Petition to Dan Patrick, Greg Abbott, Lois Kolkhorst, Joe Pickett, James Morris
END EGREGIOUS FINES, FEES AND PENALTIES BY TOLL ROADS THROUGH LEGISLATION or LITIGATION.
LEARN MORE HERE: http://www.texastolllawsuit.com & https://www.facebook.com/texastollwayslawsuit/ The State of Texas, the Governors office and indeed the entire state legislature has perpetrated a crime against the citizens of the Great State of Texas! This petition is the result of the backlash building against Toll Roads in Texas. It's happened to you...FINES from the Toll roads that leave you feeling helpless! You are horrified to learn that a few dollars in Toll Road use fees have turned into hundreds or even THOUSANDS of dollars in fines and the toll authority won't work with you. You may have even been sued, lost your ability to register your car or even been arrested? A Convoluted system of Toll Roads in Texas exists with more than 5 different agencies each billing you for use of "their" roads. You can drive around Houston (for example) and be billed by at least 3 different toll agencies. Worst of all many toll roads in Texas are operated independently of government in Austin by private-public partnerships created through political wrangling by state legislation more than a decade ago. This has left Texans with public-private roads masquerading as State Highways. That's right folks, roads that are privately owned while the State of Texas has stopped building anything with our Tax money! These quasi-government agencies are managed by elected officials and private business owners and together they are lining the pockets of fat-cat businessmen with your money. Roads are supposed to be built with tax dollars paid in as Gas Tax but Austin is diverting Gas Tax money True harm is coming to Texas citizens in the form of egregious fines , harassment, loss of driving privileges, an inability to register vehicles. These and other grievances are being brought by citizens against the current legislated Toll Road system through legislative change or direct litigation. The ultimate tool to let the state know that we, the citizens of Texas no longer support Toll Roads is to petition for a referendum to hear our grievances. State lawmakers MUST agree to listen to our grievances and correct the problems through substantial legislative change to the operation and revenue collection of all Toll Roads in Texas. If the State will not listen and act, we are prepared to file what may become the largest Class Action Lawsuit in Texas History and seek legal remuneration including injunctive, compensatory, special and incidental damages from the state. Texas Toll Roads are bringing harm to Taxpayers in the form of actual financial harm, frustration, anger, and other harms at an unprecedented level. WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND: 1. There should be one tolling agency statewide. 2. Legal Loopholes must be closed to prevent abuse by the "private" for-profit part of Toll road operations. Their nature is in conflict with your right to drive. A set of laws that CLEARLY define, limit and control Toll Roads must be established. 3. The power to fine, sue and charge excessive fees must be severely limited and prevent economic harm against Texans created by the Legal Loopholes that are used against us. 4. The creation of protections (A Bill of RIghts) for Citizens against Toll road atrocities. 5. A Clear and concise operating charter for Toll Roads with a moral duty clause that makes it illegal to work and establish any Toll Project or operating guidelines that would bring economic harm against a Texas Citizen created by the system itself. 6. The exposure of profits, peoples names and other information by Regional Mobility Authorities. 7. The the abolition of any and all future toll roads. 8. Stop diverting Gas Tax money to other programs. 9. The classification of a "toll" as a "Tax" by admission of the State. 10. The immediate development of a Gas Tax plan to pay for roads and "Sunset" (eliminate" toll roads within 5 years. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Citizens are sued in an administrative court where the plaintiff (Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson law firm is paying for the Judge to hear the case on behalf of themselves, a private for profit law firm with a very disturbing history of fraud, deceit and other crimes. http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/debt-collector/texas-politics/ . These are the people who your state sends you to to sue you! They are in business to make a profit. Administrative judges they use are often paid 2 to 3 times the normal pay for a judge at this level and the preponderance of the evidence agrees that citizens are found guilty in more than 95% of all cases. Most cases are won on technicality and the penalty does not match the crime making toll road fines a clear violation of the; The 8th amendment of the constitution of the United States and the section 13 of the Texas State Constitution which bar the collection of excessive fines. The state of Texas has created legislation that allows it to outsource toll violations and assess unbelievably egregious fines against its' own citizens in a manner that is harmful to citizens. That harm is not chartered within the state constitution. All laws are to be chartered for the benefit of the people not against them. This situation was created when; Put simply, the system harms citizens financially and therefore violates the Texas Constitution and the United States Constitution. The State lawmakers, our employees, have created a system that prosecutes citizens for even accidental infractions on our toll roads that are prosecuted by private law firms, not the State of Texas additionally; The toll violation system clearly violates the Due Process Guarantee contained within the Texas Constitution, The state may have failed to meet its' evidentiary burden by any citizen from a civil penalty and administrative reprocessing fees applied against a vehicle owner under the under the process authorized by law. More specifically this means that private citizens are being sued by someone other than the State of Texas for toll road violations. Many complain of never receiving notice which violates their right to due process. Once the charges are sent to the third party collection firm, they assess egregious fines and fees that harms citizens egregiously because the fines are more than 50 times the actual toll charges. This is far beyond anything allowed by consumer credit lawsuit. By its very nature, a private law firm has a conflict of interest in filing lawsuits on behalf of the State against private citizens in administrative courts. Furthermore, the private lawfirm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP as well as other firms use "administrative Courts" to sue private Citizens which are essentially courts for hire by the lawfirm. And Linebarger in particular is a nasty one! http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/debt-collector/texas-politics/ . All Tolling authorities are required to operate under TXDOT but TXDOT does not have total control over the independent agencies that toll all of us and this lack of defined, well written legal rules allows too much leeway within each toll road agency to operate independently. Reciprocal agreements between agencies are completely inadequate to protect citizens, causing thousands of tax paying citizens to be sued, spend too much personal time dealing with toll issues and no clear means of resolving issues in a timely or easy manner. When someone using a different tolling agency has a tag malfunction, fines are assessed immediately and the burden of proof of innocence is pushed back onto the taxpayer citizen who must fight to have the fees removed, taking substantial time or concede and pay fines that are automatically assessed. This is insanity in the 21st century. Each agency has no way to look up the license plates of other agencies. They also do not attempt to re-bill 3 times as they do with their own customers. They will instead often waive some fees if you agree to get an account with that agency essentially bribing you to leave your old agency to reduce the fees easily. This is unacceptable. It may even violate the FTC Deceptive Trade and Practiced Act. It can cause harm to any company or agency or individual who travels as you cannot have two tags on your windshield or they will potentially both read. What is a citizen to do? They are to demand the State fix this issue. The issue is that the private parties operating the toll roads each want their money! Toll road revenue is being used to build new toll roads to collect even more fees from citizens of the State of Texas. Tolling should not be allowed to perpetuate itself by making loans to other tolling agencies to build more Toll Roads. As an example, HCTRA loaned $20 million dollars to another http://www.chron.com/news/transportation/article/Harris-County-OKs-20M-loan-for-MoCo-toll-road-5997311.php that it earned from fees on the Beltway 8 Toll Road in Houston! If the Beltway 8 project is paid for, per the advertisement on the bond sold to the residents of Harris County, the Beltway 8 Toll Road was to become Free once paid for!. Yes, it was supposed to be free once paid for. Harris County has NOT kept its word with the citizens of the City of Houston. This is treasonous and malicious intent to defraud. Beltway 8 is a cash cow for the