Washington State House
Washington State House
Female Genital Mutilation is an American issue. Let's push Washington State to ban FGM!
The U.S. Department of Justice decided to drop the appeal on a Detroit ruling that overturned the federal ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). For girls at risk of FGM, this federal ruling has put them in great jeopardy. Supporters of FGM are now empowered to think that if the federal law is not upheld, then the practice must not be wrong. And in states without anti-FGM legislation, the absence of a federal ban leaves women and girls at even greater risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 513,000 women and girls have undergone or are at risk of FGM in the United States. For me, these cases aren’t just data points. My sister is a survivor of FGM. When I was eleven and she was seven, we traveled on our own to visit our aunt in India over the summer. What I thought was a routine summer vacation turned out to be a horror story for my sister. Our aunt cut my little sister in her basement clinic. I later learned that my aunt carried this out without our parents’ consent and to this day, believes she did the right thing. I learned about my sister’s experience when she shared her story in the Guardian a few years ago. Before then, I didn’t know much about FGM. I had no idea it was happening in this country let alone in my community. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition, FGM is a human rights abuse, form of gender-based violence and child abuse. And in my sister’s words: FGM destroyed her childhood, shattered her self-confidence, and is something she will never fully recover from. By breaking her silence and courageously sharing her story, my sister has become part of a movement to end FGM not just in the US, but all around the world. As her brother, I stand alongside her and the many survivors on the frontlines of this movement. They should not be shouldering this burden on their own. We need more allies, including men and boys, to speak up. Right now, we have the power to send a powerful message that FGM has no place in this country. I am writing to urge Washington state legislators to pass a law banning FGM in the state of Washington, as well as provide the resources needed to support FGM survivors and educate communities (healthcare providers, religious leaders, school teachers, and policymakers) around the devastating consequences of FGM. We need a holistic approach where prosecution is not the end goal, but a pathway to prevention. I want no girl in the United States to endure what my sister went through. Washington is at risk of becoming an FGM destination state where girls are transported from states that have succeeded in criminalizing FGM. We need to close the federal loophole on FGM in the United States by lobbying for anti-FGM legislation at the state level: starting with my home state of Washington. Please join me in the fight to pass a law in Washington that criminalizes FGM.
Ban styrofoam and single use plastics in Washington State
From our beautiful coasts, to our rainforests, our mountains, our farmlands and deserts: Washington State is rich in natural beauty. It's time to take bold measures to protect it for future generations. We urge you to pass legislation that will ban the sale and use of styrofoam and single use plastics in WA State.Styrofoam and single use plastics are relatively new products of convenience and are not critical consumer goods. There are less harmful alternatives, and we need to legislate this switch away from harmful fossil fuel-based disposable goods to keep the economic impact equitable across businesses statewide. It is time we commit to phasing out these environmentally harmful products in order to protect our fields, streams, coasts, wildlife and reduce the legacy of environmental degradation that our kids will inherit.
