Maria Knecht

  • Tell Congress: Keep the pre-existing condition clause for health insurance

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    GOAL: 803 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress demanding that they keep the pre-existing condition clause in their new health care plan.

    Before Obamacare it was nearly impossible for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions to find health insurance coverage.

    Now that President Trump and the Republican Party are in power and want to repeal Obamacare and replace it with their own health care system, millions of people are once again in danger of not qualifying for health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

    Even those that do qualify may face extremely expensive and/or limited insurance coverage.

    Please join us in demanding that Congress retain the pre-existing condition clause for whatever health care system they plan to replace Obamacare with so that millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions can maintain their level of health care without their price skyrocketing.

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  • Get the Fossil Fuels Out of Climate Policymaking

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    GOAL: 2,049 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump administration, demanding that the fossil fuel industry play no role in climate policymaking.

    [Update 2/16/17: We have sent your letter to the Trump administration with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    Corporate influence has pervaded climate negotiations over the years in an effort to protect corporate profits. And now, the climate crisis is closer to the brink.

    Not only has the fossil fuel industry interfered with climate progress, these big polluters have pushed false solutions and committed numerous environmental and human rights violations.

    Scientists have warned of the “irreversible damage to our plant due to climate change” and it's time world leaders take bold action to ensure we stop extracting fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions among other solutions.

    But with the fossil fuel industry and other transnational corporations standing in the way, we must remove fossil fuel industry lobbyists from climate policy.

    Take action today and sign the petition to create a “precedent-setting treaty mechanism” to get a behemoth industry out of the way. Help us save the planet!

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  • Tell the Federal Elections Commission to Make Tax Return Disclosure a Requirement

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    GOAL: 580 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Federal Elections Commission, asking them to make tax return disclosure a requirement for all future presidential elections.

    Every U.S. Presidential candidate since Richard Nixon has voluntarily released copies of their tax returns to the public so that voters can assess the amount and sources of income, taxes paid, charitable contributions and other data which can affect our propensity to elect them.

    This election cycle is the first time a presidential candidate has refused to do so. Donald Trump, despite enormous public pressure, has refused to release any of his tax returns.

    Recently someone leaked one year of Trump's tax returns to the New York Times. This one year suggest that Trump may not have paid federal taxes for almost two decades.

    We should insist on transparency from all presidential candidates. Help us tell the Federal Elections Commission that not only do we want Trump to have to release his tax returns, but we want tax return disclosure to be a requirement in all future elections.

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  • Maria Knecht

    Tell Congress: End Tiger Poaching

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    GOAL: 1,913 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to draft legislation that will put protections for wild tigers in place.

    [Update 1/25/17: We are sending the first letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    Did you know that there are only 3,200 wild tigers left on Earth? Poaching is the number one threat to wild tigers. They are hunted for everything from wallets to medicines.

    Currently there is legislation that can help put a stop to most of the trade of tiger products. If Congress were to pass the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act there would be serious consequences and protections put into place against poachers and traffickers, thus seriously limiting the illegal trade of tiger products.


    Sign the petition and help us tell Congress that you want this legislation, and future legislation for the protection of wild tigers, put into place.

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  • Maria Knecht

    Tell Canada to Stop the Commercial Seal Hunts

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    GOAL: 3,488 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking him to help stop commercial seal hunts. 

    [Update 3/16/17: We have sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    Baby seals are dying for no reason. Every spring, seal pups anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months old are killed, their bodies left on the ice or in the ocean.

    Most commercial sealing in Canada can only exist with government subsidies. Seal products are not in demand, but sealing continues.

    Please sign the petition and help us tell Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to put an end to commercial seal hunting.

    As Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau can work with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to buy out commercial sealing licenses and end commercial sealing.

    Sign the petition and help us end this cruel practice.

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  • Maria Knecht

    End Whaling in Japan

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    GOAL: 2,435 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump Administration, demanding they take real action to end whaling in Japan.

    [Update: We are sending the first letter to the Trump Administration with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    In 2014 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling was illegal. But the government of Japan continues to kill hundreds of whales each year. This is a direct violation of the ruling, which stated that the country could not continue whaling until it could prove it was for scientific purposes. The new plan for whaling in the Southern Ocean will kill almost 4,000 minke whales over 12 years, for ‘scientific’ purposes.

    Japan's scientific whaling program is widely recognized as a cover for its ongoing commercial whaling operation. Additionally, a new study shows that countries that participate in lethal scientific whaling do not produce superior scientific research.

    Japan has already killed 333 minke whales in the Antarctic during its 2015-2016 whaling season – including more than 200 pregnant females – as part of this year’s Antarctic whale hunt, according to the country’s Institute for Cetacean Research.

    The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration fear the population of minke whales may be smaller than current estimates owing to surges in modern whaling from countries such as Japan, and that the reason for the population being currently stable is due to the hunting of other whale populations, which has created less competition for food sources.

    The President of the United States has power to apply sanctions against Japan for the continued hunting of whales under the Pelly Amendment and the Packwood-Magnuson Amendment, but as of now has taken no action to prevent the needless slaughter.

    Help us tell President Trump to take real action to prevent Japan from resuming whaling. Sign the petition today.

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  • Tell the EPA to Survey School Systems for Monsanto’s Dangerous Chemicals

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    GOAL: 486 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA asking them to survey schools nationwide for PCB contamination and removing the sources of contamination from schools.

