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
Please Stop the April 25 Execution of Ivan Teleguz, an Innocent Man
The Commonwealth of Virginia plans to execute an innocent man, Ivan Teleguz, on April 25, 2017. We need to make sure Governor McAuliffe knows that there is too much evidence of Ivan’s innocence to allow this execution to go ahead. Please join the call for the Governor to intervene. The government’s case against Ivan was based on false evidence. Three men said that Ivan hired Stephanie’s killer. But two of those men have since admitted that they lied in court – and sworn under oath that Ivan was not involved. The third, Michael Hetrick, confessed to killing Stephanie. He was offered a deal that spared his own life in return for saying that Ivan hired him to commit the murder. The prosecutor coerced the witnesses. The witnesses have sworn under oath that they gave false testimony at trial because of threats from the prosecutor and promises she made to improve their sentences. The prosecution tried to influence the jury by saying Ivan was involved in a made-up murder. At trial, the prosecutor argued that Ivan should be sentenced to death because he was involved in another murder in Pennsylvania, and was highly dangerous. It was later revealed that the testimony about the murder and the prosecutor’s argument were completely made up—the murder never even happened. There is evidence that calls into question every part of the Commonwealth’s case against Ivan. There is too much doubt for Governor McAuliffe to allow this execution to go ahead. Please help make sure he knows that The Commonwealth is about to execute an innocent man. Please help save an innocent man. Join the call for Governor McAuliffe to intervene. Visit ivansprayerforjustice.org to learn more about Ivan's case. Visit Facebook and Twitter for case updates.
The Virginia Weights and Measures Commission should control and evaluate the service offered by the monopoly power companies in Virginia and ensure customers are not charged for services not received. As it stands there exists little, if any, oversight of domestic power providers in this Commonwealth. If gasoline is measured, if fruits and vegetables are measured, then surely electricity should be measured and verified by the state as well.
Tell Sister State, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, That We’re Opposed to the Torture and Consumption of Dogs and Cats.
Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virgina, Governor Rick Scott of Florida, Governor Gary Herbert of Utah, Premier Christy Clark of British Columbia(Canada) and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of Queensland(Australia): Tell Sister State, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, That We’re Opposed to the Torture and Consumption of Dogs and Cats. Gyeonggi Province of South Korea became a sister state with the U.S. states of Utah in 1983, Virginia in 1997, and Florida in 2000, and Queensland, Australia in 1997 and British Columbia, Canada in 2008. This, despite the fact that Gyeonggi Province, South Korea is responsible for a horrendous dog and cat meat trade. In South Korea, home to global companies such as Hyundai, Kia, Samsung, LG, Daewoo, SK, and POSCO, an estimated 2.5 million dogs are tortured and slaughtered every year because of the greed of dog eaters and the dog meat industry. One of the provinces that supports the illegal mass breeding and brutal slaughter of dogs for human consumption is Gyeonggi Province. Have you ever wondered what Hell is like? Click HERE to watch undercover video from the Moran Dog Meat Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi. There are no words to describe the daily horror of this “Hell On Earth.” And there are so many markets like this all around Gyeonggi Province. Countless dog farms and slaughterhouses are scattered throughout Gyeonggi Province and they truly are hell on earth for the defenseless dogs suffering there. Man’s best friend exists for their entire lives in squalid, feces encrusted raised wire cages in utter misery only to be slaughtered in the most horrific of ways – by electrocution, a hammer blow to the neck, being hung or beaten, bleeding to death from a slashed throat, being burned to death from a blowtorch, or thrown into a vat of boiling water while still alive. Dogs and puppies died of diseases are tossed away like garbage, left in front of cages to rot while the momma dogs watch in terror and despair. Seongnam, Suwon, Poc heon, Goyang(Ilsan), Gimpo, In cheon, Namyangju, Anseong, Uij eongbu; and on goes the list of cities in Gyeonggi Province where these atrocities are perpetrated. There are laws in South Korea against selling dogs and cats for consumption yet these laws are blatantly ignored. Please watch this undercover video by animal rights activists in South Korea: http://youtu.be/ 3uR8R8Mu70Q Please inform Gyeonggi Province Governor Kyung-Pil Nam that citizens of your state and their friends insist that they issue an official document mandating that the following existing laws be enforced: Livestock Product Sanitary Control Act, Article 2, Item 1 which governs the raising, slaughter and disposal of livestock and the processing, distribution and inspection of livestock products, does not categorize dogs as livestock that can be processed as food. Therefore this makes the dog meat industry technically illegal. Food Sanitation Act, Article 7, Clause 1, Korean Food Standards Codex specified by the Food and Drug Administration, does not include dogs in the list of raw materials that can be processed and cooked as food, therefore making raising and slaughtering dogs for consumption illegal. Animal Protection Act: