Topic

disability

74 petitions

Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State House, New York State Senate, Sue Serino, Didi Barrett, Carl Heastie, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Aileen Gunther, Angelo Santabarbara, Latoya Joyner, James Skoufis, Charles E. Schumer, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, John F. Kennedy, John Lewis, Paul Tonko

Bailey’s Law now! Hold criminals accountable for victimizing the developmentally disabled!

 Please Support the Passage of #BaileysLaw We cannot allow criminals to get away with the death of their victims, especially our disabled loved ones. 12-5-18 Update: The court is moving forward with the golden plea deal for Teator- reduced charges, 3 years probation, and the gift of wiping out her completely unrelated charges in a totally separate court. The Thompson case has not started yet... I’m outraged. This is NOT JUSTICE or a deterrent for INTENTIONALLY victimizing an autistic 19 year old whereby the crime directly led to his death. Please, please, help me fix this so our story doesn’t become someone else’s.  What you can do to help:1. SHARE the petition and Bailey’s story, in person and online2. Go to our website and print free flyers for local venues and local bulletin boards in your town, and deliver them to all the neighbors on your street 3. Call agencies that support the disabled and/or elderly and ask them to join our coalition of support. You can give them the website address as a contact.                    4. Call your representatives, wherever you live, and tell them we need #BaileysLaw.5. Stay informed. The blood and guts of this journey is on our Facebook page Dear Bailey. OUR STORY My 19 year old autistic son, Bailey, committed suicide on 7-31-17, my birthday of all days. After nearly 20 years of complete family devotion and cultivating our lives in support, contemplation and preparation of his each new life phase, new stage, new challenge, and new triumph our lives were completely and irrevocably upended in the span of 8 minutes. Bailey had many friends. He was kind, funny, caring, generous, gentle, down to earth, and creative. He was an artist, a lover of history, and had compassion for all living things. He was a teacher his whole life as much as he was a student of it. Bailey made me stronger, made me determined, made me timely, made me adjustable, made me more understanding...and it was Bailey that made me an advocate for kids with special needs for all these years. Of course, his 3 siblings also helped make me, and him, over the years...we all made each other. Our family has always been very tight. Being a single mom the last 16 years enabled me to make my children my world, and show them we are a team. I’ve tried to give them everything I am and everything I have within me, with intention. But despite everything I’d, we’d, put in over the years my son, their brother, is gone...less then 8 minutes after leaving my side. Bailey resorted to suicide 7 days after being a victim of a financial crime, 4 days after I realized he was victimized, and less than 5 hours of being asked to ID one of the perpetrators. He was preyed upon, betrayed, and taken advantage of by a girl he knew for years and had recently befriended him. This girl connected her male friend to my son under the guise of helping them cash a check. From what I’ve been told by State Police, Bailey was hesitant to help them, unsure of whether or not the request was legitimate, and she assured my son that the request was fine and then promised him, I believe, $200 from the proceeds for his assistance. I suspect Bailey provided them with his bank card and his PIN number. On 7-24-17 the male deposited a $1675.00 fraudulent check at an atm in Highland, NY and then immediately withdrew $200 (the amount fronted with a check hold); this was caught on atm bank video. I realized there was a problem on Thursday the 27th when I noted on our joint account both the deposit and withdrawal as well as the $200 withdrawal ultimately being pulled from my separate account. Bailey was learning banking and I would transfer his disability money to the joint account so he would learn about money management, budgeting, grocery shopping, etc. Bailey was devastated over the loss. We connected with local police on the 27th, who then directed us to the nearest state troopers on the 28th, who in turn directed us to State Troopers in Highland on 7-29-17 where we filed a complaint. Later on that Saturday, my youngest son told me he overheard his brother Bailey on the phone after hearing of the banking problem on Thursday, extremely upset over the financial loss and insisting on the return of funds. On Monday, 7-31-17 the investigator came to our house at 12:30 to see if Bailey could ID the male in the bank video. Bailey claimed he did not know the person and by his reaction I believe he didn’t. At 5:16pm he left our home stating he was going for a walk to draw; this was not unlike him as his executive processing speed is slower than many and he’d use walks or drawing to manage stresses. By 5:30 I heard the emergency response sirens and ran down our street, because I never wanted my kids around the chaos when EMS was in the area, and of course I wanted to count the safety of my chicks. The area they were responding to is a nuisance area that has had more than it’s fair share of fires....but there was no fire truck, only medical response. My son had hung himself in the woods less than a block from our home. The next day I was presented with a note he’d written; he clearly believed he’d done something very wrong in trusting the wrong person. No law enforcement involved in this case believes that Bailey had the faculty to understand what was happening, or the complexities that he was a victim, and neither does any of his family nor his longstanding therapist. There is no doubt in my mind that he merely thought he was helping someone. Both accused, at this point, will only be charged minimally; one with grand larceny 4th and the other with Endangering a disabled person 1st, both class E non violent felonies. Theoretically they could each get probation. They have each since been arrested for other crimes; her on drug charges in October 2017 and him for killing a 16 year old with his car after an argument in Yonkers in December 2017. The male is being held without bail in Westchester and has yet to be charged for our case. The female was arrested and arraigned for this case but was granted release on $2000 cash/$4000 bond. I am sickened over what may be obvious to you at this point, that the charges do not reflect their role in the death of my son. People with disabilities, including autism, are among our most vulnerable community members. It seems so unjust that a charge of endangering specifically relates