City who continues to increase taxes. Harris County is making money hand over fist off of tolls yet they continue to raise property taxes...why? Because it is never enough and nobody is stopping them! Gas Taxes could lower toll road fees, pay off other debts or improve schools but instead it is being funneled to Toll us even more. Toll Roads are a form of Double Taxation. The State of Texas continues to abuse Gas Tax revenue by channeling it to non-road projects. This is a serious breech of the definition of the what the Gas Tax is for. We must stop the legislation in the State of Texas from earmarking Gas Tax money for special projects that have nothing to do with roads! Using a Gas Tax uniformly taxes all citizens for roads instead of an undue burden for those that live in a city. Texas gas tax has not changed in decades and remained steady at 20 cents per gallon - yet we have the 2nd largest state in the union and an enormous road system to maintain. Most other states are at 27 to 30 cents per gallon. So we are diverting Gas Taxes away from Roads. Representative Doug Miller introduced SB 1110 (in 2013), that heists property taxes (through appraisal increases) for transportation projects and expands the use of Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZ) from strictly FREEways to toll roads, rail, transit, and dedicated bike lanes. WE"RE DIVERTING GAS TAX AWAY FROM TOLL ROADS AND THIS GUY WANTS TO TAKE YOUR PROPERTY TAXES TO MAKE UP FOR THE TAX SHORTAGE ON ROADS - THAT ARE BEING TAKEN FROM GAS TAXES. ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL. Harris County has commandeered our Freeway lanes for additional revenue which should be a crime. Toll Road fees are egregious. They are charging as much as $400 per month for a driver to travel to and from work downtown and back to Katy 5 days a week. That is more than the cost of a new Honda Accord per month! It is egregious. Toll road fines are an abomination. Current Legislation does not go far enough TXDOT, NTTRA, HCTRA, TXTAG the State of Texas ETC MUST give everyone a chance to voice their complaints and seek relief in the form of compensatory, injunction and punitive damages against all of the agencies, their law firms and private tolling companies. It is vital that you speak up and express your concerns to drive corrective action against one of the most corrupt and abusive institutions within the state by signing this petition. Another complaint observed is the "License Plate" issue where citizens buy new cars and have a hard time getting the actual metal plates after purchase. For example: Buying cars out of state. If your plate is not associated with your account within 30 days, you will be fined and sued under the current law. Fines are higher than allowed under Federal Credit laws that consumers are protected by. These federal laws include the Fair Debt Collections Act, Deceptive Trade and Practices Act and the FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as others. Texas also has strict debt collection practice laws but none of them adequately provide extension for protections for toll road operations. Unless we collectively stand firm and sue, they will continue to harm citizens and cause thousands of hours of lost productivity to corporations across the state dealing with the extreme incompetence, negligent and even hostile activities conducted against private citizens. Additionally most Texans do not recognize that Toll Roads are become more mainstream than tax-money paid construction projects. There is a serious issue with the growth of Toll Road construction even with the increased revenue from taxpayers and toll revenues. Toll Roads are getting first priority for construction in potential or needed growth areas instead of Tax funded projects because the state is not spending tax money on roads as they should! This means that the State is earning greater revenue by tolling your ability to drive instead of using the money they collect in your taxes to pay for construction and maintenance of roads. All together, these and other issues MUST be dealt with swiftly by WE THE PEOPLE before they get out of hand. What kind of world allows a free highway to install toll booths only for the overpasses and the rest stays free? Why is it that inter-agency cooperation does not protect your ability to drive without fear of penalty on other agency roads? Please take a moment to tell us what you have experienced AND to let us know how we can stop this together. Together we can greatly change the oversight and toll road authority ability to tax, charge and build toll roads and help keep driving free or reduce the cost of driving by strong legislation to keep the tolling authorities and legislators in check.
