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Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Require all MLTS/PBX Phones Dial 911 Easily: Help Enact Kari's Law

On December 1, 2013 Kari Rene Hunt was murdered by her estranged husband whom she was intending to divorce. She agreed to meet him at a local motel to leave their children with him for a short visitation while he was in town. Her estranged husband ambushed her in the motel room and cornered her in the restroom. During the struggle and resulting death of Kari, her oldest daughter, age 9, (name with held for privacy) attempted to dial 911 from the motel room phone. She followed instructions as taught by her mother on the way to call for help but she was never instructed that in some hotels and motels you must first dial a "9" and then 911. We are attempting to ensure that any person needing police, EMS or the Fire Department at any hotel or motel location or from any MLTS/PBX system be able to dial the numbers 911 and receive emergency response. In a panic, any under age child, or for that matter anyone in an emergency situation should be able to depend on dialing 911 from any phone in the United States and receiving assistance. We pray the lawmakers in our Congress and Senate hear the cries of Kari and her children and enact a law requiring all hotel and motel chains, including all "Mom & Pop" locations have all phone systems updated to E911 systems. These systems allow the 911 call to automatically connect to a 911 operator without having to dial a "9" in order to get an outside line. Total E911 fees/funds collected from the use of telephones in the United States was $2,322,983,616.36 in 2012. Total amount spent for E911 or 911 enhancements in the United States was $97,367,543.46 leaving $2,225,616,072.90 un spent. Where is this money? Some states such as Illinois, has diverted monies from the collection of E911 fees to it's general fund therefore being spent on who knows what. The money is there, it's being collected by who? THE GOVERNMENT! It's being spent on very little E911 functionality or just sitting there. Why?  WE ask that Wyndham Hotels, which is the parent company of Baymont Inns and Suites where this incident occured, lead the way in the industry by updating the antiquated phone systems still used in some of their hotels. Sadly though, 2 year 11 months later we have heard nothing from the Wyndham Corporation, however, the Marriott International Corporation has mandated to all franchise hotels under the Marriott brand to update their systems to be direct dial 911. Can you you guess what hotel we will be using from now on will be? That's right , MARRIOTT! Seconds count and when a 9 year old little girl is mature enough and brave enough to attempt to dial for help, she should be answered. When that child dialed 911 she should have heard, "911, what is your emergency?" Instead she heard static. We understand the cost implications (which in most cases is very minimal or free) and know that E911 has been a requirement for a few years, but only a handful of states require it. Why? Money is collected from every citizen that uses a phone but it's the citizen that is NOT benefiting from the collection of these funds. We ask the United States Congress to make it a requirement for all hotel and motels operating the United States and offer conversion assistance where needed. We also ask that such law(s) prohibit excessive charges for doing this update, in most cases it is simply a series of buttons from a keyboard that will solve the problem. Please help make this "Kari's Law".  https://www.change.org/f/help-get-karis-law-through-the-senate?source_location=petition_show

Hank Hunt
552,656 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Congress

Revoke the Tax-Exempt Status of the National Football League

Despite the fact that it is a $10Billion/Year industry, the National Football League (NFL) continues to enjoy status as a non-profit organization -- meaning it doesn’t have to pay federal corporate taxes.  The Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, makes nearly $44 million a year -- earning more than the heads of companies like Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart. Through TV deals alone, the NFL has inked nearly $30 billion with various television networks. And so often, fans like you and me are asked to foot the bill for new stadiums through our own taxes. Yet despite being the most profitable sports league in the entire world, the NFL does not pay federal taxes.  The NFL should pay their fair share towards our economy! Just like Major League Baseball, which gave up its nonprofit status in recent years, as well as the National Basketball Association, the NFL should not be able to hide under a nonprofit status in order to avoid paying federal taxes.  The NFL has methodically worked to shift all the power to their side, leaving players, employees and PARTICULARLY THE FANS little say in what goes on with the league. We deserve a say, but do not wish to boycott our teams! Therefore, we are calling on our elected representatives to revoke the tax-exempt status we bestowed upon the league half a century ago. Please sign this petition, and let Congress know that you want them to reconsider the NFL’s tax exempt status. 

