Washington State Senate
Washington State Senate
Rewrite Washington States Distracted Driving Law.
Washington State has recently passed a new Distracted Drivers Law. The law can provide opportunity for police officers to pull a driver over when not just holding a cellphone but now you cannot eat or drink in your car while driving. The law shows a great stride for protecting citizens from distracted drivers but I feel this policy needs to be changed. The people can be ticketed for eating, drinking,and grooming. As a working citizen and many others who commute long hours of driving throughout the State of Washington, I feel eating, drinking, and or grooming should be a citizens right when behind the wheel and feel this law needs to have more of the people's response then having our elected officials make decisions without consent from the people. We understand the law permits tickets as a secondary offense. If you agree that our governor needs to rewrite the new Distractor Drivers Law Policy and should remove the secondary offense of "eating, drinking, and grooming" from the policy. Please sign this petition.
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!
Justice for Diamond
The innocent animals in our community deserve to be treated like more than a piece of property. They are; living, breathing beings, that have feelings and feel pain. Diamond, the 3 year old pitbull, who was an emotional service dog for an eight year old boy, in Thurston County Washington State did not deserve to be brutally raped and then hung from a tree to take the last breath of her life!!! The horrible man that did this to her made bail today and is back out on the streets in the community, his arraignment is set for 4/26 to see if he'll even go to trial *UPDATE* Trial has been set for July 25th, 2016 @ 8:30am, Thurston County Courthouse. We MUST do something NOW and not wait until it is too late and he does this again. We need to ensure that justice is served for Diamond and her family. This, sadly will not change the outcome, it's not going to bring Diamond back :*( but if we can ensure that something like this will NEVER happen again we will have done our part! And once this trial is over we can't be done we can't be quiet, until we make sure that BOTH our laws and the punishment for the crimes committed against these laws are stricter!! Please come and join this fight with me, I can't do it alone, but together we can take a stand and make a change!! Let's do it for Diamond and all the other innocent animals that have had to endure pain and suffering at the hand of a human being. Let's ride the legislation until laws are passed, with stricter punishments for crimes committed towards the innocent, voiceless animals in this world. Let's help get #justicefordiamond by letting yourself be HEARD - CARE, SIGN & SHARE <3
Save Blanchard State Forest from Clearcutting
Blanchard State Park is a staple of outdoor recreation in Bellingham, WA (Whatcom County), known for it's hiking of Oyster Dome, horse back riding and mountain biking trails. The park is also the only place in Washington state where the Cascade Mountains meet the Salish Sea and is key for habitat connectivity. Locals and tourists from all over the world come to see the spectacular views from Osyter Dome and would also be severely missing out if all the trees around were reduced to stumps. Department of Natural Resources is currently lacking the funds of $7.7 million that it needs in order to protect a 1,600 acre plot of land within the Blanchard State Park which contains Osyter Dome, two backyard ponds, several trails and back country campsites. With the deadline approaching, the DNR is needing that $7.7 million in order to complete the Blanchard Forest Strategy agreement. DNR needs the funds in order to purchase replacement lands or else they will have to log in that special area. We (locals and visitors from around the world) need Washington State Legislation to provide the $7.7 million funding in the 2016 Supplemental Capital Budget Bill in order to preserve such a special part of nature.
