85 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Green Star, GreenStar Co-Op Ithaca

Support Neurodiversity & Science in Ithaca - Stop Anti-Vaccination Propaganda

Recently it was brought to our attention that a private group rented The Space At GreenStar for the purpose of screening a highly controversial film called “Vaxxed”. There has been much discussion over the last few days about the ability of a private group to rent a public space for this purpose.  Much of that discussion has been full of passion, and we feel that you deserve to have a full understanding of why we are so upset about this screening. Many years ago, a doctor by the name of Andrew Wakefield published a study that said there was a link between the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine and increased incidents of autism spectrum disorder.  This study was published in a medical journal, and was later retracted by that journal when it was discovered that Dr. Wakefield had falsified the information in this study. Over the course of many years, scientists all around the world debunked Wakefield’s study, and at the same time celebrities took to the airways touting Wakefield’s “science” and claiming that vaccines were the cause of autism. All this, despite the fact that the science had proven, repeatedly, that there was no link. Why is this a problem?  Well, it is a public health crisis, for one.  Babies in our country and around the globe are dying of measles, a disease that was not of great concern until Jenny McCarthy and other celebrities decided to use their positions of power to tell people not to vaccinate their children.  Diseases that had long been eradicated are returning and they are killing our children. People have ignored the meaning of herd immunity all in the name of faux science.  The other major concern for many of us is that this message boils down to one thing: people who don’t want to vaccinate their babies out of a fear that their child would be autistic would rather risk their child’s life.  They don’t understand the science of the vaccines, nor do they understand that autism is simply a different neurological processing system.  They do not understand that it’s viewed as a disability because people who are not autistic and who are able bodied have created a world in which people who are different have no access or reduced access to the same things that they do.  They do not understand that what they are saying is “I’d rather that my baby die of measles than be like you”.  When you as a business allow for something like this in the name of simply needing to rent out the space, your permission for their message is implicit.  Your community is upset.  Your customers are asking for more action than a canned response that you don’t endorse the message.  When you allow groups with messages of hate and which put the public health at risk, you endorse it.   We are asking you to reverse this decision, stand WITH your community. - Laura Riker

Florencia Ardon Martinez
192 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State House, New York State Senate, Sue Serino, Didi Barrett, Carl Heastie, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Aileen Gunther, Angelo Santabarbara, Latoya Joyner, James Skoufis

Bailey’s Law now! Hold criminals accountable for victimizing the developmentally disabled!

