Ruth Flores Ehrlich

  • Gun Control: Amend the Constitution

    Gun Victim

    GOAL: 940 signatures

    Gun Control: Second Amendment Needs to be Updated to Reflect the Growing Danger of Guns

    The Second Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms. It gives way to personal defense. But the law is highly misunderstood.

    When the Second Amendment was written, it referred to a number of weapons, such as knives, bow and arrows, etc., because few people owned guns since the cost of importing them was so expensive. But now days, guns are easily accessible and relatively affordable that the U.S. has the highest rate of legal gun ownership compared to the rest of the world.

    So while the context of the Second Amendment remains the same, over time, it’s become flawed.

    And today, guns are overwhelmingly being used to offend rather defend.

    According to a study published in Business Week, it estimated defensive gun use at 300,000 times per year. Contrastingly, Slate.com reported around 500,000 instances of gun use by criminals, which puts the U.S. at more than double the death rate by guns than that of any other developed nation.

    It’s time we rewrite the law to reflect this day and age and address the growing epidemic guns pose on society. Because of “their accuracy and relatively attainable price,” we need a stricter interpretation of the Second Amendment.

    Take action today and sign the petition telling Congress to update the law.

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  • Tell Governor Snyder to Stop Making Flint Residents Pay for Contaminated Water

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    GOAL: 1,605 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Governor Snyder demanding that he cease charging Flint residents for contaminated water.

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

    The situation in Flint has gotten out of control. The National Guard has finally been called in to deal with a major water crisis that has left hundreds sick or dead. The emergency level of lead in the water has rendered it undrinkable, yet residents of Flint are still being charged for the poisoned water.

    What’s even worse, is if residents don’t pay for the undrinkable water, they are threatened with a shutoff. Residents feel that not only should they be given a pass on water shut off but that they shouldn’t have to be for contaminated water that they can’t even use. Michigan officials were able to pay for clean water for state officials a full year before they started providing clean water to the public.

    Officials in Flint had illegally hiked water rates several years ago, and ignored a judges order to halt shutoffs and revise customer’s bills. Residents are still receiving shut off notices regardless of the illegal rate hike and now the poisoned water. 

    We need to tell Governor Snyder to cease the shut off notices and stop charging Flint residents for undrinkable water until the crisis is under control.

    You can read more information about the water crisis in Flint here:

    For more information:

    Flint Water Study: http://flintwaterstudy.org/

    Water You Fighting For: http://www.wateryoufightingfor.com/

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  • Tell Congress: Give Regulatory Agencies Enough Funding to do Their Jobs

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    GOAL: 1,606 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that the Justice Department and other regulatory agencies receive enough funding to do their jobs.

    [Update: We have surpassed 500 signatures! NationofChange is sending the first letter to Congress with your signatures attached. We will continue to send letters for every 500 signatures.]

    As Robert Reich says, “It’s easy to holler at CEOs. It’s time for Congress to stop hollering and take action.”

    Congress can grill CEOs about bank fraud, such as their latest questioning of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, or condemn CEOs of pharmaceutical companies for price gouging, like Mylan’s Heather Bresch, all they want but it isn’t going to change a thing.

    Republicans can rage at CEOs all they want, but that doesn’t stop them from getting paid millions of dollars for hitting certain profit targets, often in shady ways.

    The Justice Department needs to be given enough funding to pursue criminal charges against corporations and executives who violate the law. Other regulatory agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, needs more funding in order to police the market.

    Help us tell Congress that these agencies need more funding to stop things like price gouging, fraud, and shady business practices from happening.

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  • Create New Transition Programs for Veterans Returning Home

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    GOAL: 615 signatures

    22 Veterans a day commit suicide. This equates to one veteran committing suicide every 65 minutes and a total of over 8,000 committing suicide a year. The suicide rate among veterans is nearly double the rate seen among the general population in America.

    This needs to change. We need better programs to reintroduce veterans to civilian life when returning home from both combat and non-combat positions.

