civil rights

147 petitions

Update posted 16 hours ago

Petition to Tony Martinez, Jessica Tetreau, Cesar de Leon, Joel Munguia, Ben Neece, Ricardo Longoria, Rose Gowen

MOVE Jefferson Davis Monument to Museum

Many cities cross the United States of America are removing statues/memorials from public spaces and are also renaming roads and buildings that honored Confederate leaders. Brownsville has had numerous racist incidents in the past. Our biggest one happened in 1906. Feel free to Google "Brownsville Black Raid". The newspaper was very biased in its reporting. The soldiers involved were later exonerated by President Nixon. We also had a bridge known as "N" bridge and it appeared in local maps with the racist slur. We can only imagine what took place on that bridge. Yes, we are a city full of history and we're proud of it. We can't deny that we were part of the Confederacy. But, what is the purpose of keeping the Jefferson Davis Memorial at Washington Park? It was originally on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Palm Blvd. It marked the Jeff Davis Memorial Highway which never really took off. It was then moved to Washington Park (not sure when). Hundreds of families enjoy this park, especially during big community events like Sombrero Festival and Cyclobia. What do you think the monument tells families when they are enjoying the park? We have a growing population of African-Americans in this community. This monument does not welcome the descendants of those who've been enslaved and oppressed in the past. Our nation fought to unify our country during the Civil War. Sadly, many people did not obtain full rights until the 1960s. We don't need reminders of a bygone era in a space that should be welcoming. We need to stop kissing up to the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy! They claim that it is heritage. Their heritage thought that it was a God-given right to own people. This is not right. Washington Park currently has three monuments dedicated to: Miguel Hidalgo, Jose Marti, and Jefferson Davis. The first two were liberators. Davis was the opposite. He fought to keep human beings enslaved. He was not a liberator! He also saw mestizos (mixed European and Native American) as inferiors. The majority of Brownsville is mestizo. We don't want it destroyed. We are asking the City of Brownsville and the Brownsville Historical Association to place it in a museum. For many people, this monument represents HATE and feel that it doesn't belong in a public park. Washington Park should be welcoming to ALL people! Please VOTE on relocating it to the Historic Brownsville Museum.

Antonio Castillo
5,314 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Jerry Brown, Riverside County District Attorney

Justice for Jesse Meraz

To California Governor Jerry Brown and the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, Jesse Meraz is just a six-character inmate number. But to me he is a faithful, hard-working, loving husband and father. You see, Jesse was thrown back into prison even after serving his sentence and our family is in a tail spin. Jesse made some bad decisions when he was a kid and before he even went to his first middle school dance, like too many men of color he was just another statistic in the criminal justice system. Jesse and I make no excuses for his bad behavior. He was hanging out with the wrong crowd, skipping school, and doing drugs. It wasn’t long before he was arrested for possession of a firearm. By his mid-20s he had been accused of four felonies and was serving his sentences. Under California’s draconian three-strikes law, he was looking at a life sentence for the non-violent crimes he committed. But in 2014, a Court of Appeals, reversed two of the charges and Jesse was resentenced to what we all believed was the maximum sentence under the law. Since he had already served seven years, Jesse was released with probation. Jesse was 36-years-old when he left prison and he worked hard to make the most of his second chance. He got a job, a good union job as an ironworker with Local 433. That’s no small feat for someone with a criminal record. He remained drug-and-drink-free. He obeyed all laws, had zero run-ins with law enforcement, and fulfilled all the requirements of his probation. He had even began getting his tattoos removed with the help of Homeboy Industry in Los Angeles. As a family, we both worked hard to provide for our four kids. We are home owners and during the housing crunch when we fell behind on our payments, Jesse worked every day to get us caught up. We did not have to rely of government services for anything. We attended church regularly, made sure our kids did well in school, and we paid our taxes. We were productive members of our community and Jesse had finally put all the mistakes of the past behind him. Then suddenly in all came to an abrupt halt. The Riverside District Attorney (Indio office) filed a petition to reverse the appeal that got him out in 2014. At his court hearing, Jesse had more than 20 people show up to speak on his behalf and we also had character letters from several community members including the former Indio Chief of Police but the judge did not allow us to present anything. The District Attorney argued that Jesse should not benefit from the new laws and would have to be resentenced under the old three-strikes law. He was sentenced to 25-years-to-life. Jesse was placed back into custody on January 30, 2017. I have worked for Riverside County for almost a decade now. I believe in a rehabilitation system that punishes those who commit crimes and then allows that person to do their time and move on. Additionally, as a taxpayer, I do not want to have to pay for another inmate when he has already served his time and has a proven record of living as a productive member of society who is not reliant on the government dime. Please sign my petition to ask the court to reverse the latest sentence and release my husband. Our family wants to go on living our lives quietly and without fear of having to pay for my husband’s mistakes from his past. Sincerely,Guadalupe Meraz

