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Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years mostly in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered Amerasian children ,and descendants, of U.S. sailors and military contractors previously stationed overseas. In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many Amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. sailors who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to  be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2017 creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children.  John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the  life and the personal struggles as a Filipino Amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggle to connect to their American military fathers. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017 now!

Jenifer Bass
33,096 supporters
Petitioning Virginia State House, Virginia State Senate, Mark Herring

Pass a Virginia law to protect dogs in harsh weather

Legislation is greatly needed in the State of Virginia, requiring dog owners to keep their pets indoors once the temperature drops below 35 degrees, or exceeds 85 degrees. Currently, there is no protection for dogs left outside, and severe weather poses a fatal threat to these defenseless creatures. Rainbow is a recent example: On the morning of January 12, 2017, a dog was found frozen to death in Accomack County, Virginia, surrounded by snow, ice, and vomit. Her neck was bound tightly by a short chain that prevented her from reaching her plastic, uninsulated igloo, and she died an agonizing death, alone. She was named posthumously named "Rainbow." Rainbow's owner, Jose Berlanga, was charged with one count of animal cruelty and one count of failure to provide proper shelter. General District Judge Gordon Vincent found Berlanga guilty of both counts. He was fined $650 and sentenced to 60 days in jail. However, the entire jail sentence was suspended, as was $500 of the $650 fine. In the end, Berlanga paid a fine of $150 for Rainbow's death. Unfortunately, it is a common practice to leave dogs outside in extreme weather. These are just a FEW cases from Virginia Two Pit Bull Dogs Freeze to Death in Frederick County, VA Owner gets second animal cruelty charge after pit bull dies from heat stroke in Henrico, VA Two dogs die of heat stroke in Newport News, VA Suffolk, VA woman charged with cruelty in dog death Dog dies of excessive heat in Bristol, VA Dog freezes to death in Accomack County, VA (Rainbow) Dog Dies After Being Left in Hot Car Outside Virginia PetSmart The general consensus is that dogs are not susceptible to harsh climates, and that their fur makes them resistant to such temperatures. This is untrue. To the contrary, dogs suffer a great deal in these conditions.  Numerous animal welfare organizations, including the ASPCA and The Humane Society of the United States, have urged pet owners to keep their animals inside during times of extreme and inclement weather.  Recently, there have been several cases of people leaving their pets chained outside, day and night, in extreme weather. Many of these animals FROZE TO DEATH and there is NO LEGAL RECOURSE TO PROTECT THEM OR TO HOLD THEIR OWNERS ACCOUNTABLE! We are appealing to you to help us protect our best friends!  Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently signed Emergency Legislation on February 21, 2017 to protect animals from harsh weather: DC Mayor signs "Momma's Law" See a similar law passed by Massachusetts last year: malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2016/Chapter248 Illinois: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=099-0311 And in Indianapolis: https://www.municode.com/library/in/indianapolis_-_marion_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TITIIIPUHEWE_CH531AN_ARTIVCATR_S531-401GEREANCATR    

Gary Sweeney
22,027 supporters
Petitioning Terry McAuliffe

Petition to Restore Parole in Virginia

Since 1995, a year after the Virginia Assembly passed legislation to abolish parole, Virginia has built thirteen new prisons and many new jails even as the crime rate has declined. The money spent building new prisons to house those serving long sentences could be better used in three ways: to fund rehabilitative programs for inmates in the prisons, to fund re-entry programs for those leaving prison, and to fund education in Virginia to prevent children from going to prison.   The fact that the state of Virginia only spends approximately $10,597 a year per student in public schools, and $25,129 per year per inmate in prison, demonstrates that state officials entrusted with the duty and responsibility of fulfilling their accountability to the public have neglected the serious needs of the commonwealth.          

Lindsay Michie
10,522 supporters
Petitioning Virginia State Senate, Terry McAuliffe, Virginia State House

Recognize neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups as terrorist organizations.

Recently the Illinois state senate approved a resolution to recognize neo-Nazi groups as terrorist organizations. In light of the tragic events of August 12th in Charlottesville, we believe it would be wise for Virginia to do the same.