ARTICLE 3. BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR PROTECTION OF ANIMALS Each person shall endeavor to observe the following principles in raising, caring for, or protecting an animal: 1. Each person shall ensure that an animal maintains its natural behavior and original physical shape to live an ordinary life; 2. Each person shall ensure that an animal does not suffer from thirst, hunger, or malnutrition; Each person shall ensure that an animal is free to express normal behavior without experiencing discomfort; 4. Each person shall ensure that an animal is free from pain, injury, and disease; 5. Each person shall ensure that an animal is free from fear and distress. ARTICLE 8. PROHIBITION OF ANIMAL ABUSE ① No one shall commit the following acts toward animals: 1. Act of killing by brutal methods, such as hanging 2. Act of Killing in public or in another animal’s presence ③ No one shall commit the following acts toward abandoned or abused animals: 1. Act of capture and sell or kill. 2. Act of trade or purchase knowing that the animals are abandoned or abused. ARTICLE 9. ANIMAL TRANSPORTATION ① Anyone transporting an animal that has been selected by decree from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries must make an effort to abide by the following: 1. Ensure that the animals are properly fed, watered and drive carefully so that animals are not shocked or harmed from sudden departures or stops. 2. The vehicle used for transportation must be built to prevent any harm during transportation and to minimize any pain due to poor ventilation or sudden changes in temperature, etc. 4. Avoid any possible injuries while moving an animal and minimize any pain or discomfort, such as sudden changes in body temperature or difficulty in breathing. ARTICLE 46. PUNISHMENT ① Anyone who violates Article 8, Clause 1 through 3 shall be punished with up to one year in prison or a maximum fine of 10 million Korean won ($7,000 USD). Ministry of Environment's Conservation of Water Quality and Ecosystem Act, Article 15 Clause 1 Item 2 and Article 78 Item 3, the act of discharging excrement, livestock waste water, animal carcass, waste materials or sludge into public water is punishable by up to one year in prison or a maximum fine of 10 million Korean won ($7,000 USD). Livestock Safety Management Act, slaughterhouses are only authorized to slaughter animals they are registered to handle. No slaughterhouse is registered to slaughter dogs because dogs are not subject to slaughter under this law. We believe these demands are in line with the goal of sister states to establish friendly communications in the areas of tourism, commerce, cultural exchange and public health. International and Korean media coverage of the brutal dog and cat meat trade in South Korea has stained Gyeonggi Province, South Korea’s image and severely tarnished your state’s sister state relationship. The time to end this tragedy is now. The favor of your reply is requested. Thank you for taking swift action! PS: Click here to find more ways to contact the governors of Gyeonggi Province's Sister States. http://koreandogs. org/contact-governors-of- gyeonggido-sister-states It's very quick and simple. http://koreandogs. org/
We are Niko's last chance. He doesn't deserve to die.
Niko is a five year old Staffordshire terrier that has been convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit. Niko was accused and convicted of killing a cat without any evidence. Niko is a loving family dog and has been locked away for 2 years at the CSPCA in Charlottesville, Virginia. There is no doubt that mistakes were made both by the courts and the owners however an innocent party should not suffer because of a mistake. Niko was scheduled to die December 18th 2016 but an injunction was filed and he has been issued a stay until January 18th 2017. Please help us save him. Niko does not deserve to die and he is running out of time. Please join me in asking Governor Terry McAuliffe to pardon Niko and send him home.
Keep the monuments on Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA
Every one of these monuments has been controversial from their inception. They remain controversial today. However, the Robert E. Lee monument has weathered the controversy for 127 years. Now, removing it and other monuments is up for debate. These monuments are what gave Monument Avenue its name. This street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark District. In 2007, the American Planning Association named Monument Avenue one of the 10 Great Streets in the country. The association said Monument Avenue was selected for its historic architecture, quality residential and religious architecture, diversity of land uses, and public art. People come from all over the world to see Richmond and this street, which is an outdoor museum. It creates tourism, and that facilitates Richmond's much needed improvements for the benefit of it's residents. Monument Avenue and the monuments are a true asset to the Richmond community. To many, these monuments represent a turbulent and painful past in America and in Richmond. To others, the monuments are a reminder of how much things have changed. We should not tear down or hide our history. The civil war and the moral issues surrounding it should not be forgotten. Instead, lessons should be learned and remembered. In addition, we cannot let the words and actions of extremists, hate groups, and domestic terrorists cloud our judgment on this. This is an important issue with historic and practical modern-day implications that should be decided by rational Americans. Please sign this petition if you feel that Richmond should keep monuments on Monument Avenue.
