Civil Rights and Equality

179 petitions

Update posted 10 minutes ago

Petition to Department of Justice

Marriage Equality for the Disabled Community: We want Justice!

My name is Natalie C. Jamison and I am counting on your signature on an urgent matter involving my rights as a disabled American citizen.With that being said, allow me to explain my current situation… On October 10th of 2019, I got engaged to my best friend and love of my life, Matthew Lambert.Since then we have been making plans for a wedding and trying to get our lives ready just so we could get married.From then to now, the two of us have worked very hard to get our lives started. Matthew has a good,  steady, hard working job and together the two of us have already begun renting out an apartment together. We even had plans and had already prepared for a wedding at the end of September; I had finally picked out the dress I wanted, my bridesmaids, my maid of honor, planned a shower, a reception, everything in order right down to the music. Until just a few days ago when I got the most gut wrenching phone call of my life. It was from the Social Security Administration, telling me that if I proceeded with getting married that “by law” they had the right to take away everything, such as my Insurance, my monthly check, my medicare, etc.This news shocked me! Which led me to ask an array of questions as to what I could do to keep my disability and still get married and with every question the answer remained the same, “I’m sorry but we can’t help you”. At first I was so crushed that I didn’t know what to do.I immediately told my parents and fiance what was happening and that, for right now, the wedding would have to be put on hold.My mother, who is a huge help with these kinds of things, tried to research and find out what we could do but it too led nowhere. But then just the other day, I was reading different articles written by other people with disabilities who were in the same situation and they all suggested contacting the Americans with Disability Act. So here’s the bottom line.I am twenty two years old, I have a fatal lung disease called Cystic Fibrosis; my whole life I have had to fight for my right to be normal and to be able to participate in things just like everyone else (petty situations that were always taken care of quickly then put to rest) but this is a situation that I never thought I would be in.I want to get married.It is my God given right as an American Citizen and I deserve to be just as happy as everyone else.No, it’s not illegal for a disabled person to get married but due to the discriminating “rules” the SSA have now put into place, it sure feels like it’s against the law.  I can’t just give up my disability! Having a life-threatening disease like mine, not having disability is a true matter of life or death.At the same time, if I don’t get married, if I don’t have a wedding, if I don’t have a reception with friends and family (who have watched me grow up and struggle to live), if I don’t get to legally change my name… I will be missing out on the right that everyone else gets to have and it’s all because I have Cystic Fibrosis and need disability. What people don’t realize is that a lot of people  with Cystic Fibrosis don’t always make it the age that I am now and if they do they are either doing okay or are dying.Getting married is so much more than just a right, it’s a gift that I’ve watched many of my fellow C.F friends miss out on and here I am, in fairly good shape, ready to get married to the love of my life who accepts me for who I am and I can’t even get married due to the fear of losing the one thing that keeps me alive.It’s not fair, it’s not right, and according to an article published by the Disability Rights online News back in February of 2007; it clearly states, under the 150th Civic Access Agreement that…   “Too often, those living with disabilities have been seen as objects of embarrassment, and at best, of condescending pity and charity. Societies have even gone out of their way to ensure that persons with disabilities are neither seen or heard.On paper, they may have enjoyed the same rights as others; in real life, they have often been relegated to the margins and denied the opportunities that others take for granted.” I feel as though my current situation falls under this category, considering the fact that I am being “relegated” and “marginalized” by the SSA for wanting to get married.I would also like to mention that the same article went on to state that, “The treaty’s central purpose is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.” To me, something as simple as getting married seems like something that would fall under “equality of opportunity” and “full participation and inclusion in society”, does it not?All I want is the chance to get married and be happy.This whole situation has caused so much confusion and heartache in not just my life but in the lives of everyone around me.I don’t like being pitied.I don’t want to be pitied.I want to be married and I want the right to a normal life like any other American citizen.If someone would be so kind and willing as to take the time and help my situation, it would be greatly appreciated.I’ve tried everything that I can and I’m in desperate need of a solution. I know that this is descrimination and I need your help to fight this. Thank you so much in advance.

