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Petitioning Texas State House

Protect dogs left in hot cars

Every year, hundreds of dogs suffer and die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles. Parked cars are deathtraps for animals: the interior temperature can rise almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise 30 degrees. Given this, you would figure it’s illegal to leave a defenseless pet in a parked car, right? Unfortunately, that depends on which state you live in.  According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, only 20 states have some type of law that prohibits leaving an animal in a confined vehicle. That leaves 32 states that don’t even address the issue legally, and, sadly, Texas is one of these. This means that if your pet dies in your car because of your negligence, you can walk away scot-free. This simply isn’t right. Our pets give so much to us, and they depend on us for protection. If a pet owner is negligent to this degree, they must face legal repercussions. Please join me in calling on Texas lawmakers to pass a law prohibiting leaving animals in confined vehicles.

ashley maki
140,247 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, Texas State House, Texas State Senate, Elizabeth Warren, Charles Schumer, Paul Ryan, President of the United States, Barack Obama

Give All Disabled Children Medicaid

ALL DISABLED CHILDREN NEED MEDICAID At 4 months old, my daughter was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy consisting of Spastic Quadraplegia with Dystonia. Now, age 6, my daughter needs Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech Therapy. She is responding very well to therapy.  Like many families that support disabled children, finances are always a struggle. No matter how hard you work, it's never enough to cover as much therapy as you want to give your child. These therapies are the only way our child will be able to be a fully functioning member of society in the future.  The Problem: Medicaid takes the family's income into account when determining eligibility. For those who are neither poor, nor rich, every dollar goes to paying for therapy and equipment. It is a huge, constant struggle on the family and there is NEVER enough money. Every dollar goes to another therapy appt or piece of necessary equipment.  The Resolution: For those in the middle, we do not ask for Disability payments, nor SSI payments. We simply need Medicaid to offset what insurance companies won't pay for — the therapy needed beyond the limits of private insurance, the equipment that insurance companies refuse to cover that is necessary for our children. We beg you to join us in fighting for these minimal benefits for our children to give them a fighting chance, and so they don't have to be on Federal Disability and SSI assistance when they turn 18. Help our disabled children become independent. We ask for ALL disabled children, regardless of family income to be eligible for Medicaid at no cost.

Monica Lewis
69,839 supporters
Petitioning Greg Abbott

Change the laws that discriminate against the autistic and mentally disabled.

Caregivers left my autistic sister, Rebekah, in a hot van for over five hours. When they finally found her, she was unconscious and clinging to life. A month later, she was dead. My family wants justice for wrongful deaths like Rebekah’s. In Texas, only the victim’s spouse, children, or parents can file a wrongful death suit. The mentally disabled often outlive their parents and seldom do they have spouses or children, so in cases like ours, they are left without justice. This limitation discriminates against people with disabilities and their loved ones by blocking their ability to seek civil, legal recourse. The caregivers at Sean Ashley House left my sister in a hot van to die, yet under Texas law, my family had no standing to file a wrongful death suit. This is wrong. Texas laws allow institutions, organizations, and people who neglect or harm the mentally disabled to stay in operation eliminating the threat of wrongful death suits. This means that disabled people are neglected, hurt and killed in Texas, and there is often little legal recourse, criminally or civilly.  We want Texas to give legal guardians of severely mentally disabled people the right to file wrongful death suits on behalf of the individuals they cared for. Disabled people are often put in danger by their caregivers. In fact just three days after Rebekah was found in hot van, caregivers left another person to die in a van in Dallas. The disabled victims of neglect deserve to have their voices heard even after they are gone. Why should their disability and their circumstance prohibit their families from seeking justice? For my family, it is too late, but this issue is larger than us. Ordinary people often have the opportunity to find a spouse and have a family. Sadly, for many severely disabled people, this is not the case. In a sense, disabled people are treated as second-class citizens. And in the case of their wrongful death, there is little legal recourse. Texas needs to change this discriminatory statute and allow guardians of the severely disabled to fight for justice for the ones they loved and cared for. Join me and tell Gov. Abbot and the Texas House and Senate to allow guardians to file wrongful death lawsuits for the people they loved, therefore holding those that killed them accountable. https://www.facebook.com/justiceforrebekah #JusticeForRebekah #BeTheirVoice #DisabledLivesMatter