Petition to University of Vermont, William Falls, Thomas Sullivan, David V. Rosowsky
Defend Diversity of Economic Ideas: Reappoint Lecturer Summa at the University of Vermont
“John’s strength as a teacher is well known by all in the Student Affairs Division of the Dean's Office. He is a strong, caring and knowledgeable instructor who takes genuine interest in his students. – Patty Corcoran, Associate Dean, UVM College of Arts and Sciences. The field of economics is in an existential crisis. Mainstream economics has been unable to offer viable long-run solutions to today’s problems: the tendency toward economic stagnation, the increasing frequency of financial crises, widening inequality and environmental degradation. Yet undergraduate and graduate economic classes throughout the world continue teaching standard models that have become largely discredited, abandoned by even some leading members of the mainstream tradition. Professor John Summa is one of the brave economists that questions the conventional models inside the classroom. By teaching students alternative branches of economics, Professor Summa is empowering future economists to think about the economy in a more complete manner. But despite Professor’s Summa popular standing among students and excellent teaching record, the University of Vermont (UVM) has refused to renew his teaching contract. This denial of reappointment took place despite a unanimous 5-0 vote by UVM’s own independent Faculty Standards Committee, which reviewed his case. As a former student of Professor Summa, I was shocked and upset when I heard that the University was not renewing his contract. I was deeply influenced by his ability to present alternative economic perspectives. Professor Summa did not try to convince me of any single point of view. Instead, he encouraged me to think critically about economics, and therefore, decide for myself what to believe. Please join me in signing this petition that demands the University of Vermont reappoint this valuable teacher. Stand with Professor Summa, because voices like his need to be heard, but are becoming fewer in number just when we need them the most. “I found John to be a perceptive and self-reflective student of teaching. He was experimenting with some interesting games…getting students out of the classroom for projects, and teaching creatively in general.” – Alec Ewald, Former UVM Honors College Interim Associate Dean “Professor Summa encourages his students not to passively accept what is taught to them, but to ask questions and be skeptical. His classes taught me to approach readings and research with a critical eye, and made me more able to build well-thought out, defensible arguments.” – Sophia Billias, William Gerston Award Winner, UVM Class of 2015
Petition to California State House, California State Senate
Stop insurance breed discrimination to keep pets out of shelters and in homes
Up to 99% of pit bulls that enter a shelter are killed. Part of the problem is homeowners are finding it more and more difficult to obtain homeowners’ insurance that accept their breed of dogs. In recent years, several insurance companies have blacklisted dog breeds they consider dangerous, making it all but impossible for dog owners to get the insurance they need to protect their home. Now Pit Bulls and similar dogs are filling up California shelters, breaking up families and costing the state millions of dollars. It is time that California joined Pennsylvania and Michigan and prohibit breed specific insurance exclusions so we can stop the needless separation of families and the eventual euthanasia of innocent dogs. I’m Dawn, a volunteer at Chako Pit bull Rescue in Sacramento, California. Every year we take in homeless pit bulls in danger of being euthanized at shelters. Many of these dogs were surrendered when their owners faced the heart-breaking decision of giving up a beloved family member in order to keep a roof over their children’s heads. Too many children have cried, heartbroken, as their parents rip them away from their favorite companions, and even grown men have broken down because they can no longer keep their best friend. The worst part is knowing that in most of these cases, these dogs will never find another home and will unfortunately be put to sleep. In fact, having to move and being unable to find a place to rent that will accept their dog is the top reason people give for surrendering their dogs to a shelter. These pet unfriendly lists can hurt Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers, among other breeds, even though study after study has proven that there are no dangerous dog breeds. There are just irresponsible owners who haven’t properly trained or managed their dogs. Insurance company breed blacklists are not only wrong and unfair, but they are also misguided. If insurance companies want to reduce risk they should require dog owners and their pets to go through obedience training or provide proof of Canine Good Citizen certification. Requiring homeowners to show such proof, rather than denying them coverage outright, reduces the chance of dog bites and liability for all parties involved while keeping dog owners in their homes and dogs out of shelters. There are better ways to minimize insurance risk than forcing families to give up their dogs. Pennsylvania and Michigan have protected homeowners and their dogs from discrimination while also ensuring that insurance companies don’t face an unfair burden. It is time California does the same by creating legislation that prohibits breed specific insurance blacklists. Help us at Chako Pit Bull Rescue keep families in their homes and dogs from being euthanized and tell the California Legislature to ban breed-specific insurance policies.
Petition to Bill de Blasio
Save jobs by opposing the NYC Garment Center rezoning proposal.