    Monsanto has history with a controversial and dangerous class of chemicals known as PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, and now they are being found in schools all over the nation.

    A new study from from scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that up to 14 million students in 26,000 schools in the U.S. could be exposed to unsafe levels of the highly toxic chemicals even though they were banned several decades ago.

    PCBs were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1979 due to its link with birth defects and center in laboratory animals. PCBs can have adverse skin and liver effects in humans and can also linger in the environment for many decades. 

    According to the study:

    "Decades after the PCB ban, people are still being exposed to these toxic chemicals from various sources, such as caulk, some oil-based paints, and floor finish in buildings constructed between 1950 and 1979; leaking fluorescent light ballast; old electrical equipment; and PCB-containing landfills. Most worrisome are PCB exposures for children in schools built or retrofitted during the period that PCB-containing materials were widely used. Up to 14 million students nationwide, representing nearly 30 percent of the school-aged population, may be exposed to PCBs in their schools, based on the estimated number of schools built during that time and how much PCB-containing material was used in these schools. A 2016 Harvard School of Public Health study estimates that between 12,960 and 25,920 schools have PCB-containing caulk.”

    Right now schools do not test for PCB hazards and are not required to do so. If they do test and find contamination they are not required to report it to the EPA.

    It is time for this to change. The EPA needs to “survey school systems nationwide and update its records to better assess the scope of potential PCB hazards in schools as well as eliminating the source of PCB exposure from our nation's schools.”

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  • Maria Knecht

    Pledge to Boycott Koch Products

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    GOAL: 1,838 signatures

    The Koch Brothers are the poster boys for the one percent. They use their expansive wealth to further inequality in America by using various subsidiaries to lobby Washington for whatever suits them.

    Their overwhelming reach makes it hard to keep tabs on just who is in their pockets. What is known is that they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in order to influence politics and legislations with the one goal of increasing their profits through decreased regulations.

    They help fund numerous organizations to prepare thousands of pages of legal briefs sent to the Supreme court advocating unlimited spending on political campaigns.

    The Koch Brothers’ main company, Koch Industries, has made much of their money in the oil business. In 2000 Koch Industries was fined an incredible $30 million to resolve claims related to more than 300 oil spills, with an additional $5 million to be spent on environmental projects.

    They have spent more than $34 million on groups and organizations that work against workers rights. The fund Americans for Prosperity, a tea-party group that led Governor Scott Walker’s efforts against unions and workers rights. Americans for Prosperity has also fought against health care reform.

    The Koch Brothers are also behind the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which has funded such things as anti-immigration legislation.

    The Koch Brothers heavily supported the passage of Citizens United, which reduced transparency and made it so that the United States government cannot restrict independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. This has been extended to for-profit corporations and labor unions, thus making it so that corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money pushing for their chosen candidate(s).

    We must do what we can to limit the Koch Brother’s profits. One way we can do this is by not buying products that are manufactured and/or sold by subsidiary companies owned by Koch Industries. 

    The following is a rough list of some of the companies and products you should avoid:

    -Angel Soft

    -Angel Soft Ultra

    -Brawny paper towels

    -Dixie products

    -Insulair cups

    -Mardis Gras napkins

    -Perfect Touch cups, paper products

    -Quilted Northern

    -Sparkle paper towels

    -Vanity Fair napkins & paper towels

    -Zee Napkins

    -Georgia-Pacific Office products

    -Spectrum paper

    -Georgia-Pacific's enMotion paper towel dispenser

    -Georgia-Pacific's engineered lumber INVISTA Brands

    -INVISTA’s PET polymer is used in oxygen-sensitive packaging for food and beverages.

    -ADI-PURE® Adipic Acid

    -ANTRON® Carpet Fiber

    -C12™ Intermediates

    -COMFOREL® Fiber

    -COOLMAX® Fabric

    -CORDURA® Fabric

    -DACRON® Fiberfill

    -DYTEK® Idea Intermediates

    -FLEXISOLV® Solvent Solutions

    -LYCRA® Fiber

    -LYCRA HyFit® Fiber

    -OXYCLEAR® Barrier Resin

    -POLYCLEAR® PET

    -POLYSHIELD® Resin

    -SENZAA™ Additive

    -STAINMASTER® Carpet

    -SUPPLEX® Fabric

    -SUPRIVA™ Fiber

    -TACTEL® Fiber

    -TECGEN® Garments

    -TERATE® Polyols

    -TERATHANE® Polyether Glycol

    -TERRIN™ Polyols

    -THERMOLITE® Fabric

    -TORZEN® PA66 Resin

    Koch Fertilizer Company's AGROTAIN® nitrogen stabilizer fertilizer products are used around the world to improve nitrogen efficiency and enhance crop productions.

    Stand with NationofChange and sign the pledge to boycott all Koch Industries products.

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  • Corporations are NOT people, and money is NOT speech. Overturn the Citizens United decision.

    Overturn Citizens United

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    GOAL: 1,055 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they create a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

    [Update 2/16/17: We have sent your letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    In 2010 the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The ruling said that freedom of speech prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.

    The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.

    The case of Citizens United allows for dark money, the funds given to nonprofit organizations that can receive unlimited donations from corporations, individuals, and unions, and spend funds to influence elections, but are not required to disclose their donors.

    The Supreme Court's decisions in Citizens United and other cases opened the gates to a flood of billions of dollars that threatens to undermine our democracy.

    What we need now is a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

    Sign the petition to tell Congress to create a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

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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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