    We are asking for a “Reverse Bootcamp” program to be put into effect that will help transition all service members to post-military life, which would include things such as:

    1. Mandatory, confidential behavioral health evaluation with a clinical behavioral health provider.
    2. Potential required participation in individual and group therapy sessions or programs based on the outcome to #1.
    3. Education program to prepare service members for their life beyond the military, including providing them with resources for jobs and training.
    4. Career counseling services and programs both before, during, and after the transition.
    5. Mentor or coach to be a part of the transition process and to provide support for at least one year after military departure.
    6. Have a post-separation plan and schedule that they work on with their mentor and that includes information to all relative local resources. This includes plans for family, education, health, and employment.
    7. Provide service member’s families with homecoming preparedness and training and give them access to resources to help welcome their service member home and help them complete the transition.


    Help us tell the Department of Veteran Affairs that we care about our Veterans and that this suicide rate is unacceptable.

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420

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  • Take the pledge and help end plastic pollution

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    GOAL: 442 signatures

    Over the past 50 years, the use and disposal of plastic has increased dramatically, causing a world-wide pollution issue. The use of plastic is attractive because it is lightweight, strong, water-resistant and inexpensive, but it is coming at a very high cost. It is estimated that at this rate, by 2050, we are expected to accumulate more plastic than fish by weight. Over a third of plastic packaging does not make it to a collection system and ends up polluting oceans and clogging infrastructure. 

    The degrading process for plastic is extremely slow, and the majority of the world’s glutinous consumption of plastic has led to the over pollution of our lands and oceans. When plastic breaks down into smaller particles, it’s toxins and material are consumed by animals, contaminating food chains and environments. 

    There are ways to help reduce your plastic usage: 

    1. Use less disposable plastics

    2. Avoid microbeads 

    3. Purchase items secondhand

    4. Recycle 

    5. Support and encourage bag taxes or bans

    6. Buy in bulk 

    7. Bring your own bags and containers while shopping or dining

    8. Reuse durable, non-toxic plastic for as long as you can

    9. Put pressure on manufacturers and governments to help make change

    Take the pledge and make an effort to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle! 

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  • Help Save the Andersoni Moose

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    GOAL: 824 signatures

    Over the last ten years the Andersoni Moose, located in Minnesota and North Dakota, has declined by 60 percent. The Center for Biological Diversity in Minnesota warns that without protections that moose population will be extinct soon.

    Yet every year more people apply for hunting licenses, regardless of severe overhunting practices. Specifically this year 202 licenses have been issued specifically for hunting the Andersoni Moose.

    Please help us tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that we need to protect the Andersoni Moose, not continue to hunt and kill it at an alarming rate that is severely decreasing the population.

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  • Let Third Parties Debate: Lower the Polling Limit Requirement

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    GOAL: 822 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, demanding that they lower their polling limit requirement so that we can hear from alternative political parties.

    Our election system is broken. More than ever this election cycle voters are calling for more attention to third party candidates.

    Currently, the Commission on Presidential Debates caters to the simple two party system, not allowing any candidates that poll under 15% to be a part of the debates. This does nothing but further the Democrat-Republican two party system and cut off Americans from hearing from alternate political views that don’t fall neatly into this political dichotomy.

    Help us tell the Commission to lower its polling requirement so that other presidential candidates like Jill Stein can participate in nationally televised debates in the 2016 election and in the future.

    Although multiple lawsuits have been filed the 15% policy, none of succeeded. How are millions of Americans going to hear from alternative candidates and raise them above a 15% rate if they don’t receive coverage and aren’t allowed to participate in national debates?

    Please sign the petition and tell the Commission on Presidential Debates to lower their polling limit requirement so that we can hear from alternative political parties.

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  • End unregulated healthcare pricing

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    GOAL: 350 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to enact legislation that will end unregulated healthcare pricing.

    Did you know that billing rates are not set nor regulated in the healthcare industry?