Sign this petition to oppose the Garment Center rezoning proposal and support the thousands of jobs supported by manufacturing, suppliers, and other Garment Center businesses. Mayor de Blasio and the Economic Development Corporation have proposed to remove the 1987 zoning protections from the Garment Center and are currently fast tracking approvals outside of any public forum and without consulting any of the effected stakeholders, including organized labor, factories, and trim and fabric suppliers. If approved, the re-zoning would be devastating to these hundreds of companies and thousands of workers. We have created this petition because we care about the maker movement. People from all over the world come to NYC to start their brands and businesses because of the immediate and unique access to manufacturing, material, workers, and expertise. There is nowhere else in the world that has this unique centralized community. Our city will lose a piece of what makes it special if we eliminate the Garment Center from midtown Manhattan. We need support for the maker industry RIGHT NOW. The very government that has pledged support to the maker industry is trying to ship manufacturing off to a non-central location. The Garment Center will not survive the move. We are asking Mayor de Blasio, the NY Economic Development Corporation, and other city officials for 3 actions: 1. Do not allow the current proposed re-zoning of midtown West Manhattan to pass. 2. To consult and include the businesses that would be effected by the proposal, including manufacturers, organized labor, and suppliers. 3. To consider alternatives, such as investment directly in the Garment District and its businesses. Instead of re-zoning the Garment Center, we propose that the City focus on engaging the existing fashion ecosystem, supporting more innovation in textile, product development, and technical integrations. We should take what we have and make it better instead of pulling the carpet from underneath from what exists today. Sign and show your support now. The rezoning proposal is set to be approved as soon as April of this year!
Petition to Richard Burr, President of the United States, Donald Trump, Thom Tillis
Approve my Social Security Disability
I WANT TO PERSONALLY THANK EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT DURING THIS DIFFICULT JOURNEY IN MY LIFE. YOUR SUPPORT, PRAYERS, ADVICE, AND FRIENDSHIPS HAVE PUSHED ME THROUGH THIS PAST Year. (I changed my main photo because some said it was too brutal to look at) MY STORY: Raleigh News and Observer article Three years ago, I was in a car wreck that left me with a traumatic brain injury. I now suffer from seizures: I simply black out, with no warning, several times a week. Because of this, I can never drive again; I can’t work. I can’t even shower alone, and I’m running out of hope. Before my injury, I was an electrician by trade. I always worked and supported my three children. I tried going back to work after the wreck, but my seizures forced me to stop. My multiple attempts to get on disability have been denied even though my medical history is well documented by hospitals, neurologists, doctors, and psychiatrists. I have given the Social Security office all the medical and financial records they have asked for. I have had a couple doctor's notes since 2014 that said I could not work because of my condition. The health coverage I have from the county is not enough. It doesn’t pay for rehab or the weeks I’ve spent in the hospital due to further brain injury caused by falls during seizures. I have lost everything I worked for all of my life. I feel so helpless. We’re looking at homelessness as a very real possibility, and all because the Social Security contract I entered into when I started paying in at 16 years old, has failed me. Please, I am not looking for handouts. Simply for the money I have paid into the system in my time of great need. Please call on the Social Security Administration (SSA) to grant me disability insurance, so that I may have a fighting chance to get better. I know I am not alone in this. I’ve talked to so many people going through similar hardships. My condition is getting progressively worse. I want so badly to live to raise my children to adulthood, to be a good role model for them, and teach them that it is possible to overcome any obstacle in this country. I can only do that with some help. Please help me call on the SSA to grant me disability insurance. I have earned it, and I would not take it if I didn’t really need it. Thank you for your time, God Bless, Christopher E Layne My life as I know it (click here) Every signature under here is probably going through the same hell or loves someone going through the same thing, fighting for their lives. Something has to change fast. One wrong fall and I will not be here any longer to see my chosen grow. Please help me by signing this petition. It truly could mean life or death. A message from my daughter
Petition to Kathleen Wynne, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, PC Leader Patrick Brown, Deputy Premier Deborah Matthews, MPP Vic Dhillon, Minister Tracy MacCharles
End Tarion’s new home warranty monopoly NOW: Give Ontario's new home buyers a choice!