Lynda Woolard
428,670 supporters
Petitioning Mitt Romney

Secretary of Defense: Create a Central National Registry for Military Sex Offenders

I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country.  I served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines for over three years.  In that time I was raped twice and sexually assaulted another two times.  The first time it happened I was serving abroad in Afghanistan.  After that first incident I was assaulted three other times over the course of three years.  It came to happen so often that I assumed it was normal and that it must happen to everyone.  I never received any training on how to deal with sexual assault in the military- I didnt even know how to report it.   When I finally decided to report the sexual assaults I was led through a maze of questions and excuses and I was even discouraged from reporting the crimes.  In the end, instead of getting justice I was ostracized and humiliated.   I learned that there is currently no national military sex offender registry and that offenders are not required to disclose their crimes on their discharge papers.  A sex offender registration for convicted for military personnel would help to address the impunity that surrounds rape within the military.  Most veterans are honorable men and women who have served our country, but there are some who have committed serious crimes like rape and sexual assault during their service and the military has a responsibility to disclose that information for the sake of the public good. If they are not charged per a Court Martial, and convicted, they will not have to register and the crime will NOT be on their criminal back ground. When asked why sex offenders do not have to disclose on their discharge papers, some of the responses I was given were 1) It will take too long to create a national database or 2) the military is going green and it takes too much paper to add an extra check box to discharge papers.  This is part of a larger issue of rape within the military.  Some estimates reveal that more than 1/3 of women in the armed services are raped during their service and of the reported rapes, 55% are males.  If you serve in the US military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member you have an 86.5% chance of keeping the crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding court martial.   Let's get this changed, and make it a requirement that Sex Crimes in the Military should be taken serious, and even if punishment is suspended, or does not go to Court Martial, it should still be on their background for employers and citicizens to see while performing a back ground check. And to also include Active Duty Military in our current Database if they were charged per Court Martial (punishment suspended or dropped) Non Judicial Punishment or any form of punishment. If charged one way or another with a sex crime, he/she should also not be allowed to live in Base Housing. please call (703) 571-3343 and continute to ask WHY they are ignoring our request. Join me in asking the Department of Defense to create a national database for sex offenders, putting criminal history (Military crimes) on their DD214 and request that suspending punishment when being charged with a sex crime not be allowed!! Donations to fun trip to DC to hand deliver Petition to Sec. of Navy and Sec. of Defense, present new model for Policy on Sexual Assault/Rape and Ideal Database updates for familywatchdog.us and www.nsopw.gov  are appreciated. Please email Military.rape12@gmail.com to send donation and/or sponsor portions of trip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GV0F8Zr6N8A&feature=youtube_gdata_player CONTACT   military.rape12@gmail.com to send stories, ask for help, need to talk, media inquiries, and to provide some assistance.    If you would like to help fund the next trip to present petition and Model Policy, Watchdog.org website and State Statue... Please send an email

Nicole Meserole
372,647 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. Senate

Pass the ABLE Act

My name is Sara Wolff. I am a 31 year-old from Moscow, Pennsylvania, who happens to have Down syndrome but that doesn’t stop me from achieving “my” better life. I work as a law clerk and also at Keystone Community Resources in the Office of Advocacy. I am a board member of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). I'm calling on Congress to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 313/H.R. 647), a bill that will help individuals with disabilities to save for their futures. When the ABLE Act passes into law this year, it will change my life forever. I lost my mother this past year, Connie, to a sudden, rapid illness. With my whole life ahead of me, I need an ABLE account to plan for my future. And, I am not alone, like most individuals with disabilities, people with Down syndrome and other conditions are out living their parents. Families, like mine, need to rest assure that they can equally care for their children and adults with disabilities, just like they can for their other children and family members. Just because I have Down syndrome, that shouldn’t hold me back from achieving my full potential in life. I can work a full-time job, be a productive member of society, and pay taxes – but because of these outdated laws placed on individuals with disabilities, we hold people like me back in life. This is the year, we call on leaders in Congress to put an end to the inequities that exist for people with disabilities by passing the ABLE Act and allowing individuals and families to save for the future and break down the barriers to employment for these individuals. I spoke last week during the NDSS gala in New York City about my personal lobbying efforts on the ABLE Act – before a large audience, I declared that I will be standing right next to President Obama when he signs the ABLE Act into law this year! The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. An ABLE account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.  The ABLE Act was introduced into Congress on Feb. 13, 2013 by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). It currently has 325 cosponsors in the US House and 62 in the US Senate.