    Billing is determine on a case by case basis. A simple blood test can range from $10 to $400 at the same lab. Hospitalization can result in a bill that varies by thousands of dollars for the same services. 

    We are asking Congress to force providers to show transparency and publish legitimate pricing. This allows for healthcare providers to still set their own rates but prohibits them from charging different rates for different patients.

    Hospitals especially are known for overcharging patients - especially those with no insurance. In a recent study it was found that fifty hospitals in the United States were charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care. 

    We need a system in which the public can search for a medical procedure online and see pricing for all providers in their area. This will save patients thousands of dollars as well as get rid of the “in network” and “out of network” system that causes confusion and costs an enormous amount of money and administrative burden every year.

    Tell Congress to stop unregulated healthcare pricing, thus allowing for lower healthcare costs and an end to restrictions on patient choice.

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  • Help Protect Rhinos from Becoming Extinct

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    GOAL: 2,787 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the South African government asking them to crack down on Rhino poaching.

    [Update 3/16/17: We are sending the first letter to the South African government with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    Rhino poaching is on the rise and if the trend continues, the species could face extinction. Poaching has hit a new annual record, according to South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

    With a 5,000 percent increase in rhino poaching in the recent year, rhino’s horns are a big commodity on the black market. Rhino horns sell for up to $100,000 a kilo, which surpasses the price of gold. And selling at this hefty price, rhino poachers are attracting more impoverished people to join in the crime syndicate.

    Rhino poaching greatly increased after a story that a Vietnamese politician’s relative was cured of cancer from the horn even though science doesn’t support the claim. Cultural traditions in Vietnam, Thailand and China also make rhinos’ horns popular and therefore, increase their demand. And many of the poachers are cross the Mozambique border into Kruger National Park in South Africa where rhino killings are putting the animal in jeopardy of extinction.

    If no “effective measures are taken” to stop the criminal poaching, the South African government confirms the world’s rhino population will be close to extinct come 2026.

    Help StopRhinoPoaching.com in their global campaign to raise awareness about illegal poaching and help support provincial and private reserves in South Africa as their efforts toward protection before extinction.

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  • End Dark Money: Tell the FEC to Require the Disclosure of Secret Donors During Political Campaigns

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    GOAL: 1,550 signatures

    WATCH THE VIDEO

    It's no secret that dark money is taking over our elections. And the result: "America's government is bought."

    With corruption seeded in Watergate, it grew to take over the next generation with McCain-Feingold and eventually led to the Supreme Court's decision—limiting campaign spending violated the First Amendment—in 2010, according to National Journal.

    "You shouldn't have to buy access to your own government." —Represent.Us

    Five years after the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizen's United case changed the landscape for money in politics, we are faced with the worst—our leaders are answering to lobbyists and special-interest groups rather than we, the people. From buying access to and influence over Democratic and Republican candidates' campaigns with little transparency to reaping the benefits when it's all said and done, dark money has "perverted" the election process and changed our political system. 

    Now more than ever, American's have little confidence in their government. And 2016 is set to be the next big wave of dark money as the Koch brothers "pledged" to spend nearly $889 million in the upcoming presidential election.

    It's time, as Americans citizens, to fight back and "put the power back in the hands of the people." 

    We must demand greater transparency and accountability. Many leaders claim to back an "open and honest government," now it's time we hold them to it. Let's get money out of politics and force people to vote their conscience.

    Tell the FEC to write a new set of rules that better fit with the time and require the disclosure of secret donors during political campaigns—it's time we get money out of politics.

     

     

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

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    GOAL: 898 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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  • Tell Congress: Save the giraffe from extinction

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    GOAL: 1,686 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to draft legislation that will provide funding and political help to prevent the extinction of giraffes.

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

    Over the past 30 years, the giraffe population has dropped nearly 40%. With illegal hunting, habitat loss and environmental changes these mammals are being slowly pushed to extinction. 

