Putting a limit on the number of guests per player/student is a valid option rather than saying no spectators. There have been many large events that were allowed, including the Big Sky State games, the hill climbs in Columbus and Billings, the fair, legion baseball, the 3v3 tournament at the Shrine, little league, graduation ceremonies, etc. and new events being planned like the Big air Bash. So why put this restriction on our high school sports games and arts performances, where social distancing is possible? Parents should be able to watch their children play/perform, and students should be able to play with people watching and cheering for them. Isn't that a big part of why they play sports or perform?
Do not eliminate services to children with special needs in Montana.
The State of Montana has proposed to eliminate services for children with special needs in Montana. This petition is requesting legislators and Governor Bullock to not cut Part C (children 0-3) and Family Education and Support Services (children 3-21). These services are vital to Montana families, children, and the future of the state. There is no question that the more support received in youth directly impacts the level of support a person needs throughout their adult life. We were shocked to hear that an elimination of this magnitude was even being proposed. Here are some statistics: ~67% of children who receive early intervention services do not receive special education. Special Education costs per student are approximately an additional $7900 per student per year. Early intervention works and saves significant money in the long term. ~Over 2000 children in Montana receive these services every year. ~Montana was one of the first states in the nation to adopt early intervention services through the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), back in 1986. If these services are eliminated, we will be the only state in the nation to not provide them. Montana has provided Part C services successfully since 1986. ~Montana has provided Family Education and Support Services (FES) successfully since 1977. FES is a federal program funded by $4,000,000 federal funds to provide services to children with special needs who have not received a waiver slot. The state contributes only $500,000 for the critical services. The proposal to save state funds which cover 20% of FES and refuse the 80% federal allocation is ludicrous. We are requesting that the executive and legislative branches work together to address the need to continue funding for Montana children and families.
Declare “Juneteenth” a Federal Holiday in America.
On June 19, 1865, slavery was abolished both in law and in practice. “Juneteenth” is an American holiday that commemorates that day. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day , Jubilee Day, Cel-Liberation Day or the Black Fourth of July. Declaring this day a federal holiday will show the World and Black people everywhere (descendants of slaves) that America is listening and ready for change.
STOP the ADHA from eliminating NECESSARY BOARD EXAMS required to obtain a clinical license
Registered Dental Hygienists are required to pass rigorous board exams in order to obtain licensure to treat patients. The ADHA (American Dental Hygiene Association) is taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to pass unprecedented deregulation allowing students that haven't met the requirements for licensure to practice dental hygiene. Please support the dental professionals who wish to protect the patients and demand that all requirements for licensure be met. #dontcheapenourprofession #rdhstrong
2020 Candidates Should Commit to a Youth Town Hall
I know first-hand that young people have the power to reach the highest leaders in our country. When I was 8 years old, I wrote a letter to then President Obama about the Flint Water Crisis, asking him to come to my hometown and see directly how this water crisis was affecting young people like me. President Obama not only responded, he traveled to Flint and drew the eyes of the world on my town. From the students at Parkland to those on the frontlines of the climate movement, to kids volunteering to fight homelessness to youth in my own hometown of Flint, Michigan speaking out about our water crisis, young people in America are fighting to make this country better and to create a better tomorrow. That’s why I’m asking for your support in calling on all 2020 Presidential candidates to do what’s never been done before in an American election: to hold a “Youth Town Hall” to meet and get questions from young people in America. As young people, we have so much riding on the 2020 election. Whoever wins will create laws and policies that directly affect young people in America for years and years to come. And it’s time for these candidates to meet with and hear questions from young people like me. Already several 2020 candidates have committed to a Youth Town Hall. Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Marianne Williamson, Michael Bennet, Seth Moulton, Joe Sestak, and Mike Gravel have all said they would participate. But there are still more than a dozen other candidates who have yet to respond, and I want them to hear directly from those who want to see the first “Presidential Candidate Youth Town Hall”. Young people have a voice, and they can make a difference. Right now we have a political system that is broken and dysfunctional. My generation can and will fix this, and I want the next potential President to hear directly from us via a Youth Town Hall. Will you support this effort, and help ensure the first-ever Presidential Candidate Youth Town Hall?
