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 Bill Shuster, Don Young, Eleanor Norton, John Duncan, Frank LoBiondo, Eddie Johnson, Sam Graves, Elijah Cummings, Duncan Hunter, Rick Larsen, Rick Crawford, Michael Capuano, Lou Barletta, Grace Napolitano, Blake Farenthold, Daniel Lipinski, Bob Gibbs, Steve Cohen, Daniel Webster, Albio Sires, Jeff Denham, John Garamendi, Thomas Massie, Hank Johnson, Andre Carson, Mark Meadows, Scott Perry, Rodney Davis, Dina Titus, Mark Sanford, Sean Maloney, Rob Woodall, Elizabeth Esty, Todd Rokita, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, John McCain, Lois Frankel, John Katko, Cheri Bustos, Brian Babin, Jared Huffman, Garret Graves, Julia Brownley, Frederica Wilson, Barbara Comstock, David Rouzer, Donald Payne, Mike Bost, Alan Lowenthal, Randy Weber, Brenda Lawrence, Doug LaMalfa, Mark DeSaulnier, Bruce Westerman, Lloyd Smucker, Paul Mitchell, John Faso, Drew Ferguson, Brian Mast, Jason Lewis, John Thune, Roger Wicker, Roy Blunt, Ted Cruz, Deb Fischer, Jerry Moran, Dan Sullivan, Dean Heller, James Inhofe, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Shelley Capito, Cory Gardner, Catharine Young, Bill Nelson, Maria Cantwell, Amy Klobuchar, Richard Blumenthal, Brian Schatz, Edward Markey, Cory Booker, Tom Udall, Gary Peters, Tammy Baldwin, Tammy Duckworth, Maggie Hassan, Catherine Cortez Masto, Marco Rubio, Sonny Beauchamp
Send Helicopter Aid to Puerto Rico to save lives NOW!
Supplies getting to Puerto Rico have been bottlenecked. They are sitting in warehouses in Puerto Rico and are not being distributed to the people on the island that are in desperate need. People are living without access to food and water. Because of the Jones act the island is unable to receive aid from anywhere but the USA unless the USA decides to waive this (which as of 9/26 they have not). We also have failing infrastructure throughout the island due to the overwhelming amount of debt we hold and an unyielding attitude to allow us to restructure the debt or have access to bankruptcy court. PROMESA was nothing but broken promises to our people. We have still seen no debt relief in any form since the passing of the bill. We demand respect and dignity as people who have been continuously exploited by the USA despite the immense sacrifices we have made for this country economically and militarily. We demand the following: 1. Suspend the Jones Act just as was done for FL & TX & allow foreign relief vessels into Puerto Rico. EEUU controls air and marine frontiers in Puerto Rico. They need to be open NOW for any and all international help. The Jones Act needs to be waived for hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.2. Send immediate and massive aid to Puerto Rico beginning with helicopters to distribute donations and rescue people in areas that are cut off & including cell towers to aid in communications for residents & relief workers.3. Pass bankruptcy relief legislation & negotiate public debt relief immediately.4. Pass a major reconstruction bill that includes solar energy & other sustainable technology that will save millions in the long run.
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 Department of Homeland Security, Secretary of Defense James Mattis
Repeal Jones Act an antiquated law in Puerto Rico
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 - also known as the Jones Act. Is currently affecting any aide as well as the economy of the island of Puerto Rico. This act was created almost a hundred years ago during WWI and it states that for any delivery to take place through port it must be carried out exclusively by vessels built, owned and operated by American citizens. Ships must first come to the mainland US and then shipped to the non-continuos part of the US. The island is currently in the verge of facing a humanitarian crisis after being affected by the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. Basic needs such as food, water are scarce as well as gasoline and relief supplies are not being delivered. The Jones Act only delays any relief efforts greatly. Although President Trump has stated "Puerto Rico has been oblilerated" all efforts are stalled and a request to have the Jones Act waived have been denied. Although the government recently waived those rules in Texas after Hurricane Harvey and Florida after Hurricane Irma. Repealing the Jones Act will assist in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico as well as assisting the 3.4 million citizens affected, the ability of free trade would greatly reduce the cost of living in the island. Cost of living at this time is 13% higher than 325 other urban areas in the US, yet per capita income in Puerto Rico is only $18,000 yearly, close to half of the current income in Mississippi the poorest of all 50 states. Puerto Rico is currently facing 17 billion dollar in debt and in great part this is blamed on the effects of the Jones Act. Consumers must pay punitive tariffs, taxes and fees when any foreign vessel enters the island or faced with rerouting fees when transfers must take place through the mainland. Senator John McCain refers to the Jones Act as "an antiquated law that has far too long hindered free trade, making the US industry less competitive and raised prices for American consumers". Please assist us in reaching out Defense Secretary James Mattis 703-571-3343 and requesting to appeal or in the least modify the Jones Act to assist in being able to rebuild. Your assistance in the sharing and signing of this petition is greatly appreciated.
