Topic

Congressional Reform

13 petitions

Started 2 months ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

#OpenLetter2Congress

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives: Sirs and madams, I submit this to you as a concerned citizen and a loyal American. Let me start from the outset by paying respect to the institution you are a body to. You stand in the halls of visionaries. The founders of this nation had their flaws, yet their ideals were honorable as were their lofty dreams for a union free of tyranny and repression. Though the scars are copious and we must always be mindful of the sins visited upon many in the past, we should be grateful nonetheless to live in a nation that is a beacon of freedom and liberty. Yet today, I write to you because that beacon is flickering to a dim. Contrary to popular opinion in some quarters, what made America great was never her perfection but that she was being perfected over time. Sadly, not only have we reached a plateau as a society, we are seemingly going in reverse. It is with this saddened heart that I pen this open letter to the United States Congress and specifically address this memorandum to my Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine as well as my Congressman Gerry Connolly who represents Virginia’s 11th Congressional District. Who I am is inconsequential; I write this letter for every man and every woman who is feeling the gravity of societal angst and financial duress that is weighing heavy on the chest of too many Americans. I do not convey this missive with a spirit of antagonism; though I’ve written on countless occasions of the excesses of Washington DC, today I’m presenting this petition before you with hope of goodwill in my heart. Though I have must note, my exasperation that I’ve expressed about our politics is not because I harbor any resentment about my country nor should my past chagrin be taken as a sign of disloyalty to my nation. Rather, it is because I cherish America and all her possibilities that I express dismay at the state of our union. I am originally from Ethiopia, I fled my native land to escape the clutches of tyranny and state sponsored repression. A police state is not a theory that I read about in history books or a documentary I watch on YouTube, I remember to this day the feeling of anxiety I felt and the fear I witnessed in my mother’s eyes while driving through military check points when I was a child in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. We came to America seeking a shelter from oppression; my parents left behind a life of upper class privilege to toil as immigrants in a new land so that my siblings and I could have a shot at a future free of coercion and pursue our God given potential—this was the audacious dreams of my parents. I love America for this reason above all. I will forever have an affinity in my heart for the land of my birth, but I am an American. There are not enough words to properly describe the blessings of this nation. Though the work before us is much, I would be remiss if I did not note the abundance of America. I have learned much from my father, one wisdom he instilled in my mind is to be thankful even in the midst of hardship. Accordingly, let me express my gratefulness to America. In too many places around this world, the critiques I write about leaders would be met with a bullet and a grave sentence. Yet, in America, we are free—even as these liberties are fraying—to condemn and criticize without being met with malice at our doors. I am forever indebted to America, this nation provided safe harbor when menace forced my family and me to flee my birth land. It is for this reason that I write you today and rise in defense of her principles and our freedoms. You follow in the footsteps of giants and the chambers they once kept. I’m not referring to the brick and mortar of the US Capitol, I’m referring to the chambers of hearts that yearned for freedom and liberty as the founders of this nation deliberated good governance during the nascency of a nation. Long before Washington DC became our capital, men like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Benjamin Franklin were busy drafting the blueprint that they hoped would enshrine freedom and liberty for the ages. What they feared above all for the United States was concentrated power and the despotism that would arise from the womb of federalized interests. What the founders feared, complacency from the public and malfeasance by a few, is coming to fruition. I do not write this for effect nor is my aim to be hyperbolic; with each passing day, we are nearing closer to despotism and tyranny. We never thought it possible in Ethiopia that one day a nation governed by a succession of Solomonistic kings and queens for more than two thousand years would suddenly be shattered by a violent overthrow and be replaced with autocracy by the wielders of brute force. Yet that is precisely what happened in 1974; Mengistu Hailmariam dethroned Emperor Haile Selassie and then ruled with an iron fist for more than twenty years only to be replaced by an equally despotic TPLF government that currently rules Ethiopia with AK47s and without consent. Tyranny takes a long time to birth but then arrives with the force of a thousand thunderbolts. This is an existential threat America is facing. Concentrated power and consolidated wealth is tearing apart the fabric of our nation. Chunk by chunk, we are going back to the days of King George as the citizenry is being taxed to death and our representation is being nullified by the influence of moneyed interests. Empires die when hubris leads to wars, mismanagement leads to debt and when systemic greed leads to institutional corruption—the death knell tolls for our nation. We have become a nation of wealth transference where the masses toil in order to feed the opulence of plutocrats. Where the founders were being repressed by British nobility before 1776, in 2017 the people are being subjugated by a neo-aristocracy in Washington DC, Manhattan and gated villas in exclusive townships who live apart from the broader public. The Declaration of Independence is being erased by a confab of rent-seekers and nepotists. We get distracted by the outrageous and the rantings of a mad man as our country cracks at the foundation. Every lever of power and all institutions that affect the citizenry has been co-opted by the affluence and influence of the wealthiest few in this world—many of whom are not even American. How does Congress abide six corporations, as in six people, owning more than 90% of the information that is broadcast through mass media? How do you allow two social media corporations—Facebook and Google—to accumulate such power that they can dictate free press and the first amendment? How have we come to accept billionaires paying a less effective tax rate than a mother working at the Waffle House who is struggling to feed her children? JFK once said “ask not what your nation can do for you but what you can do for your nation”; we now live in an era where a wealthy few are convinced that our nation is due them. It does not have to be this way, we do not have to sit back and impotently observe our nation sinking into the abyss. That is the reason I am writing this open letter to you. I still hold tight to hope that goodness can overcome selfishness and that goodwill can rise above discord. But faith without action is dead. The only way to bend the arc of history towards justice is if the public stops being participants and instead become defenders of Democracy. Likewise, the leaders we entrust with power have to muster the courage to break against party and self-interest and return to the vision of the founders. I am reminded of this quote from John Adams: “We ought to consider what is the end of government, before we determine which is the best form. Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all Divines and moral Philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow, that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.” ~ John Adams A commoner, I humbly asks this of rulers in the spirit of John Adams. What is the end of government? If rulers pass laws devoid of morality, if Congress enacts legislation that benefits a few at the cost of the people, if bureaucrats are more interested in protecting their turf than serving the public, and if politicians are more focused on retaining power than they are in the judicious use of power, we become a nation no different than the empire the founders rose up against. I ask you to consider these things; the judgment of history, the verdict our creator and the fate of our nation—as well as the direction of our planet—all rest on your shoulders and your collective decisions.   #OpenLetter2Congress Undersigned,Teodrose Fikre on behalf of “We the People” dated October 27th, 2017  I you agree with this article and you too want to be less a participant of Democracy and a defender of Democracy instead, join this letter by signing this petition Hand further more use social media to circulate this write up far and wide and make sure to use Twitter to send this to your Congressmen and Senators as I did by sending this to @MarkWarner @TimKaine and @GerryConnolly. It is time for us to reclaim our nation or watch our country languish. History and our children will judge us too. Read full petition and watch associated videos by clicking HERE. 

