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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
552,655 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
372,645 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 President of the United States

Take a Stand Against Human Trafficking in the US

You thought slavery was over in America? Think again. Human trafficking -- the illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation -- is a $32 billion worldwide industry, and it is happening to thousands of people across the U.S. right now. Many people think this is a third world issue, but that is not true: the U.S. Department of Justice reports that between 2008 and 2010, 83% of sex trafficking victims found within the U.S. were U.S. citizens, and 40% of those victims were children. Furthermore, the majority -- upwards of 85% in some states -- of trafficked children have had contact with the foster care system. Our nation’s foster care systems do not have the appropriate resources to address this epidemic. The Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act (H.R.469) will change this by providing child welfare agencies with training and guidelines for working with youth who have been, or are currently, victims of trafficking. Please sign our petition urging the Senate to pass this crucial legislation. H.R. 469 would ensure that child welfare agencies have systems in place to properly identify, assess, and document child victims of trafficking. It would provide training for all child protective services workers to appropriately respond to reports of child trafficking, and connect child victims to specialized rehabilitation services. The bill passed the House unanimously, and it has now been sitting in the Senate for months. We must urge our senators to act now and pass H.R. 469. This issue has been in the shadows for far too long, and the list of victims just grows longer. How can our representatives justify delaying action on it?    It is a matter of protecting our children. Please join us in calling on the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 469, the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act.

USC MSW (VAC) Graduate Students (SWK 535)
211,631 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
189,967 supporters
Urge Congress to Support Common Sense Rape Survivor Rights

Last Friday, just over a year after my initial meeting with sexual assault survivor Amanda Nguyen, my legislation to establish basic rights for survivors of sexual assault was signed into law by President Obama. The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act, also known as the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act of 2016, creates the first federally codified rights specifically for sexual assault survivors, and for the first time would allow survivors the opportunity to enforce those rights in federal court. Today I can say with certainty that our nation’s laws stand firmly on the side of sexual assault survivors. While the journey to pass this groundbreaking legislation was a relatively short one, it follows a long path of survivors and advocates calling for change in our system. And when Amanda Nguyen walked into my office last summer and shared her heartbreaking story, I knew that changes had to be made to ensure the justice system was on the survivor’s side. So, we got to work on legislation and with input from Amanda Nguyen and dozens of nationally-recognized experts in the sexual assault advocacy community, we developed a bill that garnered incredible bipartisan and bicameral support, shuttling it all the way to the President’s desk. Amidst the partisan bickering and gridlock in Congress, this law demonstrates that citizens can still effect positive change and that bipartisan progress is still possible. Sexual assault remains one of the most under reported crimes and I hope that these basic rights will encourage more survivors to come forward and pursue justice. Make no mistake, there’s still much more work to be done to change the culture around sexual assault, and I will continue to lead efforts in the Senate for survivors like Amanda.

— Jeanne Shaheen, Senator
3 months ago
Congress: Stop blocking gun violence research

Thank you, Sarah, for starting this petition and for turning the tragedy of Sandy Hook, which impacted your family so deeply, into activism to end the scourge of gun violence. The lack of action by Congress in the face of continued gun violence in this country truly is outrageous. This week I was extremely disappointed that the Senate once again defeated commonsense gun safety measures to expand background checks and to prevent suspected terrorists from accessing firearms. But we will not stop fighting. On Tuesday, I stood on the floor to announce the introduction of my bipartisan bill to end gun trafficking to finally make the trafficking of firearms a federal crime. I also introduced amendments to allow the ATF to ban the import of military style weapons and to require weapons dealers to keep accurate inventories. I also strongly agree that the CDC must be allowed to study gun deaths just as they study any other cause of death in this country. I've signed on to a letter to Senate leadership urging them to end the ban and to appropriate funds to allow the CDC to conduct this crucial research. Thanks to everyone who has signed this petition – keep up the pressure by sharing this petition with your friends and contacting your representatives and ask them to support commonsense gun safety reforms. Enough is enough!

— Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator
7 months ago
Oregon Congressional Reps: Support the Rights of Rape Survivors

Thank you for signing Brenda Tracy's petition on Change.org calling on Congress to stand on the side of rape survivors by supporting the Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act. I heard Brenda's painful story and studied the proposed legislation and am a proud co-sponsor of the bill. I'll fight to pass it in the U.S. Senate. Our justice system should never make rape survivors feel alone and disempowered. Just the opposite. We should empower and support survivors as they seek justice and healing -- and it should not depend on where you live in our country. Brenda's bravery in speaking up for other survivors is inspiring. Working together, let's pass this important bill into law. Senator Ron Wyden https://www.standtallforamerica.com/

— Ron Wyden, Senator
9 months ago
Urge Congress to Support Common Sense Rape Survivor Rights

I want to briefly update you all on an important development regarding the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act. As you may know, I authored this legislation with help from Amanda Nguyen and Rise, to codify basic rights for survivors of sexual assault in federal law, and provide a model for similar reform at the state level across our country. I am pleased to report that, last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill, clearing the first key legislative hurdle toward passage into law. I was encouraged by the bipartisan support the bill received during the committee process, and am hopeful we will be able to move toward a vote on the Senate floor soon. We have a collective obligation to make sure our criminal justice system is working for survivors, and not against them. Thank you for your support, and I hope to have more updates to share with you soon. U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen

— Jeanne Shaheen, Senator
9 months ago
Urge Congress to Support Common Sense Rape Survivor Rights

I’m U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen and I want to thank all of you for showing your support for empowering survivors of sexual assault. Far too many survivors experience a criminal justice system that’s working against them, not for them. I also want to thank Amanda Nguyen for her bravery in sharing her story and for her tireless efforts to change the system so that others won’t have to go through what she went through. I have good news to share with you all. This week, I introduced the Sexual Assault Survivors Act in the United States Senate. This is legislation I wrote with Amanda’s input to establish basic rights for survivors like her. The bill would establish the following rights in federal law: The right to have a sexual assault evidence collection kit preserved for the entire relevant statute of limitations. The right to be notified in writing 60 days prior to the destruction of a sexual assault evidence collection kit. The right to request further preservation of a sexual assault evidence collection kit. The right to be informed of important results of a sexual assault forensic examination. The bill will also empower survivors to make more informed decisions throughout the criminal justice process by supporting state efforts to better notify survivors of available resources as well as applicable state rights and policies. Finally, the bill would establish a joint Department of Justice and Health and Human Services working group to more effectively implement best practices regarding the care and treatment of survivors across the country. I’m optimistic that this bill will gain broad bipartisan support in Congress and I’m hopeful that we can get it to the President’s desk. Again, thank you for your public support for survivors of sexual assault and the need for change. Sincerely, Senator Jeanne Shaheen

— Jeanne Shaheen, Senator
11 months ago
Don’t force survivors of sexual assault to go to the police

First and foremost, I want to thank you for your commitment to victims of sexual assault on our college campuses. As a former sex crimes prosecutor, I’ve sat with and at times, cried with victims who have had to relive their painful experience – one of the many reasons this remains one of the most underreported crimes. That’s why Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and I have worked together for nearly two years to craft legislation that will increase reporting and strengthen protections for victims of sexual assault on campus. Our bill would professionalize the campus adjudication and investigation process and create historic transparency requirements for schools in the form of a student survey on sexual assault. We are also working together to ensure the ill-named “SAFE Campus Act” doesn’t make it through Congress – and your work is critical to that effort. When we learned the national groups that represent fraternity and sorority organizations were supporting this bill, and not supporting our bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act, we immediately expressed our disappointment in their decision to lobby on behalf of a bill that would undermine and weaken the authority of colleges and universities to adjudicate incidents of sexual assault on their campuses. Throughout my many visits to campuses, I’ve met with fraternity and sorority members and in those discussions I was left with the impression that campus organizations were interested in solving this problem in a way that encourages reporting, supports victims and holds schools accountable for failure to act to protect students. I am hopeful that through your efforts, and the efforts of other concerned students, these groups will reconsider their support for this bill. It’s voices like yours that make all the difference and we’ll continue to make sure they’re heard. Thank you for your work and dedication to this issue. You can encourage your lawmakers to support our bipartisan legislation by using #PassCASAct online. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill

