Stop the taxation of necessary feminine hygiene products (Tampons, pads, menstrual cups)
Did you know that in California, pads and tampons are taxed because they are not deemed “necessities” by state law? Other items like food, are excluded from sales tax, because they are necessary for most people to live comfortably. But people who have periods know that menstrual products are absolutely necessary. That’s why we are asking that California stop taxing tampons and pads. Will you sign our petition and join us? In California, women and people with periods are forced to pay a sales tax for these totally necessary products. This is a problem, because women are more likely than men to live under the poverty line. Especially for households with multiple women/people with periods, those who live under the poverty line, and those with heavier flow for menstrual cycles (and those who have periods multiple times a month), paying an additional tax on top of already mounting costs for tampons, pads, and menstrual cups becomes burdensome. Half of the population should not be financially penalized for something that occurs naturally in the human body. Already, campaigns like this one have pushed Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, Maryland and the whole country of Canada to exempt tampons and pads from sales tax. California has a history of stepping up against sexism: in 1995 it was one of the first states to pass a bill that prohibited business establishments from basing the price of services and products on a person’s gender. Now it’s time that our state’s tax laws did the same. Luckily, some of our lawmakers agree with us. Partially inspired by our petition, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia has introduced a bill that would remove this sales tax – and we need to help her build pressure to pass it! Sign our petition and ask Governor Brown to stop the “pink tax” in California and exempt tampons and pads from sales tax.
Clemency for Timothy Tyler, life for a nonviolent drug offense
My brother Timothy Tyler was just 25 years old when he was sentenced to die in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He's watched murderers and rapists leave prison while he has no chance of ever leaving. He is now 45 years old and I want to bring him home. Timothy was a young Grateful Dead fan, who in May of 1992, sold pot and LSD to a friend who turned out to be a police informant. He had never been to prison before, but a judge was forced to give him double life without the possiblity of parole because of two prior drug convictions — even though both those convictions resulted in probation. Life without the possibility of parole means my brother will never have a chance to live outside of prison walls. It's effectively a death sentence. Tim made mistakes when he was young, but after 22 years in prison, he has more than paid his debt to society. He is not a threat to anyone. He wasn't given a chance to get clean and sober to think about the damage he was doing to his life. They locked him up and threw away the key. But there's hope. In December, President Obama granted clemency to 8 nonviolent drug offenders who were serving mandatory sentences for crack cocaine. And the Department of Justice recently asked for Bar Associations throughout the country to send them more clemency petitions for nonviolent drug offenders. It costs $25,000 per year to keep my non-violent brother in prison for a mistake he made more than 20 years ago. So far, that is over half a million dollars. Not only is that not justice, but it's a waste of money. I need your help to show them that Americans think Timothy has paid his debt to society and shouldn't be housed in a cage at the expense of taxpayers anymore. He should be granted clemency.
Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
I’m 13 years-old and as an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, I’ve lived my whole life by the Missouri River. It runs by my home in Fort Yates North Dakota and my great grandparents original home was along the Missouri River in Cannon Ball. The river is a crucial part of our lives here on the Standing Rock Reservation. But now a private oil company wants to build a pipeline that would cross the Missouri River less than a mile away from the Standing Rock Reservation and if we don’t stop it, it will poison our river and threaten the health of my community when it leaks. My friends and I have played in the river since we were little; my great grandparents raised chickens and horses along it. When the pipeline leaks, it will wipe out plants and animals, ruin our drinking water, and poison the center of community life for the Standing Rock Sioux. In Dakota/Lakota we say “mni Wiconi.” Water is life. Native American people know that water is the first medicine not just for us, but for all human beings living on this earth. The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would transport 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day, across four states. Oil companies keep telling us that this is perfectly safe, but we’ve learned that that’s a lie: from 2012-2013 alone, there were 300 oil pipeline breaks in the state of North Dakota. With such a high chance that this pipeline will leak, I can only guess that the oil industry keeps pushing for it because they don’t care about our health and safety. It’s like they think our lives are more expendable than others’. So we, the Standing Rock Youth, are taking a stand to be the voice for our community, for our great grandparents, and for Mother Earth. Join us, and sign to ask the Army Corps of Engineers to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Sincerely, Anna and the Standing Rock Youth Learn more about our campaign at rezpectourwater.com.
Get Coach Dixon's job back
Coach Dixon is one of the most influential people at South Fort Myers High. He has touched so many lives by guiding these students through high school as a coach and mentor. He and his wife are the first ones in the building and the last ones to leave and they do it all for our children. Coach Dixon was recently relieved of his duties after an investigation regarding the poor choices of 5 students. Not just his coaching duties. He was dismissed from the school district severing all contact with the students who need him the most. We need Coach Dixon back in the building. Our students need him and this school needs him. For some of our students he is the only accessible positive adult figure in their lives. His impact is immeasurable. We need him, the kids need him, and we are all better for having been a witness to his commitment to our school and our kids by he and his wife.
What the Fork Are You Doing With Your Produce, Walmart?
