Topic

Coronavirus Epidemic

4,833 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Joseph R. Biden, Miguel Cardona

POTUS: Cancel ALL Federal Student Loans, and Return Bankruptcy Rights to the Rest.

Trillions could be injected into the economy with no tax money needed, and nothing added to the national debt.   Before the pandemic,  80% of the 45.4 million people holding federal student loans were either unable to pay, or were paying but their balances were going up.  Over one-third of U.S. states have student debt loads that eclipse their entire state budgets. People over the age of 50 with student loans outnumber people under 25, and they owe 3 times more, despite having borrowed far less.  The default rate for 2004 students is 40%, and they took out less than a third of what today's students have to borrow.   The default rate for current borrowers will likely exceed 75%.  This is more than four times the default rate of sub-prime home mortgages.  By all rational metrics, this is now a catastrophically failed, and nationally threatening lending system. We do not have to take this. The President and Secretary of Education have all the authority needed to cancel all federally owned student loans- about 85% of all student debt. Nothing would be added to the national debt, and no congressional approval or appropriation is needed.  The President can also order the Department of Education to stop opposing student loan borrowers in bankruptcy court.  For the good of the nation, it is time to end this broken federal lending system.  We call on President Biden cancel all federally owned loans by executive order, and replace this failed lending system with a less expensive, more state-friendly funding model for higher education.  We also call on both the President and Congress to return standard bankruptcy protections to ALL student loans, by executive order and through legislation. This will greatly stimulate the economy.  Analysts have estimated that cancelling student loans will increase GDP by over $100 billion for the next ten years, but they neglect increased borrowing capacity that will enable people to buy homes, start businesses, etc.  This would be an additional $1 Trillion (roughly) in direct spending in the near/medium term.   This is not a partisan problem.  More than half of all student loan borrowers identify as being politically independent, or republican. "Red" states are being hurt significantly worse than "Blue" states.    Claims that cancelling loans will largely benefit people who don't need it are wrong.  All borrowers were determined to be "financially needy" as a condition for federal loans. More than 40% never graduated.   The most successful student loan borrowers tend to refinance their loans out of the federal system, so they won't benefit. Rest assured, the taxpayers will be fine. The federal government has been profiting greatly on these loans for many years, and the Department of Education has even been making a profit on defaulted loans for decades.  While it is not known how much of the $1.6 Trillion federal portfolio is unpaid principal, it is likely a small fraction of the total. On balance, the taxpayers will have very little- if any- net loss when these loans are cancelled. PLEASE HELP GROW THIS PETITION: Paste the link to it across social media platforms. Tell your local media to report on it. Get at least ten people you know to sign.  Give it a boost. Follow us on Twitter and re-tweet this.  PLEASE...DO YOUR PART.  THIS HISTORIC PETITION REQUIRES MORE THAN JUST YOUR SIGNATURE TO SUCCEED! Petition created by Alan Collinge, founder of StudentLoanJustice.Org and author of The Student Loan Scam (Beacon Press). 

Student Loan Justice
1,025,908 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Gavin Newsom