Syleta Harkins
60,615 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Texas State House

To vote NO to HB 2543

Teachers are worth more than $27,540 a year.  The STAAR test is not a measure of a good Teacher.  The growth, and indexes of testing accountability are also not comparing apples to apples in every classroom.  Unfortunately, even after many letters, phone calls, and Social media campaigns the Senate Education Committee passed SB 893.  This Bill will allow School Districts to use standardized test scores as a major evaluation tool. Teachers are some of the hardest working, caring individuals in the world.  They pay for their jobs!  They buy the supplies for the classroom and their students.  They work before 8 a.m. and hours after 4 p.m.  The Texas State Senate has embarrassingly DISRESPECTED EVERY TEACHER in the STATE of TEXAS by voting to reduce salaries without steps!  They have also disregarded the lack of Teacher retention in the State. It is now up to the House of Representatives that WE THE PEOPLE have voted and put into office to hear our voices and vote in favor of TEACHERS!!!  Please sign the petition!

Jennifer Hardgrave
55,341 supporters
Petitioning Texas State Senate, Texas State House, Texas Governor, Tom Craddick, Jane Nelson, Craig Estes, Kelly Hancock, Konni Burton, Brian Birdwell, Brandon Creighton, Sylvia Garcia, Paul Bettencourt, Larry...

Create and pass a Texas law banning the use of hand held electronics while driving.

In the evening of April 9th, 2016, an accident occurred in Denton that took the lives of two mothers and two daughters. It happened so quickly that neither mother had a chance to brake. The accident took the lives of 41 year old Emma Lourdes Shaffer, 12 year old Emma "Tita" Shaffer, 26 year old Ashley Morgan, and 4 year old Lorelei Cotter. Two sons were left without their mother. Two men lost the loves of their lives. Young friends of the daughters had to learn hard lessons about life and death. An entire community was plunged into the depths of grief, and countless lives were changed forever. What was the cause of such a horrific accident? Phone usage while driving. You can read the details of the accident in this Denton Record-Chronicle article. The families and communities surrounding the Shaffers and the Morgan/Cotters are not alone in their grief. According to a report last year by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of eight people are killed and 1,161 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver EVERY SINGLE DAY. And the number of traffic fatalities is sharply rising according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recent announcement. You can read the details of those statistics in this Wall Street Journal article.  We are grateful that the Texas Legislature passed laws prohibiting phone use by novice drivers, by bus drivers, and for all drivers while in school zones. But that is not enough. According to distraction.gov, 46 states have a law that at least prohibits texting and driving. Texas is one of the four that does not. It's time for Texas to protect its citizens. It's time for Texas to prevent more lives from being lost. It's time for Texas to take a stand. It's time to create and pass a Texas law banning the use of hand held electronics while driving This petition was created by the Champion Cheer Leadership Team in support of the Text Free for Tita campaign. The petition is being supported by the Cheer Athletics Icon program along with many other Texas cheerleading gyms who all felt the loss of Tita Shaffer from the All Star Cheerleading community.  

Champion Cheer
34,722 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members reunite with their families

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy Veteran, who served for 10 years mostly in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand, that I first encountered Amerasian children (and descendants) of U.S. sailors and military contractors previously stationed overseas. In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. Many Amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. sailors who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to reunite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. Service members. Today, all John wants is to  be reunited with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to reunite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2016 creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to reconnect with their own children.  John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently reunite with her dad. You can find them in the Amerasian group pages on Facebook. Search angel services are available to both sides.There is a PBS documentary called "Left by the Ship" (2010), the video above, documenting everyday life and their personal struggles as a Filipino Amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggle to connect to their American military fathers, to bridge the gap between the past and the present. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2016 now!

Jenifer Bass
32,999 supporters
Petitioning Joaquin Castro, Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz, Julian Castro, United States Supreme Court, President of the United States, Texas State Senate, Texas Governor, Texas State House, John Cornyn, Louie Gohmert,...

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.

Francisco Hernandez Jr
32,394 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Tom Craddick, Texas State Senate, Texas State House

Ban the use of hand held electronic devices and texting while driving in Texas.