Despite living in the richest country in the world, 48 million Americans still don’t know where their next meal will come from. That means a staggering 19 percent of households with children are food insecure. Part of the problem is the prohibitively high price of produce. Many low income American families simply can’t afford fresh fruits and vegetables. Yet, we throw away nearly 26% of all produce before it even reaches the grocery store due mostly to cosmetic standards from large grocers that dictate exactly how fruits and veggies should look. If produce fails to make the grade for size, shape, or color, retailers deem it "ugly" and refuse to sell it in their stores. Billions of pounds of good, healthy produce goes uneaten because it’s not pretty! But this food is perfectly edible. Culinary nutritionist Stefanie Sacks, author of What the Fork Are You Eating? and co-starter of this petition, confirms that the “uglies” are equally as nutritious as any produce you get in the store, and, in fact, smaller produce can actually have more taste! I’m Jordan Figueiredo, a solid waste specialist, and founder of UglyFruitandVeg.org. Together with Stefanie and with the support of more than 111,000 signers, we were successful in petitioning Whole Foods Market to sell ugly produce. Now we are asking you to call on Walmart to join the movement against food waste by agreeing to sell cosmetically “less than perfect” produce. We want Walmart to combat food waste by marketing ugly produce with an educational and fun campaign like the French supermarket giant Intermarche did with its “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables Campaign.” Stores in Europe, Australia, and Canada have seen success selling not quite "perfect" produce, offering it at an average of 30% off, and it has increased store traffic and total sales. In the U.S. Raley's has completed a successful pilot selling ugly produce, Giant Eagle has just started a pilot and Whole Foods will start one soon. With over 4,200 U.S. stores, we are asking Walmart, one of America’s largest retailers, to do something simple, effective and good for the retailers’ and customers’ bottom line. Walmart can help out its customers who cannot afford as much as they used to and their employees who are offered such low wages that they depend on food stamps. This is truly low-hanging fruit in terms of its environmental and social benefits. One out of six Americans is food insecure, and more than four out of five is produce-deficient. With statistics like this, it is simply irresponsible to encourage waste of good, healthy and perfectly edible food. Join the “ugly fruit and veg revolution” and let’s ask Walmart to be part of the solution, not the problem. Tell them to add the “uglies” to their store aisles so you can save money, fight hunger and help the environment all in one. The solution might look ugly, but the result will be something beautiful. #WhatTheFork
Shut Down the Yulin Dog Meat Festival!
Please consider contributing to our efforts to end dogs being killed for delicacy foods in China. Knowing that stolen pets are the major source of supply is heartbreaking to us. Our projects change the hearts and minds of those who eat dog and cat as well as those who work within the trade. www.duoduoproject.org/donate Did you know, every year, on the summer solstice, thousands of dogs are rounded up to be eaten in Yulin, China as part of a Dog Meat Festival? We believe that this cruel “festival” has no place in the 21st century. There are so many reasons to end this horrific festival -- warning, the following information may be upsetting. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival is also a dangerous food safety issue. Dogs sold on the market are sick, poisoned and dying animals. They suffer from horrendous conditions during the long distance, trans-provincial journeys, many days without food and water and may carry contagious disease. We appeal to you to act in the interest of public health, food safety, animal welfare, and the image of Guangxi and China. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival is a business operation that undermines the national and public interest. The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region government is at a historical juncture. The Dog Meat Festival must end. By signing our petition, you’re joining a global movement with like-minded people who want to shut down this heinous festival and trade. In the coming weeks and months, you’ll have the opportunity to be involved in both online and in-person events happening around the world. Thank you, Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project (www.duoduoproject.org)
Urge Congress to Support Common Sense Rape Survivor Rights
On a brisk October afternoon, I left for an appointment at a rape crisis center. Fifteen minutes later, I faced a challenge more daunting than the rape that brought me there: America's unequal justice system for rape survivors.I struggled to have my basic rights recognized by the criminal justice system. Through my fight, I learned that survivor rights are not equal across the US. Over forty states have backlogs in untested kits. Some states do not cover the full medical expenses of a kit, leaving survivors to pay their own way towards justice.A handful of states don’t even notify the survivor when they permanently dispose of a rape kit. Instead, different states provide different rights. Even worse, no states provide survivors with all of the common-sense rights they deserve.My fight is not mine alone. Instead, it is a crisis for 25 million survivors across America, and I've come together with citizens, advocates, and legislators to do something about it. We're fighting for a comprehensive Bill of Rights for all survivors, including: The right to be notified of your rights in clear language The right to know your own medical information from your own rape kit The right not to have to pay for your own rape kit The right to a copy of your own police report After my experience, I wanted to help others. So I started an organization called Rise, dedicated to protecting the rights of sexual assault survivors. Today, we're close to an important victory. We've introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress that would help protect these rights across our country, so that justice does not depend on geography. But we need your help.Join us by signing this petition and calling on your Senators and Representatives to pass this important legislation now. Amanda Nguyen President & Founder, Rise