Call for Blue States to Move On
What happened to make this country the focus of judgment, laughter, and fear from the rest of the world? The industrialized world outside of the United States enjoys a better quality of life and general happiness that most of us can only imagine. First class education, comprehensive health care, clean food/water/air and an overall better relationship with their fellow citizens. And as a country, we have higher mortality rates at younger ages, poorer health, and an impoverished population who can't learn new skills without going deeper into debt. As much as we like to blame Donald Trump for our national problems; these problems were here before him, and they will still be here if Trump is removed from office tomorrow. We have a political system that centralizes power to a consolidated political center in Washington, DC and an economic center in New York City. Our Electoral System will isolate the power to determine the direction of our political system to a very small, easily manipulated portion of the electorate in strategic location. Worst of all, we have a large portion of the population who will empower a mentally unstable man to the highest office in the world; just so they can say “We Won”. This group is constantly complaining about a simple world with plentiful jobs in their communities that are extinct or never really existed. And now, they have the nerve to complain about losing the federal government programs they benefitted from and voted against. It's time we said “ENOUGH” and have Progressive States and Communities band together and share resources and ideas to provide a better quality of life for its people, that the Trump Administration wants to take away. And furthermore, we need to ensure that we only support States and Communities who will change their policies for its people. We can no longer provide assistance to Red States, just so they can abuse and neglect their citizens for business interests. For the future of this nation, we need to explore every legal method possible to protect the people from an extremely dangerous President Trump. A Values Based Alliance of the States (VBAS) is one way of resisting this new reality of government, and the dangerous changes that we all know are inevitable. I understand that the constitution will not allow us to directly stop this monstrosity, but it will allows us to devalue it. A VBAS of certain states with similar values and policy preferences can and will use its population centers and economic influence to co-op, share resources, and implement policies with other co-opted states, while not having to depend on or engage the federal government. Examples: There are certain states with a majority of people that believe single payer healthcare system (CA, MA, VT, NY, WA, OR, IL, HI.). If those states passed laws to provide single payer health care for it’s people, a Single Payer Healthcare VBAS organization of those states can share resources to improve efficiencies, expand medical training/education amongst the co-opted states, negotiate pharmaceutical/treatment, amend needed tax policies and petition the US Government. This would also force neighboring states to decide if they want to change their internal policies to provide single payer, so they can join the Health Care VBAS. A resident of Indiana might ask his state to join the VBAS, because he could literally see his next door neigbor in Illinois fully covered, and using a Doctor that just came back from his training at a medical school in California. Although the VBAS states can not legally sign the Paris accords, they can change their internal policies to abide by its recommendations. There could be an environmental protection VBAS, where the states involved agree to abide by the Paris accords, improve safety protocols within its states, take climate change seriously, and provide economic preference to states and nations that do the same. CA, OR, NY, MA, VT, WA HI, and NV could agree to be a preferred customer of states or nations that voluntarily reduces its carbon emissions and address climate change, instead of LA or TX, which most likely will not. Other issues could include minimum wage, education, trade agreements, gun control and virtually every policy not adjudicated solely to the federal government. As more VBASes are organized and more states agree to join them, Donald Trump and the ignorance of future presidents become less and less relevant. Please sign this petition and pass it on to as many people as possible.
Require Amazon to Collect and Remit Sales Tax For All FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) Sales
Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Requiring the hundreds of thousands of small businesses to register in every state and collect and remit in all applicable states is not practical -- it is a complex, heavy financial burden on small businesses and it is causing states to lose billions of dollars in tax revenue each year. With E-commerce now playing such a big role in the local economies, and with Amazon being THE major player, it is time for new legislation to be passed so that these matters can be properly addressed, removing any doubt regarding State sales tax liability and nexus -- especially as it relates to Amazon FBA and similar programs. If Amazon FBA was recognized as consignment, from a sales tax perspective, as it should be, then this would solve a lot of the associated issues that we are currently seeing. Laws vary from state-to-state, but most states require that the consignee (the store, or, Amazon in this case) should collect and remit sales tax. Arguments regarding consignment, who the seller really is and who the 'supplier' is: 1. FBA 'Suppliers' (as they should be called, and not FBA 'sellers') do not choose how/where their products are stored/shipped. 2. Commission is paid to Amazon on each unit sold. 3. FBA 'suppliers' must adhere to Amazon policy. Suppliers do not have the right to refuse sale/shipment without consequence and do not collect any money on transactions (all transactions are handled and controlled by Amazon, the store owner, with the supplier having no participation in said transactions). 4. FBA 'suppliers' have no real relationship with the customer as nearly all communication is prohibited as per Amazon (this relationship is owned and controlled by Amazon, the real seller). 5. Amazon provides advertising for products that they sell, including FBA products. Suppliers have no say in that message or how it's presented. 6. Amazon charges a 'monthly, rental fee' (FBA subscription fee) to display FBA products at their property, as well as additional fees for special exposure (e.g. special ad types or brand page vs. window or end-cap at front of store), as well as additional fees for how the product may be presented (e.g. videos on listing vs. in-store display). 7. Product ownership does not transfer to Amazon (the store owner), but sits on Amazon's shelves until a buyer is found...at which point, the buyer should pay the appropriate sales tax (Amazon/the store owner, is responsible for collecting and remitting this, as they handle all transactions with the end-buyer and own the property where all merchandise is stored and sold). 