equal rights for all

14 petitions

Update posted 7 hours ago

Petition to Coppell School District, The Superintendent

Designate Diwali an Official Coppell School District Holiday

Esteemed Coppell School Board Members and Superintendent, We’re writing to you to respectfully request that Diwali, an important holiday for Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs, be designated an official holiday for Coppell ISD students. Based on the Hindu lunar calendar, Diwali is on Nov 7th (for 2018) and on Oct 27th (for 2019). Asian students account for 43.88% of total students in Coppell School District -- South Asian, Indian, and Hindu making up a large majority (although the exact number of Hindus is not made available by any US Census, as religion is not a demographic criterion for the process).  When Diwali comes around each year, often times on a weekday, too many students are faced with a difficult decision -- observe this religious holiday and risk missing important school work and activities, or forego their observance altogether because the curricular cost is simply too much.  While schools are not required to close on a particular religious holiday, there is a matter of administrative convenience given a large number of students that would likely be absent on Diwali. For instance, schools are closed on Good Friday as a "Weather Day." Even if a child wishes to observe the holiday, their families, known to emphasize education as a top priority, hesitate. At best, too many families squeeze in a rushed celebration -- fit in between the end of after-school activities, homework, studying, and bedtime. Diwali is a time for renewal and reminds celebrants about the inherent goodness of life.  People clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices ahead of the holiday, which traditionally is five days. On the main day, the day of Diwali, people light diyas (earthen lamps) inside and outside their homes and participate in family or community puja (rituals). After the puja, fireworks follow, and friends and family often gather, hold feasts, and an exchange of gifts. Diwali also marks a time for charity, as well as a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated. While Diwali is usually known as a "North Indian" festival, people of Southern and North-Eastern India also celebrate it in various forms. Aside from the well-being of CISD students and families, there are several other factors that we believe Board Members and the Superintendent should consider: 1. A number of school districts across the US have adopted Diwali (with Eid and Chinese New Year) as an official school holiday (as "professional development" or "weather" day).  The number of students who would benefit from Diwali being an official school holiday in Coppell ISD is actually significantly greater than in many of the districts listed below.   New York: East Meadow School District, East Williston Union Free School District, Half Hollow Hills Central School District, Herricks Union Free School District, Hicksville Union Free School District, and Syosset Central School District New Jersey: Glen Rock School District, West Windsor-Plainsboro School District, Piscataway School District, Passaic City School District, and South Brunswick School District Others: Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (PA), Harvard Public Schools (MA), and Howard County District (MD) Syosset, New York, has only 26% Asians (compared to almost 45% in Coppell ISD). Its high school is ranked 173rd nationally (Coppell High School is at #463 in US News High school ranking). With only 632 signatures for its Diwali petition, the school board agreed to put "Professional Development Day" for Diwali (and other holidays for Muslims and Chinese Cultures). In Howard County, Maryland Asians numbers are at 21.2% (compared to almost 45% in Coppell ISD). Its high schools are ranked at 226, 258, and 373 in the US News ranking (compared to CHS at #463). They too agreed to put Diwali on their calendar (with other holidays) as "professional development day" with only 1300 signatures (including many from outside their school district). 2. Teaching about Diwali is part of the Texas State's Curriculum Standard (for §113.18. Social Studies, Grade 6, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012, at 19B). Following this Texas State guideline, we are asking for only one Hindu holiday for Diwali (although there are two festivals listed for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in this standard). 3. The Diwali Mela (fair) in Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas boasts an attendance of 50,000 people every year with Dallas Mayor and other officials in attendance. In 2009, San Antonio became the first U.S. city to sponsor an official Diwali celebration including a fireworks display. The City of Coppell held its first major Diwali celebration on Tuesday, Oct 17th, 2017. 4. In 2016, Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United Nations in NYC. The White House has been celebrating Diwali for nearly a decade -- a tradition that was started by fellow Texan, President George W. Bush and continued by President Obama and President Trump. 5. The United States Postal Service (USPS) issued a first-ever Diwali postage stamp on October 5, 2016. It’s since become one of the best-selling stamps in the history of USPS. Canada issued another stamp on Sept 30, 2017. 6. Diwali is celebrated around the world, particularly in countries with significant populations of four cultures: Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. These include Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bhutan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean nations. Diwali is also celebrated in the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States. Diwali is a well-known and widely celebrated holiday.  We respectfully request that the Coppell ISD Board take the lead in embracing and recognizing the culture of a large number of its students. We strongly believe that such a designation by Coppell ISD will go a long way in demonstrating the commitment of our educators to the well-being of our diverse students and families.   We thank you in advance for your due consideration. Sincerely, Students and Parents of Coppell ISD Organizations and Temples Supporting the Petition: Radha Govind Dham Samskrita Bharati Sanatana Dharma Foundation