Natalie Jamison
825 supporters
Update posted 6 hours ago

Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Governors, President of the United States, CNN, Wall Street Journal

Police Reform via Political Reform

HONORABLE SENATORS, GOVERNORS, CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND MR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA I am writing this letter as a call to action to pass legislation that requires a new level of standardization and transparency for all police departments within the United States of America. The 14th Amendment adopted on July 9, 1868, guarantees all citizens ‘equal protection under the law’. In the 152 years since the adoption of that amendment we have witnessed increasingly flagrant violations of these basic rights, fomenting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has spanned generations. We must address the systemic racism and inequalities that are inherent in our legal and criminal justice systems and recognize the disproportionate effect this disparity has on people of color and the communities where they live. This issue has been mislabeled for too long as a problem within our black communities or as a matter solely pertaining to people of color. This is a humanitarian crisis - it must be addressed. We must not allow ourselves to lapse into apathetic behavior either because of inertia, lack of empathy or education, or simply because we don’t know what to do.  At minimum we know that all people deserve equal protection and treatment under the law and we must work together to fix it.  The Standards for Compliance and Openness of Police Engagement Act of 2020 (hereinafter referred to as the “S.C.O.P.E Act”) should be written as a living piece of legislation that will evolve over time and establish standards for conduct, transparency, engagement and protection of individual civil rights. Below is a framework of proposed reforms that should be considered as a starting point for the S.C.O.P.E Act or any resulting legislation.  Principles of ConductCreate a national whistleblower hotline to ensure officers can report infractions free of repercussions. Whistleblower complaints should be monitored and investigated at state and/or federal levels to ensure independence and proper enforcement of violations. Police departments nationwide should be required to adopt and publish guidelines on the use of force.  Consider utilizing the Camden NJ Police Department Guidelines listed below: (Link to Camden NJ Use of Force Principles). CORE PRINCIPLE 1: Officers may use force only to accomplish specific law enforcement objectives. CORE PRINCIPLE 2: Whenever feasible, officers should attempt to de-escalate confrontations with the goal of resolving encounters without force. Officers may only use force that is objectively reasonable, necessary, and as a last resort. CORE PRINCIPLE 3: Officers must use only the amount of force that is proportionate to the circumstances. CORE PRINCIPLE 4: Deadly force is only authorized as a last resort and only in strict accordance with this directive. CORE PRINCIPLE 5: Officers must promptly provide or request medical aid. CORE PRINCIPLE 6: Employees have a duty to stop and report uses of force that violate any applicable law and/or this directive.                                             TransparencyExpand the Freedom of Information Act at the state/federal levels; mandating that all police departments record all civilian interactions via dashboard cameras and on person recording devices. All officer complaint data including disciplinary actions should be published to the department website and made available on demand to the public. All police departments nationwide must submit data to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, and the data should be available for analysis at the state/city levels. As data collection and dissemination standards are established each state should set a target date to make the raw data available to the public. The data should be used to formulate a letter grade for each department with annual recertification by the state. Community EngagementRetrain police officers to adopt a guardian mindset wherein they prioritize working with the public to mitigate crime, as opposed to a warrior mindset where officers view themselves as aggressors fighting crime. The latter mentality puts officers in a position of immediate conflict with the people in the communities they serve, and teaches officers to view citizens as suspects that must be persecuted rather than people they need to help and protect. Precincts should offer mandated town halls (monthly or quarterly), with schedules posted at the precinct and online, to facilitate community engagement. Citizens should know the officers sworn to protect and serve their communities, and officers should familiarize themselves with people in the community and listen to issues that affect them.  Officers should do regular foot patrols within their districts to encourage positive interaction via direct engagement. Require training in racial sensitivity and effective communication for all department officers with annual recertification by the city and state. Civil Rights Violations                                                                                            Any police enforcement act deemed to violate the 14th amendment should be reviewed at the state and federal levels to determine if disciplinary action is warranted. Officers found in violation of 14th amendment rights and/or disciplined within a department or terminated for cause should be listed in a statewide and/or nationwide database. Depending on the circumstances of the disciplinary action or termination, officers should only be certified for rehire after extensive retraining. Police union reform to limit involvement only to matters on compensation and benefits. Support the Amash-Pressley legislation to end qualified immunity and the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, if not in entirety, at minimum in instances of clear civil rights violations.o   Amash-Pressley Bill websiteo   Ending Qualified Immunity Acto   Justice of Policing Act websiteo   Justice of Policing Act of 2020 This letter is a vehicle to add my voice of support to the reform effort that is so desperately needed to eliminate pervasive and systemic inequality.  However, we need this important matter to be taken up as a bipartisan issue and not the rallying cry of a single party. This is a humanitarian crisis that affects us all, which requires far-reaching and inclusive dialogue with representation from government at all levels, the police and our citizens. We have an opportunity to channel the anger, frustration and outrage accumulated over decades by taking positive steps to create a higher level of engagement and cooperation across all lines. The S.C.O.P.E Act is intended to increase positive interaction, accountability and ensure the formation of a partnership between police departments and the communities they serve. I invite you to take the first step by working together to create a comprehensive piece of legislation in the way that the forefathers of this country wrote the Constitution, so that as more effective ideas are introduced they can be incorporated into the law.  There are many obstacles to police reform, but we cannot allow indolence to prevent us from solving this humanitarian crisis that has plagued our country for decades, and has thus far been neglected due to apathy and inaction.  This crisis is unacceptable, and the recent deaths of George Floyd and countless others have been a wakeup call to the nation. This is an indictment on everyone in this country; we have failed as a society, and we should be tireless in our effort to get this right, by striving to realize the vision that was laid out in our Constitution. SINCERELY,  JOFFRE C. WELLS

