Cancel the STAAR test! Use those funds to rebuild TX schools damaged by Hurricane Harvey
Please cancel the STAAR test this school year. Let's take all the money we spend on the test and use it to rebuild the MANY schools in Texas that were damaged from Harvey! Let's cancel the STAAR test so that when our children return to the classroom, we can teach and care for them and not have to feel guilty for using instructional time to comfort a child who just lost everything. Let's focus on our future and not scores. Let's take care of our children and think with our hearts. Fellow teachers and parents, please consider signing this petition and share as much as you can. We chose this profession to make a difference in the life of a child and there are so many out there in need of our love!
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.
Save Net Neutrality
Net neutrality preserves the right to communicate freely on the internet. Net neutrality requires internet service providers (ISPs) to give everyone equal access to everything you use on the internet-- email, watching videos, reading news articles, and listening to music. It prohibits ISPs from slowing down, speeding up, or blocking content on the internet. It is how the internet has always worked. Unfortunately, this is being threatened by the FCC- the Federal Communications Commission. If the FCC ends net neutrality, then how we’ve used the internet changes completely. ISPs will be able to block content, slow down internet access, and favor websites over others. It will also end the Title II of the Communications Act, which charges ISPs for blocking content or slowing down internet and creating “fast lanes.” “Fast lanes” would allow certain internet service providers to give internet access faster than any other service providers. Ending net neutrality could have global impacts and change the way the world shares information and changes how information is processed. As high school seniors about to enter into the real world, we cannot imagine what life would be like if we did not have net neutrality. Net neutrality allows us to use our freedom of speech on a platform that is like no other. I can go on the internet and research something without the fear that an ISP has favored a certain website that is completely biased one way or blocked certain websites. If you believe we should have free access to the internet, sign this petition to show your support. This issue is time sensitive and must be addressed. Support free and open internet! Thank you for your support, Katie Lemon
Free Ahed Tamimi
My name is Nasri Akil from Toronto, Canada. I started this campaign to support" Ahed Tamimi", her mother "Mariam", her cousin "Nur" and the other kids detained by the evil hands of the Zionists of the fake state of Israel. In a desperate hope to get enough signature to put pressure on decision makers to do something about the constant twisted detention of Palestinian kids. In turn this will expose the evil of the zionists and pressure the international community. I would like to mention here that this petition has nothing to do with race or religion or ethnicity. It's pure right against wrong. Zionism is not Judaism. Judaism is a religion not a race. Many Jews are not Zionists. Most Zionists are not Jews. Many Zionists hate Jews. Opposition to Israel is NOT anti-Semitism. Ahed Tamimi, 16, was arrested ( kidnapped actually ) by Israeli forces in the middle of the night. Since she was a young child, she has been active in weekly demonstrations against Israel’s theft of her family’s land in occupied Nabi Saleh. But as Tamimi stands against Israeli occupation, she underscores: whenever a people face oppression, we must show solidarity. Israeli soldiers shot Ahed Tamimi's relative in the head, leaving the teenage boy in a coma, and then invaded her family home. She demanded that the occupying Israeli soldiers leave her property immediately, shouting "don't touch me" and "leave!" Now she's in Israeli military detention, where 75% of Palestinian children report assault. Ahed is a child, and like thousands of Palestinian children she could be humiliated and abused if we don't get her out fast. She has become another child statistic of the countless other children detained illegally in Israel. Her court date is December 25th, 2017. She was taken into question at the Moscobiyeh prison, notorious for it's dungeon cell, torture tactics fully utilized on children, and extensive harassment. She was put in isolation, left in an icy cell, without proper food. In fives days she was moved three times. Why? To exhaust and break her. When her mother arrived to be there with her, she too was arrested. We demand that Ahed and all Palestinian children are released from Israeli prisons now. The international community must put an end to the ill-treatment and detention of Palestinian children. Enough is enough. Ahed Tamimi represent all the innocent kids in the Isareli detention and represent the Palestinians struggle against the illegal occupation of Palestine. Since 1967, Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have been living under Israeli military law and prosecuted in military courts. Israeli military law, which fails to ensure and denies basic and fundamental rights, is applied to the whole Palestinian population. Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children. Around 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system each year. The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones, and three out of four experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation. Unlike Israeli children living in illegal settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian children are not accompanied by a parent and are generally interrogated without the benefit of legal advice, or being informed of their right. They are overwhelmingly accused of throwing stones, an offense that can lead to a potential maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years depending on a child’s age. AHED TAMIMI will go to trial on Christmas Day for slapping an Israeli soldier, illegally trespassing on her property, the day after her 15-year-old cousin was shot in the face. In December 2011, Mustafa Tamimi was killed during a protest in the village when an Israeli soldier shot him in the face with a tear gas canister. One year later, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Rashadi Tamimi in the village. One wonders why the "slap" is the Crime? I decided to do something about it and start with what I can. So that's why I am here asking you to help me help Ahed, her family and all the other kids. I also started a fund raising campaign on "GoFundMe" hoping to raise enough money to hire as many legal advisors to support Ahed and the others legaly in the court and get some justice. I mean enough is enough...I can't sleep I can't eat and these kids are experiencing all of that twist. Someone must do something. This is not right. This is not humanity. We cannot make this acceptable by doing nothing. I earnestly ask that at the very least, we make some noise in support of Ahed Tamimi and the other children that are held prisoners with no charge, no defense, all in violation of international laws. She is one, but we are many. It takes a united front to add pressure, to induce accountability and hopefully give freedom to the oppressed, weak and innocent. To Ahed and all the children in Israeli jails: We stand by your side, and are holding you in our hearts. We will not give up until you are free. You are not alone. As a wise man ounce said: "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible" Sign. Support. Make Noise. Add Pressure. Be Human. what if Ahed was your daughter, sister or just a friend? What would you do?
Save Aysha and Her Family from Being Executed by the Taliban
Aysha and her family are in critical danger because Aysha's father is a heroic Afghan interpreter who worked for the US military for seven years. Aysha's father, Muhammad, directly saved American soldiers' lives, including one time he dashed into an ambushed vehicle under Taliban fire. His military supervisors praised his work ethic, dedication, and trustworthiness, and his incredible skill of fluently speaking six languages made him indispensable on Special Forces night raids on Taliban insurgents. But the Taliban considers him a criminal and is working hard to find and kill Muhammad, his wife, and his four young daughters. The whole family has been living in hiding for four years. They are living in daily fear of being discovered and killed by the Taliban. Even the children are unable to leave their apartment. Leaks in the roof have made the young girls sick on several occasions from getting infections from bacteria in the water or getting cold in the winter. Meet Aysha, Muhammad, and the rest of their family in our 2-min video https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFBRd47rz7x9SHaJxEOH6IRXEgYg19L9D and help us by sharing the video (especially with your representatives in Congress) with hashtags #SaveAysha and #SaveOurAllies. My family and I tried to sponsor Aysha and her family for humanitarian parole to save their lives, but the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied the cases. Aysha's aunt and uncle in the United States offered to care for her and her sisters, but USCIS refused to even save the kids, making the ridiculous claim that Aysha and her sisters are “security concerns.” Tell the director of the Humanitarian Affairs Branch at USCIS, John Bird, to re-open and approve Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases to save them from the Taliban before it is too late. USCIS doesn't question that leaving this family behind is a death sentence. They just don't care enough about refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban. When the US military mostly pulled out of Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban gained strength in Afghanistan and killed many interpreters or their family members in revenge. One of Muhammad's brothers and a nephew, Sahil, who was also an interpreter, were shot and left for dead in an assassination attempt on Muhammad and his family. After the Taliban ambush, Muhammad fled his home district, just in time to escape a second Taliban attack that destroyed their family home. Consequently, Muhammad lost all contact with US military personnel who could have helped him apply for an SIV visa. When I learned about Muhammad and his family's plight over a year ago, I was determined to do everything possible to save their lives. Muhammad had tried to