to affecting the mental well-being of a vulnerable person yet they are not charged with the actual consequences of this criminal action. I’m currently working with our local representatives to start the process of pushing for new legislation in the state to hold perpetrators fully accountable for the consequences of their actions. The law for Endangering in NY currently states: “Under our law, a person is guilty of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree when he or she knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect. The term "knowingly” has its own special meaning in our law. I will now give you the meaning of that term. A person KNOWINGLY acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect when that person is aware that he or she is acting in such manner. Actual harm to the incompetent or physically disabled person need not result.” Currently under our criminal laws culpability for a persons suicide rests on the aspect of “aiding and abetting”, or, in practical terms, specifically aiding, directing or encouraging the suicide. This MUST change. Those that would intentionally cultivate an environment and/or circumstances specifically to use people with disabilities to commit a crime, need to be held accountable for the full range of actual damages they cause, including the death of their victim. We need #BaileysLaw to firmly establish... If a defendant is charged with endangering in the first degree, or another crime related and/or connected to a charge of endangering in the first degree (as in coconspirators/codefendant), whereby the events result in the victim’s suicide within reasonable proximity of the crime, defendants should be criminally charged for the victim’s death. This area of law, as it specifically relates to endangering, also needs to be updated to incorporate the disability standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Social Security Administration in trials. As it stands, the question of a successful trial seems tied to whether or not the victim has an IQ over 40, and can dress and feed oneself. This is an extremely low threshold for a successful trial against a perpetrator charged with endangering and is not in line with current state and federal laws to protect the disabled. There are an enormous number of people with autism, and other disabilities, who have a high IQ and can feed and clothe themselves but cannot fully meet their own needs in a manner that could be characterized as independent living. Bailey’s Law should protect anyone that can be considered a vulnerable person by including the state and federal standards of disability.   I urge you to support Bailey’s Law. It will not help my family but it will help many others. PLEASE, sign this petition to help me get it passed!  To view or VOTE YES on the #BaileysLaw bill (NY S.8541) you can visit https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/s8541  - there is a link at this location for the identical Assembly version as well. To learn more about my beloved Bailey you can visit the guestbook at https://m.legacy.com/obituaries/poughkeepsiejournal/obituary.aspx?n=&pid=186269333&referrer=0&preview=True To follow our journey, visit https://www.facebook.com/BaileysBridges/ https://m.facebook.com/DearBaileyLoveMom/ & http://BaileysBridges.org/baileyslaw/ Sincerely, Gae Marie Cannon, Poughkeepsie, NY *6-17-18 Update: Our bill for Bailey’s Law passed in the NY Senate on 6-11-18 with a vote of 44/17. The bill is now in the NY Assembly (A.10874) and I’m pushing to have it passed before the end of the legislative session on 6-20-18.  The Ulster County Court has declined to take on the female’s case (the facilitator of this crime), and referred it back to the Town Court. This means that HER CHARGES WILL BE REDUCED from felony to misdemeanor or less- because Town Courts CANNOT process felonies. It is looking more and more like she will get 3 years of probation... To put this into context- a DWI, WITHOUT LOSS OF LIFE, can result in 3 years probation, over $1000 fine and revocation of drivers license...  I am disgusted.... these people KNEW they were committing a crime. KNEW they were targeting someone with a disability, and their actions resulted in the DEATH of their victim......  Please, please share our petition... This is just not right..  Targeting our vulnerable loved ones breaks a sacred social contract in our society and we must prevent this from happening to someone else...  8-15-18 Update: Our bill for Bailey’s Law is currently stuck in the Codes Committee of the Assembly but I am pushing forward with public support signatures as well as organizational and legislator support. Our bill now has 4 Assembly sponsors: Didi Barrett, Christine Pellegrino, Angelo Santabarbara, and David McDonough. This is immensely helpful but until this bill passes in the Assembly and is signed by Andrew Cuomo, we cannot stop pushing for more bill support.  Our next court hearing for the female’s case is on August 28th. It’s expected she will be offered a plea bargain of a reduced charge (felony Endangering in the 1st to misdemeanor Endangering) with a sentence of 3 years probation. THIS IS NOT JUSTICE FOR AN INTENTIONAL CRIME THAT RESULTED IN DEATH.  The male has not yet been brought up to our county for arraignment; he is still pending trial for Murder 2 in Westchester County in an unrelated case.  9-21-18 Update: Our last court appearance for Teator did not go as expected, thankfully. But know I have no idea what’s going to happen. Our next court date is Tuesday, 9-25-18. See update for more details.  12-5-18 Update: The court is moving forward with the golden plea deal for Teator- reduced charges, 3 years probation, and the gift of wiping out her completely unrelated charges in a totally separate court. The Thompson case has not started yet... I’m outraged. This is NOT JUSTICE or a deterrent for INTENTIONALLY victimizing an autistic 19 year old whereby the crime directly led to his death. Please, please, help me fix this so our story doesn’t become someone else’s.  What you can do to help:1. SHARE the petition and Bailey’s story, in person and online2. Go to our website and print free flyers for local venues and local bulletin boards in your town, and deliver them to all the neighbors on your street 3. Call agencies that support the disabled and/or elderly and ask them to join our coalition of support. You can give them the website address as a contact.                    4. Call your representatives, wherever you live, and tell them we need #BaileysLaw.5. Stay informed. The blood and guts of this journey is on our Facebook page Dear Bailey. Thank you so much for your support, your caring messages (yes, I read them all), and I hope you’ll stay with me through this process of fixing the law. With gratitude, Gae Marie 

