Petition to Department of Homeland Security, President of the United States
Waive the Jones Act for Puerto Rico to Help Rebuild its Infrastructure and Economy
Everyone has seen the unprecedented devastation in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The entire island is without power and thousands of Americans may die. Many have asked how they can help. This petition focuses on cutting through bureaucracy that could cost lives and add to the suffering of millions of Americans in Puerto Rico. The Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act 1920, 46 U.S.C. § 883) prevents foreign ships from carrying cargo between the US mainland and noncontiguous parts of the US like Puerto Rico. Foreign ships can't stop in Puerto Rico to offload goods. Instead, goods are dropped off on the mainland and brought to the island on US flag ships. This makes everything more expensive, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, could actually cost lives. The Department of Homeland Security extended a waiver of the Jones Act to relieve PR, but the waiver expired on September 22, 2017. I started this petition on Saturday, September 23rd. By September 28th, this petition garnered nearly 500,000 supporters, and President Trump and DHS agreed to waive the Jones Act for 10 days. While this is a good start, Puerto Rico will need additional time to rebuild its economy and infrastructure and should receive the benefit of foreign support. For example, Germany has already begun assisting Puerto Rico with restoring its power grid. By signing this petition, you are telling the Department of Homeland Security and the President of the United States to waive the Jones Act for 12 months to give Puerto Rico the relief it needs to recover and rebuild its infrastructure and economy.
Petition to Patti Mercer
Demand Houston SPCA Save Hurricane Harvey Animals
Update: We want to be clear that our call to action regarding the HSPCA has nothing to do with unsubstantiated rumors that have been floating around the internet that the HSPCA is killing animals in Beaumont. Our concern is for the long-term commitment to the animals, and that’s why we’re asking you to read and sign the petition below. ***Please sign the this petition to hold Houston SPCA to these simple life saving guarantees. Help save the pets in Hurricane Harvey! People are risking their lives to rescue Harvey pets, yet some may go to shelters where they may be killed. Yesterday the Best Friends Animal Society team on the ground in Texas arrived in Beaumont. Beaumont is one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Harvey and is struggling to provide basic services – the entire community lost access to clean water. The animals rescued from the area were being housed at a pavilion-type shelter set up at the Ford Center. The reports from our team on the ground late yesterday were that the animals were in dire need of basic medical care, and the heat was taking its toll.The Houston SPCA obtained the memorandum of understanding (MOU) from local officials to serve as the small animal lead at the Ford Center. That’s when the rumors began to swirl.The Houston SPCA has a history of a lack of transparency around consistent reporting regarding the outcomes for the animals entering their care. They have questionable policies regarding pit bull type dogs and have received continued criticism from the animal welfare community around these policies. So it’s understandable that the rescue community and other pet-loving members of the public, aware of the Houston SPCA’s history, would be worried about what was taking place with the pets in Beaumont.We contacted the Houston SPCA and spoke with the organization’s President, Patti Mercer. Knowing the Houston SPCA is already stretched thin from their necessary work in Houston, Best Friends offered to relieve them of the responsibility in Beaumont and take over the MOU to provide care and reunion efforts for the animals rescued in Beaumont. This offer was denied.We then offered assistance and general help for the animals of Beaumont to the Houston SPCA, but this offer for help was also declined. While Ms. Mercer did verbally commit to at least a 30 day hold for the animals of Beaumont to be reunited with their owners, our attempts to determine if there would be an adoption guarantee for these animals regardless of where they might be transferred failed – we were told by Ms. Mercer to wait for a “press release” and she was unwilling to put anything in writing to us. The list of possible receiving agencies for these animals that she cited are not known for their commitment to no-kill policies.We detailed the expectations Best Friends has set for ourselves for animals we rescue from this storm, and asked the Houston SPCA to commit to the same, in