Topic

social justice

96 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Deborah Kafoury, Sharon Meieran, Loretta Smith, Jessica Vega Pederson, Lori Stegman

In solitary confinement for over a year, a family Shepherd is denied his last days at home

                                      STOP THE CRUELTY:   A Senior German Shepherd, in failing health, held in solitary   confinement for over 530 days by Multnomah County Animal   Control, Troutdale Oregon, has been prohibited from spending   his last days at home.  The pictures of Chucky with his family are from happier times.   Chucky, an old German Shepherd, has been held in solitary confinement since his impoundment on February 28, 2016 by Multnomah County Animal Services, Oregon. For over 530 days he has been denied critical socialization and exercise, allowed only rare restricted family visits by appointment for a maximum 15 minutes. Animal Control sees visitations as disruptive and justifies limited visitations, often allowed only through the kennel door, as “upsetting” to the animal. On July 5, 2017 of his long confinement, a medical report noted troubling significant health concerns: a suspicious mass that could be neoplasia, infection or another serious problem. In response MCAS has withheld diagnostic medical procedures critically needed to determine what is wrong.  Despite the gravity of his condition, Animal Control won’t release him to go home to his family as his mental and physical health decline. How did Chucky arrive at this crossroads?    Chucky and his companion Shepherd named Katrina were picked up after escaping a county approved kennel required after previous at-large episodes. Despite its approval by the county,  the kennel proved to be inadequate.  Both dogs escaped.  Chucky was charged with killing a small poodle while at large.  Although Chucky is a very personal and loving  dog with Katrina, his companion Shepherd, his family and others, he can be dog aggressive.   Multnomah County’s rejection of humane solutions is inexcusable, part of an attitude of forced compulsion, a requirement for “submission and “obedience” at all costs. Without sacrificing public safety and at no expense to taxpayers, funding for a secure kennel would have sufficed allowing Chucky to go home to his family instead of suffer. Instead the county’s refusal has now cost taxpayers nearly $8,000.  Animal Control’s intransigent position is symptomatic of government sponsored animal cruelty. And while the cost continues to escalate daily, a secure kennel remains as a practical and humane solution. Chucky comes from an impoverished Hispanic family. Although they are poor, they did their best to respect Multnomah County Animal Control’s ordinances. They should not be punished for their poverty In allowing the family to regain custody of the dog they love, MCAS would affirm its “Equity and Empowerment Lens” mandated by the county itself. But it still refuses. Once MCAS rejected all humane options, Chucky’s conviction was appealed by the family with the help of a pro bono attorney. The case remains pending before the Oregon Court of Appeals.  The appeal is viewed as an affront to the county’s authority.  The County’s attorney, MCAS advisor David Blankfeld, and MCAS director Jackie Rose have labeled the appeal frivolous and unnecessary and continue to pressure the family to give up. The appeals are all that have kept Chucky alive. But without the appeal, Chucky would certainly have been killed.  The County has taken a stand neither providing Chucky necessary diagnostic procedures nor allowing him to return to his family for needed medical treatment. Multnomah County Animal Control’s predatory behavior towards vulnerable persons is long standing. MCAS targets the most vulnerable and underserved populations in Multnomah County.   Few can afford to defend themselves and their animals against a system intended to thwart due process, justice and fair play. The poor, minorities, and in particular the homeless are fair game in a system that is rigged against them.. While Chucky’s appeal remains pending he is being held under conditions that no prison system would tolerate for even the most hardened criminals.  The County’s own notes make those conditions clear, the same observations repeated over and over and over again make his deterioration clear: “Chucky’s kennel was filthy this morning, He is spreading feces and urine all over his inside and outside areas. This includes walls, bedding, and chain link…”  Multnomah County is sending a clear message---  do not exercise your rights. Disagree and punishment will be swift. If one does appeal, animals  will be kept confined month after month  with no relief for their misery and loneliness as the County declines all effective alternatives. Chucky is not alone. Dogs like Chucky live out their lives isolated, alone, in miserable circumstances, housed in “security kennels”. The offenses are almost always correctable, almost always related to poverty. The animals suffer, become ill and injured from the effects of confinement. By refusing the diagnostic tests needed for treatment and not allowing Chucky to go home for treatment or, most likely, a few weeks of comfort, it plans to run the clock out on his life.   If we cannot prevail, Chucky will languish until his death. Ask the Multnomah County Commission to release Chucky back to his family home for the remaining days of his life. Protest the continuing abusive enforcement animal policies practiced in Multnomah County.   Without your voice, change will not happen. Nothing will change.  Gail O’Connell-Babcock, PhD   Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation/Watchdog Sherwood OR 97140 