Patrick Weaver
1,790 supporters
Petitioning Tim Kaine, Terry McAuliffe, Mark Warner, Virginia State House, Virginia State Senate

End the use of front license plates in Virginia

Currently the Commonwealth of Virginia requires vehicles to have a front and rear license plate. Only producing a rear plate would create a reduction of the cost and materials used. Helping to keep money in the pockets of Virginians in a time when every dollar counts. Reduce the amount of time spent by law enforcement officers enforcing this law, and putting that time towards other more serious issues. The absence does not hinder vehicle safety. Currently, nineteen states do not require the use of front plates without any issues. Four of the these states: North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky border Virginia and have motorists who use Virginia roadways on a daily basis.

Andrew Whitehead
1,700 supporters
Petitioning Alabama State House, Alaska State House, Arizona State House, Arkansas State House, California State House, Colorado State House, Hawaii State House, Idaho State House, Illinois State House, Indian...

Save Lives: Require Spinal Muscular Atrophy Newborn Screening

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month. Please join our efforts to require SMA newborn screening, and help end the deadly effects of SMA.  About SMA: •  SMA is the number one genetic killer of babies and children under the age of two.•  SMA is a motor neuron disease like ALS.•  SMA robs the ability to move, swallow, and eventually breathe. •  One in 40 unknowingly carries the gene responsible for SMA.•  When two carriers have a baby, there is a 25% chance the baby will have SMA, a 50% chance the baby will be a carrier, and a 25% chance the baby will be unaffected.•  One in 10,000 babies is born with SMA.  The FDA approved Spinraza as the first treatment for SMA on December 23, 2016. However, newborns continue to go untreated when they would receive the most benefit, as no states are performing SMA newborn screening. Newly diagnosed Type 1 SMA babies treated with Spinraza didn't lose their ability to move, swallow, and breathe, but instead gained strength. Some even crawled and took steps — steps away from the deadly effects of SMA. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks never lost abilities to SMA, and developed as average babies do. They crawl, eat, stand, and walk. Only newborns with older SMA siblings have been treated this way, as their parents knew to screen for SMA. Every newborn needs to be screened for SMA, so babies born with SMA can develop just as babies without SMA do.  For this to happen, SMA needs to be added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), states need to require SMA newborn screening, and funding needs to be provided for SMA newborn screening. The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Committee) is scheduled to vote to add SMA to the RUSP at its February, 2018 meeting. Once the Committee votes favorably to add SMA to the RUSP, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will add SMA to the RUSP. This is an important step, as many states look to the RUSP when adding new conditions to screen for. This petition will be delivered to both the Committee, and the Secretary of HHS. States also need to require newborn screening, as the RUSP is only a recommendation, it does not mandate states to test for conditions. We will continue to pursue SMA newborn screening in every state, and this petition will help our efforts. Missouri is the only state to enact newborn screening legislation, and will begin screening for SMA in January of 2019. Federal and state funds are also needed to begin and continue SMA newborn screening. This petition will help us as we advocate for funding with the appropriate federal and state congressional members. Act Now: With an FDA-approved treatment, it is urgent we secure SMA newborn screening. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks will have the best chance at progressing as they would without SMA. Every baby born with SMA should be afforded this life-saving treatment. Please sign our petition urging Committee to vote to add SMA to the RUSP, urging states to require SMA newborn screening, and urging federal and state congressional members to provide funding for SMA newborn screening.   

Hunter Has Hope
1,577 supporters
Petitioning Diane Feinstein, Kamala Harris, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, Jim Patterson, Jim Costa, Devin Nunes, Donald Trump, Mike Pence, T. Montgomery Mason, Rob Wittman, Scott Taylor, Terry McAuliffe, Jerry Brown...