Keep Kratom legal in the United States
Mitragyna Speciosa, also known as Kratom is tree, not an herb, which is native to Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Thailand, the Malaysian Floristic Region and several surrounding countries. The leaf of this tree is typically ground into a fine powder and ingested orally for many medicinal purposes. These include, but are not limited to Pain Relief, Decreased Anxiety, Mood Enhancement, Decreased Hypertension, Decreased Fatigue, Increased Focus, Relief of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Increased Energy and more. This leaf has been used for centuries by the indigenous populations of these regions for increased energy, relief of dysentery, sedation in higher doses, pain relief and focus. The leaf was originally chewed or crushed and boiled for tea. Kratom effects the opioid receptors in the brain similarly to an opiate, although it is NOT an opiate. Kratom is NOT a substitute for opiates. Over the last several years Kratom has been used as an aid for the management of opium withdrawal and is currently being endorsed by several addiction treatment clinics throughout the United States. In addition to its many natural benefits, it has been found to successfully curb the craving and withdrawal symptoms experienced by opiate addicts. Kratom has seen extensive therapeutic use in Thai ethnomedicine as an antidiarrheal, a treatment for opioid dependency, and the increase of sexual performance. The general consensus in Thailand among public health officials, academics and policymakers is that the use of Kratom causes little to no health risks. Kramton is saving lives and it stops opium addiction. Keep Kratom legal. Our lives may depend on it.
Support new law to end abusive practices on elephants
Delegate Sam Rasoul has introduced a bill to ban the use of devices such as a bullhook, axe handle, or block and tackle or the performance of certain practices in order to discipline, train, or control the behavior of an elephant in the State of Virginia. Cities across the nation are banning the use of bullhooks. Countries outside of the United States have banned entire circuses because of the cruelty involved in training and maintaining the animals. It’s time that the United States follow suit. The passing of this bill would mark Virginia as the first state in the US to implement a law that would protect elephants from physical harm and make such abuse a criminal act. The passing of HB 302 would set precedence for other states to fall in line as well. As home of Asha the solitary elephant at the Natural Bridge Zoo, ranked the #1 Worst Zoo for Elephants due to substandard living conditions and alleged bullhook use, as well as multiple USDA citations, Virginia stands ready for change. Elephants are capable of suffering from physical and emotional pain. To treat elephants in a manner which inflicts both physical suffering and psychological suffering is inhumane. Support the passing of HB 302.
Governor Terry McAuliffe: Don’t Execute William Morva on July 6
William Morva was sentenced to death by jurors who were unaware that his crimes were driven by persecutory delusions that were beyond his control. William suffers from delusional disorder, a serious mental illness with psychotic features. Because of his delusions, William earnestly and fervently believes in a reality that is simply not true. At times, his delusions caused him to believe that he was called by a supernatural power to save the world, or save specific indigenous tribes. These delusions also caused him to believe that while awaiting trial in a previous case, he was being wrongly incarcerated in conditions so deplorable that they were life-threatening and that someone wanted him dead. Driven by these delusions, he escaped custody and killed two men. Delusional disorder does not prevent people like William from functioning in many areas of life. But in the aspects of William’s life tied to his delusions, he is incapable of thinking and acting rationally. William was in a local jail awaiting trial on attempted robbery charges. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of an injury. William escaped custody at the hospital, fatally shooting Derrick McFarland, a hospital security guard. The next day he fatally shot Eric Sutphin, a corporal with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. He was apprehended a few hours later. Jurors never heard about William’s illness or the impact it had on his escape from custody. Jurors never heard about William’s delusions and how those delusions caused William to believe he was going to die in jail. Jurors were incorrectly told that although William had “odd beliefs,” he did not have delusions. Odd beliefs are something William could have changed. But delusions were beyond his control. After trial, William was appointed new lawyers who uncovered evidence of his delusions. With this new evidence, experts have determined that William has suffered for years from delusional disorder. Despite recommendations from an evaluating psychiatrist, William has never received treatment for his disorder while on Death Row. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will be considering William’s request for clemency—a commutation of his death sentence to life in prison without possibility of parole. For technical reasons, courts have not been able to consider whether William is mentally ill and whether his crimes were driven by his delusions. Ask Governor McAuliffe to take into account William’s illness and the impact it had on these crimes. Ask him to show mercy and commute William’s death sentence to life in prison. Visit www.MercyForMorva.com to learn more about William’s case. Like and follow Mercy For Morva on Facebook and follow @MercyForMorva on Twitter and Instagram for case updates.
Bring pets in during freezing temperatures
There are many cold days during the winter months in Virginia. Many animals are left out in the cold during these months. This petition is to inforce bringing all pets indoors when the temperature outside is below 32 degrees. This petition also suggests that animals should not be left outside for more than 3 hours during these freezing temperatures. Animals deserve to have food, water and a warm shelter just like we do.