writing. Minimum 30-day stray hold so owners can reunite with their pets Proactive pursuit of families and reunion of all pets displaced by Harvey A clear, transparent operation that offers an appropriate standard of care A guarantee for a positive outcome for all animals rescued. In other words, that all the animals in Beaumont are either reunited with their families; adopted into a loving home; or are transferred to an agency who will guarantee a no-kill outcome Sharing of raw data so that the above points can be audited and confirmed by interested parties Ms. Mercer refused to put these simple commitments and procedures in writing, and again she referred us to a yet-to-be-made press release. We advised her that her personal word in writing to us would do more to allay the public’s concerns than a press release, but again Ms. Mercer declined. Without this in writing, Best Friends does not feel comfortable with what is happening in Beaumont, or anywhere else the Houston SPCA is rescuing pets.Whether it is a time of disaster or not, organizations that rescue animals need to be held accountable by the communities they serve. Best Friends is committed to help the animals of Texas, and will not back down.**As is often the case when talking about animal welfare organizations, there is confusion regarding the relationship between the Houston SPCA and other SPCAs, including the national organization, the ASPCA. While these organizations share the SPCA moniker, they are separate organizations with their own 501(c)(3) designation, boards, leadership, policies and so forth. The Houston SPCA is an independent organization and should not be confused with any other animal welfare organization.**
Petition to Congress, The White House, Donald Trump
First Responder Status for the Line Industry
I do not know one Lineman that expects praise, recognition or thanks. However, these brave, hardworking men and women risk their lives everyday to bring comfort and security to people's homes. That is on an easy day! On a storm it gets even worse through sleep deprivation, lack of food and water and horrible weather. I am starting this petition to have those in the Line Industry to be legally recognized as First Responders. Since Hurricane Harvey and Irma hit the United States I have seen post after post on social media sites complaining. Complaining we all have come to get used to, it's expected, but for Linemen and their crews to be turned away from places (restaurants, City Hall's, etc) and not be offered any sort of refreshment because they're not first responders is appalling! They deserve so much better than the treatment they are being given and their families deserve to be able to know that yes, their spouse or significant other is okay and safe. These men rush straight into the storm while others are running away. If that isn't what a brave, courageous first responder looks like, than I truly do not know what does. **Senate Resolution 95, does not "officially" name Linemen as First Responders but does designate a day of recognition, National Lineman's Appreciation Day (April 18th) 113th CONGRESS1st Session S. RES. 95 Recognizing linemen, the profession of linemen, the contributions of these brave men and women who protect public safety, and expressing support for the designation of April 18, 2013, as National Lineman Appreciation Day. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATESApril 10, 2013Mr. Isakson (for himself and Mr. Bennet) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to RESOLUTIONRecognizing linemen, the profession of linemen, the contributions of these brave men and women who protect public safety, and expressing support for the designation of April 18, 2013, as National Lineman Appreciation Day. Whereas the profession of linemen is steeped in personal, family, and professional tradition; Whereas linemen are often first responders during storms and other catastrophic events, working to make the scene safe for other public safety heroes; Whereas linemen work with thousands of volts of electricity high atop power lines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to keep electricity flowing; Whereas linemen must often work under dangerous conditions far from their families to construct and maintain the energy infrastructure of the United States; Whereas linemen put their lives on the line every day with little recognition from the community regarding the danger of their work; and Whereas April 18, 2013, would be an appropriate date to designate as National Lineman Appreciation Day: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate— (1) recognizes the efforts of linemen in keeping the power on and protecting public safety; and (2) supports the designation of April 18, 2013, as National Lineman Appreciation Day.