Establish Nationwide Mutual Reciprocity for Dental Hygiene Licensure
Dental hygienists are the backbone of dentistry. We are responsible for educating patients on the importance of optimal oral health by implementing our years of rigorous training and expertise. Likewise, we are often the ones to first identify decay or other dental disease and bring these conditions to the attention of our dentists. To be a dental hygienist requires years of rigorous training, the passage of multiple board exams, and the development of on-the-job skills to best serve our patients. The clinical board exam required of all dental hygienists encompasses the identification and selection of a patient within the required criteria, the accurate assessment of risk factors impacting this patient, the identification of dental disease, and the successful performance of a prophylaxis. For many dental hygienists, this is one of 3-5 board exams they must pass to obtain their licensure. To add insult to injury, many dental hygienists will spend between $2,000-$6,000 to simply sit for their clinical board exam. We dental hygienists feel that we have been failed by the very organizations put in place to allow us to do our jobs. When a dental hygienist moves from state-to-state, they are required to re-establish licensure in their new state of residence. This often requires re-taking the rigorous and expensive clinical dental hygiene board exam, regardless of how many years of clinical practice a hygienist has under their belt or how well they scored on their initial taking of this exam. The requirement to submit oneself to the physical, emotional, and financial detriment of both re-taking and re-passing a clinical board exam is both unethical and unnecessary. Dental hygienists across our country need your help. We ask that you sign this petition to allow for mutual reciprocity across our country for dental hygiene licensure. This would allow a dental hygienist who has graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program and passed a clinical board exam once within the United States to attain licensure in all 50 states without the added stress of re-passing another clinical board exam. A change of this magnitude would allow for the freedom of dental hygienists to re-locate whenever necessary and serve their communities from coast to coast. We thank you for your support in advance. We are Registered Dental Hygienists: One Nation, One License.
Do not eliminate targeted case management for individuals with developmental disabilities
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has decided to end its contracts with four organizations that provide Targeted Case Management services for roughly 2,200 adults with developmental disabilities. This will put 79 people out of work. Targeted Case Managers work with people age 16 and up who have developmental disabilities, helping them get necessary services and care. They serve as advocates, for example, as people get and keep jobs, transition to independent living and find doctors and therapist. Among the many services the case managers provide is helping the developmentally disabled qualify for targeted case management. Once that is set up, case mangers can help clients navigate the transition form high school and living at home to entering the workforce and independent living. They can help secure housing by getting people Section 8 vouchers, and keep people in their homes by resolving issues with landlords and making sure people aren't taken advantage of. Case managers can also help people find medical and therapy providers and make sure they get appointments and take medication. In some cases, a person can have the same case manager for years or decades, building a relationship that creates a high level of understanding. One individual in Miles City Montana, has had case management services for 25 years and was devastated by the news of these changes. These and other cuts are due to the $227 Million shortfall in Montana’s budget . The contracts with A.W.A.R.E. Inc., Opportunity Resources, Helena Industries and the Central Montana Medical Center will expire on March 31, 2018. These contracts will not be renewed. “Under these cuts, clients who are not eligible for Medicaid will no longer receive case management services. Jaci Noonan with Anaconda-based A.W.A.R.E. said it serves 600 clients and will close offices in Red Lodge, Miles City, Sidney and Glasgow. Around 20 people will lose their jobs. Deb Heerdt, director of case management for Helena Industries, said 732 people in Butte, Anaconda, Great Falls and Bozeman will lose services and 26 employees will lose their jobs. Jamee Barman, case management supervisor with Central Montana Medical Center in Lewistown said 70 people will lose their services from the center. The directors say losing case managers could cause some of their clients to end up in nursing homes or without the services that allow them to stay in their own communities.” Case managers aid in all aspects of their clients life including assessing basic needs, developing care plans for their clients well being, monitoring services and cost plans, as well as responding to crises to ensure all clients health and safety. With these budget cuts, they are taking the work load of many and giving it to 1 individual. This will reduce services to being very basic. This could put the well being of many individuals at risk. DPHHS will reconvene on January 19th to finalize this decision. If we can all band together and show our opposition to this tax cut we may be able to reverse the decision. Please help us by signing this petition and showing your support for targeted case managers as well as those with developmental disabilities who rely on their case managers for many of their daily needs. Reference Used: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/dec/28/montana-budget-cuts-end-case-management-for-develo/
Fly our Flags at Half Staff on IOAD Monday 8/31/20 because THEIR LIVES MATTERED
August 31st of every year has been declared International Overdose Awareness Day. A day to bring awareness to this epidemic and the lives lost from it. According to the CDC (STATCAST-Week of September 9, 2019) over 770,000 Americans have died from drug overdoses since 1999, and the total number of deaths jumped from 16,849 in 1999 to a high mark of 70, 237 in 2017 with a slight decline in 2018 of 67,637. We are asking that on this day, for all states to lower their flags to half-staff in remembrance of those lives lost from the disease of addiction. And we know that it can be done because it was done for the Corona Virus when 100,000 lives were lost from it. “An easy way to remember when to fly the US flag at half-staff is to consider when the whole nation is in mourning. (We are). These periods of mourning are proclaimed either by the POTUS, for national remembrance, or the governor of a state for local remembrance”, according to the Guidance from US Department of Veteran’ Affairs publication. Our crisis certainly qualifies. Therefore, we respectfully ask you, our President and our Governors to lower your flags on August 31, 2020, on International Overdose Awareness Day in remembrance of all who have died and with hope for a healthier nation tomorrow. THEIR LIVES MATTERED TOO!! Thank you!!