    This decrease in giraffe population will continue until we do something to stop it. With funding and political help, these animals could be preserved. There is currently no legislation to help prevent this extinction. 

    “Whilst giraffes are commonly seen on safari, in the media and in zoos, people – including conservationists – are unaware that these majestic animals are undergoing a silent extinction,” said Julian Fennessy, co-chair of the IUCN’s giraffe and okapi specialist group. “It is timely that we stick our neck out for the giraffe before it is too late,” he said.

    Sign this petition and help us tell Congress that the people want the protection of giraffes put into place.

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  • End Whaling in Japan

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    GOAL: 2,504 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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  • Raise the Minimum Wage: Join the Fight for 15

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    GOAL: 455 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter Congress demanding that they pass legislation to raise the minimum wage for all low-wage workers in the U.S. to $15 an hour.

    With income inequality at an all-time high and worker's rights at an all-time low, it's time Congress does something to mandate corporations raise the minimum wage and stop poverty wages from crippling workers and communities across the nation. Not only have corporations been maximizing profits at the expense of workers, Congress has only passed legislation to increase the minimum wage just three times in the past 30 year.

    It's time state and national lawmakers commit to raising the minimum wage for all low-wage workers in the U.S. to $15 an hour.

    While the state minimum wages range from $7.50 in Arkansas, Maine and New Mexico to $9.47 in Washington state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are about 20.6 million people that are considered “near-minimum-wage” workers. And the restaurant and food service industry is the single biggest employer of near-minimum-wage workers, according to Pew Research Center.

    As Robert Reich puts it, the "first step toward making work pay is to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, pegging it to inflation" because no full-time American worker should be living in poverty. The cycle is unacceptable and must come to an end.

    We must stand in solidarity with low-wage workers and wedge the income inequality gap by supporting the Fight for 15. Let's start by building a movement for shared prosperity and eventually "give all Americans a share in future economic gains."

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  • Tell the USFWS: Don’t Abandon the Red Wolf

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    GOAL: 855 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service demanding that they continue the red wolf recovery program instead of opting for captive breeding programs.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is taking heat from scientists for their September 12th decision to abandon the wild red wolf population in North Carolina in favor of captive breeding programs.

    USFWS based their decision to remove 32 of the 45 remaining red wolves left in the wild on a population viability analysis (PVA) conducted by a team of scientists — the same scientists now rebuking the USFWS for that decision.

    It is clear that the USFWS values the concerns of private land owners over the future of the red wolf. According the the USFWS’ decision memo:

    “Acknowledging growing concerns from private landowners regarding management of Service’s Red Wolf NEP project in eastern North Carolina, the Service and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission met to discuss and develop a canid management strategy.”

    These landowners’ concerns do not match those of the majority of North Carolinians, who actually support efforts to enhance the wild red wolf population, according to a poll.

    Unless the USFWS can revise it’s protection plan and make good on its mission to “conserve, protect, and enhance” these animals and their habitats, the future for the red wolf looks bleak.

    Please join NationofChange in telling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not abandon the Red Wolf population and to continue their Red Wolf recovery program, rather than opting for captive breeding.

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  • 1745 east 12th street Brooklyn, NY 11229

    Stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival

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    GOAL: 1,316 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Chinese Ambassador of the U.S. Ambassador Cui Tiankai and the Governor of Yulin GuangXi Province Mr. Chen Wu.

    Every year thousands of dogs are butchered for the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. The festival is due to start again this year on June 21, 2017.

    Many of the dogs are stolen, put in disgusting conditions in cages, and starved before being beaten to death or having their throats slit.

    Over the years the Yulin Dog Meat Festival has lost a lot of support. Most Chinese citizens do not support it, and Yulin authorities themselves have stated they would no longer support the festival.

    However this hasn’t resulted in the festival being cancelled, but rather just a smaller event with fewer dogs. Meat traders that help put on the festival are committed to putting on the event regardless of official support.