Sara Wolff
269,429 supporters
Closed
Petitioning U.S. Senate

We Demand National Change to Protect Citizens and Communities from Police Violence and Misconduct

(Scroll Down for our 6 National Hands Up Demands) A long and completely avoidable history of violence by police officers has killed too many innocent civilians, caused a destructive level of mistrust in the community, and is causing a rising tide of anger, frustration, and despair among millions of good people. This petition is for Amadou Diallo - shot at 41 times. An innocent, hardworking man simply reaching for his wallet, Diallo should be alive today. This petition is for Sean Bell - shot at over 50 times and killed on his wedding day.  This petition is for Oscar Grant - handcuffed with his hands behind his back for breaking a fight on the subway - Oscar was shot in the back and killed by a police officer while sitting down. This petition is for Chavis Carter - arrested for marijuana, searched, handcuffed with his hands behind his back, and put into the back of a police car. Chavis is then said to have somehow killed himself with a gun.  This petition is for Wendell Allen - just 20 years old - police busted into a house and shot him in the heart - killing him. He wasn't who they were looking for. This petition is for Rekia Boyd - an unarmed Black woman shot and killed because an officer thought her cell phone was a gun. This petition is for Luis Rodriguez - an unarmed father who was beaten and choked to death in front of his family for not showing his ID outside a movie theater. This petition is for Eric Garner - choked to death on YouTube for the entire world to see. While the coroner has deemed his death a homicide, we must change the laws to prevent this from ever happening again. This petition is for Israel Hernandez - a young artist that was murdered by Miami Beach Police Department after he was caught tagging an abandoned building. This petition is for Mike Brown - unarmed and shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri, we are still waiting for even the basic answers here. We encourage you to Google these names and cases for yourself. This petition is for these men, and for many other unarmed men and women who have been killed by the police. It is unacceptable for the police to serve as JUDGE, JURY, and EXECUTIONER. The recent murders of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford this past month at the hands of police have so inflamed communities across the country that we believe we are reaching a tipping point of anger. It is our hope to channel this collective anger into effective policy solutions that will not only make life safer for citizens, but will restore confidence in police, and bring hope to hopeless families and communities devastated by these egregious acts of violence. Our 6 National Hands Up Demands are: 1. Obama needs to “Do the Right Thing” and go to Ferguson and meet with local black and brown youth.2. Eric Holder meet with local black and brown youth across the country who are dealing with “Zero Tolerance” and “Broken Windows” policing.  3. Ensure transparency, accountability, and safety of our communities, by requiring front-facing cameras on police departments with records of racial disparity in stops, arrest, killings, and excessive force complaints.4. Cops need consequences too. Police officers who discharge their weapon on an unarmed person should be suspended without pay pending further investigation. And their name and policing histories should be made available to the public.5. Tanks and tear gas don’t ever belong in our communities. America should not be going to war with it’s citizens. Demilitarize all police departments.6. Police should be representative of the communities they are tasked to protect and serve and community members should have  real  power  in citizen review boards.   Our 7 Policy Solutions Are As Follows: 1. The avoidable shooting and killing or otherwise murdering of an unarmed citizen who does not have an outstanding warrant for a violent crime should be a federal offense. 2. Choke holds and chest compressions by police (what the coroner lists as the official cause of death for Eric Garner) should be federally banned. 3. All police officers must wear forward-facing body cameras while on duty. They cost just $99 and are having a significant, positive impact in several cities around the United States and the world. Turning them off should warrant immediate termination.  4. A trusted 3rd party business should monitor and store all videos from forward facing cameras. 5. Suspensions for violations of any of the above offenses should be UNPAID. If a third party review board clears the officer, the back pay, which could sit in escrow could be given back to the officer. If found guilty, the money in escrow should be given to victims of police violence. 6. All murders by police must be investigated, immediately so, by a trusted and unbiased third party. It is not sufficient for the police, who are like a family, to investigate a murder by one of their own. 7. Convictions for the above offenses should have their own set of mandatory minimum penalties. The men who killed Diallo, Bell, Grant, Carter, Garner, and others all walk free while over 1,000,000 non violent offenders are currently incarcerated in American prisons. These federal actions are in the best interest of our country. We will direct our anger, our dollars, our votes, and our voice to seeing them happen all across the country. 