8. et al. Amazon should be charging and then remitting the sales tax to all applicable states -- not the FBA seller. Not only would this eliminate any argument about complexity or what constitutes nexus amid the varying, questionable and ever-changing interpretations that each state has established, but convincing the States to get behind it should be easy if they only had to pursue one entity (Amazon), in lieu of the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that currently operate within the US marketplace. It is estimated that the majority of the FBA sellers that sell on the Amazon-US marketplace are operating on foreign soil, and do not have a legal entity that is locally established inside of the United States. How are the states going to force compliance if a foreign seller, using a foreign bank account, is operating outside of the jurisdiction of local law? This poses serious problems and creates an environment of unfair competition if foreign sellers can offer products 10% cheaper due to not having to collect and remit sales tax. If Amazon were required to collect and remit on all FBA sales, not only would this reduce costs, man hours and complexity etc., but it would be a lot easier to ensure compliance and remittance. States could get the tax dollars that they desperately need, instead of missing out as they do now. If things continue as they are, States will waste tons of money auditing individual sellers and pursuing legal action, all, unnecessarily. Since Amazon has decided to take full custody of its customer base and is essentially acting as consignment, this should put sales tax liability on Amazon's shoulders, not on FBA sellers. Since FBA sellers are currently required to collect and remit for all states where they are deemed to have a substantial nexus, then, in order to do that, they must first register their business in that State, apply for permits etc., and admit to having a substantial nexus. Just having a single box of inventory in one of Amazon's warehouses will be sufficient for establishing nexus for most applicable states. Amazon may move inventory around, however they see fit, and in doing so, will force FBA sellers to have nexus in those states, oftentimes, unknowingly. Once nexus is established for a particular state, it applies to ALL subsequent sales to that State -- so, if a seller wants to sell something on Ebay, and the buyer is located in the nexus state, then that seller would need to collect and remit sales tax, even if that inventory was stored in and shipped from their home. If FBA sellers are required to register in all of the applicable states and admit that they have a substantial nexus, they would then potentially be subject to Corporate/State income taxes for that state, use-tax for all products/services, franchise taxes, non-resident taxes, opportunity taxes and other, associated fees/taxes etc.. If non-local businesses have to admit that they have substantial nexus due to a single box of inventory, and if they have to remit in the same way (or worse) as a local business that is actually operating out of that state, then what other tax implications and responsibilities will they be subjecting themselves to? And wouldn't this put undue burden on FBA sellers? And isn't that illegal? Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Thank you.
Trophy Hunting is Senseless and should be Illegal
It is understandable that some people must hunt animals for food. But, the senseless slaughter of animals for trophies, should be illegal in this country. Is it any wonder why people dislike Americans all around the world when it is predominantly us that pay for trophy hunts through organizations such as the Safari Club? These hunts even include endangered species from all around the world. They also sponsor hunts to kill our own animals such as the Alaskan bears and the dwindling California wild cats. We are asking for common sense legislation that would make it illegal for any American to hunt ANY endangered species here or around the world. Americans seeking to adorn their walls with a majestic animal such as an elephant or lion should be prosecuted (read about Cecil the Lion killed in a cowardly way and left to die slowly in pain with an arrow in his side). An American dentist was the last being he saw as he died slowly from his wounds. A minimum of 30 days in jail and a $100,000 fine would be a good start. These fees should be spent on education about the destruction caused by these cowardly hunters in terms of the costs of the animals lost, the perpetuation of hatred of our people from abroad and even the ridiculous amount of money spent by these people to kill defenseless animals in the wild "legally". We are asking that all nature lovers and other fair-minded Americans stand up to these senseless activities which are based on arrogance, ignorance and a lack of compassion. It's time we speak out for those that cannot do so for themselves and ask our federal and state legislatures to condemn these people and pass common sense laws to protect animals here and abroad from these savage activities. As Americans, we are better than this. We share this world with many species that deserve our protection. Let us be an example of compassion and conservation rather than destruction around the world and here at home.
Make Partisan Gerrymandering Illegal.
"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." - Abraham Lincoln Whereas: We the PEOPLE are supposed to select our representatives in the government, not the other way around; Whereas: Gerrymandered districts encourage extremism & partisanship to win primaries, and discourage cooperation in the Government; Whereas: The majority of Americans want their voices to be heard accurately, and their parties NOT to be pulled to either wing leaving them with choices that feel like the LEAST BAD or no voting option at all; Whereas: When power is consolidated to a party, it discourages INTERNAL debate and stifles new ideas; Whereas: Gerrymandered districts allow incumbents to show more care for their party or personal position than the people they are supposed to be representing; Whereas: Non-partisan organizations have come up with a variety of ways to draw voting maps fairly and with accurate representations of the population; Whereas: Disenfranchised voters have no recourse when voting maps are skewed based on politics, since it is not illegal; Gerrymandering districts based on political partisanship, to protect incumbents, to consolidate power to ANY party should be illegal. This should cover not just future redistricting, but also all current districts. Any politician who is only keeping their seat because they have gerrymandered a safe voting population does NOT deserve to keep their seat. "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." - John F. Kennedy
Tell Washington State Lawmakers to End Felonies for Personal Cannabis Possession
In Washington the possession of up to 28 grams of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older, due to the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012. However, the possession of just 50% more than this - anything over 40 grams - is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Shockingly, this is the same charge as many heinous crimes such as Unlawful Imprisonment (RCW 9A.40.040), Rape of a Child in the Third Degree (RCW 9a.44.079) and Reckless Burning in the First Degree (RCW 9A.48.040). The possession threshold for a felony is actually harsher than 32 other states. We are asking lawmakers in the state to pass legislation that would amend the law in order to remove the potential of a felony charge for the personal possession of cannabis; signing this petition will send an e-mail to every member of Washington's Legislature, as well as Governor Jay Inslee, urging them to do just that. If a substance is legal, no one should receive a felony conviction for possessing it.