Seattle Restaurants United: Save Restaurants & Bars, Save the City
Restaurants and bars are central to the soul of any city. Here in Seattle, our community’s diversity, values, and spirit are expressed through the take-out counters, fine dining establishments, and late-night spots that unite us. Each of these is a stage for memories, big and small: birthdays, anniversaries, networking, catching up with friends, chance meetings. The COVID 19 pandemic is crippling communities around the world. Our local restaurants and bars are doing their part to stem the spread of the virus by shuttering their doors as we all endure this unprecedented challenge. Without significant and immediate financial relief, many restaurants and bars in Seattle will not reopen afterward. When our restaurants and bars suffer, so do farmers, distilleries, and other suppliers. As do property owners, who will struggle with revenue loss and trying to lease vacant spaces in an economic downturn. Large corporate franchises, not locally-owned small businesses, will have the upper hand in this new real estate market. If these spaces remain empty, we risk becoming a city of boarded up storefronts. Our beloved retail/restaurant community will change dramatically. Seattle’s soul and spirit will be shattered, damaging a brand that makes our city a top choice for a talented resident workforce, scholars, and business and leisure tourism. Seattle Restaurants United is a coalition of local restaurants and bars urging City, State, and Federal legislators to boldly protect our businesses and employees from destitution, thus protecting our community from losing a vital part of itself. No one enters the service industry to get rich. We do it for love of food, love of craft, and love of you, the people. We work miracles on a tight budget, stretching thin margins for maximum community benefit. Seattle-area restaurants and bars annually contribute $3+ billion to our economy and support a broad network of other economies through supply chains. Seattle restaurants’ net products and contributions are almost 100% local. Investing in us is a direct investment in the people that live and work in our region, and it’s the people, not large corporations, who will suffer the most from this pandemic. Right now, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) is lobbying Congress for stimulus funding, but the NRA primarily represents large restaurant chains and foodservice corporations. The voice of independent restaurants and bars is not being heard. Please raise your voice to save our local restaurants and bars, and the many employed by them. For Employee and Owner/Operator resources, please visit our website:www.seattlerestaurantsunited.com/resources
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, one-third 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. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). 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. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. 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. service members 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 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, 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 struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
STOP HB 2546 ( WA State propasal to ban all concentrate above 10%Thc )
STOP HOUSE BILL 2546 Citing concerns about a suspected connection between cannabis and psychosis, a group of Washington state lawmakers wants to slash the allowed potency of all non-medical cannabis concentrates, limiting THC levels to no more than 10%. (Adlin, Paragraph 1) The bill would force thousands of legal consumers into the illegal market, which has killed dozens with tainted vape cartridges.The new proposal, House Bill 2546, would dramatically alter the face of Washington’s legal cannabis landscape by outlawing the vast majority of state-licensed vape cartridges, dabbable extracts, and other concentrated products. Such products are increasingly popular with consumers, lawmakers noted in the bill, accounting for nearly 40% of the state’s legal cannabis sales in 2019. ( Adlin, Paragraph 2) This is an attack on consumers and cannabis enthusiast, it would have no measurable affect except for less tax revenue and more health issues with black-market, unregulated products as well as the potential for deadly fires as individuals may try to make there own product. The High Potency numbers used were for any concentrate above 10% and it seems lawmakers have chosen such numbers arbitrarily than anything based on science, (Aldin) The creation of a black market and the problems it would create for not only for cannabis manufactures and dispensaries but those consumers who use concentrate is as medicine is down right unethical, even if you smoke recreational it is still an attack on our civil liberties. SAY NO TO HB 2546, Demand our politicians stop this unjust crusade. We can make the change View HB 2546 at http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2546.pdf These following politicians sponsored the bill Lauren Davis (D-32), Chris Corry (R-14), Brad Klippert (R-8), Jeremie Dufault (R-15), Christine Kilduff (D-28), Paul Harris (R-17), Lisa Callan (D-5), Mari Leavitt (D-28), My-Linh Thai (D-41), Tana Senn (D-41), Sherry Appleton (D-23), Tina Orwall (D-33), Sharon Wylie (D-49), Laurie Dolan (D-22), Luanne Van Werven (R-42), Amy Walen (D-48), Kelly Chambers (R-25), Jenny Graham (R-6), Bill Ramos (D-5), Shelley Kloba (D-1), Gerry Pollet (D-46), and Debra Lekanoff (D-40). Adlin, Ben. “Washington State Lawmakers Bring Bill to Ban Most Cannabis Concentrates.” Leafly, 18 Jan. 2020, www.leafly.com/news/politics/washington-state-lawmakers-bring-bill-to-eliminate-cannabis-concentrates
Impeach/recall Washington State governor Jay Inslee
Governor Inslee is violating the oath of office he took. He is not upholding the constitution of the state or of the United States of America. We have outrageous taxes and outrageous laws being passed left and right for the benefit of himself and his clowns. It is clear he does not have the best interests for the state or for it's citizens at heart. Raise their taxes he says, truly a resemblance of Prince John from the Disney version of Robin Hood. Wasn't there a time when taxation was the fuel for a revolution? He is a plague on this state we need to be rid of, he cares only about himself and the taxes that line his pockets. Help have this criminal recalled for the sake of Washington State.