Dream Defenders
261,488 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States

Sign the Citizens' Petition To Fix The Debt

America’s gross debt of over $18 trillion is a catastrophic threat to our security and economy, and the time to Fix the Debt is now. We see clearly that the national debt is out of control, and its continued growth puts our national security, social safety net, job growth prospects, and everything we value most about our nation at risk. Washington has done nothing about this looming catastrophe, and our voices must be heard in a way our elected decision-makers in Washington can’t possibly ignore. The “Citizens' petition” will boldly demonstrate that Americans across the political spectrum want Congress and the President to take action on the debt now by enacting a plan that uses the framework of Simpson-Bowles and other bipartisan plans to reduce the federal debt.

Fix The Debt
255,121 supporters
Closed
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

Pass the Michael Brown, Jr. Law to begin equipping police with body cameras

When our unarmed son Michael Brown, Jr. was killed by a Ferguson police officer, our lives were forever changed. We are devastated and profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.  Many questions remain about what happened leading up to the moment when our son was shot. But had Officer Darren Wilson been wearing a body camera, which are being worn by more and more police departments around the country, there would be no questions. President Obama recently announced a plan to provide $263 million in federal funding for body cameras and training for local police departments. And if Congress approves this program, it would provide enough money to buy around 50,000 cameras for police officers. We understand that this plan wouldn't equip all police officers, but it is one proposed solution that can help end police brutality in our communities. We want to work to make a difference and prevent what happened to Michael from happening to others. We're asking Congress to pass the Michael Brown, Jr. Law by approving this plan. Police departments are already using on-body cameras with amazing success. In the first year after the Rialto Police Department in California adopted the cameras in 2012, the number of complaints filed against officers fell by 88 percent compared with the last year. More importantly, the use of force by officers fell by almost 60 percent. This is a plan that we believe is a positive step for our country to begin to heal. It's a common sense measure that will save lives, and protect both civilians and police. Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. Let's come together to help move our country forward. Let's make a difference. 

Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden
235,628 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

Congress: Stop blocking gun violence research

My mother taught second grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th, 2012. Six of her colleagues — all women — were killed, as were 20 first-graders, in a mass shooting at her school. My mother survived, though our lives will never be the same.After the shooting, I dedicated nearly all of my efforts to gun violence prevention advocacy. I learned a lot of disturbing things about our nation’s gun laws. Most Americans do not know the extent of our broken system; regulations are nearly non-existent. But one of the most frustrating obstacles to building a safer country free from gun violence is that Congress has banned federal gun violence research since the year I was born -- 1996.You read that right. An average of 32 people are killed by a gun in America every day, and yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can’t even conduct research into the root causes of all forms of gun violence.How are we expected to come up with the most impactful solutions if we can’t even study the problem?Through lobbying by the National Rifle Association (NRA), Congress has prevented the CDC from studying the causes of gun violence by claiming that research could be “used to advocate or promote gun control.” Congress even extended the ban right after the Charleston church shooting that left 9 people dead, by rejecting an amendment that would have repealed the ban.It’s time for this petty politicking to stop. Join me in calling on Congress and the CDC to resume studying the causes and impacts of gun violence.