A Mourning Mom *
16,641 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to James J. Breheny, Max Pulsinelli

End Happy The Elephant's 10 Years of Solitary Confinement

The Bronx Zoo has been given the shameful title of the 5th worst zoo for elephants in the country. The New York Times calls Happy the Bronx Zoo’s loneliest elephant. That’s because this highly intelligent and social being is one of the only zoo elephants in the entire United States who is being held alone. And it looks like her living conditions won’t change anytime soon unless we do something about it. I am asking you, my fellow animal lovers, to encourage the Bronx Zoo Director James J. Breheny to release Happy to a sanctuary where she can be in a more natural setting and live the rest of her life in peace. New standards regarding the keeping of elephants were recently passed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the accrediting organization for American wildlife institutions. Among their recommendations was that elephants be held in groups of three or more, as they are highly social creatures. Now, zoos around the country  are scrambling to comply with the regulations by AZA’s 2016 deadline. Yet, the Bronx Zoo seems steadfast in its opinion that Happy is “happy” with her solitary life. This goes against all scientific data about elephant behavior. Happy and 6 other elephant calves were captured in the wild from Thailand and brought to the States in 1977. For 25 years, she and her companion, Grumpy, were kept as a pair in the Bronx Zoo. When Grumpy passed away, she was paired with Sammy, who sadly died in 2006. It was then that the zoo decided to end its elephant program, but it didn’t relocate the elephants it currently had. For 10 years, Happy has been in a sort of solitary confinement, unable to truly interact with the other elephants held at the zoo. This is a social being like a monkey or a dolphin. Elephants thrive in the company of their own kind, where they form multi-generational family groups that remain loyal to one another for life, and the elders pass wisdom down to the younger ones to help them navigate their world. Happy is likely not at all happy. She has endured a decade of loneliness and deserves the chance to be with others of her kind in a sanctuary. Please join me in telling the Bronx Zoo to release Happy to a sanctuary and let her really have a chance at happiness.