    Please join with us in urging the Yulin authorities to take direct action in ending the festival for good and ending the slaughter of thousands of dogs a year.

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  • Tell Canada to Stop the Commercial Seal Hunts

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    GOAL: 3,509 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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  • Stop Tax Breaks for the Rich: Create a New Tax System that Doesn't Favor the Wealthy

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    GOAL: 1,491 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, urging them to adopt a tax plan that will end tax breaks on the wealthy.

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

    Tax breaks for the rich are completely out of hand. 

    When Bill Clinton was elected president the 400 highest-earning taxpayers in America paid nearly 27 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to I.R.S. data. By 2012 that figure had fallen to less than 17 percent. This number is even lower now, and doesn’t include the loopholes and other ways the rich have used to their advantage to decrease their taxes paid.

    Now House Speaker Paul Ryan has rolled out a new “consensus” republican tax plan full of rate cuts for the 1% and corporates, including repealing the estate tax and making it easier for companies to hide profits overseas.

    Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan would be no better, also providing additional tax cuts for the wealthy.

    A Citizens for Tax Justice analysis found that 60 percent of the tax breaks in the Ryan plan would go to the top 1% of Americans, compared to 37 percent under Trump’s plan.

    It is time for us to speak out and do something about the tax breaks for the wealthy. Help us write to Congress to tell them to pass a new tax plan that stops major tax breaks for the rich and helps close the wealth gap.

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  • Support Stronger Air Pollution Standards

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    GOAL: 1,441 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA asking them to impose stronger air pollution standards.

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


    Over 90% of the world’s population resides in areas where air pollution levels are alarmingly high. Air pollution has become a public health emergency.

    According to a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO), millions of people die annually because of exposure to pollution. “To date, air pollution — both ambient (outdoor) and household (indoor) — is the biggest environmental risk to health, carrying responsibility for about one in every nine deaths annually,” the report states. “Air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, and affects economies and people’s quality of life; it is a public health emergency.”

    But a new report released by the American Thoracic Society and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University shows that stricter air pollution standards could have health benefits.

    The standards advocate 60 parts per billion (ppb) 8-hour standard for ozone (compared with the EPA’s standard of 70 ppb). They suggest a standard of 11 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) annually for PM2.5, rather than the EPA’s 12 µg/m3 annual standard.

    The report calculates that adhering to these stronger pollution standards could save 9,320 lives in the United States per year, could reduce serious health events (morbidities), such as heart attacks, hospital admissions and emergency room visits, by 21,400; and decrease “adverse impact days,” during which people may not be able to work, go to school or otherwise be physically active because of severe breathing problems, by 19,300,000 days.

    This new report shows that tighter standards for air pollution could save lives. Sign the petition to tell the EPA to adopt stronger air pollution standards to combat this public health emergency.

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  • Tell Congress to Regulate Prescription Drug Prices

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    GOAL: 2,639 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they pass legislation to regulate prescription drug prices and end price gouging. 

    [Update: We have surpassed 2000 signatures! NationofChange is sending a letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them to regulate prescription drug prices. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]

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    Americans pay, by far, the highest prices for prescription drugs in the entire world. 

    Access to health care is a human right, and that should include affordable prescription drugs. Yet we have companies like Mylan, Turing Pharmaceuticals, and Ariad Pharmaceuticals that love to hike drug prices up. This means that many life saving drugs have become unaffordable for the average American family.

    Last year, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of an AIDS drug from $13.50 per pill to $750.00 — overnight. 

    Prices for drugs overall have increased more than tenfold between the year 2000 and today. The average price of cancer drugs is increasing by over $8,000 a year.

    It is time for Congress to pass legislation to regulate pharmaceutical drug prices and end price gouging. This should also include things such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, allowing the importation of cancer drugs across U.S. borders for personal use, legislation that prevents drug companies from delaying access to generic drugs and extending the life of drug patents, and creating an FDA approval group or mechanism that can estimate and propose a fair price for new treatments.

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