apply to the US as a refugee on his own, but he was denied for “discretionary security reasons,” a very common problem for former military interpreters and their families. When Muhammad's refugee case was denied, he was devastated and lost all hope for saving his life and his family's lives. He said the only option left for him was to surrender to the Taliban, thinking that after the Taliban tortured and killed him, they would stop looking for his children. I told him not to give up and promised him to find a way to save their lives. Please help me keep my promise to Muhammad to save his life and his family's lives. They do not deserve to suffer and die because of Muhammad's service to the US military. My family hired a lawyer and filed a humanitarian parole case to sponsor Muhammad and his family to come live in the US while he works to get permanent, legal status in the US. Our humanitarian parole case for them may be our last chance to save their lives. In what our lawyer says is the most egregious case she has ever seen, USCIS denied Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases because his refugee case had been denied and without even bothering to figure out why the refugee case had been denied. Thus, they denied Muhammad's humanitarian parole case for “discretionary reasons” without even knowing what those discretionary reasons were. This is effectively a death sentence for the entire family. When our lawyer pleaded with USCIS to at least let Muhammad's young daughters come live with their aunt and uncle in the US, the director of the Humanitarian Affairs Branch of USCIS, John Bird, refused to approve any of the family's cases and made the absurd claim that granting a one-year visa to anyone in the family, including Muhammad's 2- and 4-year-old daughters, is a security concern. Because of USCIS's policy and Muhammad's service to the US military, Muhammad's children were literally born with a death sentence. Mr. Bird acknowledges that Muhammad and his family meet all the criteria for humanitarian parole, and he does not question that they will be killed if left in their current situation. He just does not care enough about Muslim refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban. Worse yet, last October USCIS granted humanitarian parole to family members of Las Zetas drug cartel members who murdered US ICE agents in Mexico, so that the family members of the murderers could attend a trial in Washington, D.C. Thus, USCIS is literally treating Muhammad and his family worse than criminals. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453519/operation-fast-and-furious-victor-avila-betrayed-obama-administration Sign the petition to tell USCIS to re-open and approve Muhammad's and his family's cases quickly. Muhammad is a hero who faithfully served the US military for over 9 years and is now in grave danger because the Taliban is determined to get revenge. He has already lost everything except his and his family's lives because of his service to America, but he is still proud of his choice to work for the US military. All he wants in return is the chance to bring his daughters to safety and to give them a future. If USCIS does not re-open and approve his case, he will be left behind to be killed by the same terrorists that he risked his life to fight for so many years. The Sacramento Bee wrote a story about USCIS's recent denial of Muhammad and his entire family for humanitarian parole and my family's efforts to save them. http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article187680333.html The Ithaca Voice recently published a story highlighting the absurdity of USCIS blacklisting a toddler. https://ithacavoice.com/2018/02/case-denied-not-closed-fight-continues-afghan-interpreter-trying-escape-pakistan/ For more background information, The Ithaca Voice published a detailed story over the summer about Muhammad and his career with the US military: https://ithacavoice.com/2017/06/former-afghan-interpreter-hopes-find-sanctuary-u-s-help-cornell-student/ No One Left Behind, the non-profit fighting to save Afghan and Iraqi interpreters, also published a blog post highlighting Muhammad's case http://nooneleft.org/2017/12/12/4221/ Please call your Congressional representatives and ask them to join our bipartisan sign-on letter asking DHS for information on why they denied Muhammad's case. If you need contact information on your Congressional representatives, use this link to look them up: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/ Email me (Kristy Perano) at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help or for more information on Muhammad's case. Please also email me if you know Muhammad personally or if you know any government officials or reporters who may be able to help raise public awareness of Muhammad's case.
Recreational & Medicinal Marijuana Legalization In Texas
We are in a new day and age where marijuana has been proven to cure and prevent cancer, seizures, parkinson's disease, glaucoma and more. We need to come together and make the legalization of marijuana available to our great fellow Texans who are in need of this plant. So please join me and other great Texans make it happen. Cause remember we the people can make anything happen if we come together and make our voices heard.
