Topic

voting

74 petitions

Started 4 weeks ago

Petition to San Antonio City Council, Bexar County Commissioners Court

Require all San Antonio City Council candidates to submit a Nominating Petition

The flooding of our ballot in previous San Antonio municipal elections has been detrimental to our democratic process. In 2017, there were fourteen Mayoral candidates, ten District 9 candidates, and ten District 10 candidates - a total of 79 candidates for the Mayor and all districts. This high number of candidates causes the following problems in our elections: 1. Harder for citizens to become fully-informed voters. 2. Higher likelihood of voter mistakenly voting for unintended candidate 3. Increased possibility that candidate will be placed on the "second page" of an electronic voting machine ballot. 4. Increased possibility of election sabotage by candidates with closely related names to popular candidates 5. Increased possibility of candidates on ballot who do not meet residency requirements. Bob Rivard of The Rivard Report outlined his case for local election reform in this article. I am proposing (w/ openness to flexibility) to require Mayoral candidates to obtain 500 signatures each and District Council Candidates to obtain 100 signatures each. The best part about this solution is that it would not deter any serious candidates from getting their name on the ballot but it would require all candidates to prove their commitment to campaigning and gain support from San Antonio voters before they are granted a place on the ballot. 

Paul DiGiovanni
7 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to Michigan State House, Michigan State Senate

Bring "good time" back for Michigan prisoners

Good Time was eliminated for some violent crimes by a 1978 ballot measure, a ban later expanded to all felonies. The 1998 Truth in Sentencing law that requires felons to serve at least their minimum sentences.  *Reducing minimum sentences by an average of 12 months could save $400 million annually.*  LONGER PRISON STAYS ARE COSTING THE STATE OF MICHIGAN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!!! Michigan often keeps inmates long after other states would have released them for similar crimes, driving up prison costs by millions of dollars a year and eating up a quarter of the state's general fund. In the two years before she left office in December, former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm encouraged the parole board to be more lenient when it came to releasing prisoners who'd served their minimum sentences. Yet lawmakers never passed a bill last year that would require inmates serve 100 percent of their minimum sentence but no more than 120 percent. And current Republican Gov. Rick Snyder says he's more focused right now on getting his budget and tax changes passed than on parole policy. That has left 8,000 inmates still behind bars who have served more than their minimum sentences, a practice that's costing Michigan taxpayers around $280 million annually. It's likely to take years for the parole board to consider those 8,000 cases, which make up nearly a fifth of the prison population. On April 15, the parole board will shrink from 15 members to 10 under a Snyder executive order estimated to save around $500,000 a year in pay and benefits. A yearlong study released by the Council of State Governments in early 2009 found that Michigan's minimum sentences are similar to the time served by criminals in other states. But Michigan inmates stay in prison considerably longer than those elsewhere, serving an average of nearly 140 percent of their minimum sentence. Because of that, a Michigan prison inmate sentenced to serve at least five years is more likely to serve seven. A prisoner sentenced to serve at least 10 years is likely to serve 14 here, while in another state the inmate would serve the minimum or less. SinMichigan often keeps inmates long after other states would have released them for similar crimes, driving up prison costs by millions of dollars a year and eating up a quarter of the state's general fund. In the two years before she left office in December, former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm encouraged the parole board to be more lenient when it came to releasing prisoners who'd served their minimum sentences. Yet lawmakers never passed a bill last year that would require inmates serve 100 percent of their minimum sentence but no more than 120 percent. And current Republican Gov. Rick Snyder says he's more focused right now on getting his budget and tax changes passed than on parole policy. That has left 8,000 inmates still behind bars who have served more than their minimum sentences, a practice that's costing Michigan taxpayers around $280 million annually. It's likely to take years for the parole board to consider those 8,000 cases, which make up nearly a fifth of the prison population. On April 15, the parole board will shrink from 15 members to 10 under a Snyder executive order estimated to save around $500,000 a year in pay and benefits. A yearlong study released by the Council of State Governments in early 2009 found that Michigan's minimum sentences are similar to the time served by criminals in other states. But Michigan inmates stay in prison considerably longer than those elsewhere, serving an average of nearly 140 percent of their minimum sentence. Because of that, a Michigan prison inmate sentenced to serve at least five years is more likely to serve seven. A prisoner sentenced to serve at least 10 years is likely to serve 14 here, while in another state the inmate would serve the minimum or less. Since the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency estimates Michigan pays about $35,000 a year to house each prisoner once health costs are figured in, requiring prisoners to serve extra time makes Michigan's corrections system costlier to run. The state already spends more per prisoner than other Great Lakes states, sometimes considerably more. A CSG study found that, while Minnesota and Wisconsin spent more than $30,000 per inmate in 2008, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana spent $26,000 or less. Two years ago, Granholm promoted a policy under which the Parole and Commutation Board could hold inmates beyond 120 percent of their minimum sentence only if they posed a "very high" risk of re-offending. Serious offenders such as rapists and murderers were excluded from the policy.ce the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency estimates Michigan pays about $35,000 a year to house each prisoner once health costs are figured in, requiring prisoners to serve extra time makes Michigan's corrections system costlier to run. The state already spends more per prisoner than other Great Lakes states, sometimes considerably more. A CSG study found that, while Minnesota and Wisconsin spent more than $30,000 per inmate in 2008, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana spent $26,000 or less. Two years ago, Granholm promoted a policy under which the Parole and Commutation Board could hold inmates beyond 120 percent of their minimum sentence only if they posed a "very high" risk of re-offending. Serious offenders such as rapists and murderers were excluded from the policy. Around 3,500 inmates were paroled between early 2009 and early this year under that policy, dropping the prison population to under 44,000 inmates, an 8.5 percent decrease. That's down nearly 15 percent from the peak prison population of 51,554 in May 2007, but leaves thousands still serving more than their minimum sentences. Senate Judiciary Chairman Rick Jones, a Grand Ledge Republican and former Eaton County sheriff, said he's open to considering a bill that would keep many inmates from serving more than 120 percent of their minimum sentence. "We need to look very carefully at, are we keeping some inmates too long who are nonviolent?" he said. "We're spending more on MDOC than we are on (higher) education. That's backwards. I certainly want to see that fixed." Not everyone wants to encourage parole board members to release inmates sooner. "If they're keeping someone past the minimum, there's a reason," said Eaton County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sauter, past president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. Many other states don't require inmates to serve even their minimum sentences. There, inmates can shorten their sentences by months and even years by earning "good time" credits. Michigan did away with similar credits when it put truth-in-sentencing laws in place in 1998. Now, all inmates must serve 100 percent of their minimum sentences, a policy Sauter said prosecutors would vigorously defend. He and others wonder why corrections costs have remained around $2 billion a year while the prison population and number of prisons has dropped. Since March 2007, the state has closed six prisons and eight prison camps, and is set to close the prison in Muskegon once Pennsylvania prisoners leave. "Governor Granholm, even though we disagreed with it, reduced the prison population by something like 6,000 prisoners, closed six facilities, and where's the savings?" Sauter asked. "If we're spending too much, we have to look at the administration" of the prisons. Snyder's proposal for the budget year that starts Oct. 1 recommends increasing the corrections budget by less than 1 percent. Even with such a small upward move, nearly a fourth of the general fund budget will go to corrections. To save money, the governor has proposed closing one more prison by the end of the year to reduce annual spending by $18.9 million. He also wants to competitively bid the operation of food service and prison stores and is asking state workers, including corrections officers, for $180 million in concessions. The House Fiscal Agency finds that the aging prison population plays a role in why prison costs aren't dropping even though fewer people are locked up. Per-prisoner health care and mental health services went up more than 7 percent from 2005 to 2010, to nearly $7,000 per inmate. The percentage of prisoners over age 40 has increased from 22 percent in 1994 to 42 percent now, with 17 percent over age 50. Some of the growing medical costs are tied to overspending on prescription drugs. A recent report by the state auditor general found that Michigan could have saved millions of dollars by choosing alternatives to a mental-health drug that was widely prescribed in prisons, among other changes. Jones is co-sponsoring a bill that would speed the commutation of dying prisoners, both for compassionate and budgetary reasons. Others say releasing most old, infirm prisoners would move their health care costs from the corrections budget, funded nearly entirely by the state, to Medicaid, which is a more equitable mix of state and federal dollars. Rep. Mark Meadows, an East Lansing Democrat who chaired the House Judiciary Committee in 2009-10, said Michigan also should consider setting a certain number of years inmates have to serve for each crime rather than a range of years, which can lead to prisoners remaining incarcerated longer.