Guadalupe Meraz
21,185 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Pelicia Hall, Jerry Williams, Ron King, Marshall Tucker, Jacqueline Banks, Anthony Compton, Grace Fisher

Please Stop Group Punishment

We are tired of everyone being punished for things the majority of the men are not involved in. We do not understand why so many men who are following the rules and doing what they are supposed to be doing are being punished for the actions of others. There are more men being punished for absolutely no logical reason than there are men being punished for breaking the rules. Not only are the men being punished for no logical reason, but their families are being punished as well. We feel this practice constitutes cruel and inhumane treatment/punishment for both the inmate and their families, especially the children of these men and women who cannot understand why mommy and daddy are unable to write, call, or have visits. These babies are left wondering what they have done wrong despite their mom and dad following rules in order to be the best parent possible while incarcerated. We do not see any way that it is going to help any problem MDOC faces to punish the innocent (abiding by MDOC rules) along with those guilty of breaking the rules. Many of us have reviewed MDOC’s disciplinary policies and do not see where the department of corrections has the right to punish those men who are abiding by MDOC’s rules when there are RVR procedures for punishment.  Is it not enough punishment that they are separated from their families and real life? What is it that you are looking to accomplish with this practice? There has been an increase in aggression, it is less likely for men to obey MDOC rules since they are being punished already for things they have not done or have any control over, and there has been an increase in depression, anxiety, and possible suicides. I am no doctor or expert but when you take away everything the ones behaving are behaving for, what is left to motivate them to behave? Why are all the men being punished for the actions of the few? We do understand that there is a standard 72 hour lockdown that is to occur after any major situation for investigation and are not fighting that, but this is weeks and months of lockdowns when the ones breaking the rules obviously are not concerned with losing their privileges, despite the suffering of the ones that are obeying them. There are significant problems with over punishing which is why the military and our own department of corrections (before Marshall Fisher) stopped these practices years ago. Marshall Fisher’s statement was that the inmates need to learn to police themselves. They do not get paid to do that and it puts them in danger if they decide to become snitches and tell on everyone. The CO’s look down on them for that just as much as the other inmates do and in the long run is it really going to change the outcome? There will still be contraband, assaults, thieves stealing from others, and so on regardless of whether or not all the inmates that behave tell on the ones that misbehave constantly. It would just cause more problems for the department, inmate, and the families of the inmates. The inmates are not the only ones being punished. The families of these inmates who live visitation to visitation to see their husbands, brothers, cousins, fathers, and sons are being punished as well. We live visit to visit and phone call to phone call. Our lives revolve around our visits we are becoming extremely frustrated that despite the fact that only certain inmates are causing trouble, they are all being punished. Parchman Unit 29 has barely had any visits over the last year. All communication with their families has been cut off and the reason being because a handful of inmates refuse to follow the rules. For medium custody inmates, who are obviously obeying the rules or they would not be medium custody, that just makes no logical sense. What message does that send? Do we really want to tell these men that it does not matter what they do, they are still going to be disciplined and have all privileges taken away?  On top of losing visitations, their ability to buy hygiene, food, and writing supplies is taken away. They cannot visit, cannot call home, cannot write home, cannot buy soap and deodorant, and cannot eat anything other than what the prison provides when it is provided. These men are barely fed. If the families want to buy them extra food so they are not going hungry, they should be able to, especially when said inmate is obeying the rules of the department. This is cruel and inhumane treatment and needs to be stopped. No good can possibly come of all of this group punishment practice MDOC has chosen to incorporate. Why are we not cracking down punishment on the ones misbehaving and showing them that there are privileges available if they behave as men instead of animals? If they are going to have everything taken anyway, what is to stop them from becoming caged animals, rioting, and worse? There are people just being moved that were not on restriction or lockdown when they were moved being punished because of things that happened before they even arrived at the prison. There has to be a better way of handling things of this nature. There has to be a way to punish only those that are doing wrong and stop punishing those that do their best to stay under the radar and out of trouble.  We are asking that this practice be reevaluated and that the Mississippi Department of Corrections stop punishing every one for the mistakes of few. Everyone makes mistakes, some get caught and end up with a prison sentence while others never get caught and become politicians, attorneys, journalists, and other successful members of society. Once the inmate enters the department of corrections they begin paying for their crimes. Their behavior should determine the harshness of their treatment while in the department, not the behavior of others whom they probably never met before and have nothing to do with. Please think this through before our men get to a point of feeling there is nothing left to lose and everyone ends up with more problems than we started with. Justice is supposed to be fair. Humans are supposed to be treated as humans not animals that are not important.  Whether we make mistakes or not, we are still all human and not a single one of us means more to God than the other. We do not see any reason why the people who receive rule violations cannot be punished without everyone else being punished because of their violations. A man who misbehaves should pay for his own crimes and rule violations not everyone else’s crimes and rule violations and no one else should be made to pay for his mistakes. This practice is no different than if God were to set fire to the entire world right now and force us all to burn in it because of one or two men’s sin.  Please stop making the families and inmates suffer for things that have nothing to do with them. We are asking for you to exercise empathy and integrity. We are asking that you do the right thing in our Mississippi Department of Corrections. Let each man make their own bed instead of trouble makers being the ones making the beds for all men. There are many men suffering the consequences of those men that lack integrity. We are asking that this group punishment be dismissed and that the real trouble makers be made to suffer their own mistakes instead of everyone suffering. What if God decided to punish all humans this way? I think we would be in a world of hurt. Can we please find a better way?

