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.
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.
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?
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/
Say NO to Big AG Plant
Candaian company, Friesen Foods wants to build Madison Food Park which would become the largest meat processing plant in Montana. The Ag plant would consume 3.5 millions of gallons of water and produce 102,995 pounds of waste per day. The entire facility's waste management is going to be a big threat to groundwater. They would produce more than 300 acres of treated industrial waste to be disposed of in domestic waste lagoons. This is an overall cumulative threat. There is ecoli, antibitoics, and antivirals that will leach into the waterways and land there. Worker at the factory are high risk for injuries at work such as death or loosing an arm or leg. The cruelty on animals and the risk of high pollution for water and land from them transforming 3,000 acres into a multi-species food processing plant is alarming.
Shut down Busy Hands Drop In daycare so no more children will be hurt!
I am writing you this letter in hopes to shut down busy hands drop in childcare. With do you ultimate goal of putting an end to unlicensed facilities and uncertified staff. Parents of Eliana, Pasha and Tracy Blinov took Eliana to Busy Hands on 3/31/17. Within 2hrs after dropping off Eliana they were told she had been bitten by another child but didnt inform them she had been bitten on both sides of her face approximately 8-10times total so they picked her up 3hrs after the call to find out just how bad the bite (as BH calls it) was. On 4/1/17 Tracy the mother of Eliana said "reports have been filed with DCFS and MPD. We spoke with the owner of busy hands today as well as reviewed video footage of what happened and hear what staff wrote in their incident reports. The footage showed the 2 yr old toddler appeared to have attacked Eliana biting her for about 1min 29sec before staff intervened. There is no audio but you can see Eliana's legs kicking and flailing in obvious distress. One staff was out of view in another part of the building. The closest staff member was on their phone supposedly clocking in via phone app and it's not until she finished, that she actually walked over to pull the child off my daughter and address her distressed cries." Mind you there are 14 children there and 2 staff now that the person is done "clocking in". So that means there were 14 children and one staff up until this incident. They're only allowed 10 per one staff which is outrageous to begin with. Licensed daycares are required one staff per 3 children yet unlicensed is more than triple that. How does that make any sense at all, it doesn't and needs to change! Emily Burton "I have picked up my child from busy hands on several accounts with bruises scratches etc with no answers as to why. After seeing this, never again will I give them my business. It's obviously about the money and not the well being of the children and they should be shut down." Nicole Hazelbaker "my friends son also had bruises all over his stomach from busy hands and staff had no explanation." Missoulian 8/21/2012 "MPD investigate 2nd alleged sexual assault at drop in daycare." Busy hands FB page on 4/1/17 deleted their reviews section from their page. I'm guessing because this story exploded on social media and went viral. Let's end this long history of neglect, child endangerment and abuse by shutting it down and help even more children by making facilities be licensed and staff be certified! Sincerely, Evan Petroff
Tell Montana’s Governor Bullock to withdraw from Yellowstone grizzly bear delisting appeal
In September, a federal judge ruled that Yellowstone National Park’s grizzly bear population had not recovered to the point where Endangered Species Act protections should be removed, effectively ending plans for a trophy hunt in Wyoming and Idaho. Now, the states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, along with Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association, have appealed this decision. 2018 was a record year for grizzly mortality, and the challenges facing full recovery still need to be addressed: climate change, habitat fragmentation, human social intolerance, and the lack of connectivity between Yellowstone’s bears and other populations that would ensure genetic viability. The appeal also goes against the Piikanni Treaty signed by over 200 Native American tribes. Montana is THE grizzly state. 12.7 million people a year come to Montana to see a grizzly bear. Montana has the largest population of grizzly bears in the American West, and it’s Montana’s duty to see that we protect this icon, as well as the last wild lands they occupy. Montana is not the Last Best Place without its grizzly bears. Tell Montana Governor Steve Bullock that he should not waste state resources on this appeal, that you want grizzlies to remain on the Endangered Species List until fully recovered. You can also contact the Governor directly at (406) 444-3111 or email@example.com Learn more at savetheyellowstonegrizzly.orgor Facebook www.facebook.com/savetheyellowstonegrizzly
Loved ones roadside memorials
Private memorials not allowed along Montana highways since when? They have been around for many decades!! Why all of a sudden have they become a distraction What has changed? Why do we allow these things to happen? People say where people have crosses and memorials along highways are distracting! Well I had no choice but to make my own for my father who was killed in a motorcycle accident and died on scene. He fought long and hard to stay alive but he spent his last few minutes in this spot taking his last breath! This is where our family and friends go when we need to feel his presence! They say they put crosses out for them I waited a whole year he was killed July 27th 2014 I put the cross out on July 27th 2015. Now I am being told I have to remove the cross because they are distracting. Do we not care how this is heart wrenching to not only my family but so many in the state of Montana not only in this state but for many families throughout the states! So why are we removing all of these special spots? When we can be removing big billboards that distract drivers by forcing them to read well they are driving. Crosses remind people to be safe on the highway in these areas because others have already lost their lives there! I don’t see them as distracting I see them as a reminder to others to slow down and be a little more cautious here.!Why are we taking these places away from families this is cold hearted! Let’s take the money hungry signs down places have up that aren’t necessary that don’t remind us to be safe or to help keep a memory alive but just to put another dollar in another persons wallet instead of keeping memories up! Come on now these are family members who have lost their lives and we want to take that memory away! Let’s all come together and stop this! If you have a heart or care at all let’s stop this from happening! You never know if one day it might be your family and then it might be too late to fight for the memorial! Let’s keep them going it might not mean anything to some of you but to some of us it was our whole world we lost in that spot!
Tina's Law: Domestic Violence Offender Registry
On the morning of November 24th 2017, Tina Stewart was brutally murdered by her boyfriend. Tina's boyfriend beat her to death; beating her to the point that he broke both of his own hands. On the day of court the judge stated, "This individual has a history with violence and why wasn't this known?". It was at the moment, Don Estes, Tina's Uncle, made a promise to his niece, he would do everything in his power to change the law so there wouldn't be a next time that a judge, girlfriend, boyfriend, or anyone that would have to ask why they weren't aware of someone's violent history. It's time to make a difference. It's time to take a stand. And, it's time to change the law! We have a registry for sex offenders and we even have a registry for animal abusers across the country. Why do we not have one for individuals that are abusing men, women, and children? Tina's Law would require any person with a domestic violence abuse charge against them to be registered; similar to sex offenders. We need to hold these individuals accountable for their actions. Making this change in the law across all states would prevent someone that's been charged with domestic violence from moving to another state and starting over, as if they've never done anything wrong. This would be a national registry so hiding or moving to another state is not going to keep anyone from knowing their history with violence. If you're convicted of domestic violence, you will go on the registry. It's a lifelong registry for a felony conviction and/or if you have two or more misdemeanor offenses of domestic violence against the same person. If Tina had known about her boyfriend's violent history, she would have never gone out with him. This law will save lives! We need your help by taking a stand with us to change the law. We're not only asking you to sign the petition, we're asking you to also share the petition and help us with making a change.