Natasha Paige
31 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to United States Congress, Donald Trump

Grant ALL American Citizens the Right to Vote

It is remarkable how throughout history, the United States of America has changed and developed, granting more rights and liberties to individuals as time has progressed. As we have took enormous leaps toward the equality and freedom of all people, including African Americans' suffrage in 1870 and women's suffrage in 1920, America has truly become a nation for the people. Or so we believe. Unfortunately, this does not happen to be the case. There are still fully aged American citizens living on American soil that still don't have the right to vote. These are the inhabitants of the U.S. territories. As many people may not be aware of, there are currently five inhabited United States territories- all of which do not have all of the constitutional rights applied to them. John Oliver describes this perfectly, and if you have a few minutes, I suggest you check out his video embedded above. As you may know, the five territories mentioned earlier include Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. These are all places that were annexed by the U.S. but do not have the same rights as U.S. citizens living on the mainland. These people are unequivocally facing nearly the same injustices that the original 13 colonies faced during the British colonialism. No liberty. Now of course, multiple referendums have been held in the largest territory, Puerto Rico. However, despite the majority of people voting for statehood in 2012, nothing has come as a result. Therefore, Puerto Rico's status as a non-voting, single "useless"(not able to vote) representative territory still stands today. How do we solve the problem? It may be simpler than statehood. For example, all of the inhabited territories mentioned above have one thing in common. This is that they are all considered unincorporated territories, meaning that the full extent of the U.S. constitution does not apply to them. How do we solve this? We must urge congress to move these very Americanized(yet injustice ridden) territories into the incorporated category. Of course, this is not a simple issue, but with time and your support, we may be able to achieve our goal. Now, we stand together, with all of the people who are seen as less under the United States law, to relinquish the unreasonable and outdated laws of the past- only to create a better and more equal future.

superify _
88 supporters