Sarah Clements
202,964 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

Pass the CARERS Act and protect medical marijuana patients

My four-year-old daughter Morgan suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that causes frequent and dangerous seizures. We’ve tried everything to help her. She’s taken more than 10 different anti-epilepsy medications but at best, she's gone only four weeks without a seizure. Based on our own research, advice from our doctors, and what we’ve heard from families living in other states, we would like Morgan to try cannabidiol oil -- a form of medical marijuana. For children with similar illnesses in other parts of the country, the results using medical marijuana have been life changing. Medical marijuana comes in many different preparations, and is prescribed accordingly to treat specific conditions.  The treatment Morgan needs would not make her "high", and she wouldn't smoke it.  It would come in a bottle just like her other medications, but with fewer side effects.  The medications that Morgan has tried have devastating side effects. They gave her kidney stones, ulcerative colitis, and compromise her respiratory system. She should be able to try this much safer option. But medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. It’s currently a Schedule 1 drug, which means the federal government considers it just as dangerous as heroin and says there is no medicinal value.  This means our family would have to move to a different state to get it, or obtain it illegally and risk arrest.  I have decided that neither of those choices are good enough for my family. That’s why I’m supporting the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act -- a bipartisan bill that will let states legalize medical marijuana without federal interference. It will also expand research into the health benefits of marijuana and allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend marijuana to ailing veterans. It will completely legalize high CBD strains of marijuana for medical treatment nationwide. The CARERS Act would also reclassify marijuana as schedule 2, affirming to the world that marijuana does have medical benefits. This bill will change the lives of so many sick and suffering people, like my daughter, around the country. Please sign my petition asking Congress to pass the CARERS Act.

Kate Hintz
189,969 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

Pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans (SAV) Act

I first met Clay Hunt in February 2010.  We were two Marine Corps veterans who served two combat deployments, his were to Iraq and Afghanistan and mine were both to Iraq. We both were students at the time trying to navigate our new paths after the Marine Corps. We were both in Washington, DC for the week advocating on behalf of our brothers and sisters - a trait refined in both of us to care for the Marines under our charge. We both brought home parts of our war. In March of 2011 we lost Clay Hunt to suicide. And every day we lose 22 more veterans like Clay -- someone’s daughter, son, parent or friend. Continuing my work in veteran advocacy I was honored to be part of a movement to address veteran suicide head on - and even more proud to hear that legislation addressing this issue would bear his name so his story will live on.  The key to curbing the epidemic of veteran suicides is improving the accessibility and effectiveness of mental health care available to our returning heroes -- and the Clay Hunt SAV Act will do just that. The bill received bipartisan support from lawmakers in both the House and the Senate from around the country. One lone Senator- Tom Coburn of Oklahoma stopped it from passing this week so now we must demand that Congress immediately pick it up again in the new year. No excuses! The need is urgent! Please sign our petition asking Congress to improve health services for our nation's veterans by passing this legislation within the first 90 days of the new session.  Not another friend, parent, sister or brother should experience losing a fellow veteran to suicide. Tell Congress to make this crucial bill their top priority in January.  Semper Fi, Anthony Pike, U.S. Marine Corps veteran

Anthony Pike with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
188,386 supporters
Dogs need your help! Tell Congress to stop cruel taxpayer-funded experiments.

