Javier Rivera

  • Tell Congress: Let Borrowers Refinance Their Student Loans

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    GOAL: 586 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking for student loan refinancing legislation.

    Americans are more than $1.2 trillion in student debt. Many of them are failing to pay even the minimum on their student loans, with no hope of refinancing. 

    Currently homeowners and corporations have the opportunity to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Student loan borrowers should be able to do the same, yet are stuck paying sky-high interest rates. The impacts their ability to purchase homes, save for retirement, and more.

    We need new legislation that will not only allow for, but make it easy for student loan borrowers to refinance their student loans. We stand with groups such as Generation Progress and Take Part in moving forward to urge Congress to pass new legislation to allow for student loan refinancing. 

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  • Tell Congress Not to Sell Our Wilderness to the Highest Bidder

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    GOAL: 2,878 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to block any legislation that would allow for America’s shared public lands to be eligible to be sold.

    [Update: We have surpassed 2,000 signatures! NationofChange is sending a letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them not to sell our wilderness. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]

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    New findings have shown catastrophic declines in Earth’s wilderness over the last 20 years.

    Researchers reporting in the journal “Current Biology” have presented new findings that show an area twice the size of Alaska and half the pie of the Amazon has disappeared from Earth’s wilderness since the 1990s. This is equal to about 10% of global wilderness.

    As Dr. James Watson of the University of Queensland in Australia states, “Without any policies to protect these areas, they are falling victim to widespread development. International policy mechanisms must recognize the actions needed to maintain wilderness areas before it is too late. We probably have one to two decades to turn this around.”

    Although there has been efforts to preserve the loss of specific species, there are few policies that actually deal with large-scale lose of entire ecosystems and wilderness areas that haven’t been studied heavily.

    Dr. Watson says that “If we don’t act soon, there will only be tiny remnants of wilderness around the planet, and this is a disaster for conservation, for climate change and for some of the most vulnerable human communities on the planet.”

    In the United States wilderness areas have been given to states to do with what they want. Many times this means that our recreation lands are sold to mining, oil and gas and other development - in other words the “highest bidder.”

    We must take action before this gets further out of hand. Tell Congress that you do not support legislation that will allow America’s shared public lands to be sold to the highest bidder.

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  • Javier Rivera

    Tell Congress to Block the TPP

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    GOAL: 961 signatures

    Update: VICTORY! Thanks to the pressure you and others put on Congress, we have defeated the TPP!

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an international treaty, often called a “trade agreement,” that was negotiated in secret for five years behind the backs of congress and the American people, but with the help of hundreds of corporate advisers.

    Now that we can read the text, we see that it undermines democracy by entrenching corporate power in virtually every area of our lives: from food safety and the environment, to worker rights, internet freedom and access to health care.

    The TPP is about much more than trade. It is a global corporate coup.

    Congress members are in a key position to stop the TPP because both the Senate and House will be voting to pass the deal in November. To counter the influence of Obama, big money, and corporate media we must apply pressure to Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate to make sure they stand firm against these dirty deals when they come to Congress.

    We must pressure congress to vote NO on TPP before the lame-duck session this November!

    The following information is provided by Flush the TPP.

    The TPP Threatens Food Safety

    The TPP places the profits of multinational corporations over the food security needs of individual nations.

    Negotiated by Big-Ag, including Monsanto, Dupont, Cargill, and Syngenta, the TPP allows corporations to sue governments (including local and state governments) who pass food safety regulations or laws protecting family farmers, claiming they are “barriers to trade” that hurt expected future profits.

    The TPP Will Reduce Wages and Worker Safety

    The TPP will offshore more U.S. jobs to low-wage countries by giving special privileges to corporations and eliminating the risks of sending jobs overseas. Corporations like Walmart will move labor to countries such as Vietnam, where wages are already half that of China. The TPP also lets corporations sue countries for lost profits caused by labor laws, which will hinder safety regulations that prevent the kind of disaster that took place in Bangladesh on April 24th, 2013, where more than 1,000 died in a building collapse.

    The TPP Grants Corporations Legal Status Equal to Sovereign Nations

    According to leaked documents, the TPP would establish international trade tribunals with more power than governments by allowing corporations to sue governments whose laws or policies adversely impact “expected future profits.” Similar provisions in NAFTA have resulted in the overturning of many environmental and consumer protection laws. Judges in this system would consist mostly of corporate lawyers on leave from their regular jobs with multinational corporations. In this rigged system, appeals would not be allowed.

    The TPP Puts Profits Before the Planet

    The TPP allows corporations to sue governments in special corporate trade tribunals if their environmental laws or policies are deemed to negatively affect profits. Laws restricting air and water pollution or favoring clean energy could all be challenged under the TPP’s “investor state” provisions, making it virtually impossible for countries to protect the environment and mitigate climate change. If a domestic court holds a corporation liable for environmental contamination, even that decision could be appealed to the corporate tribunals.

