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Petitioning U​.​S. Department of State, President of the United States, United States Department of the Treasury

Ethiopia deserves its fair share of the Nile water to lift its people out of poverty!

It is MY DAM!  (click to watch) Ethiopia deserves its fair share of the Nile river to lift its people out of poverty. Only a win-win negotiation will enable all parties achieve satisfactory results and a lasting agreement of a fair and equitable use of the common resource. Citizens of Ethiopia, the global Ethiopian Diaspora community and friends of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian-American community would like to shine a light on the current impasse that resulted from the last round of negotiations with Sudan and Egypt on the fair use of the Nile river that is shared by the three nations, pertaining to the GERD dam, where the dam is expected to go in to production in the next few months. As Ethiopian Americans who have a great interest in the US-Ethiopian relations, we welcomed the involvement of the United States to resolve this impasse in the Nile negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.  However, we are gravely concerned by recently circulated media reports that this process has effectively ended and the consensus-building efforts of the previous rounds of negotiations have been tabled due to unfair and rushed decisions made by the United State that could adversely affect Ethiopia. Here are the facts: - Ethiopia contributes 80% of the total water flow of the Nile - With population of over 110 million, Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest nation. - 60% of the Ethiopian Population does not have access to electricity - The GERD will help in poverty reduction in Ethiopia -  As a hydro-electric generation dam, the dam does not cause permanent reduction in the water that flows downstream - Studies confirm that the dam will benefit downstream countries by regulating the water flow thereby avoiding flooding and seasonal fluctuations - GERD is fully financed by the People of Ethiopia with no donor or outside financing With a deep sense of understanding over the concerns of the downstream nations of Sudan and Egypt, Ethiopia took a commendable initiative to successfully harness confidence by signing the Declaration of Principles (DoP) in March 2015. The cornerstones of the DoP were to foster cooperation based on understanding, common interest, good intention and the principle of international law. We believe that the United States Administration and the World Bank have become parties to a neo-colonial treaty that subjects Ethiopia to undue external interference and control in its internal affairs. These entities should also take full responsibility for any future crisis that will be engendered by this rushed and ineffective approach. Their entrance into the mediation process has already undercut decades of efforts to develop multilateral, cooperative approaches for developing the Nile through the Nile Basin Initiative. We also question the motives and independence of the US administration, especially considering its evident desire to solicit Egyptian endorsement for the "deal of the century peace plan". We find historic parallel between this biased position taken by the US administration and the Treaty of Wuchale of May 2, 1889 surrounding sovereignty issue that lead to the battle of Adwa and, fortify years later on the onset of the World War II, on the decision of European powers at the League of nations sacrificing Ethiopia to appease Mussolini’s Fascist Italy. Ethiopians collectively object the United States and World Bank's role of such unfair and unjust pressure on Ethiopia. The framework established in the Declaration of Principles must resume without the coercion and interference of the US and the World Bank. Therefore, we commend and support Ethiopia's refusal to sign the proposed agreement and demand the US and World Bank to cease their undue pressure on Ethiopia to relinquish its national sovereignty. In order to protect Ethiopia’s rights, we ask you to lend your voice and join our effort in defense of Ethiopia by signing this petition and encourage others to do the same.   Long Live Ethiopia in Freedom and Honor It is my DAM! 

Ethiopian American Civic Council
207,312 supporters
Petitioning ACNUR , Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Organización Internacional para Migrantes, Cruz Roja Internacional, Benedicto XVI, Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería, Servicio Jesuita para Migrantes, Do...