Joffre Wells
2,989 supporters
Update posted 23 hours ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, United States Supreme Court, Congressman Brendan Boyle

Abolish Race Color Code; Remove Ethnic Questions on Application Documents

GOALS 1. Removal Of Ethnic Questions on Applications for Employment, School, Government Forms 2. Abolish the German Established/British Enforced Color Code System For People Groups In America   Remove Ethnic Disclosure On Legal Documents & ID's It is universally understood that the question for race is really inquiring of one's ethnicity even though it is incorrect. Since there is only one human race, the information being sought means to ask of one's ethnicity, not their race. However, to avoid division among Americans, it should not be asked at all. All that should be required on all legal documents for work, school, government forms, etc is one's nationality. For those of a different nationality, further questions to determine their origin and assure that they have done what is required for a foreigner to work on American soil. Removing questions seeking the disclosure of one's ethnicity on job applications will help our nation move toward equal wages for all ethnicity's per job. The only thing that matters is that the applicant possess the skill(s) and/or education needed to qualify for the job. Abolish Man-Made Color Code System for People Groups One's origin is determined by one's lineage and the native land to which they were born. Period. The color coded system used to identify human beings is offensive to all accept the one that is placed on top. And even that is offensive to some because innately no human being desires to be addressed by a color. We know our value as a human being. Anything less is offensive and incorrect. This color code was created as an attempt to represent a supremacy of one people group over others. As flawed as the concept is, unfortunately it stuck.  This is 'legalized racism,' is a myth, and needs to be abolished. Mankind's identity nor origin are categorized by color. Defining the two colors at the opposite ends of the spectrum are white and black. White is the accumulation of all colors and represents goodness, purity, and light. Black is the absence of color and represents evil, darkness, mourning, death, and a myriad of other things that that are bad. There is no hue of pigmentation that is red, yellow, black, nor white. Therefore, the color code created by man is not literal, but symbolic and is systematically placed. No ethnic group is all good or all bad. Therefore, no people group represents white or black. No people group should be identified by a color that suggest it subliminally, subconsciously, symbolically, or otherwise. The German scholars that coined the color code did so  purposefully in order to represent themselves and those with fair skin as superior over all all other people groups. Those with darker pigmentation at the bottom. This systematic form of racism justified slavery of dark pigmented people globally with a 'clear conscience' since, according to them, people with dark skin were less human than people groups with fair skin. In 1734, King George II of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, Germany, founded The University of Göttingen in the city of Göttingen, Germany. In 1734, ideas of "The Enlightenment" were promoted. From this University, The Göttingen School Of History was derived by a group of well respected, German historians that played a role in creating what they deemed to be a scientific basis for historical research. Their 'research' lead them to an incorrect conclusion of something they called 'scientific racism.' Their pseudo-scientific, deductive study lead them to believe that there was such a thing as racial superiority and that it justified racial discrimination. From this, color termination for races were coined by the German anatomist, Johann Freidrich Blumenbach (1752 – 1840) and Johann Hindrich Meiners (1793 - 1872) as follows: Caucasian or white race, Mongolian or yellow race, Malayan or brown race, Ethiopian or black race, and Native American or red race. In the 19th century, the