Petition to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas State House, Texas State Senate, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Ft. Bend County Judge Robert Hebert, Brazoria County Judge L.M. "Matt" Sebesta, JR, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal
30 Day Hold from Euthanasia for Harvey Animals in Texas
We are writing this petition, in hopes of having a mandatory 30 day hold for all displaced animals in all Texas shelters due to Hurricane Harvey and for any other area disasters in Texas in the future. With a disaster of this magnitude there are still many stranded, homeless and devastated people and families who were separated from their pets due to the flood waters, destroyed homes, and the rescue process. Numerous people are still without cars, transportation or the means to locate their pets. OVERVIEW: The animal situation in Houston and Texas is dire. Dozens of thousands of strays, at one point conservatively estimated at 1.2 million, were on the streets before Hurricane Harvey. There are few laws about breeding, selling or spaying/neutering animals with little or no enforcement of any laws that do exist. Backyard breeding and dog fighting, especially involving the bully breeds, is rampant. Dogs and puppies are sold openly out of cars in parking lots. The Houston SPCA (HSPCA) is overwhelmed with the many reports of cruelty as animals are dumped and wander the streets. Only a couple of places offer low cost spay/neuter and there are few if no free clinics. Shelters are already over-crowded and animals can be killed in 3 days under city law if strays/owner surrenders are not adopted out. Thousands and thousands DIE yearly. This is true for Harris County, Brazoria County, Ft. Bend, Montgomery, and Galveston County which can all be considered part of the greater Houston area as they are bedroom communities to Houston. THE NEED FOR A 30 DAY HOLD FOR HARVEY ANIMALS: There is no current legislation protecting displaced animals for longer than the typical 3 day hold time at government animal control shelters during a disaster - meaning an animal coming into a county or municipal or any animal shelter could be legally euthanized after only 72 hours. People report that FEMA: (https://www.fema.gov/pdf/conferences/iaconference/2010/wednesday_830am_household_pets_intro_1.pdf - Page 7) and the Federal PETS Act: (http://www.akc.org/content/news/articles/federal-pets-act-information/ ) require hold times for 30 days or more in a disaster area to reunite people with pets. However, we have found no written documentation or information that supports this and have learned there is no mandate to hold animals in a government animal control/shelter for longer than usual hold times of 3 days (72 hours) during a disaster. It is each animal shelter's discretion in the State of Texas as to whether they extend the hold time or not. Houston is the 4th largest city in the United States and has numerous animal shelters located in different areas for families to locate their pet. But, to our knowledge, NONE of the government animal control animal shelters are no kill shelters. There are only 2 no kill animal shelters in and around the Houston area, both of which are private shelters - Friends for Life and Special Pals. Many animals that came in at the beginning of Harvey are already out of "time" and legally can be, have been, and are being euthanized at this very moment. Indeed, some unfortunate animals are rapidly approaching their 30 day hold limit for shelters that did agree to give the 30 days. There are unimaginable numbers of displaced animals and Austin Pets Alive nonprofit has already taken in more than 1000 displaced pets from Hurricane Harvey and expects to reach 2000 soon if not more. Many local nonprofit organizations and out of town rescue groups and nonprofits such as Best Friends Animal Society are doing all they can to rescue and care for thousands of Texas animals, with many more to be rescued - hopefully to be reunited with their families or placed into new homes if the families cannot take them. However, this time limit is tremendously challenging for people who have already lost so much. Record-keeping of the displaced animals appears to be chaotic and animals are being transferred out of town/area, making it even more difficult for people to simply LOCATE their pet. Government animal shelters requirement to only hold displaced Harvey animals for 3 days is, in our opinion, inhumane for both the animals and their families who have likely lost everything. Rescue groups cannot even plan to save these animals or transfer them to safety or to fosters if they are rushed to euthanasia in just 3 days. Found animals are now being directed to BARC or HSPCA - the kill shelters now! There are still thousands of injured and/or stray animals. The City of Houston does not want to address these problems. Ignoring the problem will not resolve the issues. Right now individuals and rescues are desperately forming groups and transport chains to try to pull dogs/cats and get them to safety - but the numbers are staggering....and overwhelming and they are running out of time in many cases. It's extremely challenging, if not impossible, to reunite animals with only a 3 day hold, or even the 30 day hold that is soon ending. Many are elderly people who cannot get to computers to search through the multiple difficult data bases to look for an animal they may be missing, and in many cases animals are not even showing up in the data bases. A better system must ultimately be put into place so this does not happen again. One database for all animals involved would help, better evacuation plans and shelters taking pets would help, suspending euthanizing at local shelters while animals are moved to rescues or foster groups would help, mainstreaming and keeping records to where animals are moved would help. In short, a greater discussion must be had very soon about the problem with the over pet population in the greater Houston area and surrounding counties, along with what to do in these emergencies. In the meantime, we are asking the State of Texas, and the animal shelters for The City of Houston, Harris County, Brazoria County, Ft. Bend County, Montgomery County, Galveston County and all the surrounding cities and areas affected by Hurricane Harvey to PLEASE have compassion for these animals and their families. Please give them a chance to reunite with their families if they can be, by instituting a state-wide minimum 30 day hold, for the sake of the Harvey victims and their beloved pets. Thank you. Signed, The Righteous Paws Group (formerly The Go Team Rescue Group) Wendy Thompson, Mia Bendixsen Shorey, Sheri Boyd Haynes, Godiva K. Guillory, Lisa Carroll, Tara Taheri, Francene Chlon Weber, Chrystal Spencer, Rebecca Kornblum, Sallie Humphries, Deanna L. Lopez, Jimisu Balko, Tina Eilders, Ashley Cyrena Johnson Photo Credit: Nancy Wilmont. Photo taken of actual Hurricane Harvey displaced dogs rescued by Angie Shawn Sanchez. Angie rescued the lucky mom and 10 puppies and currently is caring for all of them. The photo was taken when the pups were loaded into her car. Shelters in Corpus Christi where these dogs are located are able to euthanize in 3 days. Another mom and her pups was picked up by the county shelter the same day. They were euthanized.