SOS CUBANS IN COSTA RICA  *(English and Spanish Translation) *(Con Traducción al Inglés y Español) Dear English reader: By reading and signing this letter, you may collaborates with the Cuban community in Costa Rica, which has been going through vicissitudes and insecurity of different kinds. We would greatly appreciate it if you sign and share it as this will help us show the world our situation. It happens that we are a group of refuge applicants and we have been in this country for up to 1 year, which we thank in part because of the brutal and idiomatic persecution and human rights violation of freedom of worship, freedom of the press, economic freedom, food freedom, Gender Freedom, Freedom of Thought, Freedom of Communication Abroad, the theft of remittances for 16 years from family members abroad and for countless causes and dictatorial and arbitrary oppression that our government disguises with the exploitation and extortion of doctors Cubans saw the need to emigrate to reach Countries of democracy and development where they enable us to restart our lives with security and honest and dignified work. We are professionals with Profession, Technical and University careers because our parents instilled in us a love of study, with no criminal record. Prior to the epidemiological crisis, we have been together suffering insecurities such as Xenophobia for living as foreigners, which for nationals is the seizure of opportunities and attentions from their own corrupt governments in Latin America, labor exploitation, sexual harassment, unemployment, evictions of incomes, inhabiting the streets and hostels with addicted people and repulsive behaviors, we no longer have what little we brought or what was extorted from us on the borders of Central America, we live in constant fear of crime in the region where Costa Rica is part of it. Despite the fact that we are in the process of refuge, we do not have the follow-up expected for it, we were left to our own devices, in addition to mentioning that said procedure to subsequently choose a residence is scheduled after 3 or 6 years, a period where we lose our Cuban nationality, it is not fair that during so many years of waiting we cannot apply after almost 10 years to a foreign citizenship The solution for our case is only in the hands of government and charitable figures to dialogue with each other since we have traveled several ways by ourselves and we are not understood, so the influencers find a way of solution to improve our lives and we allow them to find real security, refuge and employment, as well as to recognize the Cuban government as a dictatorship that forces us to emigrate. We feel that we are at risk of getting sick or being reached by groups that jump from country to country through the region as communist allies and are encouraged by our government, we have already experienced stories of assault and human trafficking, we do not want to go through these things again neither here nor in the border crossing. We ask whoever can read this document to help us sign and share to show the world that Cubans are one more victim of communist repression. We greatly appreciate your help _ SOS CUBANOS EN COSTA RICA Estimado Lector en Español: Al leer y firmar este escrito colabora con la comunidad cubana en Costa Rica la cuál lleva pasando viscicitudes e inseguridad de diferentes índoles. Agradeceríamos mucho si la firmara y compartiera ya que así nos ayudará a mostrarle al mundo nuestra situación. Sucede que somos un grupo de solicitantes de refugio y llevamos hasta 1 año en este país al cual agradecemos en parte porque debido a la persecución brutal e idiológica y violación de derechos humanos de libertades de Culto, Libertad de Prensa, Libertad Económica, Libertad Alimentaria, Libertad de Género, Libertad de Pensamiento, Libertad de Comunicación con el Exterior, el robo de remesas durante 16 años de familiares en el exterior y por un sinnúmeros de causas y opresión dictatorial y arbitraria que nuestro gobierno disfraza con la explotación y extorsión de los médicos cubanos nos vimos en la necesidad de emigrar para llegar a Países de democracia y desarrollo donde nos posibiliten recomenzar nuestras vidas con seguridad y trabajo honrado y digno. Somos profesionales con carreras de Oficio, Técnicas y Universitarias porque nuestros padres nos inculcaron el amor al estudio, sin antecedentes delictivos. Previo a la crisis epidemiológica hemos estado juntos sufriendo inseguridades como Xenofobia por convivir como extranjeros que para los nacionales es arrebato de oportunidades y atenciones de sus propios gobiernos corruptos en América Latina, explotación laboral, acoso sexual, desempleo, desalojos de rentas, habitando en las calles y albergues con personas adictas y conductas repulsivas, ya no tenemos lo poco que trajimos o lo que nos fué extorsionado en fronteras de Centroamérica, vivimos con el constante miedo por la criminalidad en la región donde Costa Rica forma parte de la misma. A pesar de que estamos por el proceso de refugio no tenemos el seguimiento esperado para el mismo, fuimos dejados a nuestra suerte, además mencionar que dicho trámite para optar posteriormente a una residencia está programada posterior a 3 o 6 años, período donde perdemos nuestra nacionalidad cubana, no es justo que durante tantos años de espera no podamos optar luego de casi 10 años a una ciudadanía extranjera. La solución para nuestro caso está solo en las manos de figuras de gobiernos y caritativas para que dialoguen entre sí ya que por nosotros mismos hemos recorrido varias vías y no se nos entiende, así los influyentes encuentren una vía de solución para mejorar nuestras vidas y nos permitan encontrar real seguridad, refugio y empleo, así como que reconozcan a la gobernación de Cuba como una dictadura que nos obliga a emigrar. Sentimos que estamos en riesgo de enfermar o de ser alcanzados por grupos que brincan de país en país por la región como aliados comunistas y son alentados por nuestro gobierno, ya hemos vivido historias de asalto y tráfico humano, no queremos volver a pasar por estas cosas nuevamente ni aquí ni en el tránsito por fronteras. Les pedimos a quien pueda leer este documento que nos ayude a firmar y compartir para mostrarle al mundo que los cubanos somos una víctima más de represiones comunistas. Agradecemos mucho su ayuda

Gustavo Roberto Jacomino Soriano
10,626 supporters
Petitioning Donald J. Trump, United States Department of the Treasury, Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, Don Young, Mike J. Dunleavy