RESTRICT FELONS FROM CHILDCARE EMPLOYMENT OR GIVE PARENTS FULL BACKGROUND CHECK RESULTS!
This paragraph was added on September 2nd, 2016 in order to clarify the intent of this petition. Everything below this paragraph remains unchanged: Background check results on any childcare provider's criminal record OR parents considering childcare should receive COMPLETE background check results of any childcare workers, just like any other employer can, so every parent is able to make a fully informed decision regarding the life of their child(ren), Additionally, NO CHILDCARE PROVIDERS should be allowed to use any name or nicknames aside from their legal name without full disclosure to the parents of the person's full legal name and a prominently placed notification if a person IS using a nickname or alias. That information should also be included in any "welcome folders given to parents so that there are two ways a parent would be able to easily access. Here's why: My beautiful two and a half year old little boy, David Roberts, died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington on January 20, 2013. David held on to life for two days after suffering from catastrophic abusive head trauma that was inflicted while he was in the care of his two state and military licensed childcare providers (a husband and wife). We had unknowingly placed David in the hands of a person who had been convicted of felony residential burglary and other crimes, and who also had a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem, and David DIED from the injuries he suffered at that childcare during the time that the person in question was working. The state and military told me and my husband that the providers had cleared the background checks, when in fact the state and military KNEW that particular provider had a criminal record which included felony residential burglary, at least one malicious mischief charge, and a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem...and still chose to license him even though he wouldn't even be allowed to chaperone at any of the schools his children attend. The state and military also knew and allowed this same person to not disclose his legal name. DESPITE KNOWING THESE FACTS, THE STATE AND MILITARY willingly withheld that information, with fatal consequences: my son lost his life. My husband and and I had NO IDEA that he had a felony criminal record and was not using his legal name and would NEVER have put David in their care if we knew that information. The state MUST CHANGE the "Director's List" (WAC 170.06.0120) and PREVENT FELONS from having access to the child(ren) of other people and parents considering childcare should receive ALL background check results of any childcare workers just like any employer can. The state also must prevent ANYONE from using any name or nicknames aside from their legal name while working in childcare, and a law or laws should be enacted and be named "David's Law", On January 18, 2013 my two and a half year old, autistic, son David, became a victim of catastrophic abusive head trauma at the hands of his daycare providers. He died two days later from the injuries. He was attending a Navy Child Development Home in Oak Harbor, WA. We were told that the providers had cleared their background checks. My husband and I both expected "cleared their background checks" to mean that there was nothing on their criminal record, not that there could be any number of 35 crimes, including felonies, on their record, and that the information about those convictions is not required to be given to the parents. We didn't find out until months later that the husband who ran the daycare with his wife was a convicted felon. He had been convicted of residential burglary while he was extremely intoxicated and had at least one malicious mischief charge and a documented anger management problem. We were told both providers had undergone background checks and had cleared them. The two providers sold everything within five months and in the middle of the CPS and homicide investigation they fled to Maine, where the woman has even attempted to provide childcare still. Here are two links from KOMO4 Seattle which cover what happened to my son as well as the loophole itself: http://www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/Day-Care-Felons-281805991.html http://www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/Family-wants-changes-to-state-law-after-son-died-from-injury-at-daycare-284046971.html Apparently, in the State of Washington, you can have any of the 35 crimes and felonies under the Washington Director's List of Allowable Offenses on your record and not only can you have unsupervised access to children, but your criminal record is not disclosed to the parents seeking care for their child. Instead, the parents are told the providers have passed/cleared background checks. Convicted felons shouldn't even be allowed to have unsupervised access to other peoples' children in the first place, let alone run a daycare. Parents have the RIGHT to know everything about a potential provider so that they can make their own fully informed decision on whether or not they trust a provider in spite of their criminal