China: Release the 1 Million Uyghurs Detained in Nazi-Style Concentration Camps
China: Release The 1 Million Uyghur Detainees Held Illegally In Nazi-Style Concentration Camps By Torchlight Uyghur Group (Mesheluyghur@gmail.com) www.facebook.com/torchuyghur/ https://twitter.com/torch_uyghur http://blog.freedomsherald.org/ This Petition Is Also Available In The Following Languages: Turkish (Turkçe), German (Deutsch), Japanese (日本語), Chinese (中文), Traditional Chinese (繁体字), French (Français), Arabic (عربى), Uyghur (ئۇيغۇرچە), Slawyan (Kiril), Russian(Pусский) January 20th, 2018 Many media organizations around the world have recently reported that a large portion of the Uyghur population is being detained either in jails or in so-called “re-education camps” (http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/ while their children are being kept in countless orphanages in the East Turkestan. Recently, we have learned from official sources inside East Turkestan that the number of the Uyghurs currently being held in these Nazi-style political “re-education” concentration camps is more than 800,000. That is a number known officially inside East Turkestan, but all the unofficial numbers we obtained from various sources exceed one million. According to the 2010 Chinese census, the Uyghur population in East Turkestan was 10,000,370 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinjiang This means that about 10% of the current Uyghur population is locked up. The conditions of the concentration camps are horrific because of the fact that such a large number of Uyghurs are locked up in relatively small and crowded spaces. We were told by several people who fled China recently that people even cannot lie down during the night with their backs on the floor; instead, they have to sleep sideways with all the adjacent bodies touching one another. We have also learned from some Uyghurs who recently lost their close relatives in the concentration camps that a significant number of Uyghurs are losing their lives in those camps every day. The families of the victims are just receiving their dead bodies from those overcrowded concentration camps. The local authorities are not giving back the bodies of the younger Uyghurs died, instead, just burying them in the nearby empty fields. These are just a few of the many examples of the horrible conditions in these concentration camps. How did those more than one million people end up in jails, concentration camps and orphanages? It is extremely difficult to obtain such information in China, but we have managed to get information on some individual cases from the relatives of those victims’ living outside China (The report titled “Political persecution of the Uyghurs – Brief description of some individual cases” at http://freedomsherald.org/ET/unb/ The Uyghurs are one of the ancient peoples living in the heart of Asia. They have a long and proud history, and a rich culture. Throughout the history, the Uyghurs have been a great contributor to the world peace and prosperity. Due to their geographical location along the famous Silk Road, they have been a major force in the cultural exchange between the East and the West. We strongly believe that the Uyghurs are an indispensable part of the wider international community and will continue such contribution to the world’s ethnic and cultural diversities in the future. Similarly, the Uyghurs will contribute to the world's peace and prosperity, just as they have done in the past. Therefore, the Uyghurs have every right to live in peace with dignity, and to continuously prosper, as any other nations on the surface of our mother Earth. However, in the recent decades, the Chinese government has banned the Uyghur language from its use at all levels of education in East Turkestan, outlawed Uyghur literature (by banning and burning historical and literature books written in the Uyghur language), restricted, criminalized and attempted to eliminate Uyghurs’ religious belief and practice, and has systematically flooded East Turkestan with Han Chinese migrants in the name of “developing the West”, and thereby marginalized the Uyghurs in their own homeland. And now the Chinese government is openly killing the Uyghur people, too, in those Nazi-style Chinese concentration camps by implementing a state-sponsored ethnic cleansing policy. If we don’t get help immediately from the United Nations and from the international community to stop the Chinese government from what they are doing towards the Uyghurs in East Turkestan, the Uyghurs will keep dying and disappearing in large numbers in those Chinese concentration camps (http://www.freedomsherald.org/ET/images/image201801_13.jpg and will soon face an unprecedented threat to their very existence. Therefore, we appeal to all the international communities and human rights organizations not to ignore the Chinese government’s crimes against humanity – the crimes currently being committed against the innocent Uyghur people. We appeal to the United Nations and other international human rights organizations to demand the Chinese government to release those 1 million Uyghurs, and send investigation teams to East Turkestan and find out: ● Where are those jails, concentration camps and orphanages? ● Why and where those one million Uyghurs are being detained? ● What are they eating and where and how are they sleeping? ● What are they doing during the day? ● What are their current health conditions? ● What are the current death rates among the detainees? ● What is happening to the children/siblings/parents of the people held in jails and concentration camps? We, the Uyghurs, are powerless and helpless at the moment. As such, we cannot defend ourselves against the Chinese government’s atrocities and cannot fight this battle for our survival alone. We need the support of the global community. If tens of thousands of people from around the world sign our petition, it may be possible that the United Nations will make a commitment and will act to stop the tragedy that the Uyghur people are facing today. Please join us in our fight to end the appalling atrocities happening in East Turkestan. Please sign and share this petition. Thank you! About the Uyghur People and East Turkestan: East Turkestan is the homeland of the Uyghur people. It has been under the communist China' s occupation since 1949. East Turkestan is located in the Central Asia, and borders China and Mongolia to the east, Russia to the north, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the west, and Tibet to the south. The landmass of East Turkestan is bigger than whole Western Europe. Its colonial name is “Xinjiang”, which means "the new territory" or "the new frontier" in Chinese. China officially designated the East Turkestan a Uyghur autonomous region in 1955, but in reality it has never become a genuine autonomous region. The Chinese government reported the number of the Uyghur population in East Turkestan as 10,000,370 (refer to the 2010 Chinese census), but some Uyghur sources estimate the real population of Uyghurs to be around 20 million.