Save RavnAir Alaska

Ravn Alaska is Alaska’s largest regional airline providing air service to 115 communities with over 70 aircraft and 1,300 employees. Over 80% of Alaskan communities are not accessible by road, and most of these communities rely on Ravn to fulfill essential travel and shipping needs. Ravn accounts for 32% of all flights within the state of Alaska and safely flies up to 800,000 people a year, which is approximately the entire population of Alaska. As COVID19 impacted the state of Alaska, non-essential travel bans and shelter in place orders were put forth resulting in passenger revenue dropping by a staggering 90%. All flight operations were brought to a sudden stop on April 5th and nearly all employees were laid off. Ravn filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and applied for loans and grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act as a last hope to remain in business. The governments response to the application was a loan and grant amount of less than 10% of the requested funds necessary for Ravn to resume operations. This low amount was based on an “Airline Seat Miles” formula that heavily favors the major airlines of the lower 48. It disregards the essential infrastructure that Ravn Alaska supplies.  Ravn Alaska accounts for 60% of the market share in passenger travel and 30% of cargo in Alaska. This large of an operation is not immediately replaceable with the existing other air carriers within the state. When the demand for air travel returns, many villages will indefinitely be without or have significantly reduced air services, shipping and ticket costs will escalate, and 1,400 employees will lose their jobs. The airline funding through the CARES act favors the major airlines of the lower 48 and there is a serious risk that it will overlook regional carriers such as Ravn Alaska. Please sign and share this petition to show support for this essential airline and the critical services it provides.     

Stanley Westerman
8,981 supporters
Petitioning FDIC, Federal Reserve, United States Department of the Treasury, Donald J. Trump

Remember liar loans of a decade ago? Those same people want to do away with appraisers.

Appraisers Warned The World In The Late 1990s And No One Listened. It Is Now Time To Listen Again as History is About to Repeat Itself. There’s a proposal from the FDIC, Federal Reserve, and Treasury Department not to require appraisals for some mortgages under $400,000. The Trump Administration wants to disrupt the role of appraisers, but that's not a good idea.  This change can impact several groups in particular: 1) Consumers: Removing appraisers from transactions can mean a lot of loans get made that shouldn't be made. Does that sound familiar? We don't have to look back too far to remember what a market with loose standards looked like. We are still in the hangover phase of the financial crisis a decade later. If there is another financial crisis as a result of these recent actions, it will make credit more costly and less accessible to the consumer. The irony is this proposal is said to save consumers money by lowering appraisal fees and making the loan process faster. But the cost of an appraisal is minor compared to the consequences of doing away with appraisers. Also saving a few days on the turn-time for a 30-year loan is BS. 2) The housing market: Why are regulators diminishing the role of the appraiser, one of the systems of checks and balances for our financial markets? With the U.S. housing market softening now, why would regulators fundamentally weaken bank underwriting standards? 3) Appraisers: There are roughly 95,000 appraiser credentials in the United States. Let's keep these folks in business. They are the only eyes and ears that financial institutions have for issuing mortgages.  There has been a concerted effort to do away with traditional appraisals and shift more and more valuation efforts to automated valuation models (AVMs) which are notoriously unreliable. Think of the consumer-facing AVM known as “Zestimate” whose results are not within 4.3% of the accurate value 50% of the time. There are now a laundry list of new valuation products including evaluations, hybrids, and AVMs under development that enable lenders to bypass an appraiser inspection the property and whose valuation results are either automated or done by someone who didn’t see the property. Why are these “products” being pushed by banks and regulators? We assume that it is easier to tweak financial models than it is to pressure an appraiser to “hit” the number. This proposed rule doesn’t necessarily mean appraisals won’t be required in all situations because loans geared toward Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are exempt (that's nearly 80% of all mortgages). Some say it's not a big deal to raise the appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000 because it won't affect loans for Fannie Mae and HUD. But if it's not a big deal and there is no effect, then why is this being proposed in the first place? What is not being disclosed to provide justification for this rule change? Bank and GSE bailouts by the federal government a decade ago created a moral hazard enabling them to assume that the taxpayer will pay for risky behavior this time around.  What is an “evaluation”? As Ken Harney wrote in the Chicago Tribune on 11/26/2018, “Instead of a formal appraisal, these homes would receive an “evaluation” by individuals who have no appraisal licenses or certification and would not be subject to current state regulatory oversight requirements that govern appraisers. The evaluators could be an “independent bank employee” or unnamed “third part(ies).” They would, however, have to be “competent” and possess “knowledge of the market, location and type of real property being valued.”" THE BOTTOM LINE: While the current administration clearly believes in deregulation, this doesn't sound like a move to protect the American consumer and the United States housing market. As recent experience tells us, it’s going to cost us. Please sign the petition to send a message to federal regulators that exposing the consumer and taxpayer to unnecessary mortgage risk is not supposed to be their role. ---------------------------------------------------------- This petition was written by Jonathan Miller and Ryan Lundquist

Ryan Lundquist
8,091 supporters