 Please Support the Passage of #BaileysLaw We cannot allow criminals to get away with the death of their victims. My 19 year old autistic son, Bailey, committed suicide on 7-31-17, my birthday of all days. After nearly 20 years of complete family devotion and cultivating our lives in support, contemplation and preparation of his each new life phase, new stage, new challenge, and new triumph our lives were completely and irrevocably upended in the span of 8 minutes. Bailey had many friends. He was kind, funny, caring, generous, gentle, down to earth, and creative. He was an artist, a lover of history, and had compassion for all living things. He was a teacher his whole life as much as he was a student of it. Bailey made me stronger, made me determined, made me timely, made me adjustable, made me more understanding...and it was Bailey that made me an advocate for kids with special needs for all these years. Of course, his 3 siblings also helped make me, and him, over the years...we all made each other. Our family has always been very tight. Being a single mom the last 16 years enabled me to make my children my world, and show them we are a team. I’ve tried to give them everything I am and everything I have within me, with intention. But despite everything I’d, we’d, put in over the years my son, their brother, is gone...less then 8 minutes after leaving my side. Bailey resorted to suicide 7 days after being a victim of a financial crime, 4 days after I realized he was victimized, and less than 5 hours of being asked to ID one of the perpetrators. He was preyed upon, betrayed, and taken advantage of by a girl he knew for years and had recently befriended him. This girl connected her male friend to my son under the guise of helping them cash a check. From what I’ve been told by State Police, Bailey was hesitant to help them, unsure of whether or not the request was legitimate, and she assured my son that the request was fine and then promised him, I believe, $200 from the proceeds for his assistance. I suspect Bailey provided them with his bank card and his PIN number. On 7-24-17 the male deposited a $1675.00 fraudulent check at an atm in Highland, NY and then immediately withdrew $200 (the amount fronted with a check hold); this was caught on atm bank video. I realized there was a problem on Thursday the 27th when I noted on our joint account both the deposit and withdrawal as well as the $200 withdrawal ultimately being pulled from my separate account. Bailey was learning banking and I would transfer his disability money to the joint account so he would learn about money management, budgeting, grocery shopping, etc. Bailey was devastated over the loss. We connected with local police on the 27th, who then directed us to the nearest state troopers on the 28th, who in turn directed us to State Troopers in Highland on 7-29-17 where we filed a complaint. Later on that Saturday, my youngest son told me he overheard his brother Bailey on the phone after hearing of the banking problem on Thursday, extremely upset over the financial loss and insisting on the return of funds. On Monday, 7-31-17 the investigator came to our house at 12:30 to see if Bailey could ID the male in the bank video. Bailey claimed he did not know the person and by his reaction I believe he didn’t. At 5:16pm he left our home stating he was going for a walk to draw; this was not unlike him as his executive processing speed is slower than many and he’d use walks or drawing to manage stresses. By 5:30 I heard the emergency response sirens and ran down our street, because I never wanted my kids around the chaos when EMS was in the area, and of course I wanted to count the safety of my chicks. The area they were responding to is a nuisance area that has had more than it’s fair share of fires....but there was no fire truck, only medical response. My son had hung himself in the woods less than a block from our home. The next day I was presented with a note he’d written; he clearly believed he’d done something very wrong in trusting the wrong person. No law enforcement involved in this case believes that Bailey had the faculty to understand what was happening, or the complexities that he was a victim, and neither does any of his family nor his longstanding therapist. There is no doubt in my mind that he merely thought he was helping someone. Both accused, at this point, will only be charged minimally; one with grand larceny 4th and the other with Endangering a disabled person 1st, both class E non violent felonies. Theoretically they could each get probation. They have each since been arrested for other crimes; her on drug charges in October 2017 and him for killing a 16 year old with his car after an argument in Yonkers in December 2017. The male is being held without bail in Westchester and has yet to be charged for our case. The female was arrested and arraigned for this case but was granted release on $2000 cash/$4000 bond. I am sickened over what may be obvious to you at this point, that the charges do not reflect their role in the death of my son. People with disabilities, including autism, are among our most vulnerable community members. It seems so unjust that a charge of endangering specifically relates to affecting the mental well-being of a vulnerable person yet they are not charged with the actual consequences of this criminal action. I’m currently working with our local representatives to start the process of pushing for new legislation in the state to hold perpetrators fully accountable for the consequences of their actions. The law for Endangering in