Change the EDD

My name is Ashley.  I am writing to you today with a personal story about an all to familiar topic. The California employment development department. As you know the need for unemployment benefits here in the state of California amid the pandemic is through the roof. But what is not being discussed is the unethical treatment of people who are receiving these benefits. I am writing in today to tell you a little more about my story. I am a pandemic unemployment recipient. My claim started back in August of 2020. During the time I was still actively seeking work throuout the pandemic as the business that my husband and I have could not operate. I was fortunate enough to secure a job with san bernardino county after my initial claim was filed. I was very excited to have a stable source of income from that job to stop from relying on the edd system. So I started my job. However two days after securing that job the school district that my children attend put out a statement saying they would remain distance learning for the rest of the school year. Meaning they would be at home learning for the rest of 2020 and so far 2021. Since I am the one responsible for taking care of them since childcare is unavailable at that time I was forced to resign from my job. Three weeks later I received a paycheck of 243 dollars for the two days worked. And of that 243 I saw 172 dollars due to the fact employers take out for taxes and pensions and etc. I was baffled by the fact that once again I was finding my self like so many other people, unemployed because of the pandemic yet again. Now let's fast forward to March 23rd of 2021. After months of issues with the edd from delayed extensions to gaps in benefits I was hit with another road block. The 172 dollar gross paycheck back from August of 2020. The edd put my entire claim on hold. That was March 23rd. I started frantically calling the edd to try to find out what was going on and spent over 300 hours in total trying to get a hold of them. When I finally found success in using an autodialer to help with making the connection I was told to basically "just wait because I need an eligibility interview." I was told it would take approximately 2-3 weeks and I would receive correspondence from the edd. However, this never happened. I utilized method after method to contact the edd including sending a total of 10 emails now that have yet to be answered.  The audacity of the edd to require that we as people should do everything in a timely manner. Where is the same respect for us. It reminds me of our local Walmart. Have you ever been in Walmart with 18 registers but yet three are open. That is our California unemployment system. This Sunday will mark 8 weeks of unanswered emails phone calls and lack of benefits.  There is nothing I won't do at this point to try to fix my claim. I have even gone as far as to reach out to the office of Gavin Newsom.  They seem to be the most successful in attempting to help but are stating they need at least 30 days to try to process. Another 30 days. Another month of not recieveing the measly 147 dollars a week I am entitled to. There has been no press release from the edd in I don't know how long and it seems as though there seems to be no one in the entire department who actually cares about helping the people during this pandemic. This needs attention and I think there is a lot of people who would love to express the need for an EDD REFORM!!! Sincerely one angy American citizen!!! 

Ashley Berckley
51 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny, Philadelphia City Council, Philadelphia City Councilman At-Large David Oh

Save the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a revised budget for fiscal year 2021 in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic on May 1, 2020. Businesses have been closed and workers have been off the job for weeks, reducing the city's tax revenue significantly. The Office of the Department of Finance projects that without any changes the city would have a $649 million deficit next year. The city cannot legally operate with a deficit. We understand that hard decisions needed to be made and that cut backs and program budget reductions were inevitable. However, to completely eliminate an office that supports a vital industry in the city of Philadelphia, especially one that has been hit very hard during this crisis, is short sighted and should be reversed. In the new budget, the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy was budgeted $0 dollars, down from approximately $4.4 million, effectively closing the office. Most of that budgeted money goes directly to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, which gives grants to hundreds of non-profits in the city. The presentation of the budget by the Mayor is only the first step. It still must be approved and voted on by City Council before July 1.  SEE: Mayor's Operating Budget - re: page 80SEE: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney Delivers New Budget by Video; Jobs/Services Cuts, Tax Hikes According to the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the arts and cultural sector generates $4.1 billion in economic impact annually and supports 55,000 jobs. That creates $1.3 billion in household income and $224.3 million in state and local taxes.* The creative economy includes but is not limited to artists, musicians, painters, sculptors, dancers, actors, filmmakers, graphic designers, venues, theaters, museums, galleries, bartenders, waiters, chefs, box office workers, bouncers, sound engineers, tech crews, art/dance/recording studios, and all employed by those entities, as well as support industries such as accountants, lawyers, hotels, ride shares, parking, public relations, marketing, and media. On the other side there are the fans, patrons, concert goers, theater attendees, and more who support the arts and make the purchases. Most of this industry has been shut down during this crisis and needs support now more than ever to rebound during the economic recovery. The Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy's mission is to close the gap in access to quality cultural experiences and creative expression through the support and promotion of arts, culture and the creative industries; connecting Philadelphians to enriching, arts-infused experiences; linking local artists and cultural organizations to resources and opportunities; and preserving the City’s public art assets. http://creativephl.org The OACCE is also responsible for the Music Industry Task Force, the Mayor's Cultural Advisory Council, Art in City Hall, all of Philadelphia's public art, and funding the Philadelphia Cultural Fund which gives grants to numerous Philadelphia arts and culture non-profits. Philadelphia is a vibrant city teeming with culture that has been driving our identity for hundreds of years. The art created in Philadelphia reaches well beyond its borders and has touched the world and helps drive our other industries through attention and attraction to our area. As we look to rebound and recover from this crisis, there are certainly sectors that are essential to our health and safety and must be prioritized. However, unless we take care to ensure our cultural health is also revived, we risk losing our spirit. Philadelphia's creative economy deserves proper representation in City Hall. Understandably, it is likely not possible for the OACCE to be budgeted at the same level as the original budget, however, the industry's economic impact alone justifies that the office's budget be more than zero. We are simply asking that the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy not be eliminated. *https://www.philaculture.org/why-arts-culture/prosperity        

iradiophilly
17,669 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to President Robert Barchi, Board of Governors

We Are Not Disposable: Don’t Let Rutgers Purge Dedicated Teachers!

