Coronavirus Epidemic

4,834 petitions

Update posted 6 hours ago

Petition to UCLA, Chancellor Gene D. Block

UCLA: Stop endangering us; let disabled Bruins learn remotely!

The Disabled Student Union and students of UCLA have the following demands:   Live-stream all in person lectures, with students having the choice to go in person or attend the live-stream Eliminate in-person attendance requirements for students Provide recordings of classes for students with the modified attendance accommodation and for students with COVID-19 Ensure closed captioning (not auto-captioning) is accessible for all recording and live-streams as compliant with WCAG guidelines and ADA requirements Approve all faculty requests to teach remotely Disabled, immunocompromised, and otherwise concerned students and employees of UCLA deserve to work and learn under safe conditions. Anxieties abound as the delta variant of SARS-CoV-19 takes hold across the country, making both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans ill. But UCLA is denying requests to learn and work remotely. The administration also refuses to implement hybrid course models that would allow for equitable access. In trying to adhere to their dangerous promise of nearly all in-person instruction, UCLA is putting all students at risk and failing to meet the needs of disabled students.  Disabled students requested remote learning access for years prior to the pandemic; we were told it was too difficult and expensive to implement. The immediate switch to remote instruction in March 2020 proved that these accommodations were possible the entire time. Even without Covid, disabled students have difficulty making it to courses in person and/or have symptom flares that require them to miss class. It is not too difficult to accommodate this: UCLA already has the infrastructure for hybrid and remote instruction, via Bruincast and Zoom. It is essential that all courses utilize these tools to provide remote access so that all students can have equal access to education.  The Center for Accessible Education at UCLA asserts that requesting remote learning accommodations can be denied if it "fundamentally alters the nature of the course." Apparently, any form of learning remotely “fundamentally alters the nature of the course.” If that's the case, then every class between March 2020 and June 2021 was "fundamentally altered” – yet UCLA charged full tuition rates. Charging full tuition for this coursework implies that UCLA considered these classes equivalent to standard in-person work in quality and efficiency. There's no reason that that would not continue to be the case going into the 2021-2022 academic year. UCLA administration only sees remote study/work as reasonable if administrators feel unsafe – never mind the safety of high-risk Bruins. According to UCLA’s Faculty FAQ document, "Classes cannot be changed to remote modality based on … generalized concerns about classroom ventilation or potential virus transmission … [or] immunocompromised or unvaccinated family members." In other words, even faculty hesitant to go in-person due to safety concerns are not allowed to conduct their courses remotely. This is a potential violation of OSHA and ADA guidelines. Students have even less power: We're being told that after a full year of remote learning, it's suddenly too difficult to let us learn from home. Many of us are being denied remote learning accommodations even for classes required to graduate. Or, the university advises students to drop out until the pandemic subsides. Both of these options jeopardize the education and livelihood of students on financial aid or scholarships. This also forces disabled students to delay their careers or graduate school, harming their earning potential. UCLA is shutting out disabled students, faculty, and TAs in the middle of a pandemic. UCLA is prioritizing the goal of in-person instruction over protecting our lives. We deserve to learn and work where we feel safe: Tell UCLA to require remote access to ALL courses and approve ALL faculty requests for remote work!

Disabled Students Union
17,162 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Joseph R. Biden, Miguel Cardona, Richard Cordray, James Kvaal, Toby Merrill

President Biden: Cancel Federal Student Loans, and Return Bankruptcy Rights to the Rest.

