Petition to Jay Costa, Pennsylvania State Senate, Robert Casey, Tom Wolf, Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania State House, Andrew Dinniman, Patricia Vance, Stan Saylor, Brendan Boyle, Frank Farry, Glenn Thompson, Mike Kelly, Tim Murphy, Tom Marino, Mike Doyle, Dan Miller, Robert Freeman, Marguerite Quinn, Matthew Cartwright, Lou Barletta, Scott Perry, Charlie Dent, Bill Shuster, Florindo Fabrizio, Robert Brady
Support Safe Harbor Legislation for Sexually Exploited Children
The average age of commercially sexually exploited children is 14. Juvenile victims of sexual exploitation face a life continually threatened by torture, rape, broken bones, fractures, and extreme psychological manipulation to such an extent that most victims develop symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome as a result of having been trafficked. According to the International Labor Organization, 4.5 million illegally trafficked individuals are forcibly sexually exploited, and 21% of those individuals are estimated to be less than 18 years of age. Children who are victimized in the illegal sex trade are still criminalized in the state of Pennsylvania. The state contends that it is legal for juvenile victims of sex trafficking to receive criminal charges for prostitution, public indecency, obstruction of highways and other public passages. According to the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania, Shared Hope’s Protected Innocence Challenge conducted a study of state laws in 2015 that addressed domestic minor sex trafficking. They found that Pennsylvania ranked 35th on the effectiveness of 41 legislative components addressing domestic minor sex trafficking. In regards to Pennsylvania’s attempts to address protective provisions for juvenile victims, it ranked 45th out of 51 states, with the addition of Washington D.C. Senate Bill No. 554, the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund, which proposes to provide special relief for juvenile victims of sexual exploitation in order to restore dignity, provide necessary services, ensure safety, and provide a safe harbor for sexually exploited children. Provisions proposed by the bill include: reimbursement of funds for the costs of removing a tattoo or identifying mark left on the victim by their pimp, safe and stable housing, access to education, employment and life-skills training, comprehensive case management, healthcare and trauma-based therapy, access to personal care items and adequate clothing, treatment for drug and/or alcohol dependency, and other supportive services. Supporting this petition will make a difference in the lives of children who have experienced severe trauma and chronic emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. The sexual exploitation of juveniles is both an international and domestic issue. Supporting Safe Harbor Legislation in the State of Pennsylvania will make provisions for vulnerable children who have been exposed to extremely traumatic and chronic abuse. Additionally, this legislation has the potential to create a societal paradigm shift in which victims of forced prostitution can be rightly understood and cared for as victims, rather than as criminals. I urge you to support this bill and encourage Pennsylvania to join the two thirds of the United States that have taken a stance against the sexual exploitation of minors. I have both volunteered and worked professionally with individuals who have experienced crises related to trauma, domestic violence, and sexual assault. This form of trauma shakes people to the foundation of their being. We will not be able to foster and sustain an exploitation-free society, if we are not empowering people to heal. The ramifications of criminalizing children who have experienced trauma in the form of violence and sexual exploitation are severe in terms of the implications they carry for the future of rape culture and the social acceptability of violence.
Petition to Mike Regan, Pennsylvania State House, Pennsylvania State Senate
Allow Sunday Hunting In Pennsylvania.
Currently many states in the United States allow hunting on Sundays, this gives many people more opportunities to get out into the woods an carry on a great nationwide tradition. Pennsylvania currently does not allow hunting on Sundays. This leaves much of the working class, especially those with children and other obligations very little time in the woods. By signing this petition you are asking Pennsylvania Law Makers to consider allowing hunting on Sundays, which will assist greatly in keeping this great Pennsylvania tradition strong and alive for many generations to come.
Petition to Tom Wolf
Better Funding for Performing Arts Programs in PA Schools #Don'tDreamItBeIt
My name is Olivia Rose, and I am a student of Danville Area High School in Pennsylvania. Ever since I was 8, I have loved the realm that is theatre. I have been graciously a part of 9 musicals with local theatres since then, including 4 with the Danville Area High School Preforming Arts Ensemble. What I have noticed about the shows that my fellow classmates have worked months on to perfect for the community is that frankly, we are a little under appreciated. For Danville especially, we as of now do not have the resources available to present a show big enough to get everyone in the community excited for. As you may know, you need more than just space, talent, and cast size to pull off any musical. You need money too. Renting scripts, getting rights for a show (and the more well known the show, the prettier the penny will be to do it), and purchasing resources for set all make up the financial end of it. I could get into more expenses, but you get the point- musicals are not cheap or easy! To say our school's drama club is well funded would be a lie. While other schools have done "Grease", "Hairspray", or even "The Addams Family Musical", we have been stuck with little money, thus only being able to do more obscure shows. As you can assume, the community doesn't exactly get really excited for these musicals. People want to see the classics, or at least a show they've vaguely heard of. Fellow Danville students only come to see our shows for the incentives of extra credit promised by teachers. Sets, costumes, and everything else also come into play. This creates a never ending cycle, unexciting musicals are done with no funds, and no one comes to watch, giving us little profit. I can only imagine this issue is worse in other Pennsylvania schools, (especially urban schools that aren't well funded to begin with) who may have had to get rid of their theatre programs. Aspiring actors and actresses of this generation need a foundation to perfect their talents. Auditioning for the school play should be encouraged highly, the drama program should be funded as equally as the athletic department, and each school should have some sort of music or theatre class. Theatre can definitely change lives. Additional funds to the performing arts in schools can help influence and inspire youth. This will also encourage the community to gain an experience in the arts and culture when they come to see the shows produced by said schools helped with this extra money. This epidemic is growing in Pennsylvania, and for kids like me who want to pursue performing arts as a career, this is a catastrophe. Very few take us seriously for our career pursuit as it is, and neither will our school peers or communities if this issue goes unnoticed. Pennsylvania hasn't delivered a famous talented actor since Will Smith, and with the lack of encouragement in our schools it isn't hard to see why. Whether this problem is solved by leveling out school funds to be more equal or proportionate, or state funding, the arts need to be embraced and funded, not laughed at and left destitute.
