Ban Child Sex Dolls
Right now, teachers, coaches, babysitters, and neighbors, in every town in America, can purchase lifelike, anatomically correct dolls designed to simulate sex with a child. And it’s perfectly legal. These sick dolls are being imported into the United States and other countries. British police have seized more than 100 already in the UK, and authorities have found that the people buying them usually have child pornography too. Sign this petition to ban the sale and distribution of child sex dolls! These child sex dolls can normalize a pedophile’s behaviors, emboldening them to harm children, as is often the case with those who view child pornography. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 children are sexually abused. One child is too many. Our elected officials need to protect children. That’s why Congressman Dan Donovan from New York is introducing legislation that will ban the distribution and sale of dolls that encourage child abuse. Show your support for this legislation by signing this petition, and help protect America’s children!
Outlaw hog vs. dog hunting/fighting in the wild
Goal: To outlaw the cruel and inhumane practice of using dogs to hunt wild boar in Florida, as well as in the 31 others states it's currently legal or have no laws on the books. Florida (as well as other states) has a wild boar problem. Hogs are numerous, omnivorous and have no natural predators, making them one of the largest nuisance pests in the state. There are many humane options for dealing with the pigs, which do not need to involve brutally killing the pigs or putting domesticated dogs in harm’s way. However, despite the existence of alternatives, Florida and other states have exempted the use of "bait-dogs" in boar hunting. This practice is incredibly dangerous and very inhumane for the dogs and boars involved. Each of the 32 states that allow this practice laws differ, but Florida animal cruelty statute states: FLORIDA ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0800-0899/0828/Sections/0828.122.html 828.122 Fighting or baiting animals; offenses; penalties.—(1) This act may be cited as “The Animal Fighting Act.”(2) As used in this section, the term:(a) “Animal fighting” means fighting between roosters or other birds or between dogs, bears, or other animals.(b) “Baiting” means to attack with violence, to provoke, or to harass an animal with one or more animals for the purpose of training an animal for, or to cause an animal to engage in, fights with or among other animals. In addition, “baiting” means the use of live animals in the training of racing greyhounds.(c) “Person” means every natural person, firm, copartnership, association, or corporation.(3) Any person who knowingly commits any of the following acts commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084:Baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling, owning, possessing, or using any wild or domestic animal for the purpose of animal fighting or baiting; (9) This section shall not apply to:.....(e) Any person using dogs to hunt wild hogs or to retrieve domestic hogs pursuant to customary hunting or agricultural practices." The exception (e) makes NO logical sense, because dogs are trained to "hunt" by chasing, cornering, attacking and fighting. So, why is it illegal to cause a dog to fight another dog, or a pig in an enclosure, but it is legal to use dogs to chase and viciously attack pigs while being trained and in the wild? Boar hunting with dogs is exactly what it sounds like: dogs trained to track and attack. They are taken out into the country, or wherever wild hogs are plentiful, and set loose to sniff out hogs. Once a hog is found the dogs will chase it down, corner, bay and attack it, usually leaving it badly injured, but normally still alive. Hunters (when they catch up) will kill the pig, usually by "sticking," which is a prolonged death vs. the use of a proper gun. Wild hogs are incredibly difficult to kill and will put up a fight until the end. Many dogs involved are wounded by tusks, bitten, trampled and sometimes killed. This is basically animal fighting, in the wild. Putting dogs in such a dangerous situation is inhumane and should not be legal. Visit http://sugarshope.org/ to learn more. PETITION LETTER: Wild boars are a major problem in Florida and in other states. The species has no natural predators, is omnivorous and repopulates very quickly: it is because of these traits that wild boars are a force hard to reckon with. There are many control methods used, some of them very inhumane. Currently it is legal for dogs to be used in wild hog hunting. This practice is extremely dangerous for the dogs involved and leads to inappropriate practices elsewhere. Dogs involved in hunting are likely to be seriously injured by the hogs. Dogs get trampled, bitten, pierced by tusks and may be infected with diseases that pigs carry. The hogs are frightened, outnumbered and suffer a painful death. I urge you to propose a ban on hunting wild pigs with dogs in order to put a stop to these inappropriate behaviors. Please consider other methods of wild pig population control, such as designating land for hogs to be displaced to, and controlling breeding of the species. Allowing dogs to hunt them is inhumane and unnecessary. Visit http://sugarshope.org/ to learn more. Sincerely, [Your Name Here]
The Return Boot Camp
The military has a specific process that turns a new recruit into a Warrior, but they lack a similar process to help transform that Warrior back to civilian life. This leaves so many men and women without purpose or a place to turn after the military. This, we believe, often has a part to play in suicidal thoughts and actions, and contributes significantly to the 20 Veterans who die by suicide every day. The community of non-profit organizations in conjunction with our partners are advocating for a Return Boot Camp program to help transitioning Service Members be better prepared for post-military life. Specifically, this program would: (1) Ensure every Service Member receives a safe, confidential behavioral health evaluation, including an interview with a licensed, clinical behavioral health provider at the beginning of the transition process. (2) Require (based on the outcome of #1 above) Service Members participate in individual and group treatment / therapy sessions and programs for physical wellness and mindfulness. (3) Require all Service Members attend an initiation program for the transition process to educate and prepare them for their new life beyond the military. (4) Provide professional career counseling services and programs of the same scope and quality as services offered at the best universities. (5) Ensure Service Members get "credit" for and