    The TPP Undermines Internet Freedom

    The TPP is about much more than trade. It is a backdoor for corporations to create laws they could never get passed out in the open. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the TPP would impose copyright measures that “strip Internet users of their rights to privacy, free speech, and access to knowledge and culture, and could even work to undermine their very purpose of enabling and promoting innovation and creativity.”

    These measures are modeled after the unpopular U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and would become impossible for Congress to change if ratified by the TPP. Other countries with less restrictive laws would also be forced to change them to adhere to the TPP.

    The TPP Will Restrict Access to Lifesaving Medical Treatment

    Through a process called “evergreening,” pharmaceutical corporations are pushing for never-ending patents to prevent generics and keep drug prices high. Medical devices, laboratory tests and even surgical procedures will be patented, restricting their access to people around the world.

    The TPP also allows Big Pharma and private insurance corporations to challenge prices set by public health systems, which may easily lead to increased privatization of health care.

    The TPP Lets Wall Street Run Amok

    The TPP will undo the already inadequate regulation of Wall Street and prevent member countries from banning or regulation speculation and the toxic derivatives that led to the 2008 financial collapse. The separation of commercial from investment banking would also be prohibited.

    Government efforts to impose a financial transaction tax or “Robin Hood tax” would be banned and public banks and red unions would be prohibited from loaning money below “market” interest rates.

    The TPP would also allow corporations to move money in and out of countries with greater ease to wherever wages are lowest, resources cheapest, and laws the most lax.

    What You Can Do

    Sign this petition to tell congress to block the TPP
    Join us in Washington, DC this November to protest the TPP
    More ways you can fight the TPP

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  • Javier Rivera

    Protect the Bats from Lethal Wind Turbines

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    GOAL: 1,066 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the American Wind Energy Association, asking them to adopt new voluntary guidelines to help prevent bat deaths from wind turbines.

    [Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the American Wind Energy Association with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    In the last ten years there has been a major epidemic of bats disappearing due to fatal white-nose syndrome and wind turbine fatalities. 

    Scientists believe that bats are having a hard time confusing wind turbines with trees. Last year the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced “voluntary guidelines to halt turbines at low wind speeds, when bats are most active, which would save lives.” These new changes were expected to help reduce fatalities by 30 percent.

    However, there could be more done. If the industry can hold the blades in check just a little longer bat fatalities could be reduced by 90 percent. To do this there only need to be two minor changes: feathering, or "turning the blades parallel to the wind so the turbines do not rotate," and implementing higher cut-in speeds, ideally between 5 and to 6.5 meters per second.

    Please sign the petition to tell the AWEA to make these changes so that we can save 90 percent of the bats rather than just 30 percent.

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  • Don't Let the Government Keep Us in the DARK

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    GOAL: 10,192 signatures

    Don't Let the Government Keep Us in the DARK—Take the pledge to demand support for mandatory GMO labeling and tell your Senators to the new bill introduced by Senator Pat Roberts.

    The U.S. needs a national labeling law for genetically modified foods. While it won't undo years of damage from genetically modifies organisms, it will give us the right to know what's in our food and give states the power to facilitate consumer choice.

    For years we have been kept in the dark about our food system and misled by bogus marketing claims from big food's Grocery Manufacturing Association. And while the government's role in regulating genetically modified foods has been kept aloof by "powerful industries with bottomless pockets," human and environmental health has suffered.

    Now we are faced with a legislation developed by some food companies in response to states' efforts to label GMOs. Dubbed Denying Americans the Right to Know or the DARK Act, this bill has passed through the House of Representatives and will soon be introduced in the Senate. 

    The DARK Act supports the likes of companies, such as Monsanto, within the biotech and junk food industry over consumer's rights and would undercut meaningful efforts to label GMOs. If passed, the bill would:

    • Void state legislation requiring GMO food labels.
    • End the FDA’s efforts to produce a national GMO labeling system.
    • Create a GMO “safety” review system based on industry science.
    • Allow GMO ingredients in so-called “natural” food products.

    The Senate has two choices: to side with states who are helping to facilitate consumer choice or sell out to "multi-million dollar public relations and lobbying campaigns built on lies and deception." 

    We need to take immediate action and urge Congress to oppose the DARK Act. Contact your Senators, Representatives and Congressmen and women and take back your right to know!

    Be part of the growing movement, backed by science and motivated by human and environmental health that's up against "powerful industries with bottomless pockets" and stand with NoC as we continue the fight for federally mandated GMO labeling.

    Please sign the pledge to demand support for mandatory GMO labeling and find your Senator's contact information to tell them to oppose the DARK Act.

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