Responsibilities Required From Social Media Regarding Military Romance Scamming

THE CAUSE: Military Romance Scammers are all over social media networks. These scammers use pictures, names and valor's of men and women who are actively serving in our military, retired  or are deceased. The scammers are aware how highly Americans think and feel for their military and they use this to pull at the heart strings of vulnerable men and women. Working with a retired Colonel from the United States Army whose pictures, name and child have been used in the scammers story, I have come to realize just what an epidemic this is. Unfortunately, many of the victims are afraid, ashamed, and embarrassed to come forward. Many just want to forget about the scam and move on with their lives. That is why I bring this petition to you. Due to the overwhelming numbers of fraudulent accounts throughout social media and the unidentified number of victims, we need to be the voice.  Social Media has a great amount of power, and with power comes an abundance of responsibility. THE BATTLE:  Because of the majority of military romance scammers residing in other countries, the United States has very little jurisdiction over these criminals, therefore we must work from where and what we know, and that is through the United States and our legislative system. We are looking to encourage social media sites to provide more public service announcements by way of television, movie theater ads, magazines, radio, etc. and provide additional man power to their fraudulent account tracking system as well as upgrading their security system to recognize these duplicated accounts that are recreated literally moments to hours after being deleted. Facial recognition does not solve all problems, especially when these scammers are using generic pictures (flowers, hearts etc.) on their profiles and cyber security is unable to recognize this discrepancy. PERSONAL NOTE: I am a very proud daughter to a mother who served in our Navy, and brother and father who served in our Army. I also have multiple cousins, aunts and uncles who have served and the thought of our military being abused and disrespected is appalling! My mothers friend fell victim to a scammer using the pictures of the Colonel I am currently working with, thus being the reason I have become so involved. I, like many others, had no idea what an epidimic this has become and what little is being done. Social Media needs to take on more responsibility for this breeding ground than they already have, not just for the sake of the victims, but for the sake of our security, and Military whose job is to protect us. What security is social media providing them? Obviously, not the right kind. Scammers are the cancer to the social media world and it's time our companies and legislature took a stand and initiative to help prevent such illness within our military community and every day victims. 

Kathy Waters
1,556 supporters
Closed
Petitioning JCPenney, President of the United States, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, United Nations, Louie Gohmert, U.S. House of Representatives, California State House,...

Ataxia Awareness for Research

Ataxia is a rare neuro-muscular degenerative condition that does not stop at a stage but continues to increase. Ataxia mainly affects limbs, movements and slowly it captures the whole body and becomes totally dependent. The other problems associated with the progress of ataxia are slurred speech, involuntary eye movements, vision problem, swallowing problems, cardiomyopathy, diabetes; etc Ataxia patients are mentally sound but will become physically dependent. The sufferer clearly knows and experiences the darkening future but cannot do anything because there is no cure of ataxia. This is extremely miserable situation which leads most to sufferer in deep frustration, anxiety and depression.  So it is very necessary to take steps to bring them out of this frustration and depression. Ataxia is not a common disease and the society is not well aware about ataxia. Therefore, ataxia patients are often misguided. Ataxia patients have formed self help groups and gathered many patients through Internet. These self help groups tried to spread awareness through different camps and put patient views in international conferences. But these efforts are not enough. We need support from society. There are different types of ataxia. Out of which Freidreich’s Ataxia (FA), Cerebellar Ataxia (CA), Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) are some most common . The type of ataxia can be known through DNA test or it can be acquired (after birth). The condition of ataxia can be diagnosed by clumsiness, loss of coordination in arms or legs, unsteady or swaying gait, slurred speech, jerky limb movements.  All these are clinical symptoms by which a doctor can say that person has ataxia. But these symptoms are not enough to know the type of ataxia. We are trying so hard so others will have better options that are diagnosed later.  So that you (it does wait to show signs sometimes), our children or grandchildren do not have to suffer as much or perhaps not at all!  All we are asking for here is your signature to allow the research to be funded by the right source(s).   Unfortunately, we are finding out that somehow via (accidents [head injury],  stroke, brain tumors and other head trauma affecting Cerebellum) also sometimes Ataxia appears.  Although obviously non-genetic the exact same symptoms occur and some are even progressive. If you need more information or wish to make a personal contribution please visit The National Ataxia Foundation here:(NAF) http://www.ataxia.org/   I ask on behalf of many of my Ataxian friends! Thank you in advance, we appreciate your concern and time!

