Sign: Stop the Slaughter of America's Wild Mustangs
If we don't act now, tens of thousands of America's iconic wild horses may be culled -- or sold off to meat slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada, where torture and painful death await. For nearly 3 decades, wild horses and burros have been protected by a ban on the slaughter of healthy animals or any sale that results in their harm. But now, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants to change that, and do away with "excess" animals by cruel and drastic means. Their advisory committee has already voted to kill or sell without restriction up to 90,000 wild horses and burros. Still, the horses can be saved simply by keeping language in the Interior Department Budget that prohibits “destruction of healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros." The House Appropriations Committee has voted on a bill with this language erased. Now, it's up to the Senate Appropriations Committee to decide whether the horses will live or die. No horse's life is "excess," and these animals do not deserve to be rounded up, slaughtered, and sold for meat just to give more land to rich cattle ranchers, as many speculate will be the case. Instead of brutally killing America's horses, the government should enact cruelty free population control measures, such as reducing births. Better yet, they should protect the public land on which these majestic creatures roam free. Sign the petition to tell the Senate Appropriations Committee that their version of the Interior Department budget must prohibit the slaughter and international sale of America's wild horses, as well as urge Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to stop any plans to kill these animals or sell them to slaughter. Tens of thousands of horses' lives depend on it!
We are Losing Hundreds of Family Dairy Farms Each Year in the USA
Currently dairy farmers are losing approximately 50-60 cents a gallon on all the milk they produce. This is the reason we are losing so many family dairy farms in the United States. The national production of milk is approximately 204 billion pounds of milk annually which means that dairy farmers are losing $5 per 100 pounds. Nationally this means the dairy farmers are losing over $10 billion each year. This translates into about a $60 billion loss for the rural economy. THIS CANNOT CONTINUE! WE NEED YOUR HELP IMMEDIATELY! THIS CAN BE CORRECTED! We are urging the United States Congress and the Dairy Division of the USDA to have open hearings for dairy farmers to hear and hopefully resolve their problems. We have outlined specific programs congress can take to correct this problem. Please refer to the "Dairy Farmers Are Left Behind Again" guest editorial by Arden Tewksbury located on the Progressive Agriculture Facebook page to view suggestions where congress can help dairy farmers. (Link included) https://www.facebook.com/Progressive-Agriculture-Organization-130911270336981/ Consumers, you must decide; Do you want to be drinking milk from the USA or milk imported from other countries? The decision is up to YOU! Act NOW and sign this petition! Thank you!
Bill Summary This bill will require the creation and installment of a new student reporting system that will be accessed by all agencies that deal with children, create an educational seminar on child abuse incorporated into their early education curriculum and up through high school, add additional changes to the way Child Protective Services operates, and restrict records for deceased children from being redacted Background We have heard many stories of child abuse and neglect as a nationwide, systemic problem, citing case overloads as part of a bigger issue. According to the 26th Child Maltreatment Report created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1575 child fatalities reported in 2011; 1619 child fatalities reported in 2012; 1551 child fatalities reported in 2013; 1583 child fatalities reported in 2014; and 1585 child fatalities reported in 2015, nationwide. In 2015, nationwide, 78.61% of those children were all school age or otherwise, < 2 years old. On May 22, 2013, Gabriel Fernandez, DOB February 20, 2005, received emergency response services due to full arrest as a result of approximately 8 months of child abuse and neglect at the hands of Pearl Sinthia Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre. Over the course of 8 months, over 50 reports were phoned into social workers to report abuse that went undocumented and unfounded, along with phone calls made to sheriff’s deputies, in regards to Gabriel. In particular, Gabriel’s teacher, Jennifer Garcia, made numerous phone calls to the social worker on his case, citing his injuries. Gabriel succumbed to his injuries on May 24, 2013, in what we know now as one of the worst cases of child abuse known to the United States of America. On November 15, 2017, Isauro Aguirre was found guilty of 1st-degree murder with special circumstances of torture. A trial for Gabriel’s mother, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, and the four social workers involved with Gabriel’s case are still pending. When looking into other child abuse fatalities, it was found that the Department of Child and Family Services began redacting all of their records to prevent the community from researching cases. Transparency is vital to instill confidence in the agencies entrusted to protect children. According to “The economic burden of child maltreatment in the Unites States and implications for prevention” (Child Abuse and Neglect. The International Journal. Fang, Brown, Florence, Mercy 2012), cited by the Center of Disease Control, “The estimated average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child