receive the necessary civilian accreditation for technical and management skills learned through the military. Whatever skills they were trained for can transfer over and be "worth" something in civilian life. (6) Provide a mentor that connects with Service Members at the beginning of the transition process to provide transition support and life coaching for up to one year after they have departed the military. (7) Ensure continuity in programs, services, and documentation between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs – including electronic transfer of records and medical history. (8) Form a commission of non-profit, corporate, and government agencies to implement a pilot Return Boot Camp program as early as September 2018. The Return Boot Camp focuses on the process of transition with the intended objective of enabling Service Members discover the post-military quality of life they fought to protect. They should be able to come home as prepared for life as they were trained to be prepared for military service.
President Obama: Protect Sharks by Expanding Papahanaumokuakea #GoBigObama #ExpandPMNM
I am a surfer, photographer, and shark attack survivor from the island of Kaua'i. I am passionate about marine conservation, particularly what's going on with shark conservation and the rapid decline of shark stocks worldwide. I also feel a calling to help others overcome adversity, and enjoy being an outreach to other amputees and the adaptive/disabled community. It's insane the amount of sharks needlessly killed, about 100 million a year. It is a completely unsustainable rate considering extinction is forever. As an apex predator, they play a invaluable role in our marine ecosystem. We need our oceans to be living and functioning, or our lives, regardless of on land or water, will become greatly affected over time. As a fellow "island boy," President Barack Obama knows the importance of Aloha 'Aina (love of the land) and he has done a lot for sharks since he took office. He signed the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 and has created huge marine protected areas in the Central Pacific that protect all species. The president has only a few more months left in office and there's a few more things he can do to protect threatened shark species here in Hawaii. Please sign this petition to ask President Obama to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as proposed by prominent members of the Native Hawaiian community. In the Pacific, oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) and silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis), highly migratory species that were once categorized as two of the most abundant species of large marine animals, have declined significantly. Populations of these species have dropped to such low levels that fishing vessels are now prohibited from retaining them. Despite this ban both species are still incidentally caught and killed on longlines in Hawaiian waters. Since the monument is within the core habitat for both oceanic whitetip and silky shark, an expanded protected area from fishing can ensure that populations of these vulnerable sharks are safeguarded. Research also shows that habitats within the existing monument support abundant Galapagos sharks (Carcharhinus galapagensis), tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier), and grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhinchos). These species, and others, have been shown to travel to the area of the proposed monument expansion. For example, a combination of fishing data and satellite and acoustic telemetry revealed tiger sharks swim thousands of kilometers along the Hawaiian chain and out into the open ocean, with individuals found more than 600 kilometers offshore. By increasing the size of Papahanaumokuakea, these resident species, and other highly migratory sharks that frequent these waters can be protected. The value of large protected areas to sharks has been demonstrated, and expanded protection in this area will be of benefit to multiple threatened shark species. Please join me in encouraging President Obama to go big and expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument according to the proposal put forward by the Native Hawaiian community! #GoBigObama #ExpandPMNM
Save Aysha and Her Family from Being Executed
Aysha's father Muhammad Kamran is a heroic interpreter who worked with the US military for 9 years in Afghanistan. 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. He once saved an American soldier by dashing into an ambushed vehicle under Taliban fire. But the Taliban considers his faithful service to the US military a capital crime and is working hard to find and kill Muhammad and his wife and daughters. Tell USCIS to re-open and approve Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases to save them from the Taliban before it is too late. 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. He has been living in hiding for three years with his wife and four young daughters. They are living in daily fear of being discovered and killed by the Taliban and are unable to leave their house. There is no heating in the house, and leaks in the roof have made his young daughters sick on several occasions from getting infections from bacteria in the water or getting cold in the winter. When I learned about Muhammad and his family's plight a few months ago, I was determined to do everything possible to save their lives. Muhammad had tried to apply to the US as a refugee, but he was denied for “discretionary 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 and hope that after they 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 paroles cases because his refugee case had been denied and without even bothering to read the refugee case. Thus, they again denied Muhammad for “discretionary reasons” without knowing what those discretionary reasons were. This is effectively a death sentence for the entire family. When our lawyer pleaded with them to at least let Muhammad's young daughters come live with their aunt and uncle in the US, USCIS made the absurd claim that the entire family, including his 2- and 4-year-old daughters, are a threat to national security. USCIS has thus denied even his young daughters their only hope to escape from the Taliban. Because of USCIS's policy and Muhammad's service to the US military, Muhammad's children were born with a death sentence. Worse yet, last month 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 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 recently wrote a story about my family's efforts to help Muhammad and his family. http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article187680333.html For more background information, The Ithaca Voice wrote a story 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/ Please call your Congressional representatives and ask them to tell USCIS to approve this case. If you need contact information on your Congressional representatives, use this link to look them up: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/ Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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. To learn more about No One Left Behind, the non-profit that advocates for and assists in resettling interpreters like Muhammad, visit http://nooneleft.org/