Petition to Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Ted Poe, Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Al Green, Gene Green, John Culberson, Kevin Brady, Michael McCaul, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pete Olson, Brian Babin
Change Addicks and Barker Reservoir Design
We, the undersigned, petition Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn along with congressional representatives of the State of Texas to co-sponsor a bill that 1) bans the US Army Corps of Engineers from operating the Addicks or Barker Reservoir above the elevation of government-owned land and 2) compensates homeowners inside the Addicks and Barker reservoirs for whom they flooded when they retained water past the elevation of the government-owned land during Hurricane Harvey and 3) protects homeowners downstream when water is released. This deliberate act of retaining water on private land in August, 2017 (which was publicly confirmed by the ACOE and Harris County Flood Control in front of Congressman Poe on 9/21/2017) caused devastating physical damage and is a clear case of Inverse Condemnation - a violation of the homeowners' 5th amendment constitutional rights: "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Rather than hire private attorneys and have them receive the majority of the compensation owed to the homeowners, this petition aims to see that homeowners receive the full compensation due them. It is directed toward the attorneys hired to represent these homeowners in Congress when they elected them and paid them with tax money. The US Army Corps of Engineers has stated it will take an act of Congress to change the design of the reservoirs. The government operates these reservoirs beyond the point of the land that they own. They built the reservoirs and then sold much of the land inside of it to private developers who built and sold homes to private citizens. As a local realtor, I know that the material fact that these homes were INSIDE the reservoir was not disclosed to home buyers. In fact, homeowners were regularly and publicly misled by government officials to believe that their homes are BEHIND the reservoir rather than in it (even during the flood event). This is our petition: With all due respect, we ask Texas representatives of the US Congress to represent their constituents, acting sooner than later, so that families can recover the compensation due them, rebuild, and know that their private property will no longer be a part of the reservoir design. We request 1) compensation for damages due to inverse condemnation AND 2) that the maximum pool level of the reserviors not exceed the elevation of government-owned land. 3) We also request that the design include changes to protect downstream private property with responsible releases of the water.
Petition to Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Stop FEMA From Ending Food & Water Aid for Puerto Rico
On Monday, January 29th, 2018, the National Public Radio announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will end food and water aid for Puerto Rico on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018. With an estimate of about one-half of the island still being in complete darkness and much of the island without running water, we are asking FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security to continue providing federal aid for impoverished Puerto Rican citizens. Many Puerto Ricans are dependent on FEMA's food rations and, without food and clean water, lives will be endangered. Please sign to ensure that Puerto Rican citizens will get the resources they need. Photo Credit: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/unseen-aftermath-hurricane-maria-heart-puerto-rico-gallery-1.3594028
Petition to CBS
Sign Petition David Begnaud to get nominated for an Emmy for his Reporting in Puerto Rico.
David Begnaud, CBS journalist, went to Puerto Rico to report on Hurricane Maria. His constant and informative reporting to all Puerto Ricans out of the island, has made him a hero. He continues to get questions answered and maintain updates. He has been the eyes and ears for all Puerto ricans. Is because of his investigating reports that in some cases is been the only way of knowing what is really happening in Puerto Rico. He was move to New York after 3 weeks. But that didn't stop his reporting and investigating for the people of Puerto Rico. He has return where he is currently reporting from. We collectively thank you and your team. We salute great and constant reporting. If not an Emmy the highest journalist award. Please share..
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!