maltreatment is $210,012 in 2010 dollars, including $32,648 in childhood health care costs; $10,530 in adult medical costs; $144,360 in productivity losses; $7,728 in child welfare costs; $6,747 in criminal justice costs; and $7,999 in special education costs. The estimated average lifetime cost per death is $1,272,900, including $14,100 in medical costs and $1,258,800 in productivity losses. The total lifetime economic burden resulting from new cases of fatal and nonfatal child maltreatment in the United States in 2008 is approximately $124 billion. In sensitivity analysis, the total burden is estimated to be as large as $585 billion. Findings concluded that the cost of living children who suffered maltreatment, in 2008, estimated a lifetime amount of approximately $210,012, while those whose maltreatment resulted in fatality cost an estimated lifetime amount of approximately $1.3 million. Problem There is a systematic failure in communication with regards to the safety and welfare of at-risk children who depend on adults to protect them. Had there been a system in place to allow for all agencies to effectively communicate with one another, and track all reports and documents, in regards to any reported child abuse, that may have helped save Gabriel’s life. Children depend on adults for protection and safeguarding. We are in an era of technology where we have need to improve, exponentially, our ability and duties to safeguard children. Records for child abuse fatalities should be unsealed and social workers who have repeat fatalities need to be investigated and retrained. Solution I. A nationwide system needs to be installed, in all schools, child welfare agencies, law enforcement agencies, doctor’s offices, and district attorney’s office, that help mandated reporters create electronic SCAR (Suspected Child Abuse Report), allow the agencies to track reports and status of child abuse. a. The system shall have an alert for law enforcement and social worker of any extended absence that doesn’t have any parent contact/medical documentation over a 2-day period/as reported by the attending school. b. The system shall have an alert for law enforcement and assigned social workers and their supervisors of any non-enrollment of children within a 2-day period. c. The system shall have an alert for CPS supervisors for a daily review of any child that has repeated reports. d. In conjunction with each agency, especially if a school alert comes in, an immediate action plan is put in place to ensure the safety of the child. e. Doctor’s may flag any injury as possible child abuse which will create an electronic SCAR. f. District Attorney’s office will have the ability to create customizable reports and alerts based on criteria needed to help with cases and decisions made in regards to court cases and as needed. II. A child abuse curriculum needs to be created and implemented starting at early education and moving up through high school. This curriculum needs to be implemented into the foster system and the juvenile hall system as well. The curriculum should include a discussion on all forms of abuse, from sexual harassment/sexual assault to all types of child abuse that can occur within the home. III. Specific changes need to be made within the Child Protective Services to ensure adequate and complete recording. a. Assign nurses to social workers for house visits and documentation of any abuse to any child. b. Social workers assigned to Child Protective Services need to be able to handle the caseloads and demonstrate effective investigative and communicative skills. The requirement is 40 hours of in-service training to advance from CSW II to CSW III. c. If a worker cannot perform their tasks effectively, there needs to be immediate consequences or corrective discipline to ensure the safety of children in their care. d. Supervisor technique training needs to be provided to all current and future supervisors, to help ensure supervisory skills. Additionally, they need to also have all the knowledge of working as a Child Protective Services social worker prior to being a supervisor for that department. e. Computer systems must be well maintained and updated on a 5-year basis, to the most current technology, to keep up with efficiency. f. Any fatalities under a social worker must be thoroughly investigated and the worker must be removed from the Child Protective Services department until uptraining is completed and they can prove themselves capable of the position. g. Mandatory recorded interviews with social worker, nurse, and interviewee. IV. Law Enforcement needs to be accountable and understand that child abuse claims are not only important but need to be documented. a. Any type of child abuse needs to be reported, via the new system, which will generate a SCAR b. Any call to a scene should include an address lookup to see if there are children residing at the residence and if there are any child abuse reports made, to make sure they have a well-rounded understanding of what they are walking into. c. The alert for suspected child abuse reports should be reviewed by Special Victims Unit, or a specific unit, to ensure that follow up. V. Educational institutes should have the ability to have access to the system and file reports based on extended absences, tardiness or signs of abuse. a. Teachers should be able to file a SCAR from their desk in their classroom b. An alert from school should immediately trigger with Law Enforcement and Child Protective Services. VI. Doctor’s office will be able to flag and note a child’s record in ways that will flag agencies depending on the situation. a. Extended absences will be flagged to go directly to school’s attendance office and immediately alert school of extended