Ghion Journal
27 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Donald Trump, Cardi B

Make "Bodak Yellow" the U.S. National Anthem

Fuck a Star Spangled Banner. This country was built on the black and blue blood of those bound to their masters. Our current anthem glorifies this history.  By now, you've seen the tweets and heard the controversies. We're tired of this back and forth, so let's cut the crap. It's time we rally behind a song that exudes determination rather than destruction.  I'm no fan of American exceptionalism, but I do stan for multiculturalism. One clear icon comes to mind: Cardi B. Born to a Trinidadian mother and Dominican father in the South Bronx, this trailblazing rapper encapsulates the essence of our society. She's come from humble beginnings, but has captivated hearts and minds across the country with one song in particular. Cardi B is a manifestation of the American Dream. As such, let's slap her song of the summer loud and proud for many more seasons to come. Who's with me? Powerhouse lyrics include: "Said little bitch, you can't fuck with meIf you wanted to" --> respect for the individual: the right to bodily autonomy, which manifests in our current society in debates over reproductive rights and draconian drug laws. don't tread on me, bitch!"If I see you and I don't speakThat means I don't fuck with you" --> non interventionist foreign policy would further deescalate rising tensions and circumvent world war. imperalism was so last season, honey! "And I pay my mama billsI ain't got no time to chill" --> a commitment to lowering the debt ceiling signals responsibility with taxpayer dollars, which originate from coercive practices. boy better back tf off this bank account! We need to let the people elected to represent us know: it's time to REALLY make American Great "Again." Congress: it's time to embrace "Bodak Yellow" once and for all. 

Danya Adib-Azpeitia
27 supporters
Started 5 months ago

Petition to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell

Make Congress Great Again

The great American legislative bodies, The Senate and the House of Representatives, have become disconnected from the lives of the people they were elected to represent. Those august legislators have been inundated with money, hectored by special interests, and forced to pledge loyalty to their party above the interests of the American people. Decisions are made behind closed doors. They have access to health care, retirement plans, extended vacations, and perquisites that the average American cannot even hope to have. These factors have created a body of politicians who have little or no understanding of how people in the great 50 states of America live, work, or survive. Their very jobs have distorted their view of these United States of America. To remediate this disconnect, and allow Congress to go about the people's business, I propose the following: 1. Congressional salaries shall not exceed twice the average national income. 2. These salaries will be their only source of income. 3. Congress persons must obtain health insurance on the open and free market.  4. Congressional vacations must not exceed 2 weeks a year.  5. Days not worked will be deducted on a pro-rated basis.  6. Time spent raising money for campaigns will be deducted from their base salary.  7. Any donations to any Congressional campaign will be part of the public record. The donations will be published newspapers in the Congress person's district.  8. Congress persons may not retire with any monies raised during the execution of their duties. Any residual funds will revert to the general treasury. They may choose to deposit part of their salary in a basic 401k. 9. The only publicly funded travel will be for the purpose of returning to their election districts. 10. Congress persons can have no other source of income except their        congressional salary. 11. Congress will conduct all meetings in public, with the only exception being national security. 12. All discussions, documents, and meetings, with the exception of national security, will be available to the public. 13. No elected official may use information gathered in the course of their public duties to enrich themselves or any member of their family. 14. Any law passed by Congress MUST apply to Congress itself as well as the American people. There will be no exceptions.  By implementing these changes, Congress will better understand what it is to be a True American. Consequently, the laws and actions of Congress will better reflect the will of those constituents that elected them.   

Hollis Hoff
21 supporters