Monday, April 13, 2020 To President Barchi, the Board of Governors, and the broader Rutgers community: We Are Not Disposable: Don’t Let Rutgers Purge Dedicated Teachers On April 2nd, in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, Rutgers announced a hiring freeze for all employees, including its adjunct faculty (called Part-Time Lecturers or PTLs). As most PTL contracts must be renewed each semester, this “hiring freeze” could effectively amount to termination for many of Rutgers’ most valuable educators. Since April 2nd, top administrators have instructed some university deans to reduce PTL positions by as much as 25 percent, and to also make cuts to curricula. Administrators made these decisions unilaterally, without consulting the labor unions that represent the more than 20,000 workers essential to fulfilling Rutgers’ core mission. Why are administrators endangering the education of our students and threatening to harm the most vulnerable members of its faculty? In response to this outrageous and unfair policy, we, the undersigned, demand the following of the administration: Rescind the April 2nd policy announcing a PTL hiring freeze; Rescind any instructions to Deans to cut PTL hires by 20% or more.  Further, in light of the nature of the COVID-19 health emergency and its implications for the lives and well-being of Rutgers most vulnerable teachers: Immediately provide access to Rutgers health clinics for PTLs, and all other uninsured part-time employees at Rutgers, free of any charge; Provide compensation in the amount of $1,250 per course to PTLs who put in extra hours to rapidly transition to remote instruction; Cancel spring course evaluations because it is unfair to evaluate PTLs for teaching for courses that were transitioned to distance learning; Advance all qualified PTLs applying for promotion this semester (before June 1st), without “classroom” observation; and Recognize and empower a Rutgers Community COVID-19 Task Force in which all stakeholders—representatives of faculty and other Rutgers’ unions, student representatives, and community leaders—are equal partners in crisis response. Context: Rutgers employs roughly 3,000 PTLs statewide, who teach thousands of courses, and tens of thousands of students, every semester. Most PTLs make less than $5,500 per course with no benefits, and have worked overtime this spring without additional compensation for moving courses online. Cutting the number of PTLs not only weakens Rutgers’ primary institutional mission—to educate students—it also makes little financial sense. Reducing PTL courses by 20-25% will net less that $6 million in savings, perhaps far less. If Rutgers needs to save money, why not do what Stanford and other universities have done, and begin with temporary pay cuts for top administrators who have the highest salaries? For example, athletic coaches some of whom earn well over a million dollars, continue to draw salaries even while Rutgers sports are suspended. Additionally, there are 247 administrators at Rutgers who make more than $250,000 a year. Temporarily capping salaries at $250,000 could save $29 million. Further, there is no evidence that the university in fact faces any budgetary emergency. We know that Rutgers retains a “rainy day fund” totaling as much as $805 million, and that it will receive federal stimulus aid (around $55 million). Why not use these funds to ensure the quality education and protect some of the university’s most experienced teachers? Why look to layoff the lowest-paid faculty members, especially when alternative employment is likely to be severely limited due to hiring freezes at other universities? The COVID-19 pandemic is laying bare the inequities in our workforce and our workplaces. Rutgers PTLs stand together, and in solidarity with all members of the Rutgers community and beyond, whose jobs and well-being are threatened by this crisis, to say: “We are not disposable.” Together, we have the power to stop the university’s thoughtless efforts to manage this crisis on the backs of its most vulnerable employees. We, the undersigned, call upon the administration to do the right thing and respond quickly to this petition and its demands. The PTLFC-AAUP-AFT Executive Board Ann Alter Lauren Barbato Frank Bridges Roseli Golfetti Sheryl Goski Amy Higer David Letwin Paul More Heather Pierce Bryan Sacks Dan Sidorick Karen Thompson Alex Walter David Winters Deonca Williams

PTL Faculty Chapter, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
3,545 supporters