It's time for Texas to join the majority by passing a law to ban all drivers from texting while driving. As of February 2016, 46 states and the District of Columbia have laws banning text messaging for all drivers. Of the four remaining states two have no ban and two have a partial ban. One of those states is Texas; therefore, the state lawmakers understand there is a need to manage texting and driving.   One in five accidents are caused by distracted drivers.  This is not infringing on civil liberties.  It is regulating the actions of persons unwilling to police themselves in order to protect the health and safety of other drivers and their passengers. In spite of Governor Perry's 2011 veto of a bill that would ban texting and driving and the Texas Senate failing to pass a ban on texting for all Texas drivers in 2015, 40 cities in Texas have passed ordinances to ban texting while driving. Some cities, like Houston, claim that the laws are difficult to enforce.  However, they could use El Paso as a success model to implement in cities with difficulties.  El Paso officers wrote 15,000 citations in less than two years following the city’s ban on texting and driving. The partial ban in Texas is a start.  It consists of four parts. 1. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using wireless communication devices.   2. Those with learner’s permits cannot use handheld cell phones for the first 6 months of driving.  3. School bus operators cannot use cell phones while driving if children are present.   4. All drivers are prohibited from using handheld devices in areas marked as school crossing zones.  I urge Rep. Tom Craddick to continue on with his efforts to sponsor a bill to ban driving and typing on a hand-held device for the purpose of sending an electronic message, because this would cover social media site as well as traditional texts.

Julie Bridges
24,271 supporters
Petitioning Harris County Commisioners Court

Rename West Road in Houston, Harris County Texas after Deputy Darren Goforth.

Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth was murdered on 8/28/2015 by a cowardly individual. Let's honor and remember our fallen hero by renaming West Road in Houston Texas and the Surrounding Harris County after Deputy Darren Goforth. Sign this petition to let your voice be heard. This country needs all the law enforcement officers and they need to know we indeed do care. Will You Be The Change?? An African American male shot a uniformed sheriff's deputy "execution-style" while he fueled his patrol car in the Houston area, killing him instantly, authorities said. Deputy Darren H. Goforth, 47, was returning to his car after pumping gas Friday night. The gunman walked up from behind him and opened fire for no apparent reason, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said. When Goforth fell to the ground, the gunman stood over him and shot him some more, authorities said. He died at the scene. "He was literally gunned down in what appears to be an unprovoked, execution-style killing," Hickman said. "I have been in law enforcement for 45 years, I have never seen anything this cold-blooded." If you would like to contact us for support, Information, or to volunteer your time please email us at: willyoubethechange@gmail.com Updates are shared via our website: http://www.goforthrd.com PLEASE SHARE SHARE SHARE!!! #GoforthRd #RememberDeputyGoforth

Andrew Callis
18,231 supporters
Petitioning Inmate Sharing, President of the United States

Deadly Conditions in Texas Prisons

Imagine being locked in a concrete cell struggling to breathe for hours on end. This is a reality for many Texas prisoners. The stifling summer heat, which can cause temperatures to reach up to 130 degrees indoors, is unbearable. In these conditions, some might not survive, and since 2007, there have been at least 14 heat-related deaths in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) prisons. Despite the heat-related fatalities, the TDCJ has done little to prevent prisoners and guards from baking in the Texas heat! Fans are typically provided as a solution, but they are ineffective. The Centers for Disease Control found that while fans help maintain comfort at temperatures below 90 degrees, they do not protect against heatstroke or heat-related injuries above 90 degrees with added humidity. Conditions in Texas regularly exceed these levels. I have seen firsthand the conditions Texas prisoners are subjected to. As a volunteer with a church outreach group, I have visited prison many times in the summer and often leave feeling dehydrated and exhausted from the heat. My son is currently incarcerated in Texas and he tells me that he is often not allowed to go outside in the summer -- and unbelievably, it is hotter inside the prison than outside. I believe prison should absolutely be punishment for crimes committed, but air conditioning is not a luxury; for some it is the difference between life or death. I ask you to please sign and share my petition asking the Texas Department of Criminal Justice & The BOP (Federal Prison) Seagoville FCI to immediately increase ventilation and install air conditioners across the state. Prisoners are human, too.

Jodi Calkins
13,007 supporters