Trillions could be injected into the economy with no money needed from the Treasury, and nothing added to the national debt.   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.   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. During the pandemic, Trillions in stimulus- including loans the don't need to be repaid- to the country.  This all requires money to be drawn from the Treasury, and adds to the national debt. The President, however, can cancel $1.3 Trillion in federally owned student loans with nothing needed from the Treasury, and nothing added to the national debt. Before the pandemic,  45.4 million people were holding federal student loans, and 80% were either unable to pay, or were paying but their balances were going up.  Today, student debt in over one-third of U.S. states exceeds their total annual budgets. Older people outnumber younger people with student debt, and they owe 3 times more, despite having borrowed far less.  The default rate for 2004 students is 40%, but they borrowed less than a third of what is being borrowed today.   The default rate for current borrowers will likely exceed 75%.  This is roughly four times higher than the default rate for sub-prime home mortgages.   This is- by all rational metrics- a catastrophically failed, and nationally threatening lending system.  We do not have to take this! Cancelling these loans 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.  80% of all borrowers were "underwater" on their loans before the pandemic. All borrowers were determined to be "financially needy" as a condition for the loans. More than 40% never graduated. Most borrowers are over the age of 35, and owe far more than younger people despite having borrowed far less.  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. This historic petition- YOUR petition- requires more than just your signature to succeed.  Please do YOUR PART to help it grow:  Re-tweet this, and follow us. Paste the link to it across social media platforms. Get at least two people you know to sign. Tell your local media to report on it. Give it a boost. Petition created by Alan Collinge, founder of StudentLoanJustice.Org and author of The Student Loan Scam (Beacon Press).  Contact

Student Loan Justice
1,058,276 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Gavin Newsom

$600​.​00 California Golden State Stimulus Check For SSDI & SSA Recipients

Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced a Golden State Stimulus payment for more than 2.5M tax payers that have filed their 2020 taxes as well as recipients of Cal EITC and ITIN filers who made less than $75,000 who have lived within the state of California for a least half of the 2020 tax year, you also have to be a California resident on the date payment is issued, and not be eligible to be claimed as a dependent.  California has a 76 billion dollar surplus thanks to taxes paid by wealthy Californians who benefited the most during the 2020 pandemic.  So why does this package leave out so many of those within the state of California who really need and could use this stimulus money the most?  SSDI and SSA recipients are in desperate need of this payment because many only survive on their monthly benefits, and the cost of this pandemic has put an additional strain on these beneficiaries, they should not have been left out from any State Stimulus Check.  Social Security Disability Insurance and Social Security Admin., recipients do not automatically qualify for the Golden State Stimulus payment because most do not file federal or state taxes which is needed in order to quality for California's State Stimulus I and II, even though SSDI recipients have paid taxes into the Social Security system for a least seven years in order to even be eligible Social Security Disability Insurance. SSDI and SSA recipient were not left out of:  Cares act $1200 1st round of recovery payments  Consolidated appropriation act of 2021 $600  American rescue plan act of 2021 $1400 Please sign this petition to let Governor Gavin Newsom know that SSDI and SSA recipients should benefit from the $600.00 Golden State Stimulus payment as well.  Thank you for caring, signing, posting, sharing and donating!

Sherriel Weithers
1,888 supporters
This petition won 2 years ago

Petition to Santa Clara Unified School District, SCUSD Board of Trustees, Santa Clara County Residents, Superintendent Benjamin H. Picard, Superintendent Stella Kemp, Superintendent Nancy Albarrán, Superintendent Donald Austin, Superintendent Cheryl Jordan, Superintendent Kim Wallace, Superintendent Craig Baker, Superintendent Paul Johnson, Superintendent Ayindé Rudolph, Superintendent Jeffrey C. Baier, Superintendent Emy Flores, Superintendent Shelly Viramontez, Raj Chahal, California Department of Public Health, Andy Ratermann, Ro Khanna, Gavin Newsom, Superintendent Tony Thurmond