I would like to thank the White Coat Waste Project for starting this important petition, and the more than 100,000 citizens who have asked Congress to end unnecessary and cruel dog experimentation in government laboratories. Your voices are already making a difference, and this is going to be a priority for me in the 115th Congress. As a result of the outpouring of concern about this issue from my constituents and other Americans, I have initiated a bipartisan effort in Congress to investigate animal testing in government laboratories. As a first step, we have formally requested that the Government Accountability Office conduct an audit of what is being done to dogs and other animals in federal laboratories, what are the results, and what are the costs to taxpayers. As a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, I am especially concerned about the disturbing experiments on dogs being conducted at various VA facilities. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have found that animal testing in government laboratories sometimes continues even when it is unnecessary. A few years ago, I discovered that a National Institutes of Health lab was subjecting infant monkeys to cruel psychological experiments. For more than 30 years, the multimillion-dollar studies involved traumatizing newborn monkeys by removing them from their mothers at birth and even addicting them to alcohol. After receiving requests from some of my colleagues and me -- and pleas from thousands of Americans -- the NIH ultimately agreed that these studies were not a judicious use of taxpayer resources and ended the project. I am very proud of this great victory for animals and taxpayers. But the ongoing experiments on animals demonstrate that there is still much more work to do. There are compelling scientific, humane, and economic reasons to end animal testing. There is inspiring work by Congress, federal agencies, and industry to replace old-fashioned animal testing with high-tech alternatives like “organs-on-a-chip” that are faster, cheaper, and more effective. We need to support and accelerate such efforts. Thank you for speaking out and urging Congress to take action to protect dogs, modernize science, and cut government waste. My colleagues and I are paying attention and working to swiftly address this pressing issue.

— Dina Titus, Representative
2 weeks ago
Urge Congress to Support Common Sense Rape Survivor Rights

Thanks for joining this petition to support the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act. Sexual assault is serious. We need to help prevent these attacks and must also provide better care for sexual assault survivors who deserve a fair, just system that safeguards their rights and assists them in the judicial process. Last May, Amanda Nguyen contacted me. I learned I was the first Member of the House to actually meet with her and other advocates from RISE. I was touched and inspired by their stories. As the senior woman serving on the House Judiciary Committee, I felt a special responsibility to take action after our meeting. Their voices and advocacy are the reason I was so proud to introduce a bipartisan Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act in June this year. This important legislation will provide survivors of sexual assault with a number of commonsense protections, including access to evidence collection kits and the preservation of collected evidence. The bill, H.R. 5578, also establishes a working group to develop best practices for care and treatment of sexual assault survivors. In record time H.R. 5578 passed by a unanimous voice vote out of the House Judiciary Committee. It now awaits a vote on the House floor. Amanda and other survivors are strong, tough advocates. They have triumphed over those who assaulted them by playing a key role in changing the law for assault survivors. Their work is infinitely more important than us legislators who simply responded to their compelling proposals. We’ve made progress, but the job is not yet done. Your continued support for bringing H.R. 5578 for a vote on the House floor is still needed.

— Zoe Lofgren, Representative
5 months ago
Offer Computer Science in our public schools

Every parent worries about their children’s future, but as a congressman and a parent, I worry about the opportunities that lie ahead for all of our children. Equipping students to succeed in a 21st century global economy is vitally important to the future success of our nation. As the son of a schoolteacher, I was taught the importance of ensuring children in all of our communities have access to a high quality education. Technology has and will continue to shape our world, and computer science classes provide a foundation for success. Computer science classes in schools also give children with limited or no access to computers at home the opportunity to learn how to use them. I believe it is critical that students are being taught the computer skills they will need to secure jobs after graduation. Thank you for your advocacy – together we can secure #CSforAll.

— Robert Dold, Representative
8 months ago
Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