Joann Burrows
511,564 supporters
Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to Pat Roberts, Jerry Moran, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren, John Cornyn, John Thune, John Barrasso, Roy Blunt, Cory Gardner, Mike Lee, Mike Crapo, Charles E. Schumer, Richard J. Durbin, Debbie Stabenow, Patty Murray, Mark R. Warner, Amy Klobuchar, Bernard Sanders, Joe Manchin III, Tammy Baldwin, Chris Van Hollen, Jeff Merkley, Patrick J. Leahy, Richard C. Shelby, Doug Jones, Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, Jeff Flake, Jon Kyl, John Boozman, Tom Cotton, Dianne Feinstein, Kamala D. Harris, Michael F. Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Christopher Murphy, Thomas R. Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio, David Perdue, Johnny Isakson, Brian Schatz, Mazie K. Hirono, James E. Risch, Tammy Duckworth, Joe Donnelly, Todd Young, Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Rand Paul, Bill Cassidy, John Kennedy, Susan M. Collins, Angus S. King Jr., Benjamin L. Cardin, Gary C. Peters, Tina Smith, Roger F. Wicker, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Steve Daines, Deb Fischer, Ben Sasse, Dean Heller, Catherine Cortez Masto, Jeanne Shaheen, Margaret Wood Hassan, Robert Menendez, Cory A. Booker, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Thom Tillis, Richard Burr, John Hoeven, Heidi Heitkamp, James M. Inhofe, Rob Portman, James Lankford, Ron Wyden, Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse, Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott, Mike Rounds, Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Orrin G. Hatch, Tim Kaine, Maria Cantwell, Shelley Moore Capito, Ron Johnson, Michael B. Enzi, Pete Aguilar

Full Retirement & VA Compensation for Disabled Vets Medically Ret'd Before 20 Yrs Service

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) have introduced legislation - S. 66 and H.R. 333, respectively - to expand concurrent receipt for disabled retirees. Show Congress we want the legislation APPROVED! Disabled veterans who have been medically retired before being able to fulfill twenty years of service have to choose between VA compensation or their military retirement; whereas, veterans who have served twenty active years or more -and- are 50% or more disabled according to the VA receive dual compensation. Under Title 38 of the United States Code, Sections 5304 and 5305, you cannot receive both for those with less than 20 years of active service. Often what happens is that the amount of medical retirement pay one is owed will be deducted from any disability compensation one is eligible for through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This is called the VA disability offset to military retirement pay. Disabled veterans are often forcibly retired from service for injuries incurred in the line of duty (and combat) and are not able to fulfill twenty years of service. A servicemember cannot be medically retired from service without proving the injuries were incurred in the line of duty, so this is not a retirement easily processed/received.  For example: A compatriot of mine incurred injuries in Afghanistan and was retired from service after only three years in the Army. He receives his VA compensation, but receives no retirement from the Army. Currently, his wife cares for him and their children while they both attempt to work (as much as he can with his physical injuries). If he were to receive both VA and military retirement, this would alleviate the associated issues with attempting to work while receiving VA care and being in constant pain. This case is not unique considering the amount of young service members who were injured overseas that were serving in the armed forces on their first or possibly second contracts. Many young men and women were injured who were nowhere near twenty years of service and are anywhere from 30% to 100% disabled. Second example: Another I know is a retired Army Soldier, having served nearly 17 years in the Army National Guard and Reserve, computing to approximately 6 years of active federal service including deployments and activations since 9/11. They were injured in Afghanistan and other injuries incurred in or exacerbated from service. They were not allowed to continue until 20 years of active service. Right now the individual is considered 100% disabled from the VA and receives compensation. However, they also work a full time job to cover the needs of their family.  They have a newborn child, an autistic teenager, and a spouse who stays home with the children and cares for them when needed. They are not able to take the amount of time off needed for medical care, otherwise it will hit their pay check. If they were able to receive both retirement and VA compensation, the person could feasibly get a part time job or stay home while their spouse works a part time job in order to fulfill the needs of their family. Many Disabled Retirees need the additional income from earned retirements in order to care for themselves and their families. Some were short only mere years from a retirement, and others (such as National Guardsmen and Reservists) have their time calculated much differently and could not reach 20 years as part time Soldiers. Many cannot spend the time to get the medical care we need because financially they have to work our 40+ hours a week jobs to make ends meet and possibly do not have the time available to use paid time off. Others are still appealing to the VA for various reasons. And yet others have simply given up hope and simply accept whatever rating they have been given, receiving a fraction of what they need for their families and what their injuries rightfully deserve. Please help the cause, request your Senators vote in a bill that authorizes medically retired veterans to receive dual compensation in the form of *both* VA compensation and medical retirements for injuries incurred in the line of duty.  You can also go to this link for more information: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/choosing-between-dod-retirement-benefits-va-disability-compensation.html https://www.dummies.com/personal-finance/veterans-benefits/military-medical-retirement-versus-va-disability/

Kay Murry
14 supporters