Petition to U.S. Senate, Senator Chuck Schumer, U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi
Rebuild Puerto Rico
Make Puerto Rico Great Again! Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico need--and deserve--our best effort! Let's approach this devastating event as an opportunity to redevelop Puerto Rico and address its problems. Develop ports, hospitals, airports, schools, colleges, universities, businesses, industries, resorts, agriculture, casinos, ..., to invigorate the economy. Make Puerto Rico the Hawaii of the Caribbean, and set the stage to make Puerto Rico the 51st state. Rebuild with hurricane resistant building codes, using solar roofs to supply 100% of electricity, plus power for desalination and extraction of hydrogen from sea water. Make Puerto Rico 100% powered by solar, wind, and hydrogen. Let's point the Senate and House of Representatives in the right direction!
Petition to Elizabeth Warren, Charles Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Pat Toomey, President of the United States, U.S. Department of State, Robert Casey
Temporary ease of sanctions on Iran to aid earthquake survivors
A terrible earthquake hit a large area on the Iran-Iraq border on November 12, 2017 around 21:48PM local time. More than a hundred aftershock tremors are still striking the area, preventing people from traveling back home, entering their homes, or moving inside the towns. In particular, the town of Sarpol e-Zahab, a locality of about 36,000 inhabitants, was one of the most affected areas. Here, the death toll rose to 236 people, and thousands of injured people continue to need medical attention 24 hours later. Rescue teams are still unearthing bodies. Among the casualties are innocent children, whose access to medical care is precarious and who cannot return to school in the near future, as schools have been severely damaged. Many inhabitants lost their home, and their children are forced to sleep in cars and in tents in a weather bordering on winter. While international NGOs are on the ground in Iraq offering relief to those affected, it is very difficult to get into Iran and help in the areas mostly damaged by the trembler. The US sanctions placed on Iran prevent much aid from being sent to where it is most needed right now. While the US Department of State issued a message of sympathy on November 13, 2017, (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/11/275491.htm much more can be done. The US has the ability to help. Many people want and can help, but sending aid to Iran is nearly impossible without a temporary ease of sanctions on humanitarian aid. Former US President, Barack Obama and his administration temporarily eased the sanctions in 2012 for 45 days, when a deadly earthquake hit Iran on August 11. Under the lift, NGOs were able to transfer up to $300,000 in funds to Iran at that time to help those affected. We ask President Donald Trump and the US Senate to please allow a similar ease of sanctions to help the children of Iran who lost homes and family in the earthquake. Mr. President, Senators Casey and Toomey, please support humanitarianism. Please allow aid to be sent to Iran. Thank you.
Petition to Sylvester Turner, City of Houston, Houston Astros
Present Mattress Mack Key to The City of Houston or rename a street in his honor.