I am deeply grateful for the overwhelming response to the petition shows the broad agreement of so many Americans that equal rights for all should be enshrined in the Constitution. I have worked on this issue for a long time, and I want to thank Patricia Arquette and Kamala Lopez for their tremendous advocacy and for elevating this issue in the national discourse. Today is Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day, three and half months into 2016, when a women’s wages “catch up” to those made by a man in 2015. Today, on average, a woman working full time is paid only 79 cents for every dollar a man, working full time, is paid. That adds up to $10,800 a year and more than $500,000 in less income over the average woman’s career. The disparity is even worse for women of color. This intolerable disparity must be addressed. Equal should mean equal. That’s why I’m fighting so hard to put women in the Constitution by passing the Equal Rights Amendment and ensuring equality under the law regardless of gender. The Equal Rights Amendment would prohibit sex discrimination in the workplace or schools, help defend against bias in wages, benefits, hiring practices, and other conditions of employment, and hold employers accountable for creating fair workplaces. Today is an important reminder of the injustice of unequal pay and the harm it inflicts on women and families. However, the fight for equality under the law will not be over at midnight tonight. We need to commit ourselves to achieving real change to our country. Equal rights and equal pay for women will lift up millions of families, end gender discrimination and ensure that at long last equal does mean equal. Let’s finally pass and ratify the ERA!

— Carolyn Maloney, Representative
9 months ago
Grant Military Burial Honors to Women WWII Pilots

I want to thank the Miller family for the efforts they’ve made to make sure that the WASPs get the recognition they deserve. The WASPs risked their lives, defended our country, and broke barriers when they were called to serve at the height of World War Two. Some lost their lives. All played an equally valuable role alongside their male counterparts in the wartime effort. Yet WASPs did not receive military benefits after the war and now are unable to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. While the government has taken some steps toward giving the WASPs proper recognition and veterans benefits, decades later these heroic Americans are still being treated as second class citizens. I am pleased my colleagues on the committee supported this legislation and look forward to it passing the full U.S. House.

— Dina Titus, Representative
11 months ago
Grant Military Burial Honors to Women WWII Pilots

I thank Tiffany, Erin, and Whitney, for taking action on behalf of their grandmother Elaine Harmon and all the courageous WASPS who have been unjustly denied the honor of burial at Arlington National Cemetery. In WWII, these brave and hardworking female pilots signed up of their own volition and stepped up to the plate to fill the shortfall of male pilots. WASPs proudly served their country delivering planes in dangerous conditions and helping train male pilots for combat. 38 WASPs died while serving their country, yet the Army merely considered them civilians. We must honor these WASPs with the utmost respect and gratitude for their service and sacrifice. That’s why I’m co-sponsoring legislation to right this wrong. I strongly urge the Secretary of the Army to change its policy and allow these female pilots to be honored at Arlington National Cemetery.

— Loretta Sanchez, Representative
11 months ago
Grant Military Burial Honors to Women WWII Pilots

For their service to our country, Elaine Harmon and all of the women who served in the WASP program deserve to be treated like the heroes they are, and receive full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. I have cosponsored the Women Airforce Service Pilot Arlington Inurnment Restoration Act (H.R. 4336), directing the Department of the Army to ensure cremated remains of women serving as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during WWII are eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. This bill not only pays rightful homage to our women fighters, but it recognizes the many servicewomen hailing from my very own state of Illinois. I look forward to HR 4336 becoming law. My further thoughts on this effort, and the stories of other WASP heroes, can be found here: https://medium.com/@RepHultgren/female-wwii-pilots-deserve-full-recognition-64ccd730ca08#.nfdh05h7u

— Randy Hultgren, Representative
11 months ago
Grant Military Burial Honors to Women WWII Pilots

I applaud Tiffany, Erin, and the entire family of Elaine Harmon for their relentless efforts to get their grandmother, and all the WASPs, the honor they deserve. I was our nation’s first woman to fly in combat, but I would not have had the opportunities I did without the WASPs. They broke down gender barriers to serve in the military and proved that women could be exceptional pilots too. They also were my personal wingwomen who I could turn to for advice and mentorship while I trained to be a fighter pilot. They’ve fought for most of their lives for the honor and recognition they earned. Now, we owe it to them. Army leadership has the authority to change this decision right now, but if they will not act, we will. I’ve introduced legislation that has growing support and led the fight in Congress to reverse the Army’s shameful decision. I’ll continue to fight until this injustice is made right.

— Martha McSally, Representative
11 months ago