Gail O'Connell
1,850 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Kelli Linville, April Barker, Gene Knutson, Daniel Hammill, Whatcom County Council, Bellingham City Council, Michael Lilliquist, Pinky Vargas, Terry Bornemann, Roxanne Murphy

Bellingham Publicly Owned Fiber Optic Network

Publicly Owned Fiber Optic Internet Bellingham is hurting. Like many other cities nationwide we have high unemployment, low wages, and a host of economic, social and environmental problems. This inexpensive solution would help us address all of them, in fact over 450 other cities have already implemented solutions like this, but our leaders are reluctant to even give our citizens access to the resources they've already paid for, much less prepare our city for the future.  As other cities embrace high-speed fiber broadband, Bellingham is getting left far behind. Our city has underutilized public fiber resources and several local Internet Service Providers eager to deploy high speed broadband, like they have in Mount Vernon, yet this is held back by rules and regulations that have not kept pace with technology. Fiber would: Create an opportunity for a public access component to make ultra high speed internet broadly accessible in public spaces, provide higher quality low-income connections to those in need, and guarantee a level of internet access to all. Give Bellingham a strong standing among Washington cities, and create valuable infrastructure that we could continue to build on in the long-term. Create jobs: Fiber would draw companies to the city, provide jobs for construction and maintenance, create new internet service providers and other innovative businesses that are made possible by ultra-fast broadband. Reduce Our Impact on the Environment: Fiber would reduce the need for travel to take place for meetings. It is also very durable and usually requires less maintenance than old infrastructure wiring, like copper wiring.   Increase property values: Wiring for fiber-optics has been shown to increase property value approximately 1% Provide a network our government could leverage to deliver data from current and future ‘smart grid’ sensors including those used for parking management, resource monitoring, air quality, muni and other needs. Over the long term smarter management could save the city money and increase our tax base without increasing taxes by reducing unemployment and creating good jobs. This petition asks for the city to give the public access to the broadband resources we've already paid for, expand our critical publicly owned broadband infrastructure, establish a Dig Once Policy for Bellingham and Whatcom County, and provide high quality internet access to all residents that truly address our Digital Divide issues. 

Jon Humphrey
696 supporters
Started 1 week ago

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.

Kai Smith
31,783 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle take down rape culture ad

Above is the advertisement posted by American Eagle. Here is the link to see the full size photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/BbU2fOSAEpn/?taken-by=americaneagle American Eagle Outfitters recently posted an advertisement showing a woman standing above a half dressed man with the woman's legs spread apart and the view you get of the woman is only her legs and private areas. This advertisement is provocative and suggestive. Rape culture is real. Rape culture is prevalent. Rape culture victimizes women and devalues survivors and their stories.  American Eagle should not condone rape culture along with any other companies on media sources. As a long time customer of American Eagle I am disappointed and angry. I will no longer support this company if they continue to encourage this kind of culture. If American Eagle Outfitters were to take down and remove their advertisement from all media sources and give a public apology it will encourage other companies on media sources to rethink the way they advertise their products and protect women. Women are already degraded in enough ways. Companies like American Eagle Outfitters should be protecting and empowering women; especially when such a large part of their profits come from women. Rape culture is not okay and something needs to be done in the way that media portrays women. Please sign & share this petition to take a stance on this prevalent issue in the United States and all over the world. 

Alexis Smith
63 supporters