Petition to Starbucks
Replace Plastic Straws with Biodegradable Paper Straws
Plastic straws are one of the most pervasive forms of plastic waste, and incredibly destructive to our oceans and environment. So why are stores like Starbucks giving out straws which get used once, only to end up lodged in a sea turtle’s throat? We live in South Florida and for a recent school project, Davis (13-years-old) and I (Davis’ mom) volunteered on a beach clean up where we saw just how devastating plastic waste is on our shores. In the last 25 years, over 6 million straws and stirrers were removed from beaches during annual cleaning events. We’re asking Starbucks to lead the way and transition away from single use plastic straws. Starbucks has built its reputation as a company concerned about its environmental impact. They recently invested $10 million in designing a more environmentally-friendly cup, and now straws seem like the next logical step. As one of the largest fast-food companies worldwide, it could lead the industry in protecting our oceans. If it's expense that's keeping the company from doing what's right, then we’re sure their customers would be happy to pay an extra 5 cents to ensure that their plastic straw doesn't end up lodged in a sea turtle's throat. During our beach clean up, it seemed like the sandy trash was endless. We need to take better care of our planet to leave a home for future generations – and we’re asking for Starbucks’ help.
Petition to Coppertone, Bayer
Get harmful chemicals out of sunscreen
Summer means the beach, roofdecks, backyard barbecues and for many, being outside as much as humanly possible. It also means sunscreen! But what if the chemicals in sunscreen products were potentially harmful -- not just to humans, but also do precious wildlife and coral reefs in the ocean? You might not know the name Oxybenzone, but it's a common chemical in many brand name sunscreens. But in many places around the globe -- most recently Hawaii -- lawmakers have been working to ban sunscreens with the chemical because of its potentially harmful side effects to human health (including possible effects on the endocrine system), and devastating impact on coral reefs and ocean life. Coppertone and its parent company, Bayer, have a real moment to be industry leaders and remove Oxybenzone from products. Tell the makers of Coppertone to get potentially harmful chemicals out of sunscreen. The Environmental Working Group has long considered Oxybenzone toxic, and regularly warns that using sunscreen with this chemical is problematic for health and for the environment. There are also countless sunscreens that don't use this chemical -- some even produced by Bayer! -- that allow for people to continue to use sunscreen while also not dousing themselves with a chemical that could cause serious side effects, as well as bleach coral reefs that are already under terrible duress. As one scientist who co-authored a study on coral reefs and the impact of sunscreen on them stated, "any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers." With so many potential Oxybenzone-free sunscreens available, let's make it the industry standard that the sunscreens we're putting on our body remove this chemical that could harm human beings, and looks like it's harming precious coral reefs.
Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives
Get Lead Out of Public School Water Systems
When a parent sends their kid to school, the last thing they should worry about is whether the water in a school's drinking fountain could be contaminated. And yet at public schools nationwide, lead levels in water are not only higher than they should be -- they're dangerously high. Our schools have severely outdated infrastructure that is putting millions of kids at risk for drinking water contaminated with lead. This year alone there have been 8 schools in Virginia, 5 in Austin, 16 in Tallahassee -- and the list goes on and on -- that have reported lead-tainted water. Schools in at least 20 states have reported lead contamination in their water, and yet only four states in the country require that schools test their water for lead. More than 25 U.S. Senators have signed on to a proposal that would give funding to test lead in water in public schools around the country. Send a message to lawmakers that we need this testing to happen now. Lead exposure has been linked to IQ loss, impaired hearing, impaired formation of blood cells, shorter stature, and learning disabilities, to name a few. Just a few years after 8,000 children in Flint, Michigan were exposed to lead contaminated water, school infrastructure across the entire country points to signs that millions more children may be at risk. That's why we need immediate funding for testing of water in public schools, and where lead contamination appears, funding for filters and other preventative measures to make sure kids aren't exposed to lead in drinking fountains at school.
Petition to US House Ethics Committee
Get EPA Head Scott Pruitt fired!
Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt has tearing apart our country’s environmental protections and has been involved in countless ethics scandals since he was appointed by President Trump. We shouldn’t be paying for his illegal and unethical actions with our tax money or our planet – it’s time to fire Pruitt. Sign my petition to demand that the House Ethics Committee remove Pruitt from office. I’ve worked in countries which struggle with corruption, and i know that accepting behavior like Pruitt’s is a slippery slope. As a former federal worker (at the US Agency for International Development), I had to take countless ethics trainings, fly coach even when traveling across the world, and heard regularly that the consequences of spending unauthorized funds or misrepresenting charges on an expense report were dismissal or even jail time. Yet Pruitt has been caught flying first class (not allowed for government workers), receiving reduced rent from an energy lobbyist, and purchasing expensive office equipment (a $43,000 soundproof telephone booth) – an expense not approved by Congress. Why does he need a sound-proof telephone booth? What is he hiding from his staff and the American people? Mr. Pruitt has a 24-hour security detail (which is highly unusual for a Cabinet member) which has already cost the taxpayers $3 million in salaries and overtime. Not to mention the fact that Pruitt is in the pocket of business and has been selling our planet off to the highest bidder. Under Pruitt, the EPA has been actively dismantling hard-won environmental protections, putting our health, the planet, and our children’s future in danger. If you care about preserving our democracy and our planet, please join me in sending the message: Pruitt needs to go.