NY currently states: “Under our law, a person is guilty of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree when he or she knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect. The term "knowingly” has its own special meaning in our law. I will now give you the meaning of that term. A person KNOWINGLY acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect when that person is aware that he or she is acting in such manner. Actual harm to the incompetent or physically disabled person need not result.” Currently under our criminal laws culpability for a persons suicide rests on the aspect of “aiding and abetting”, or, in practical terms, specifically aiding, directing or encouraging the suicide. This MUST change. Those that would intentionally cultivate an environment and/or circumstances specifically to use people with disabilities to commit a crime, need to be held accountable for the full range of actual damages they cause, including the death of their victim. We need #BaileysLaw to firmly establish... If a defendant is charged with endangering in the first degree, or another crime related and/or connected to a charge of endangering in the first degree (as in coconspirators/codefendant), whereby the events result in the victim’s suicide within reasonable proximity of the crime, defendants should be criminally charged for the victim’s death. This area of law, as it specifically relates to endangering, also needs to be updated to incorporate the disability standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Social Security Administration in trials. As it stands, the question of a successful trial seems tied to whether or not the victim has an IQ over 40, and can dress and feed oneself. This is an extremely low threshold for a successful trial against a perpetrator charged with endangering and is not in line with current state and federal laws to protect the disabled. There are an enormous number of people with autism, and other disabilities, who have a high IQ and can feed and clothe themselves but cannot fully meet their own needs in a manner that could be characterized as independent living. Bailey’s Law should protect anyone that can be considered a vulnerable person by including the state and federal standards of disability.   I urge you to support Bailey’s Law. It will not help my family but it will help many others. PLEASE, sign this petition to help me get it passed!  To view or VOTE YES on the #BaileysLaw bill (NY S.8541) you can visit  - there is a link at this location for the identical Assembly version as well. To learn more about my beloved Bailey you can visit the guestbook at To follow our journey, visit & Sincerely, Gae Marie Cannon, Poughkeepsie, NY *6-17-18 Update: Our bill for Bailey’s Law passed in the NY Senate on 6-11-18 with a vote of 44/17. The bill is now in the NY Assembly (A.10874) and I’m pushing to have it passed before the end of the legislative session on 6-20-18.  The Ulster County Court has declined to take on the female’s case (the facilitator of this crime), and referred it back to the Town Court. This means that HER CHARGES WILL BE REDUCED from felony to misdemeanor or less- because Town Courts CANNOT process felonies. It is looking more and more like she will get 3 years of probation... To put this into context- a DWI, WITHOUT LOSS OF LIFE, can result in 3 years probation, over $1000 fine and revocation of drivers license...  I am disgusted.... these people KNEW they were committing a crime. KNEW they were targeting someone with a disability, and their actions resulted in the DEATH of their victim......  Please, please share our petition... This is just not right..  Targeting our vulnerable loved ones breaks a sacred social contract in our society and we must prevent this from happening to someone else...  8-15-18 Update: Our bill for Bailey’s Law is currently stuck in the Codes Committee of the Assembly but I am pushing forward with public support signatures as well as organizational and legislator support. Our bill now has 4 Assembly sponsors: Didi Barrett, Christine Pellegrino, Angelo Santabarbara, and David McDonough. This is immensely helpful but until this bill passes in the Assembly and is signed by Andrew Cuomo, we cannot stop pushing for more bill support.  Our next court hearing for the female’s case is on August 28th. It’s expected she will be offered a plea bargain of a reduced charge (felony Endangering in the 1st to misdemeanor Endangering) with a sentence of 3 years probation. THIS IS NOT JUSTICE FOR AN INTENTIONAL CRIME THAT RESULTED IN DEATH.  The male has not yet been brought up to our county for arraignment; he is still pending trial for Murder 2 in Westchester County in an unrelated case.  9-21-18 Update: Our last court appearance for Teator did not go as expected, thankfully. But know I have no idea what’s going to happen. Our next court date is Tuesday, 9-25-18. See update for more details.  What you can do to help:1. SHARE the petition and Bailey’s story, in person and online2. Go to our website and print free flyers for local venues and local bulletin boards in your town, and deliver them to all the neighbors on your street 3. Call agencies that support the disabled and/or elderly and ask them to join our coalition of support. You can give them the website address as a contact. 4. Stay informed. The blood and guts of this journey is on our Facebook page Dear Bailey. Thank you so much for your support, your caring messages (yes, I read them all), and I hope you’ll stay with me through this process of fixing the law. With gratitude, Gae Marie 

