169 petitions

Started 3 weeks ago

Petition to Adam Bello, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Andrew M. Cuomo, Charles E. Schumer

Paid family leave during coronavirus closures

In the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, schools in many areas are closing indefinitely. Parents of many children do not and cannot pay for childcare. Not to mention, it is important to practice social distancing in the wake of this virus. That will not be possible if parents are forced to find brand new childcare. Another issue facing many parents is how to pay for childcare, work, and not lose money. It would be in the community's, children's and all families' best interests if one parent per household were allowed paid family leave while schools are closed. This would eliminate social interactions outside families, limit exposure risk, and ensure parents can care for their families without risking losing their job or income. I urge you to enact a policy effective immediately to allow the parents in Monroe County, NY and other districts in NYS to stay home and still earn their wages. Many programs are being put in place to feed children and that is wonderful; however, we need to think about caring for them as a whole and that includes limiting their exposure to unnecessary people during this time. The best way to do this is to allow parents to choose to stay home while still being paid. This would also greatly impact single parent families that already have a hard time balancing work, childcare, and income. Another addendum to this policy should include allowing women who are pregnant and others who have pre-existing conditions that could cause infection with the COVID-19 virus to become more acute to stay home and also have their pay and jobs secured. This would protect the pregnant women and their unborn children since no one knows how COVID-19 affects them or the baby and it can also help to ensure a lesser severity of symptoms for those who do end up contracting the virus; thus, leaving space in hospitals for those who truly need to be cared for acutely. Please reference these articles that show what precautions we should be taking, the conventional cost of childcare in NYS (not including during school closures during a pandemic); as well as, benefits of parents being allowed to stay home with their children:  This article from 2018 shows the strain and cost childcare puts on parents and especially, single parents: This explains why flattening the curve to allow for health systems to be able to care for those who are acutely affected is important: ""‘Flattening the curve’ This is why early counter measures are important in an epidemic. Their intention is to lower the rate of infection so that the epidemic is spread out over time such that the peak demand on the healthcare system is lower. Containment measures are intended to avoid an outbreak trajectory in which a large number of people get sick at the same time. This is what the visualization shows. This is the reason that limiting the magnitude of peak incidence of an outbreak is important. Health systems can care for more patients across an outbreak when the number of cases is spread out over a long period rather than condensed in a very short period. What such counter measures to the pandemic attempt to avoid is that the number of patients at one point in time is so large that health systems fail to provide the required care for some patients21" excerpt from:   "Social distancing: Social distancing involves avoiding large gatherings. If you have to be around people, keep 6 feet (2 meters) between you when possible. “Social distancing is pretty much like using common sense,” Dr. Gordon says. “We don’t realize how interconnected we are until we’re asked to avoid people.” But he notes that terms like “mass gatherings” or “congregate settings” are vague. They’re used to describe things like shopping centers, movie theaters or stadiums. But how many people together is too many? “That’s a moving target,” he says. “While the number 25 is often cited, there’s currently no official definition — and that may be subject to change.”" excerpt from: This article from Stanford compares policies already in place in Norway to the US and what benefits parents being home with their children could have. This is slightly different than this situation but the message is the same: parents should be the ones staying home with their children and they shouldn't have to lose their jobs or income to do so in the wake of government shutdowns. Please take the time to read, click and share this petition. School closings have just started and if worked on quickly, this could be a great solution that will benefit not just families, but whole communities.   (Image used is not my own and was found via google).   ***Edited to add: There is a federal program being put into place to adress some of these concerns which WILL allow for those whose families have children whose schools close to stay home? They have not put something into place for those who are pregnant or those who are at higher risk of a more acute infection if COVID-19 is contracted. This still needs to pass federally and if so: this needs to be passed separate of the pre-existing family medical leave so that those who will need to use it later on for maternity leave, etc will still be allotted the full time. Here is a link to what they are putting into place now. It's a step in the right direction but protections for the pregnant and those at higher risk still need to be helped: ***

Lauren DeWaters
50 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to U.S. Congress

Save Our Babies - Vote Yes on Aidan’s Law: Eradication of Death by Zip Code

Aidan Jack Seeger was a happy, healthy, spirited NY boy who, at age 6, suddenly developed vision and concentration problems. His parents thought he just needed glasses. He was misdiagnosed several times. His sight went entirely, then his ability to walk and talk. Eventually, doctors figured out that Aidan had adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a mysterious and deadly brain disease. Eleven months later, he was gone. The worst part? If the disease had been caught early, Aidan could still be alive and well today. Aidan’s parents, Elisa and Bobby Seeger, have since made it their life’s work to save other children. ALD afflicts 1 in 17,000 people, mostly boys and men, silently ravaging their central nervous systems. Results include blindness, deafness, seizures, progressive dementia – leading to permanent paralysis or death. But there’s a solution: newborn screening of ALD. If the disease is caught before the onset of symptoms, it can be treated and, in some cases, entirely reversed. Through the Seegers’ hard work and commitment, newborn screening for ALD became law in New York State. They are now fighting to pass “Aidan’s Law” , which would fund not only ALD, but MPS1, Pompe, and SMA screening in all 50 states. Currently, it can take up to a decade or more before 50 states are testing for any disease added to the Federal Recommended Uniform Screening Panel. Help us save our babies. Please join us in calling on Congress to pass Aidan’s Law and require newborn screening for ALL diseases approved by the federal government  in all 50 states. A child's life should NOT depend on their zip code. Every baby born in this country deserves the same right to a normal, healthy life. In six years of ALD screening only 14 states are screening, OVER 300 babies have been diagnosed with the disease —that’s 300 lives saved. Currently, New York, Connecticut, California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Washington, Tennessee, Florida, Nebraska, Kentucky, Illinois, Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas are testing for ALD. Hopefully, Maryland and Michigan will start testing in 2019 but that leaves people in  36 states in the dark about this silent killer. We must fight for them – for their children. Screening of MPS1, Pompe, ALD and SMA  requires a single drop of blood taken from a baby’s heel at birth, and costs less than a cup of coffee per test. Please join us in urging Congress to do the right thing, and pass “Aidan’s Law: Eradication of Death by Zip Code” funding newborn screening for ALL diseases reviewed by the Federal Recommended Uniform Screening Panel in all 50 states.

Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation
245,161 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Jay Inslee, Washington State House, Ross Hunter, Dave Hayes, Donald Trump


This paragraph was added on September 2nd, 2016 in order to clarify the intent of this petition.  Everything below this paragraph remains unchanged:  Background check results on any childcare provider's criminal record OR parents considering childcare should receive COMPLETE background check results of any childcare workers, just like any other employer can, so every parent is able to make a fully informed decision regarding the life of their child(ren),  Additionally, NO CHILDCARE PROVIDERS should be allowed to use any name or nicknames aside from their legal name without full disclosure to the parents of the person's full legal name and a prominently placed notification if a person IS using a nickname or alias.   That information should also be included in any "welcome folders given to parents so that there are two ways a parent would be able to easily access. Here's why:  My beautiful two and a half year old little boy, David Roberts, died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington on January 20, 2013.  David held on to life for two days after suffering from catastrophic abusive head trauma that was inflicted while he was in the care of his two state and military licensed childcare providers (a husband and wife).  We had unknowingly placed David in the hands of a person who had been convicted of felony residential burglary and other crimes, and who also had a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem, and David DIED from the injuries he suffered at that childcare during the time that the person in question was working.  The state and military told me and my husband that the providers had cleared the background checks, when in fact the state and military KNEW that particular provider had a criminal record which included felony residential burglary, at least one malicious mischief charge, and a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem...and still chose to license him even though he wouldn't even be allowed to chaperone at any of the schools his children attend.  The state and military also knew and allowed this same person to not disclose his legal name.  DESPITE KNOWING THESE FACTS, THE STATE AND MILITARY willingly withheld that information, with fatal consequences: my son lost his life.  My husband and and I had NO IDEA that he had a felony criminal record and was not using his legal name and would NEVER have put David in their care if we knew that information.  The state MUST CHANGE the "Director's List" (WAC 170.06.0120) and PREVENT FELONS from having access to the child(ren) of other people and parents considering childcare should receive ALL background check results of any childcare workers just like any employer can.  The state also must prevent ANYONE from using any name or nicknames aside from their legal name while working in childcare, and a law or laws should be enacted and be named "David's Law",  On January 18, 2013 my two and a half year old, autistic, son David, became a victim of catastrophic abusive head trauma at the hands of his daycare providers.  He died two days later from the injuries.  He was attending a Navy Child Development Home in Oak Harbor, WA.  We were told that the providers had cleared their background checks.  My husband and I both expected "cleared their background checks" to mean that there was nothing on their criminal record, not that there could be any number of 35 crimes, including felonies, on their record, and that the information about those convictions is not required to be given to the parents.   We didn't find out until months later that the husband who ran the daycare with his wife was a convicted felon.  He had been convicted of residential burglary while he was extremely intoxicated and had at least one malicious mischief charge and a documented anger management problem.  We were told both providers had undergone background checks and had cleared them. The two providers sold everything within five months and in the middle of the CPS and homicide investigation they fled to Maine, where the woman has even attempted to provide childcare still. Here are two links from KOMO4 Seattle which cover what happened to my son as well as the loophole itself: Apparently, in the State of Washington, you can have any of the 35 crimes and felonies under the Washington Director's List of Allowable Offenses on your record and not only can you have unsupervised access to children, but your criminal record is not disclosed to the parents seeking care for their child.  Instead, the parents are told the providers have passed/cleared background checks.  Convicted felons shouldn't even be allowed to have unsupervised access to other peoples' children in the first place, let alone run a daycare.  Parents have the RIGHT to know everything about a potential provider so that they can make their own fully informed decision on whether or not they trust a provider in spite of their criminal record.   The list of allowable offenses is here: Had we been told about the provider's criminal record we would have never left our children in their care and he would still be alive today.  These laws need to change.  There needs to be a law, called "David's Law" that prevents anyone with a felony record from having unsupervised access to other peoples' children in daycare settings, and discloses the results of background checks of the daycare providers to the parents, so that those parents can have the entire story about the providers they are considering letting supervise their children.   On page 2 of this document you'll see the statement: "The reality is that parents cannot conduct effective background checks on child care providers on their own. Even the most motivated, well-financed parent search would still be limited to commercial databases, which the Department of Justice has said are incomplete." The Government KNOWS that parents cannot conduct adequate background checks, but they don't disclose the results of the full background checks that THEY have access to.  That forces parents to rely on the state and government to assure them and protect their children to the highest extent possible.  Withholding information about felony (and other) convictions is immoral and reprehensible.  Parents have a primal NEED to protect their children, and yet we are limited in the information that we can obtain, information that interferes with the ability of parents to make the BEST, potentially life altering, decision that they can for their families with incomplete facts.  That is NOT right.   There are some parents in the world who don't mind if a child care center or child care home provider has a criminal record.  There are many more who would absolutely prefer that no criminals be allowed access to their children.  Parents have the right to know all the information about the person or people who may be taking care of their child(ren).  There is absolutely no reason that a provider's criminal background should be kept secret from parents of any child(ren) that may end up in the care of the provider(s).  

Shayna Roberts
14,075 supporters