Ontario's Premier Kathleen Wynne said the time for monopolies is over (National Post, Apr. 17, 2015). We think she’s absolutely right! Monopolies are notoriously inefficient and ineffective - the prices are too high and the production is too low - and they can "capture" the political and regulatory processes (CBS Money Watch, Sept. 18, 2014). Tarion is a private corporation created as a monopoly by the Government of Ontario to provide warranty protection to new home buyers and to regulate builders. The legislation was established in 1976 – 40 years ago – and many agree that it has never worked properly. Numerous media reports show that there are many serious problems resulting from the legislation and how Tarion is administering the legislation. Most recently, the Government of Ontario commissioned a Tarion Review which is now underway. This is good news, but overdue. Former Chief Justice Douglas Cunningham, the appointed Reviewer, has a big job ahead of him to understand what is going on, and to make recommendations that address the legislation’s problems and Tarion’s operations. But many agree that the most important recommendation Justice Cunningham can make to the Government of Ontario is to end Tarion’s monopoly! This would offer a number of warranty providers to Ontario’s new home buyers as other provinces have done. Ontario's home buyers would then have a CHOICE of builder and warranty provider, resulting in a more competitive marketplace. The following summarizes the situation in three other provinces – and then in Ontario: Prov 2015 Housing starts # of Warr Providers Avg # Alberta 37,282 7 5,326 BC 31,446 5 6,289 Manitoba 5,501 5** 1,100 Ontario 70,156 1 70,156 This means that Alberta, BC and Manitoba offer a CHOICE of warranty providers AND, on average, the warranty providers in those provinces have a much more reasonable number of homes to service than Tarion. Sign this petition to ask Justice Cunningham and Premier Wynne to end Tarion’s monopoly and offer a number of warranty providers in Ontario -- like other Canadian provinces are doing. ------------------------------------- * Statistics Canada **effective 2017
Petition to Bishop Dennis Sullivan
Request Diocesan Bishop Sullivan to delay closing St. Michaels Church in Atlantic City, NJ. All public Sunday Masses will now end on September 27, 2015.
St. Michaels Church and Parish is 112 years old and a Historic Landmark and Cultural Center for Italian-Americans and Atlantic City. St. Michaels Church contains beautiful Italian Renaissance sculptures, frescos, paintings and sacred objects that are irreplaceable. $8 Million was spent in 2000-2001 to completely restore St. Michaels Church and the adjacent Dante Hall. Closing St. Michaels Parish which occupies almost a whole city block will eliminate the heart, soul, and character of the Ducktown District of Atlantic City and allow corporate developers of outlet type stores to commercialize the community and “take over” the historic area. Closing St. Mikes will further deteriorate a community in a City that needs the Churches’ spiritual and moral leadership more than ever. St. Michaels is an icon and model of the Mission of the Catholic Church to preserve community, traditional values, and the saving message of Jesus. St. Michaels Parish has hundreds of admirers who are not aware of the Churches closing many of whom are graduates. They deserve the right and the opportunity to Save St. Mikes for the future.
Petition to Westfield City Council & Mayor
Stop Rampant Residential Development in Westfield, IN
Another 1,000 homes and 200 apartments have been proposed in the beautiful southwest corridor of Westfield. Our kids are already in over crowded school buses and classrooms. A new school referendum tax and public safety tax are proposed because we don't have enough teachers and police officers to cover our current population of 36,000. There are already enough approved developments to grow the population to over 60,000 - almost doubling the population. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! Sign this petition if you are concerned about our schools, safety, and want city leaders to stop the unbridled residential development happening here. Most of the city's decision makers don't have kids in the schools. Your voice is important and needs to be heard by our community leaders. Share this petition with friends and neighbors!