Krystal Schulze
1,335 supporters
Victory
Petitioning The Governor of VA

STOP the Closure of West Springfield Car Care in NOVA!!

"After 12 years within the Fairfax County community, the West Springfield Car Care shop is being forced to close their doors by the new landlord Capitol Petroleum Group. As a small business, this will affect 9 employees and tens of thousands of citizens within the County. Please help by calling Capitol Petroleum Group and ask them to keep West Springfield Car Care open. Keep this honest and trustworthy shop within our community." Please contact Joe Mamo at Capitol Petroleum Group and STOP the closure of West Springfield Car Care. Capitol Petroleum Group is already in possession of over half of the service stations in the District of Columbia and is expanding rapidly all along the East Coast. Please help Capitol Petroleum Group remember that the "little guy" is what this country was built upon. Let's not squash the American Dream with big business politics. Don't let them displace NINE hard working American families and affect thousand's of loyal constituent's! PLEASE HELP SAVE West Springfield Car Care!!! Shop Address: 8400 Old Keene Mill Rd Springfield, VA 22152

Sarah Rivera
1,125 supporters
Petitioning Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Governor, Virginia State House, Virginia State Senate

Keep killer Joseph G. Sikes Jr. in prison!

Please sign our petition and share it. Joseph G. Sikes Jr. had a hand in brutally killing two teenagers over a small bag of pot in 1996. The murder was done in front of a toddler and was carried out in true gangster thuggery form.  I can remember the day well, Krissy's mother not being able to go home because of her daughters blood spilled out all over the floor. Truly, she had to move and spend many years suffering tremendously because of the loss of her precious only daughter. Roberts family had it no easier. The family of Joseph G. Sikes Jr. is trying to have him pardoned. They feel he has been in prison long enough and has not had a chance to even start his life. They say "His incarceration has been a hardship on his family. The time and travel expense to see him, the financial burden it imposed to provide him with basic necessities."  They selfishly overlook the families who children were brutally murderd. I ask you, is that not the ultimate hardship?  They have the option and may choose to spend the time and expense to go visit Sikes in prison. The other families will never, never mind you, see Krissy or Robert again this side of heaven!  They do not have the luxury of seeing or helping Krissy or Robert with basic needs (which I'm sure the state provides for Sikes) because Sikes stole the basic need of life its self from them.  We all do things we wish we never had, me included. But there are very few of us that take the life of another in cold calculated murder! The things we do bad, we suffer the consequences. To cut Sikes sentence in half and let him out now would be like saying "It was along time ago he was young and foolish. He is not the same anymore." I hope for his sake that he is not. However, Krissy and Robert are still the same, GONE! Leaving family and friends scard for life. Sikes has a debt to pay to society and I, along with many others, are part of that society. I do not want to be short changed! Mr. Sikes and his family are blessed to still have his life. Sometimes you have to make the best of what you have and the Sikes have everything. That's more than Krissy and Robert's family have, who had it all taken from them!  Please do not allow Mr. Sikes out of prison until his debt is paid in full. It would make justice look cheap! I believe in forgiveness and restoration. However, I also would like to believe that American Justice is still honored in the great state of Virginia. So as honorable members of Virginia's government, I along with other voters, hope you will serve justice. Allow Mr Sikes to serve his time. Do not grant him a pardon!

Dwayne Byerly
807 supporters
All Virginians deserve healthcare

I would like to thank all of you who started and signed this petition to urge Delegates to support Governor McAuliffe in his fight for Medicaid expansion. Increasing access to affordable healthcare in Virginia has been a top priority for me since being elected to represent the 38th district in 2010. As I indicated in my July 2015 column for the Falls Church News-Press (http://fcnp.com/2015/07/08/from-the-front-row-kaye-korys-richmond-report-28/), it will continue to be so. You can count on me to support the Governor’s proposal to expand Medicaid. I am glad to see fellow Virginians coming together to let their representatives know that we cannot afford continual inaction. Together we can make significant strides toward closing the healthcare gap, as well as increasing funding for education.

— Kaye Kory, State Representative
2 years ago