Petition to Tom Wolf
Block Pennsylvania Police from Collaborating with ICE
Under a Trump administration, Pennsylvania needs to stand shoulder to shoulder with immigrants. But concerning reports indicate that across Pennsylvania, immigrant residents have instead encountered state and local police officers enthusiastically working with ICE to detain and deport immigrants. Governor Tom Wolf has said that he opposes racial profiling, and that he is looking into it. However, until we have clear rules, oversight, and tracking of state police encounters with immigrants and people of color in Pennsylvania, our neighbors will be at risk. Take action now to let Governor Wolf know how important it is that Pennsylvanians feel safe no matter where they are from, how they look, or what language they speak. Hay informes cada vez más preocupantes indicando que se aumentan los casos donde los oficiales de policía de Pennsylvania están trabajando con entusiasmo con ICE para detener y deportar a los inmigrantes. El gobernador Tom Wolf ha dicho que se opone al perfil racial y que lo está investigando. Sin embargo, solo con reglas, supervisión y seguimiento de los encuentros policiales con inmigrantes indocumentados y minorías en Pennsylvania, estaremos seguros. Mándale un mensaje al gobernador Wolf para decirle que esto es importante para ti.
Petition to Senator Mario Scavello
Support Funding to Cure Paralysis by Passing the PA SCI Disability Research Bill
For the first time in history, advances in neuroscience are providing potential treatments for paralysis from Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), but the research is significantly underfunded. Researchers around the world are getting closer to developing curative therapies that would restore function to what is otherwise an incurable injury, but in the U.S. alone, the NIH funds only 8-10% of all SCI research applications. This leaves many excellent inquiries unfunded or underfunded. There are currently 11 states that have a funding mechanism for SCI research, which has led to extremely promising breakthroughs in potential SCI curative treatments and several FDA approved clinical trials. Research breakthroughs related to Schwann cell therapies, epidural stimulation, and gene therapy advances has all made significant progress in these states. In addition, there is a strong correlation between state funded programs and increased NIH funds, so an investment in SCI research in PA would likely bring increased NIH funding. The consequences of Paralysis following a Spinal Cord Injury are devastating to individuals, families and communities. It is a physically, psychologically and financially costly injury. Regardless of where you are from and what your connection to spinal cord injuries is, show PA legislators that you support annual funding of research on spinal cord injury treatments. Help to pass the Pennsylvania Spinal Cord Disability Research Bill that would bolster and speed efforts to bring relief to those of us who suffer from these difficult, devastating and life-changing injuries. For more information about this Bill and its progress go to https://www.facebook.com/PA-for-the-Cure-1165921620135478/ or https://paforthecure.wordpress.com/
Petition to Pennsylvania State House, Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Frank Burns
To Get My Older Babies Home
I don't even know where to begin, I am not good with words and I cannot convince another soul any more than my own for the world that we live in today. I will start by telling you back in April of 2007 my firstborn son, Anton was taken from me. Taken by false accusations by CYS. Then in 2010 my firstborn daughter, by the name of Isis but we call her Izzy was taken. In short I had begged CYS for help so many times because I was being abused and I knew it. I begged them for help for my babies and I. They took a blind eye to it all and ended up taking my babies from me indefinitely yet I had everything they could have possibly ever needed. I had employment to further, a Soldier in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. I am currently still enlisted as I create this petition. I still have employment, a vehicle, a place to live, I can get clothing and whatever else they need still. Hell is quite an appropriate word for what I have faced all these years of relentless fighting for my babies, the sleepless nights, all to face another hell that my ex husband put me through and between the two entities I suffer mental anguish and a severe agony in my heart. This is where I am awful with words because there is so much to remember, so much to say but the end result is always this: I have only ever deserved to have my babies as they have deserved to have me as their mother. All I've wanted and needed was to have my babies. Not a day goes by that I don't think about them or bawl my eyes out just praying and hoping that they are okay, that they are being taken care of and just that I might one day see them again. They now have younger siblings that I have with my current husband. I tell them all the time about them and it's not fair to any of the children for them to be apart. Please help me bring my babies home where they belong!