Petition to Tony R. Buffington Jr., Phyllis J. Randall (Chair), Ralph M. Buona, Suzanne M. Volpe, Ron A Meyer Jr., Geary M. Higgins, Matthew F. Letourneau, Kristen C. Umstattd, Koran T. Saines, Clidd Keirce, Fred Jennings, Kathy Blackburn, Jim Sisley, Tom Priscilla, Eugene Scheel, Jeff Salmon, Ad Barnes, Dan Llyod, Loudoun County PC
Preserve Aldie's Old Carolina Road
We are residents of what the County describes as the Aldie Mountain Village community and are writing to express our serious concerns regarding application number SPEX‐2017‐0029 submitted by the St. Pope Cyril Coptic Orthodox Church (the “Applicant”) to build a structure and church facility on Old Carolina Road in Aldie, Virginia. We believe the facility as proposed is incompatible with our community and should not be approved in its current form for the following primary reasons: SCALE ‐ The proposed size of the 27,000 SF mega church structure is 6 to 10 times larger than any other buildings in the area, which are primarily residential homes; further, the church will support 600+ congregants and be serviced by a well and drain field. This is in stark contrast to the existing church in the area, Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, which supports 150 congregants in a 5,000 SF structure with well and septic. CONDITIONAL APPROVAL ‐ In the special exception application, the mega church has proposed unrealistic operating hours. Parking and septic field designs, as well as the traffic study, assume just one 3-hour church service ONLY on Sunday, an additional 1 hour Sunday school and administrative use during the week. At the church’s present Chantilly location, services occur nearly every day of the week (see enclosed copy of their May 2018 schedule). The church’s move marks an expansion of the congregation; therefore, it seems illogical to believe that activity will be so heavily cut back. This fact raises serious safety concerns regarding the validity and applicability of any investigations or designs created under the assumption of limited operating hours. TRAFFIC ‐ Even considering the proposed operating schedule, increased traffic congestion will cause safety issues at the intersection of Old Carolina Road (a two-lane, country road) and RT 15. The non-signalized intersection has a limited line of sight and the 55 mph speed limit of RT 15 already makes it difficult to turn. We fear the added traffic congestion from the mega church will compromise the safety of the intersection. ENVIRONMENTAL ‐ The Applicant’s proposed septic system is designed to accommodate only the peak usage of their Sunday services and Sunday school. This system will not be able to properly support the facility if they were to at all expand their operating hours, let alone to match the worship schedule at their current Fairfax County location. ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY INFORMATION – Our area serves a number of other uses, some of which contribute to our community and some of which do not. Old Carolina Road already supports Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA), a no‐kill animal rescue that is on 10 acres with over 100 dogs & two large catteries. It is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays only. Old Carolina Road has become famous through various cycling publications as a cyclist’s haven. Every weekend our roads are filled with numerous pelotons. This adds another layer of complexity to additional development on the road. The property adjacent to the Applicant’s land to the south currently houses a landscaping company. This land has been in violation of zoning laws for the past four years requiring significant time from our county attorneys and zoning staff, a burdensome cost to taxpayers. Thank you for considering our concerns. The precedent of allowing a mega church in a small village setting will not only impact our village but every other village in western Loudoun county.