respected German encyclopedia, Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, divided humanity into three major races: Caucasoid (white), Mongoloid (yellow), and Negroid (black) of which various sub-races were comprised. Fair skin Europeans adopted the color code from the Germans and carried that ideology to a land where darker pigmented people inhabited. That land is the land we now know as America. Fair Skin Europeans forced the natives of this land to give up their land using armory that was more advanced than the natives. These natives were coined “Indians” by Christopher Columbus that thought he had stumbled upon the West Indies when he stumbled upon the inhabited land. Nothing at all Christ-like about the above stream of events. However, since America hold to the narrative that she was birthed from Christian beliefs, here are some Scriptures that tell of the symbolism of two of the colors at the furthest ends of the spectrum: white and black. White is used to depict purity, holiness, and the redemption of sin. For the forgiven, sin is said to be “washed as white as snow” (Ps. 51:7; Isa. 1:18). White also represents the absolute purity of God (Dan. 7:9), of Christ (Rev. 2:17), of God’s judgment (Rev. 20:11), as well as God's complete victory over the powers of evil/darkness/blackness (Zech. 6:3, 6; Rev. 6:2; 19:11). Black, on the other hand, represents the opposite: suffering, death, mourning, and other situations that are evil (Job 30:28, 30, Jeremiah 14:2, Lamentation 5:10, Revelation 6:5). Whether it is currently lived out by the government or not, the United States Constitution rightly states that all mankind are created in the likeness of God, therefore, all men are created equal. However, at the hands of fair skin Europeans, human dignity was stripped from darker complected people groups through forceful entry upon one people group and the kidnapping and enslavement of another. When slavery was legally abolished, financial compensation for forced labor was never offered. Land that slaves sweated literal blood and tears toiling over was never offered. Education to properly learn the language of the land they were born to as slaves was not offered. Only their release into a hostile environment where systematic oppression reigned in the leaders that governed the land. Being born four centuries after their forefathers were stolen from their land in Africa and shipped to enslavement made these African American natives of this land just as it does for those whose ancestors did the stealing and became slave owners. Even with that opposition of an entire government, African Americans still had the intelligence, diligence, and strength to build an affluent community called Black Wall Street only to be destroyed by fair skin Americans that were threatened by it and, in addition, was greedy and wanted the oil under the land for themselves. America, it is time to live up to what the constitution states and truly treat African Americans and all other ethnic groups with the dignity deserved by every human being. Remove the label 'black' off of African Americans as well as all color codes to identify people groups. Focus is on the color black because that is deemed lowest and is an insult to any human being whether it is realized or not. Accepting a label for centuries does not make it true. The color code is an attempt to devalue a human beings worth. Instead, return to what God intended and be noted for the lineage of our ancestors and our native land. This will not cure racism. There is racism throughout the Bible, but people groups were defined by their lineage and where they were born. Not the symbolization of a color. However, removing the color code from American citizens and all people groups is a step in the right direction toward showing respect to all people groups that inhabit this land.  America wants to be seen as the leader of the nations. Lead by example. Treat all American citizens with the utmost respect and dignity. Remove the color coded insinuations from American Citizens. Maybe other countries will catch on. Until then, control the jurisdiction under your authority.     

Donna Spicer
323 supporters