A Mourning Mom *
13,591 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Pennsylvania Governor, Pennsylvania State House, Pennsylvania State Senate, Philadelphia Board Of Education, Department of Education, Governor Tom Wolf, Mayor Jim Kenney, Lisa M Deeley, Commissioner Al Schmidt, Department of Revenue, Representative Dwight Evans, Representative Pam Delissio, Christopher M Rabb, Art Haywood

Philly Funding For Special Needs Education And Therapy Is Failing It’s Children.

Hi!  My name is Amanda. I am the mother of a 3 year old girl, Addison. Last year, Addison was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and also has many delays in speech & other areas of development. When Addison turned 3 last year, she began receiving services through our counties early intervention program, Elwyn. Shortly after, she began a preschool, which is an approved school, meaning she can receive these therapy services for her disability through the funding provided to Elwyn. It has been almost a year of her attending- and her progress is incredible! Her therapists, teachers, staff, and other parents are amazing people, advocates, and genuinely love the school & the kids.  Sadly, we received word that her school, Blossom, is most likely going to close at the end of the year. Due to funding issues, transitions and renovations created to try and preserve the school, they were left with no choice. They are trying to keep the school by working with another agency, but for now, it isn’t looking promising. Where we live, there are 3 special education schools in our close area, that work with Elwyn. Her current school is one of them. With the rate of autism being 1 in 59 now, schools and special education services are struggling meeting the demands of the vital therapy and services so many young children need. The current school Addy is at is the ONLY preschool in this area that is reverse mainstream. Meaning, kids with and without disabilities are in the same learning environment. It’s a wonderful way of learning- from both perspectives. To lose this, we are losing a piece of what brings us together.  Sadly, one driving force is funding. Philadelphia schools have ONLY received a 1.3% increase in funding for special education services. This is estimated to cover about 1,500 children. That’s it. Many children and their families DEPEND on a school to provide the special education, therapy, and a safe and understanding environment for these children to learn. Signing this petition can help us to raise a voice & awareness for a budget that is required to benefit early intervention & special education preschool services in Philadelphia! My daugther, with autism, and other kids with down syndrome, developmental delays, speech disorders, physical disabilities benefit from these services. Their families know they are receiving services that will LITERALLY benefit their future lives in their educational journey and beyond. So, WHY is funding so scarcely there? Why has the Philadelphia soda tax revenue not fully supported the Philadelphia educational programming as promised? Only 24.9% of the 45.2 MILLION dollar revenue from the soda tax that has been implemented went to preschools in the 2018 fiscal year. Why are these children, who need these unique and special services, losing their school options, losing vital therapies & feeling there is no where else to turn. The schools that are open, have waitlists, the therapies are becoming lower and lower. This is a crisis. This should never be allowed, or have been able to get to this point. It seems we have multiple areas where funding comes in, but why is Philadelphia suffering so greatly in the respect of special education services? Not only with preschool, but grade schools! In 2013, Philadelphia voted to close TWENTY THREE SCHOOLS. Please, please, please help be a voice to the many, many exceptional children who cannot speak for themselves. Help us to save Blossom school by demanding better funding and budgets for special education preschools & early intervention services for children ages birth to five. We need you! Educational budgets Soda Tax Spending Philadelphia school loss

Amanda Bonacci
541 supporters
This petition won 3 years ago

Petition to California Governor, California State Senate, California State House

Pardon Paul! Autism Behavior is A Crime?

 THE ORIGINAL PETITION: Our 18-year-old son Paul has autism. He struggles with behavioral issues, and has been awaiting acceptance into a residential treatment center to get help managing his behavior and sometimes-aggressive panic episodes. Unfortunately, due to one such episode at a library, he may be headed to probation, a state institution, or prison (possible, but unlikely). UPDATE: Autism On Trial!Monterey County Superior Court and District Attorney's Office are in complete agreement that Paul should go to trial for a "Strike" Felony. While in the midst of a panic attack, Paul pushed a disabled woman, who fell down afterward. I imagine it was a frightening experience for her, but I know for certain that my son was also experiencing extreme fear and confusion at the time. Paul has been working so hard to address these meltdowns and stop them before they get to this advanced stage. In fact, he was in the library that day to work with an instructor on these exact issues. But instead of seeing this as an ongoing medical challenge and considering Paul’s good intentions, the Monterey County District Attorney's Office insists on charging Paul with felony assault. My son Paul needs continued assistance and help, not criminal charges. Please join us in asking the Monterey County District Attorney to drop the all charges against him. To charge him, at all, is to make his disability, itself, a criminal act.  We have hired lawyers and tried to get the district attorney’s office to show compassion and understanding. Instead of using prosecutorial discretion and choosing to understand that Paul’s panic attack was a direct result of his disability, they have given Paul no other option than to plead guilty to the felony or go to trial.  We strongly believe this case has implications for all families and groups that care for people with developmental disabilities like autism. As hard as we work to protect them and others from their developmental issues, there will be moments like this one with our son. It’s a difficult situation that shouldn’t be made worse by treating people with a disability as criminals. Please stand with Paul and ask the Monterey County District Attorney to drop these charges. It should not be a crime to struggle with a disability. I have started a fund for Paul's benefit. Please help as you may: Donate to Paul's Special Needs Trust NOTE: Please do not directly contact any judge for the case.For greater details, please look at the updates below. All comments are the sole responsibility of the person making the post. I will make an effort to remove any comments that off-topic, libelous, profane, and/or personal attacks, however, due to the volume some comments may still be on this site. I encourage all to be respectful and to choose words that would be acceptable in a court of law or place of worship. Paul and his family would like to continue living in Monterey County and not make enemies of people in authority.   #Autismisnotacrime #autism #autismpersecution #autismawareness #JusticeofPaul #autismnocrime #autismfamily #autismDad #signandshare  

Steven Gordo
12,824 supporters