Ban the sale of Coral damaging sunscreen in Hawaii
A popular compound found in sunscreen, oxybenzone, is highly damaging to the reef. "Recent studies have shown that oxybenzone (and octinoxate & homosalate) causes deformities in coral larvae (planulae), making them unable to swim, settle out, and form new coral colonies. It also increases the rate at which coral bleaching occurs. This puts coral reef health at risk, and reduces resiliency to climate change... Researchers have found oxybenzone concentrations in some Hawaiian waters at more than 30 times the level considered safe for corals." - http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2016/09/03/nr16-182/ Coral reefs are an important part of the ecosystem. Healthy coral reefs can support more fish life as well as protect the shoreline. Many species are supported in Hawaiian reefs that are not found anywhere else. The effects of coral bleaching are already widespread and can be seen in all the Hawaiian islands. Coral reefs also provide a significant amount of money for the tourism industry. With over 8 million annual visitors, tourism is the state's largest industry, and ocean related activities constitute a healthy portion. Our local economy depends on the business that healthy coral reefs attract. Oxybenzone has also been linked to negative impacts on human health, including both hormonal and skin related effects. Limiting the sales of sunscreens with oxybenzone and providing alternatives will help prevent further deterioration of the reef. Alternative options are readily available in the form of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide based sunscreens. These products are much safer both for the reef and for human use. Rash guards and wetsuits are recyclable and sustainable alternatives that also block harmful UV rays. Read the label! Don't buy products that contain oxybenzone, octinoxate and homosalate. Hawaii has taken steps to actively reduce plastic bags and their associated pollution and this is another important action to protect our environment. Many other locations such as Mexico and the Caribbean have also joined in the effort to reduce damage to corals by prohibiting such sunscreens. Hawaii should follow in these proactive steps and realize that any small step to preserve the health of the reef could help the coral survive a long hot summer and have the chance to recover. Information taken from DLNR joint news release and video: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2016/09/03/nr16-182/ NPR: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/20/450276158/chemicals-in-sunscreen-are-harming-coral-reefs-says-new-study A link and article to several reef friendly alternatives: http://www2.padi.com/blog/2016/04/24/scuba-diving-and-sunscreen-updated/
Help Protect Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve has been named by 'Dr. Beach' as the #1 Beach in the United States for 2016. This story was reported by CNN, MSN, and other major news organizations on 5/26/2016. With an estimated 3,000 visitors to Hanauma Bay each day, coupled with this recent news of its #1 ranking being released just ahead of Memorial Day weekend -- which is sure to drive even additional visitor interest to the historic, cultural, and natural gem -- changes need to be made to better educate visitors on preserving the coral reef and protecting marine life. Upon visiting the park on any of the six days of the week the Nature Preserve & Marine Life Conservation District is open to visitors, one is sure to see a large number of snorkelers standing on the reef, as well as disturbing sea turtles and other marine life. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve currently makes it mandatory for each visitor to first watch a 9-minute video about the history of Hanauma Bay, the types of fish and coral one is likely to see while snorkeling, and helpful tips and information for avoiding damage to the reef and marine life. Unfortunately, the video includes numerous clips of people standing on the reef and also a person approaching a sea turtle with hands outstretched as if trying to touch the threatened species. Additionally, beyond the educational center, upon descending down the hill to the beach and on the beach itself there are hardly any reminders to avoid contact with the reef. Below are the requested changes: 1) Currently, the introduction video that is mandatory for each visitor shows people walking on the reef and a person trying to closely interact with a sea turtle. We would request a budgetary allotment be made for a remake or edit of the video to remove these scenes which are likely to confuse non-English speakers and English speakers alike. Those not closely listening to the narrative but watching the film are likely to be left with the impression that these prohibited actions are acceptable practices. 2) Place more prominent and visual image heavy signage on the descent to the beach, at the beach itself, and at the Information and Snorkel Renting centers on the beach front regarding not stepping on or touching coral, stirring up sediment, or touching, disturbing or threatening marine life. As Hanauma Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD), one would expect that Hanauma Bay would have high quality signage on par with those found at Pupakea MLCD. 3) Encourage lifeguard staff to issue reminders by megaphone to visitors that standing on the reef is not permitted or provide on-beach staff of the Preserve to serve in this capacity. 4) Provide educational signs with multiple translations to account for the global demographic of visitors that flock to Hanauma Bay each day. Please sign this petition to encourage Hanauma Bay Management and Education Program Directors, Department of Parks & Recreation, Department of Land & Natural Resources, State of Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources, and our elected representatives to take further action aimed at better educating visitors to Hanauma Bay about the environmental impacts of standing on or otherwise damaging the coral reef, as well as the impacts of disturbing or otherwise threatening marine life.