— Claire McCaskill, Senator
1 year ago
Tell Congress we will never forget 9/11 first responders and survivors

We have an obligation to brave first responders who sacrificed for our country on September 11th, 2001. Fourteen years after that tragic day, many of the thousands of first responders who were at the World Trade Center site are still battling serious health issues. These courageous men and women woke up on September 11, 2001, not knowing how the events of the day would unfold, but chose anyway to put themselves in harm’s way for the protection and service of others. And they did the same thing on September 12, 2001, and each and every day after. Yet now, they and their families are burdened with the physical, emotional and financial costs of their service. More than 33,000 first responders and survivors still struggle with injuries and illnesses as a result of the 9/11 attacks. 4,800 first responders and 9/11 survivors are receiving treatment at the World Trade Center Health Program headquartered at Rutgers in my state. Across the country, thousands more responders and survivors are benefiting from the care and compensation they deserve as part of programs supported by the James Zadroga Act. However, if nothing is done, these programs are set to expire tomorrow. We can’t allow that to happen. If you agree, sign up now to be a citizen cosponsor of the James Zadroga Act, which will extend support programs for 9/11 survivors and first responders: http://act.corybooker.com/page/s/tell-congress-support-9-11-survivors-first-responders This fight is too urgent to quit now. Thank you for signing this petition, and for taking action to support those who sacrificed for our country. Cory Booker U.S. Senator, New Jersey

— Cory Booker, Senator
1 year ago
Tell Congress we will never forget 9/11 first responders and survivors

Thank you, John, for starting this petition and for your unwavering commitment on behalf of your fellow first responders, volunteers and community survivors who have suffered so much as a result of exposure at Ground Zero. We truly do owe you all a debt of gratitude and it is our moral obligation to make sure these 9/11 health programs are funded long into the future. And thank you to everyone who has signed this petition, it really makes a difference. Only by raising all our voices will we succeed in passing the re-authorization of funding for these critical 9/11 health and compensation programs. On Wednesday, we're going to have a day of action on Capitol Hill and I hope you'll all join in. While John and his fellow first responders will be joined by Jon Stewart to walk the halls of Congress urging my colleagues to support this legislation, you can help too by contacting your members of Congress and letting them know you support the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Re-Authorization Act. You can reach them by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Thank you for raising your voices on this important issue!

— Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator
1 year ago
Pass the CARERS Act and protect medical marijuana patients

Thank you, Kate, for speaking out so strongly on this issue and for your incredible advocacy. It was an honor to stand alongside you and Morgan last month when we introduced the CARERS Act. By making your voice heard, you are speaking for so many other families around the country who simply want to ease their loved ones' suffering. I also want to thank everyone who signed this petition and added your voice to the growing chorus calling for common sense reform of our medical marijuana laws. It really makes a difference. Right now, our federal medical marijuana laws ignore the rule of law in 23 states, not to mention modern science. The CARERS Act would modernize the federal approach to cannabis, by classifying it as a Schedule 2 drug. This would allow doctors in states with legal medical marijuana programs to write prescriptions, and scientists to finally expand research into the medical uses of marijuana. It would also give patients and families around the country access to critical treatment without fear of federal prosecution or separation from their loved ones. Please continue to speak out in support of the CARERS Act by posting this on social media and contacting your members of Congress to urge them to stand with Kate and Morgan in favor of reform. Congress is lagging far behind the American people on this issue and it's going to take all of our voices to change the status quo.

— Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator
2 years ago