absence. b. The doctor can flag any abnormalities that appear to be child abuse that will create a SCAR to alert Child Protective Services of injuries and suspicions. VII. All documents pertaining to a deceased child shall be made available, via an amendment to privacy laws, with all redaction markings removed. VIII. Increase Statute of Limitations for felony child abuse should be increased from 3 years to 6 years. In Many cases, children are not aware that they are victims to begin with. Often, it is not a single event, but consecutive instances over a span of time which requires that the statute be extended to the point where the victim first files a report of abuse. IX. Failure to Report Child Abuse should be changed from a straight misdemeanor to a “wobbler” with a 3 or 6-year statute of limitations. Negligence to report abuse is not an acceptable excuse to prevent a child from obtaining criminal action. Purposefully declining or avoiding to file a report of abuse should be met with the more severe penalty. X. Children who are in a coma or dying in manners consistent with murder or suspected foul play must undergo autopsy once deceased. XI. Mandatory Child Abuse Education classes for all new welfare applicants. XII. Adults living in a household, and witnesses to abuse of any minors within that household, who fail to report or try to prevent abuse to minors shall be charged as follows: a. Non-fatal injury to child - Accomplice to Child Abuse – min. 1-year b. Child Abuse resulting in fatal injury – Accomplice to Child Abuse resulting in Fatality – min 10 year.
Say Yes To Disability Rights
On February 15th, the House of Representatives passed HR620, the so-called Americans with Disabilities Education and Reform Act. Instead of stopping the few frivolous lawsuits that occur, the bill will roll back nearly thirty years of civil rights legislation for people with disabilities in the United States. By passing this bill, You will undo the foundation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a piece of landmark legislation passed in 1990 that gives disabled people a chance at equal access to employment, education, and society in general. By voting yes, you will Force disabled people to endure a lengthy process that involves filing complaints with businesses when they face accessibility barriers. These businesses, some of which have violated the law for almost 30 years, will have up to six months to resolve accessibility issues, and even longer, if the businesses can demonstrate “substantial progress” toward resolution.No other civil rights law has ever put the burden on those it protects to start and maintain the enforcement process. HR620 places cost-cutting for business owners ahead of the human rights of people with disabilities. Imagine having to wait over six months to use the restroom, locate merchandise, or check out confidentially and independently when building codes and other provisions for your civil rights have existed for almost 3 decades. Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona will soon introduce the bill to the rest of you in the United States Senate.Please, Senators, we urge you to vote against this unacceptable and unfair legislation. Do not weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act. Do not weaken current and future civil rights legislation for everyone by placing the responsibility for enforcement on those who need protection.Thank you for your attention.
Increase Funding for Borderline Personality Disorder Research at NIMH
I am writing to you today because I have been affected by borderline personality disorder (BPD). This illness has a devastating impact — emotional and financial — on individuals, caregivers, families and society. Those who suffer from it are in indescribable pain. Up to 5.9% of the population suffers from BPD — more than twice that of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder combined. "Borderline Personality Disorder" is the most viewed term on NIMH’s website and yet it receives less government funding than any other mental illness. An estimated 10% of individuals with BPD will die from suicide, 60% will suffer from major depression, and 60% will have a substance abuse disorder. But while suicide, depression, substance abuse and eating disorders receive an enormous amount of NIMH dollars, BPD, which often encompasses all four, is not even a target population for research. This is not acceptable to family members in the trenches, desperate to help our loved ones. This is not acceptable to individuals with BPD, who want to thrive and function in society. This is not acceptable to clinicians, who want to provide better treatment options and services. This is not acceptable to taxpayers, who have had to endure the huge financial burden of paying for those with BPD, a large majority of whom are unemployed, cannot afford the medical costs of treatment, and often wind up incarcerated, homeless, or addicted. At least 18 million Americans suffer from BPD in their lifetimes. Assuming each affects a minimum of five other people, the lives of 90,000,000 Americans are negatively impacted. Shouldn’t this be considered one of our country’s largest public health emergencies? Why are our representatives in government not paying attention to BPD? It’s time to make borderline personality disorder a priority and move it from the back to the front of the line in mental health research. The recent breakthrough research into genetic biomarkers for schizophrenia shows what can be done when adequate funding is available for specific mental illnesses. We implore you to commit funding for research on borderline personality disorder proportionate to its impact on society, and give it the recognition it deserves in the field.