Pass Safe Harbor & End Demand for Prostitution Laws in Hawaii
Currently, Hawaii has no protocol to legally detain juveniles rescued from prostitution without criminalizing them. The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS) is urging the Hawaii State Legislature to pass legislation to help child trafficking victims to proper rehabilitative and healing services rather than to incarceration. PASS is also urging the legislature to pass an End Demand Bill (SB192/HB1066 and SB194) which seek to increase penalties for patrons of prostitution/sex-trafficking, commonly referred to as “johns.” The existing grade of offense for johns is a petty misdemeanor, equivalent to the fine of remaining in a public park after hours. The penalty for the offense of fueling prostitution/sex-trafficking, by providing the demand, has not been updated in Hawaii since the law was created in the early 70s. Please help Hawaii pass these bills because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Help us stop the growth of child-trafficking in America. FACTS: Hawaii’s incarceration rate of juvenile girls exceed the national average. Of these offenses, about 35% are runaways. Hawaii has one of the highest rates of intrafamilial sexual abuse (or incest) and also has one of the highest attempted teen suicide rates in the nation. There are approximately 300 children reported missing in Hawaii per month. There are no law enforcement stats for child sex-trafficking because of the lack of a state sex-trafficking law. Earlier this year, Shared Hope International rated Hawaii second worst in the nation in protecting child victims of sex trafficking by law. // // // //
Tulsi Gabbard for House Minority Leader! #TulsiForLeader
After the stunning loss to Donald J. Trump and the Republicans, we must reevaluate the leadership in the Democratic Party. Not only should we support Keith Ellison to be DNC Chair but we should also support the Progressive, Sanders supporter, war veteran, and champion for all Americans Tulsi Gabbard to run to be the House Minority Leader. Currently the House minority leader is Nancy Pelosi and she has been in that position for quite some time. It is time to get more progressives to leadership positions. Tulsi Gabbard would be a fine choice for this position in the house.
Expand the post-9/11 caregiver program to all U.S. veterans
Many of our military veterans have health issues stemming from their service to our country in foreign wars. These issues often require ongoing caregiver assistance. Veterans who served after 9/11 have received the most generous benefits, which has left our other veterans scrounging to cover needed care. Senator Patty Murray’s latest attempt to bridge this disparity, the Military and Veteran Caregiver Improvement Act, has been stuck in Senate committee since 2015. This act is important because so many of the caregiver programs are geared toward post- 9/11 military veterans. Meanwhile, the veterans of our wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and others have been forced to rely on their family and friends for needed care. Many spouses are faced with the tough choice to put their loved ones into a nursing home so they can get a job to help support their family. Others, like my own mother, stay at home to care for their veteran and are forced to scrape and scrounge every single penny to make ends meet. Veterans from all eras have sacrificed to serve and protect our nation. They have seen and experienced things that few of us could even imagine. And many of them have been exposed to weapon materials that are extremely toxic and dangerous -- leaving them with ailments that plague them for the rest of their lives. We have to do more to care for these heroes. If you believe that our veterans are valuable and deserve the resources necessary to ensure a decent quality of life. If you agree, please sign and share this petition to tell Congress to pass the Military and Veteran Caregiver Improvement Act, or a bill similar in wording.