Stop The Statute of Limitations on ALL Child & Adult Sexual Assault #metoo #StopTheStatute
http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/December-2016/Marc-Winner/ #metoo Please read until the end to begin to understand the scope of it all. ❤️� Hopefully we have just one more pre-trial on the 1st of 4 serial rape trials against Marc Winner and then the actual 1st trial will be set. Over 16 years, I hoped and prayed this day would actually never come, because although I knew he couldn’t stop-it was my greatest wish that he would, so no one else would be violently raped by him again. Painfully, that was not the case with 4 in the SOL and 10 total we know about in a 15 year period. The continuous promises made to me when they wanted me to be okay with the plea deal, were not kept. Woman after woman reported him only to be disbelieved and disregarded, because of archaic belief systems even within the justice system and Chicagoland Cook County City and Suburbs being on different computer systems. How senseless is that? It now does make sense though why only a few months after he raped me, he moved to Chicago and opened a new “award winning” tanning salon, he of course named after himself. It would seem he may have knowingly made the move with the help of his wealthy and powerful family and benefactors in order to stalk prey without scrutiny and undetected once again. I have been ruled a past crime witness, being his first known victim and first to report. We won’t know until the trials begin whether or not past crimes will be testifying and entered into evidence. Often the court system doesn’t want to do what can be referred to as “muddying the waters” by bringing past crimes in. I find that ridiculous because all the past crimes establish an obvious pattern and MO. However, whatever it takes for the rapist predator with a file as large as “War & Peace” to finally no longer slip through the cracks and be put behind bars for good, is fine by me. This has not been an easy road. It’s actually been harder than I would ever be able to explain. My sister and brother survivors understand why sexual assault is the most under reported crime, because coming forward in order to protect others from a monster has no upsides due to the revictimization of stigma, harassment, a pretty inept and broken system, and those who want to make rape of all things about politics or shaming and blaming the survivor rather than stopping the perp. It’s been a long 16+ years with much joy after I came to terms with the unthinkable, but I really got thrown for a loop that invasion day almost two years ago now when I found out he was back or I should say never actually left. For he remained active and my reporting him, going to all our trial dates, and his slap on the wrist plea deal didn’t keep him from continuing his proclivity to do irreparable and permanent harm. I do not feel any of the unfounded shame or blame any longer. I could really careless what the ignorant callous bullies towards survivors of rape think or say either. I do however feel an immense responsibility to my sisters who survived him, all sister and brother survivors, and the community at large to see this through to the end-to finish this-and to help convict him anyway that I lawfully can so he never hurts another living soul again. Many confusingly mock and attack survivor activists who put it all on the line to stop criminals by using the term social justice warrior as a negative connotation on the internet and elsewhere. However, what they don’t seem to understand is that this is NOT a political issue and a violent despicable crime such as rape can never be referred to as “social.” It’s a matter of stopping a violent criminal from seriously hurting others in a way that the survivors receive a life sentence. Rape is actually a CRIMINAL JUSTICE issue-always has been, always will be. As a Criminal Justice issue, one way to end the emboldening of predators like Marc Winner, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and Denny Hastert is to stop the SOL clock. Predators know very well that they have a time clock they can easily run out during the often decades of time it takes a victim to come forward and be a survivor. The time is NOW to #StopTheStatute of Limitations on sex crimes in every state for children and adults once and for all. There are no statutes in different states on Forgery, types of Fraud, Murder, Manslaughter, Attempted Murder, Arson, types of DUI accidents, and even in a few on Rape, but a few isn’t good enough-Rape is a life sentence, so should be the time period it takes to report it (which remember does not mean the lack of burden of proof) in order to help deter. The system needs to give survivors the time they need to come to terms with the heinous violation to their body and spirit in order to get closure and justice-How can’t everyone reasonably understand and get behind that? #Ibelieveyou#stopthestatute