Substance Use Disorder Policy Reform
I just had one of the hardest conversations I've had in recovery with the mother of a young man who lost the battle with substance abuse this morning. God bless you ma'am. I had just spent the evening with him and he was fighting. A 20 year old, Ole Miss student lost his life, and we as a community lost again, due to our inability to confront a disease that claims the lives of more young people than any other single factor. What is it going to take to realize that the stigma and criminalization associated with substance use disorder is killing people and destroying families? Please consider joining me in addressing this issue in our community, state, and nation. Have no mistake about it, we are in the middle of a war, but we are not addressing it effectively. We must provide the resources, education, and tools to proactively combat this epidemic. We're going to start with the defelonization of simple possession, and instead of jail time, mandated treatment by PROPERLY run treatment facilities, of which there is essentially nothing in Mississippi provided by the state for offenders. Then, access to community resources for recovery upon release.
#SAVEH2B: Save Small & Seasonal Businesses!
PLEASE ASK CONGRESS TO #SAVEH2B AND SUPPORT IMMEDIATE CAP RELIEF! American Small and Seasonal businesses are currently approaching their busiest season of the year and they will not be receiving their seasonal guest workers. Without these legal, temporary employees American businesses and workers are in jeaprody. The H-2B Visa nonimmigrant program allows employers to hire foreign workers to come to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis. H-2B workers are not considered immigrants. In order to qualify for an H-2B Visa, an employer must prove that there are not sufficient U.S. Workers who are capable of performing temporary services or labor. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS TAKE JOBS AWAY FROM AMERICANS.FACT: American workers are guaranteed first chance at every job later filled by an H-2B temporary laborer. By law, every open position must be properly advertised in the community and requires employers to hire any able and willing American workers to fill open positions. The fact is that H-2B temporary workers actually support American jobs and the U.S. economy. The H-2B program provides an opportunity for seasonal businesses to operate at a greater capacity, thereby retaining their full-time American workers and contributing more to their local economies. Additionally, temporary foreign seasonal workers help support many upstream and downstream jobs. According to the American Enterprise Institute study on Immigration and American Jobs, every H-2B worker creates or sustains 4.64 American jobs on average. MYTH: EMPLOYERS DON’T EVEN TRY TO HIRE AMERICAN WORKERS TO FILL THESE TEMPORARY HARD LABOR JOBS.FACT: Employers work extremely hard to hire American workers because 1) it is dramatically cheaper to do so, and 2) the law requires that employers demonstrate that every effort has been made to hire Americans before they can start the process of trying to hire a temporary foreign laborer. Again, the fact is that the vast majority of American workers are not interested in temporary seasonal manual labor jobs. Geography is a big obstacle for many employers; for example, many resort communities don’t have a sufficient local labor pool. And, in many cases, these types of seasonal jobs may not be appropriate for high school students due to the hours or labor laws that prohibit the use of heavy machinery by minors. MYTH: PAYING HIGHER WAGES WILL ENTICE AMERICAN WORKERS AND SOLVE THE SEASONAL TEMPORARY LABOR SHORTAGE.FACT: Hourly pay for these types of jobs have gone up significantly over the last few years because employers who use the H-2B program are required to pay their H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premiumwage dictated by the U.S. Department of Labor. These temporary manual labor jobs often pay considerably more than the minimum wage, but American workers still won’t take the positions. Sadly, in many cases, employers who obey the law and use the H-2B program are often competing against businesses that choose to illegally hire undocumented immigrants and pay those workers considerably less. If wages were raised even higher, seasonal employers who use the program would not be able to sustain their businesses or their American workers. MYTH: THE H-2B PROGRAM REPRESSES WAGES FOR AMERICAN WORKERS BY PROVIDING A CHEAPER LABOR SOURCE.FACT: Hiring H-2B workers is a much move expensive and risky option. In addition to the fact employers are required to pay H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premium wage that is often well above the federal minimum wage, complying with the H-2B program is extremely costly, complicated and wrought with uncertainty due to an overly restrictive cap and a constantly changing regulatory environment. Employers turn to the H-2B program as a last resort, after extensive efforts to recruit American workers. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS OVERSTAY THEIR VISAS AND EXACERBATE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA.FACT: According the U.S. Department of Homeland Security visa overstay in the H-2B program are rare. Workers who do overstay their visas are barred from using the program ever again. The fact is that the vast majority of H-2B workers and their employers are meticulous about compliance. Not following the strict program rules means the end of a well-paying seasonal jobs that allows these workers to provide for their families and still maintain their homes in their native countries – a risk these workers are not willing to take since they generally return to the same employer year after year. Additionally, when approving H-2B visas, the U.S. Consulate confirms workers’ ties to their home countries. Further, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires employers to promptly report any H-2B workers who do not report for work or who complete their work earlier in the season than anticipated. MYTH: THE H-2B RETURNING WORKER EXEMPTION IS UNNECESSARY.FACT: The H-2B program’s annual 66,000 cap (33,000 for each half of the fiscal year) is not adequate to meet the demands of a growing economy. The cap for the first half of the fiscal 2017 was reached on January 10. The second-half cap was reached on March 13, leaving many seasonal employers shut out of the program with no access to legal seasonal laborers. Without the returning worker exemption passed by Congress with bipartisan support and signed into law by the President, many companies will have to close their businesses, lay off American workers or turn away customers.This provision is essential to the survival of small and seasonal businesses across the country and should be made permanent. An H-2B returning worker exemption is a narrow solution to a seasonal workforce shortage that focuses on workers who are valuable to their seasonal employers and who have never violated the terms of their past visas or other U.S. laws. These workers do not pose a security risk and they are not taking away jobs from Americans. For more information please visit: https://www.SaveH2b.orghttps://www.h2bworkforcecoalition.com https://youtu.be/UTYVEirlu3o To contribute further, please contact your Congressmen/women and tweet using the hashtag: #SAVEH2B
Urge U.S. Senate to approve $70M NIH funding for lymphedema and lymphatic disease research
United States Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has requested “$70 million in lymphatic and lymphedema research funding be appropriated to the Office of the Director at NIH to support extramural interdisciplinary research relevant to the lymphatic system in health and disease.” This would be an unprecedented achievement in making lymphatics and lymphedema a national heath priority. Its impact on future treatments and cures must not be underestimated. We must fight for this with everything available to us. The Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), its spokesperson Kathy Bates, the research community, and Senator Schumer have brought this issue to the forefront. It is now up to us, as a community, to get this funding in the budget. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services must hear from you. First, sign this petition. Herein, the signers of this petition call upon committee members to add the Report Language of Senator Schumer to the 2017 Committee Appropriations bill. Second, write directly to the Committee Members to voice your support. Links to their webpages are provided below. Both actions are needed to secure this historic funding. Be part of the greatest lymphatic disease and lymphedema research initiative in history. Make this just the beginning. This is where it all starts, and it doesn’t happen without you. Sincerely,William RepicciExecutive Director, LE&RNSenate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services members:Senator Roy Blunt (Chairman, R-MO)Senator Patty Murray (Ranking Member, D-WA)Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)Senator James Lankford (R-OK)Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)Senator John Kennedy (R-LA)Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Demand H-2B Cap Relief From Congress Immediately!
The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced on January 3, 2018 that roughly 4,500 H-2B applications were filed for a total of 81,600 H-2B workers on January 1, 2018. This was the earliest date an employer could file for an April 1 date of need. There are only 33,000 visas available for the second half of 2018 meaning the applications filed on January 1 alone exceed the supply of visas by 48,600 workers. Demand for the H-2B program continues to surge as the economy improves and the US approaches full employment. We believe demand for the legal seasonal H-2B visas is currently three to four times the available 66,000 visas permitted under the law. This outdated cap has not changed since 1990 and unemployment rates are outrageously low- this formula leads to an unprecedented need for temporary employees in seasonal industries. Without immediate cap relief passed by Congress, seasonal businesses and the American workers who are employed will face detrimental consequences. Businesses will be forced to close and American employees will lose their jobs. It is time to end this annual nightmare, once and for all. Sign the petition now and follow up with your Congress Members asking them to stand up for honest employers who are following the law. For More Information Please Visit: https://www.saveh2b.org/ #SAVEH2B
Bring a Raising Cane’s to Brookhaven, MS
Everyone loves Raising Cane’s. Brookhaven,MS is not far from a college campus. College students travel to an hour or two to just get this delicious food. Also providing another place for college students to get a job would be great.