Child support in Texas should be based on both parents' income.
Currently in Texas, child support is calculated based only on the non-primary parent's income. It is not reasonable that while the primary parent may work and earn income, sometimes a lot more than the non-primary parent, that Texas child support guidelines only considers the non-primary parent's income. If both parents reside in Texas and both have join custody of the child or children, both incomes must be considered not just the non-primary parent. These biased guidelines need to change so that both parents' incomes are considered in determining the amount of child support to be paid. A lot of non-primary parents are paying a percentage of their income while the primary parent works and earn income in addition to child support. Additionally, in accordance with current Texas child support guidelines, the primary parent can work and earn as much as the non-primary parent or more but it is not considered or required in the Texas child support guidelines, leaving the non-primary parent paying more than necessary. Other States such as North Carolina, have adopted child support guidelines where both of the parents' income is considered and deductions are based on who pays for medical, dental, etc. It's time to change the Texas child support guidelines and establish equality of child support amount based on both parents’ income. Please sign, distribute, and get the word out!
Don’t build the border wall in Big Bend National Park.
Big Bend National Park is one of the most remote and beautiful outposts of our National Park system. A mix of desert, mountains, and river, it’s also the largest National Park in Texas -- attracting over 350,000 visitors each year. Big Bend also lies along the Texas/Mexico border, which places it in the target zone for President Trump’s 30-foot tall border security wall. Building a wall through Big Bend will be intrusive, bad for the environment, and won’t even help with border security. We need to stop this from happening. A 30-foot tall border wall through Big Bend is unnecessary. The wild, often treacherous terrain makes it one of the most difficult areas of the U.S. border to navigate. Last year “Big Bend had the fewest illegal border crossings of any sector along the [entire] Texas border.” The park itself functions as a type of “security wall”. A border wall through Big Bend is unwanted -- even Republicans who support the President don’t want this wall. Texas governor Greg Abbott has said publicly “we don’t want to see a wall in the beautiful Big Bend National Park.” Congressman Will Hurd, who represents the area that includes Big Bend, says the proposed border wall would be “the most expensive and least effective way to secure the border.” A border security wall simply isn’t feasible for the park’s 118-mile border, which is actually a river -- not land. Should the wall be built through the water or just beyond it, it will destroy the wild and wonderful vista Big Bend is famous for -- and the tourism it attracts. Instead of keeping us safe, this wall will only hurt jobs and the local economy. Sign this petition today and tell Congress: Don’t waste valuable taxpayer dollars on a big, ugly wall that won’t even keep us safe. It simply doesn’t make sense.
Keep Canyon Lake Dam Open
The road across Canyon Lake Dam has been used by tens of thousands of people every year since it opened in the 1960’s. Now it is being closed due to the complaints of one person. We as a community must come together and let a voice be heard. We fight for the priviledge to walk Canyon Lake Dam, with all that entails and ask government officials to make timely, common sense, cost effective changes to ensure reasonable access to ALL, including mobility impaired visitors. KEEP THE DAM PATH OPEN!