Mississippi Dreams Prisoner Advocacy
626 supporters
Decision maker responded 3 days ago

Petition to Maria Cantwell, Jeff Merkley, Roni Norton, Washington State Attorney General, Washington State Department, Oregon State Department


  Adriana UcanEverett, WA APR 29, 2017 — So my Sister and and I went to Yukatan and managed our way through this foreign country and we brought Adriana home!!!!!Yukatan Authorities had no idea Oregon State took Adriana from her family here in the United States....Between the Consulate and DIF we were successful in proving Oregon State's Negligence in sending Adriana there. They had no idea Adriana had never been there before and never met her family there.They had NO idea of her families desperate search for her in the United States.Now that Adriana is home and safe it is now time to move forward with demanding rights for Grandparents so no other family has to endure what Adriana and our family endured. I fully intend to continue this fight for justice for Grandparents and thousands of children who have no voice in their fate...Please continue to pass this VERY IMPORTANT PETITION to stop the Abuse of Power forced upon families from State agencies that do not have children's best interests at heart and give Grandparents the rights to protect their families.Ken and I want to thank each and everyone who supported our efforts to bring Adriana home safe and sound to be reunited with her family. We are not done yet. There are thousands of children across this great nation who still need to be saved. Adriana's story is now being discussed at the Senate in Washington D.C. With Senator Jeff Merkley.This is our platform......Lets change these agencies from abusing the power given to them by the government and put these children first!!!!! Please join us in changing things for all these families and children. Adriana and our suffering has not been in Vain.... Thank You!!!!Ken and Roni Norton                                           

Roni Norton
587 supporters