Topic

Coronavirus Epidemic

4,839 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

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

POTUS: Cancel Federal Student Loans, and Return Bankruptcy Rights to All Student Loans.

Follow us on Twitter! Student Loans can be cancelled with nothing needed from the Treasury, and nothing added to the national debt.  President Biden promised to broadly cancel student loans before the election.  Now, he appears to be reneging on this pledge. We call on President Biden to cancel all federally owned loans by executive order.  We also call on both the President and Congress to return standard bankruptcy protections to ALL student loans, by executive order and through Congress. During the pandemic, Trillions in stimulus (including PPP loans that don't need to be repaid) require money to be drawn from the Treasury, and add to the national debt. The President can, however, cancel $1.3 Trillion in federally owned student loans with nothing needed from the Treasury, and nothing added to the national debt. He can also order the Department of Education to stop opposing student loan borrowers in bankruptcy court. 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.  By all rational metrics, this is now a catastrophically failed, and nationally threatening lending system.  We do not have to take this. Cancelling these loans will greatly stimulate the economy.  Analysts estimate that cancelling student loans will increase GDP by over $100 billion for the next ten years, but they fail to account for 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 PETITION NEEDS MORE THAN JUST YOUR SIGNATURE TO SUCCEED!  PLEASE DO YOUR PART TO HELP IT GROW: ***   Call both of your senators.   Join your state chapter group, and our Facebook Group. Tell your local media to report on the petition. Give it a boost.   We can do this!  Check out the recent media we've been featured in! Petition created by Alan Collinge, founder of StudentLoanJustice.Org and author of The Student Loan Scam (Beacon Press).  Contact

Student Loan Justice
1,077,490 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Kathy Hochul

Patrick Stephens deserves clemency!

This petition was originally created in 2020. We are still seeking clemency, however, Patrick will finally present before the New York State Board of Parole for the first time in Feb 2022. All of the reasons why he should be granted clemency are the same reasons he should be granted parole. Patrick has helped SO many men prepare for their own parole board hearings and now it’s his turn. We’re praying he never has to experience the perpetual punishment of denied parole. While we wait on parole, we are still hopeful that Governor Hochul will intervene and grant Patrick the clemency we’ve been requesting for over 3 years. Clemency means forgiveness or leniency in judgment; to show mercy.  A commutation of sentence (a form of executive clemency) reduces an incarcerated person’s current sentence.  Please support clemency for Patrick Stephens.  Patrick is in his 24th year of a 25 year to life sentence for murder, committed in 1995 when he was only 22 years old.  Although a first time violent offender, he was sentenced the maximum time possible for second-degree murder; the minimum being 15 years.  Patrick's quest for personal growth and demonstrated commitment to helping others unquestionably meets the criteria the State has used to define those worthy of clemency - he “has made exceptional strides in self-development and improvement; has made responsible use of available rehabilitative programs; has addressed identified treatment needs and the commutation is in the interest of justice, consistent with public safety and the rehabilitation of the applicant” See Apply for Clemency, Commutations, available at http://www.ny.gov/services/apply-clemency (last visited April 4, 2020).  With the strong support of his family, he has a reentry plan in place that will set him up for success upon his release.   Patrick is now 48 years old.  He has made remarkable strides while in prison, including earning his Associate’s Degree and Bachelor's Degree from Bard College. And as of September 2020, he earned his Master’s Degree from New York Theological Seminary.  He has received certificates and licenses in approximately 20 programs, learned (and is now fluent in) Spanish, and is a member of the Bard Debate Union.  In addition to his educational growth, Patrick has dedicated his time to helping other incarcerated individuals, including those with HIV and AIDS. Patrick has participated in several programs that helped reframe his way of thinking about conflict resolution and communicating with others.  Beyond this, he has facilitated and developed programs and workshops on behalf of other incarcerated men, displaying a pattern of community commitment.   Most importantly, Patrick has learned what he did not know when he was just 22—that violence and taking a life is never the answer to resolve conflict. He takes full responsibility for his actions and is sorry for the life lost and the pain he caused the family. A common theme in the numerous letters of support written on Patrick's behalf is one of growth, change, and maturity. The letters speak of his change in thinking, calm and thoughtful demeanor, and encouragement and mentorship of others—a far cry from the rebellious, impulsive 22 year-old who committed the offense. The fact that so many people felt compelled to write letters is a testament to his character. Patrick has clearly demonstrated he is remorseful and willing to live up to his potential to be a valued member of society.  With his educational achievements during his incarceration, there is minimal risk of repeated offense and recidivism.  His family and contacts in the academic community will provide an extensive support network, further reducing the risk.  Further incarceration no longer serves any purpose for the People of New York.  Therefore, in the interest of justice and reform, Patrick Stephens should be granted clemency. For additional information about Patrick's experience and achievements, please visit DoingSorry.com.  Thank you for your support!

Alana S.
7,006 supporters
This petition won 2 years ago

Petition to Kevin Skelly, SMUHSD , SMFCSD , Joan Rosas, Nancy Magee, Scott Morrow

Shift our San Mateo County Schools to ONLINE classes due to coronavirus

No matter your stance on the idea of online classes, we believe, as a Association of over 5000 parents, teachers, and students, that Students SHOULD NOT fear reprimand to protect their own SAFETY and HEALTH, from ANY district.  The students of the County of San Mateo do not feel comfortable attending classes due to the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus. Until proper precautions have been taken to ensure the wellbeing of the students, such as changing the fundamental idea of a crowded, humid locker room and stuffy classes where students must be shoulder to shoulder, San Mateo students want their classes switched to Online Classes. There are people at schools with a compromised immune system who might easily, and unfortunately, fall victim to this contagious virus. Elderly teachers, students with compromised immune systems, and teachers who are forced to be in class with sick students: all to keep student grades up. We do not want to risk our lives by attending class. This is a coalition of concerned Parents, Teachers, and Students, who feel that the inaction of our County: schools all over from Redwood City to San Mateo, is deplorable - some of it is ignorance; but we cannot deny the truth; that while children are not impacted they could be asymptomatic carriers compromising those who are vulnerable (eventually stressing out the healthcare system). Declared a Pandemic by the World Health Organization, if we close schools when we find the "first case", according to Yale University Sociologist and Physician, Nicholas Christakis,"If you wait for the case to occur [in your school], you still have wound up closing the school, but now you've missed the opportunity to have the real benefit that would have accrued had you closed the school earlier". As San Mateo's Health Officer releases an official statement, he states that " School closings present a particularly vexing social distancing dilemma but may be necessary to protect public health. Once school closings occur, they may be extensive and extended. Social distancing—staying at least 6 feet away from all other people—should be attempted where possible." It's completely possible to move to Online Classes. Sign the petition now for Safer Schools, Safer Health, and Safer Students. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/11/814438424/when-should-schools-close-for-coronavirus  

David Yang
5,901 supporters