Celebrators of Diwali
1,521 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Jerry Brown, Richard Bloom, Sam Liccardo, Ken Rosenberg

Equal application of rent control for all California renters & owners

The California Constitution states in Article 1, Section 7B:  "A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens." Yet, we have a 22 year old law in California, known as Costa-Hawkins, which violates this basic tenet of equality.  Costa-Hawkins allows cities to grant rent control privileges to some tenants and not others.  It also gives immunity from rent control to some property owners and not others.  Costa-Hawkins was paid for, and kept in place, by large, corporate rental owners through generous campaign donations.  It allows them to charge ever-higher market rents to their tenants while at the same time economically squashing their smaller mom & pop landlord competitors through local rent control. It is time to repeal Costa-Hawkins and replace it with a law which REQUIRES cities to apply rent controls equally and fairly to ALL rental properties regardless of property size, year built - or campaign contributions made. Tenants and small property owners can unite and fight for a common cause to create a fair and equal market place in the rental market.   If the legislature won't act, we shall create a voter referendum to carry out the will of the people, demanding fair and equal treatment of all tenants and property owners.

Dean H
96 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Thesis Thompson, equality, DISCRIMINATION, boys with long hair, JOSHUA ISD, Fight for our children's rights, transgender

Change Joshua ISD Dress Code

My son, Thesis Thompson (7), who had been growing his hair since birth, is currently a student of JISD Staples Elementary School.  Thesis is in 1st grade and was very excited to attend his first year at Staples.  Thesis is now afraid of his new school because he feels his teachers hate him because of his hair! We attended meet the teacher night and nothing was ever mentioned about his hair.  On the second day of school, I received a phone call from the principal that Thesis was in the office because he was "out of dress code" and was being sent to ISS.  That did not set very well with me because ISS is for children with behavioral  issues and my son was not going to be sent there nothing had to do with his behavior! Whether my son had grown his hair for religious beliefs, cancer, transgender-- it shouldn't matter!!  The principal stated that my husband needed to provide proof from his "Holy Man" to justify his Islamic beliefs!!!  What year is this??!!  Do we walk around with hearts on our sleeves justifying that we are organ donors or any other symbols justifying our beliefs or religion?!  This is total discrimination against our children who are there to receive an education-- not be bullied by the  administrative staff! From why I heard  this dress code has been in effect for 30+ years and have recently made changes to where students are allowed to wear flip-flops!  This is what I heard per the teachers who were excited because the rule was passed for flip-flops .. smh.   Sounds to me this rule was passed more for the teachers!  So why make a big deal about boys with long hair?!  Every person is unique in their own way and I feel that JISD is trying to create everyone to be what they want them to be. What has happened to equal rights?!  What are we teaching our children??  What have we and our ancestors fought for all these years?  I stand firmly behind my son and the other boys attending JISD who are being punished for nothing they've  done wrong.  They all deserve to able to attend JISD like everyone else-- long or or short hair, boy or girl.  What should it matter?!

Amanda Rodriguez
633 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

For our Children: Campaign Finance Reform

There are many voices advocating for changing the way our government operates, some are even calling for violent revolution and that call for violence scares me, not just for myself, but for our children. I agree that our current system needs to be changed, but that change can happen from within and without violence. However, the only way to peacefully change the way our current system of government operates is to eliminate the influence of corporations, PACs, and wealthy individuals. We need a way for everyone's voice to be heard, not just those of the 2 major parties and their allies. Therefore, I propose a bill, or possibly a constitutional amendment that would restructure the way our campaigns are financed. If we do so it would ensure that the halls of power are not strictly influenced by those who hold the purse strings, but rather by WE THE PEOPLE!  1- Businesses will not be allowed to contribute to any federal election campaign, 2- Limit individual contributions to a one time only amount of 200 dollars. 3- NO Politcal Action Commitee contributions.  4- Require all FCC licensed outlets to broadcast debates which include ALL candidates, not just those from the 2 major parties, free of charge.  5- NO MORE LOBBIES  We must hold our congress people responsible for serving the country, the entire country, not just those who can financially support them. My fear is that if we cannot enact this reform soon our country will be hopelessly divided and descend into violence and injustice for all. 

Madeline Cheers
37 supporters