Excuse Absences or Close Schools-Santa Clara County: EPICENTER

Mar 13, 2020 —  Thank you to everyone who signed this petition.  Thank you to all government officials and otherwise who helped make this difficult decision.     ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Should Santa Clara county parents have the option of keeping their child home without a doctor’s note and not be penalized as per the attendance policy requirements during the course of this ongoing outbreak?  We need to act fast to reduce transmission and interrupt the cycles of exposure. This is not the time to stress or fear getting disenrolled from school due to attendance issues. Countries and cities are closing borders, companies are giving options to work from home. Schools need to give similar options as well, especially here in Santa Clara County. Sign and share if you agree.  Such measures have been taken before- see link 29 below for a review and report created for CDC by The Center for Law & the Public’s Health at Georgetown & Johns Hopkins Universities. LINK 29:    Check   'Executive Summary'  on page 4 of the report on the link. A portion of the above report has been attached below. As per Prof. James G Hodge, et al "Executive Summary: Schools play a critical role in protecting the health of their students, staff, and the community from highly contagious, infectious diseases such as seasonal or pandemic influenza. Modeling and analyses conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others suggest that community-wide school closures may mitigate the incidence of pandemic influenza, thereby reducing its impact on individuals, groups, healthcare providers, public health systems, and the economy. The public health premise, consistent with social distancing theories, is that timely closing of schools may limit the spread of influenza (or other communicable conditions). The efficacy of social distancing measures to reducing the morbidity and mortality of pandemic influenza has been shown historically." How does the virus spread? Are children at risk of getting sick with the coronavirus? Are children transmitters of the virus? Is there any research on the legal and logistical issues related with school closures in response to a pandemic or other emergencies with prior case examples?  Yes, see link [29] below. How are companies, schools and organizations reacting to COVID-19? If so many big companies are closing, why not the schools? What are the CDC guidelines for schools during this emergency? What are the guidelines from the California Department of Education regarding school closures? How are school and university attendance requirements being impacted? Is it easy to get tested for coronavirus? Are there enough kits to test the growing number of cases? World Health Organization chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week, “This is not a drill” [16, 17] and governments "should be preparing for sustained community transmission” [16, 17]. PBS reports “a school district north of Seattle with 22,000 students announced it will close for up to two weeks because of coronavirus concerns” [22]. 1. How does the virus spread? As per CDC [5] the virus is spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”). As per WHO, the disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which the person coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets [6]. *What this means is that the virus spreads easily and quickly. 2. Are children at risk of getting sick with the coronavirus? 3. Are children transmitters of the virus? As per a research team team led by scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention [8], children do not seem to get sick by the virus at the same rate or intensity as adults do. However, the new research shows that children do, in fact, catch the coronavirus at about the same rate as adults [8]. Whether children are transmitters of the disease even if they are asymptomatic or mildly sick with COVID-19 is still being researched. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota said, "If children are carrying the infection but not showing symptoms, they could be an invisible reservoir for community spread"[27].  *What this means is that though most children’s cases may not be severe, asymptomatic or otherwise -children may be transmitters of the disease. 4. Is there any research on the legal and logistical issues related with school closures in response to a pandemic or other emergencies with prior case examples? [29] Yes, there is a a research paper co-authored by James G. Hodge Jr., a professor of public health law and ethics at Arizona State University for the CDC. You can check the research paper via the link below [29]. 5. How are companies, schools and organizations reacting to COVID-19? If so many big companies are closing, why not the schools? PBS reports that “a school district north of Seattle with 22,000 students announced it will close for up to two weeks because of coronavirus concerns” [22]. Northshore school district in Washington is moving all learning from classroom to Cloud and closing all campuses for 2 weeks. Superintendent Michelle Reid said, “All schools sites in the Northshore School District will be closed beginning Thursday, March 5 for up to 14 days while we continue to monitor the situation and health department recommendations. Today and tomorrow we will communicate plans to transition instruction from classroom to cloud (online learning) beginning Monday, March 9. This decision was made thoughtfully and with the support of a variety of district and community leaders” (read the rest of her letter via link [25]. As per SF Chronicle, Elk Grove District in Sacramento county is closing all schools till March 13th, pending further review on March 12 [23]. A number of schools have closed due to coronavirus concerns in the Bay Area as per NBC Bay Area. See a list at Stanford University is moving classes online for the final two weeks of winter quarter in response to a positive case of coronavirus [9].An increasing number of Bay Area companies are giving the option to employees to work from home. Some companies are requiring employees to work remotely. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Salesforce, Lyft and LinkedIn are some of the companies asking employees to work from home[10]. Companies like Cisco have given employees the option of working from home. *What this means is that further company and school closures seem highly likely because the outbreak is spreading rapidly. 6. What are CDC guidelines for schools during this emergency? CDC has published an interim set of guidelines to help school districts and administrators to plan, prepare and respond to coronavirus before, after and during this emergency [11]. One of the guidelines is to encourage sick students and staff to stay at home. Another is to use flexibility in regards to attendance [11]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging education officials to plan for extended closures due to the rapidly increasing rate of coronavirus outbreaks [12]. CDC also says, “Community-level nonpharmaceutical intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings (e.g., postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and telework and remote-meeting options in workplaces). These measures can be disruptive and might have societal and economic impact on individual persons and communities. However, studies have shown that early layered implementation of these interventions can reduce the community spread and impact of infectious pathogens such as pandemic influenza, even when specific pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines are not available. These measures might be critical to avert widespread COVID-19 transmission in U.S. communities.” [15]. *What this means is that CDC is stressing on early layered implementation of interventions to control the spread of this disease. 7. What are the guidelines from the California Department of Education regarding school closures? A letter by Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Principals says, “deciding to close a school is a local decision, and one that CDE would not provide the directive on, especially if it is a public health concern. In the case of COVID-19, the decision to close a school would either come from the school and/or district, or ideally from their local county public health officials.” [13]. *What this means is that in most cases the school district is the organization that will decide whether a closure is warranted or not. 8. How are school and university attendance requirements being impacted? Coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation eliciting reactions from schools, universities, companies and countries around the world in an effort to contain the rapid spread of this virus. Several universities and schools in Washington are experiencing closures (check [18] for detailed list). The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is also considering “including extending the school year to June 19 if necessary” [19]. As per Berkeley News, UC Berkeley is asking instructors to consider suspending any attendance requirements until further notice [21]. As per Tampa Bay Times, Pinellas county in Florida is set to cut attendance policy regarding exam waivers, citing coronavirus [20]. *What this means is that unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions and policies need to be revisited for optimal virus containment efforts.  9. Is it easy to get tested for coronavirus? Are there enough kits to test the growing number of cases? No and Not yet.  [A report is yet to be confirmed about 1 million test kits being sent to state public health laboratories all over the US.] As per Kaiser Health News [7], there are problems with US testing protocols. The woman in Solano county is an example where the doctors suspected coronavirus and requested testing which was not approved due to the federal government’s narrow testing protocols. Finally, the CDC requested testing and it came back positive. San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and other news outlets/resources report a shortage of number of testing kits. *What this means is that there are cases that are going undetected  [7] and that coronavirus outbreaks will continue to spread.   Number of cases in the US, California and Santa Clara county: Rapidly Changing Situation Since Thursday May 5th, the number of US cases have jumped from 227 to over 500 as per CNN[1] [2]. As per CDPH [California Department of Public Health], there are 88 positive cases in California as of March 7th [3]. At least 32 of those 88 cases are in Santa Clara County. *What this means is that the outbreak is growing at an unprecedented rate across California, especially in Santa Clara and Solano counties [23] and we need to act fast. Considering the above, should Santa Clara county parents have the option of keeping their child home without a doctor’s note and not be penalized as per the attendance policy requirements during the course of this ongoing outbreak? If you believe the answer is yes, please sign this petition to help Santa Clara county parents have the option to keep their children at home and not have to supply a doctor’s note. Remember: 1. Verify your resources. There is a lot of information out there and it is difficult to sort it all out. 2. Practice preventative measures [26].3. Stay calm and be informed.4. There are all sorts of social taboos associated with asking simple questions and expressing concern. Support and educate each other. It is absolutely understandable to be concerned about this situation as it is rapidly changing and is unprecedented. Let us work together [albeit remotely] and help implement ‘preventative’[15], ‘layered’ [15] and effective measures in a timely manner[16,17].  Thank you for reading and considering signing this petition. Track the spread of the virus, check Reuters link:  Links: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29].

Santa Clara County Parents and Residents
15,878 supporters