record. The list of allowable offenses is here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=170-06-0120 Had we been told about the provider's criminal record we would have never left our children in their care and he would still be alive today. These laws need to change. There needs to be a law, called "David's Law" that prevents anyone with a felony record from having unsupervised access to other peoples' children in daycare settings, and discloses the results of background checks of the daycare providers to the parents, so that those parents can have the entire story about the providers they are considering letting supervise their children. On page 2 of this document you'll see the statement: "The reality is that parents cannot conduct effective background checks on child care providers on their own. Even the most motivated, well-financed parent search would still be limited to commercial databases, which the Department of Justice has said are incomplete." http://www.naccrra.org/sites/default/files/default_site_pages/2012/background_checks_white_paper_final_july_6.pdf The Government KNOWS that parents cannot conduct adequate background checks, but they don't disclose the results of the full background checks that THEY have access to. That forces parents to rely on the state and government to assure them and protect their children to the highest extent possible. Withholding information about felony (and other) convictions is immoral and reprehensible. Parents have a primal NEED to protect their children, and yet we are limited in the information that we can obtain, information that interferes with the ability of parents to make the BEST, potentially life altering, decision that they can for their families with incomplete facts. That is NOT right. There are some parents in the world who don't mind if a child care center or child care home provider has a criminal record. There are many more who would absolutely prefer that no criminals be allowed access to their children. Parents have the right to know all the information about the person or people who may be taking care of their child(ren). There is absolutely no reason that a provider's criminal background should be kept secret from parents of any child(ren) that may end up in the care of the provider(s).
No Hwy 2 Trestle Toll
We want a public promise not to toll the trestle on U.S. Hwy 2 between Everett, WA and Lake Stevens, WA and the Hwy 2/ 20th St/ WA-204 interchange revision. It is a key connection between the main interstate in Washington (I-5) with the fastest growing area in the state - Marysville/ Lake Stevens. Working families are moving here in droves, and by tolling the only direct connection a whole community will be held hostage. This is in nobody's best interest. The only alternative routes on surface streets are already overburdened and simply could not support the diverted traffic of those who cannot afford the toll. Tolling US Hwy 2 Trestle not only holds hundreds of thousands of families captive as it is the most direct route to the nearest emergency center and major hospital. Businesses will suffer, employment will decrease, and the cities, county, and ultimately the state will pay the price. Please stand united with me in asking that this vital transportation corridor not be tolled as it would create an undue burden on both the community members and local businesses. By signing below we are asking the transportation committees of the WA State House & Senate to commit to keeping this crucial roadway accessible to all.
U.S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: DECLARE A CLIMATE EMERGENCY NOW
The Earth has been around for almost 5 billion years, with us modern humans evolving only about 200,000 years ago. In the 0.004% of our planet's total lifetime that we have been around for, we have managed to rip up around 46% of the trees worldwide in our luscious forests, pollute our majestic oceans and the almost-extinct coral reefs, and drive countless species to extinction. In fact, before the evolution of humans, less than 1 species per million went extinct annually; today, a devastating rate of 100-1,000 species per million are lost every year. We are destroying our planet faster than we can process the changes. These deaths are directly linked to habitat destruction by the hands of humans and climate change. According to the International Panel on Climate Change, "To keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45% by 2030." Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of the Potsdam Climate Institute, states that the climate may become irreparable if we don't reduce carbon dioxide emmisions in the next 18 months. We must act now, if we have any hope of preserving this planet for future generations to come. Our climate is in a crisis. The U.S. federal government, one of the largest and most influential democratic governments in the world, must declare a climate crisis IMMEDIATELY. Chief executive of the World Wildlife Fund, Tanya Steele puts it clearly: "We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it." Sign this petition to stand alongside us, and our planet. We are the ones who must save our Earth. The time is now! Cover photo by NASA