Petition to San Jose California
Open a Zero Emission Recreational park in San Jose CA
California State Parks is interested in opening the world's first solar powered, zero emission recreational vehicle public park in San Jose, California. Link to Park Summary Phase one is a 40 acre demonstration park that proves that zero emission recreational vehicles are a viable alternative to gas vehicles. Phase two would environmentally restore the land and expand the park into hundreds of acres along San Fransisco Bay. If a park is not established the land could become industrial development. The goals of the Zero Emission Park proposal are to promote electric vehicles and prove their viability for recreation, entice buyers to chose electric over gas powered vehicles, reduce travel trips to reduce emissions system wide and provide recreational and nature educational opportunities in an urban environment for families and all users. California State Parks and a nonprofit foundation will be responsible for all environmental restoration, habitat and species stewardship, planning the park and building the trails, nature education center and kiosks. Most of the land will remain open space. For the use of a fraction of the land for trails the park will provide all of the funding, staff and expertise to restore, maintain and provide stewardship for all of the land. This would be a regionally attractive recreational destination and an excellent use of the land and fits in well with San Jose’s Green Vision Goals and high tech reputation. Let San Jose know that you support stopping development and opening this innovative park in the heart of silicon valley. Below is an email excerpt from State Parks outlining their interest in this proposal. All, I would like to restate my desire to get this project moving forward. The concept of urban parks was considered extremely important by the Parks Forward Commission’s report. That report is driving the Transformation Team towards the future of California State Parks and your proposed OHV park would mark off a number of important boxes on the list. First, partnerships are a priority and the State through the OHMVR Division of State Parks would partner with a non-profit and local government to develop and manage the facility. Secondly, the urban parks mandate would be covered with the proposed location. Thirdly, the environmental mandates would be stricter than a typical State Park due to the requirements of the OHV laws in California. And lastly, the California Air Resources Board in conjunction with the OHMVR Division are moving towards a future plan with Electric/Low Emission OHVs. I will make myself available to meet with you and any local city officials as we move forward. Sincerely, State Parks OHMVR Commissioner
Petition to firstname.lastname@example.org
Save Stoneleigh from Condemnation
The Lower Merion School District has indicated it may use eminent domain to take Stoneleigh: a natural garden to build a new school and/or playing fields. Perhaps best known for the iconic hare sculpture located near the intersection of Spring Mill and County Line Roads in Villanova, Stoneleigh was the beloved home of the Haas family. Following the deaths of John and Chara Haas—whose ashes are scattered on the property—in an extraordinary act of generosity the estate of John Haas donated all of Stoneleigh to Natural Lands in 2016. The donation had a singular purpose: to open Stoneleigh up to the general public, so that everyone could enjoy this natural treasure free of charge. The Lower Merion School District has previously stated its interest in condemning a 6.9-acre portion of Stoneleigh: a natural garden, so that it can build new ball fields. On April 18, the district sent a letter to Natural Lands stating that it wants to inspect the rest of the 42-acre Stoneleigh garden “in anticipation of a potential condemnation of all or part of the property.” Natural Lands has told the District that we will fight, vigorously, any attempt at a taking. Unfortunately, saying “no” to the School District will not be enough. We need your help to send a clear message to the School District: should the Lower Merion School District take Stoneleigh, it would rob the residents of Lower Merion and the broader region of a one-of-a-kind community treasure. Please sign this petition: Tell the Lower Merion School Board and Superintendent Robert Copeland that Stoneleigh must remain preserved so that its beauty is available for all to enjoy forever, and that they should look elsewhere for a location for a school and playing fields. Visit www.SaveStoneleigh.org and www.Stoneleighgarden.org to learn more.
Petition to Patty Murray, Jay Inslee, Maria Cantwell
Dammed to extinction, Southern Resident Orcas are starving. Time is running out!
The 76 remaining wild critically endangered salmon-eating Southern Resident Orcas are dying from starvation. ⇒ Leaving an effective breeding population less than 30, near the point of no recovery. Breach the Lower Snake River Dams in 2018 Why are these Orcas starving? More than 50% of their diet comes from salmon produced in the Columbia Basin, half of which were produced in the Snake River System. How is dam breaching possible? Since 2002, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has designated dam breaching as the best solution to recover wild salmon on the Snake River. The Corps of Engineers can use the current EIS to breach the dams within a few months! The Impact and benefits of breaching: • If the lower Snake River dams were breached, it would double or triple survival rates, restoring many millions of fish to the Columbia Basin. • Give the orcas a fighting chance to recover by increasing their food supply. • Breaching costs the state nothing. The first two dams can be breached for the cost of another EIS estimated at $80 million; 5 years to completion. • The four lower Snake River dams in Eastern Washington do not provide flood control and produce only low value surplus electricity. • Savings from these dams can be applied to more efficient dams and/or projects. • NOTHING else, not more spill across the dams, not more hatchery fish, not less boat traffic, not more studies and a new EIS can achieve this in time to save wild salmon or Southern Resident Orcas. Congressional Legislation or new appropriations are not needed to start breaching the Snake River dams this year! SENATOR MURRAY AND GOVERNOR INSLEE, Please take action today and urge the Army Corps' Major General Spellmon and Bonneville Power Administration's Elliot Mainzer to begin breaching dams in 2018. Thank you to the hundreds of thousands who have petitioned for immediate dam breaching, for those of you who want more information on how to save the salmon and orcas, visit www.damsense.org