Jim McIngvale, aka Mattress Mack, is an honest, caring, and hard-working man of God. He served Houston humbly and earnestly throughout Harvey. In the aftermath, he donated and gave away thousands of dollars worth of furniture to those in need. Now, just days after spending thousands of dollars on Game 6 tickets and flights for some 75+ lucky Houstonians and 1st responders, after gambling on an ASTROS World Series win, this legend will refund millions of dollars worth of furniture to hundreds of Harvey victims and Gallery Furniture customers! So much respect for Jim Mcingvale! I hope I can one day use my work to bless my city like Mattress Mack has. In the meantime, I think it would be fitting to do one of three things... Let's present this man with the Key to The City of Houston or rename a street or boulevard in his honor or let's get the Astros to gift this loving man an honorary world series championship ring! There are real stories and testimonies of his kindness found in the comments section below. Please sign, share, and share again! May God bless you greatly Mattress Mack! -JR Alvarenga
Petition to Everyone who listens to music;
If everyone who listened to "Despacito" donated $5, we could give more help to Puerto Rico
Sign, Donate, Share! For anyone who’s ever listened to the widely popular song, “Despacito,” you’re in good company. About 4.2 billion people have viewed this song on YouTube. That’s more than HALF of the world’s ENTIRE population. This song was created by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee (remix with Justin Bieber). Luis Fonsi was born in Puerto Rico (1). Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, was devastated by Category 4 Hurricane Maria on September 20th. Despite FEMA, the National Guard and federal aid, Puerto Ricans are still suffering AND dying. About 86% of the people are still without power (as of October 16th) (2). This has affected businesses, homes, and schools, limiting people’s ability to live and work. People are relying on generators, including hospitals (3). The New York Times reports, getting power back on the island “will be daunting and expensive” (4). Donate $5 to Puerto Rico - that's cheaper than eating ONE meal To make matters worse, 85% of cellphone towers and phone/internet cables were knocked out (5). This made personal and relief communication very difficult (6). About 60,000 people on the island were already without power before Hurricane Maria hit (7). This is because Puerto Rico was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Irma earlier on September 7th. Hurricane Maria was the 5th strongest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. (8). Donate $5 to Puerto Rico - that's cheaper than popcorn at the movie theater Donate via Paypal For Americans reading this, Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory. This means that its 3.4 million inhabitants are U.S. citizens. However, only about 54% of Americans knew that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens (9). These U.S. citizens deserve the same humanitarian and federal response as Texas and Florida. There is a simple and effective way you can help! If anyone who’s ever listened to “Despacito” donated at least $1, we would be able to raise billions of dollars for relief aid to Puerto Rico That's the cost of one, fast food meal! Less than the cost of medium popcorn at the movie theater! Think about how you love the talent and song from Puerto Rico. La Perla is where the magic of Despacito was born and it is TOTALLY destroyed. They have NO WATER, NO FOOD. This is your way to give back in a meaningful way. All proceeds directly go to Puerto Rico Rises (www.PuertoRicoRises.com). These volunteers are ON the ground, collecting food and water to distribute directly to neighborhoods throughout Puerto Rico. They work with national and international partners. Sign the petition, share with your friends, and donate! Donate $5 to Puerto Rico Donate via Paypal https://www.facebook.com/puertoricorises/ @PuertoRicoRises ***This idea came from Trevor Noah at the Daily Show (10). 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Fonsi2. http://status.pr/Home3. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/09/the-cri sis-at-puerto-ricos-hospitals/ 541131/4. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/us/hurricane-maria-puer to-rico-power.html?hp&action= click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSou rce=story-heading&module= first-column-region&region= top-news&WT.nav=top-news5. https://apnews.com/06f5077aff384e508e2f2324dae4eb2e6. https://www.thedailybeast.com/even-the-national-guard-can t-communicate-in-puerto-rico? source=twitter&via=desktop7. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/9/23/16354564 /puerto-rico-hurricane-maria- electricity-relief-dam- breaking8. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=91004& linkId=425607849. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/upshot/nearly-half-of- americans-dont-know-people-in- puerto-ricoans-are-fellow-citi zens.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smty p=cur&_r=010. http://www.cc.com/video-clips/fz9won/the-daily-show-with -trevor-noah-it-s-time-to-pay- back-puerto-rico