Ann Jones signed Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children 2017-05-23 06:53:49 -0700GOAL: 1,576 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them not to pass The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act.
U.S. lawmakers are quietly debating an important piece of legislation that greatly affects meals for schools.
As it is now, funding allows for providing free lunches and after-school meals to every student enrolled in a public school where at least 40 percent of its student body live in low-income households. The program has had “lasting positive outcomes” and “critical benefits.”
Yet now Republican lawmakers in Congress, led by Representative Todd Rokita, want to introduce The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act that will severely cut the availability of federally subsidized lunches to hungry children in public schools.
Even with the funding provided now, lunch programs are underfunded. The $13 billion allocated to them equals out to just over a dollar per meal for cafeteria administrators to spend on ingredients.
Changing the law now would provide less funding, would remove eligibility for over 7,000 schools and 3.4 million students, and would create additional burdens of paperwork and administration work.
Please sign the petition now to tell Congress we must not cut school funding but instead increase it, to continue to provide at least some proper nutrition to the over 15 million children that lack access to consistent nutrition at home.
Ann Jones signed Create New Transition Programs for Veterans Returning Home 2017-05-20 11:25:03 -0700GOAL: 616 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:
- Mandatory, confidential behavioral health evaluation with a clinical behavioral health provider.
- Potential required participation in individual and group therapy sessions or programs based on the outcome to #1.
- Education program to prepare service members for their life beyond the military, including providing them with resources for jobs and training.
- Career counseling services and programs both before, during, and after the transition.
- Mentor or coach to be a part of the transition process and to provide support for at least one year after military departure.
- 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.
- 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
Ann Jones signed Tell the Trump Administration to Stop Pulling Federal Government out of Public Education 2017-05-15 18:53:51 -0700GOAL: 371 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to President Trump demanding that the federal government not pull their funding for public schools.
On April 26, 2017, Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin pulling federal money and government out of K-12 public education in an attempt to return school control back to state and local responsibilities. This executive order is being called “Education Federalism Executive Order” and will be reviewed and modified/repealed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Trump has also overturned a series of Obama’s education-related actions recently that could hurt public education. His administration has ended a grant program that was implemented to help local districts boost socioeconomic diversity within their schools, an order stating federally funded teacher preparation programs be evaluated based on the academic outcomes of those teachers' students and a program that would help identify failing schools and what can be done to improve them.
We need to make sure our public schools are getting the funding and attention they need from federal government, and not place the responsibility of public schools solely on state and local shoulders.
Ann Jones signed Tell Congress Not to Sell Our Wilderness to the Highest Bidder 2017-05-09 15:03:07 -0700GOAL: 3,313 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.]
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.
Ann Jones signed Tell Congress: Give Regulatory Agencies Enough Funding to do Their Jobs 2017-05-17 06:56:27 -0700GOAL: 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.
GOAL: 1,517 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA demanding that they completely ban BPA from all food and drink packaging.
[Update 12/10/2016: We have surpassed 1,000 signatures! NationofChange has sent the first letter to the EPA. We will continue to send a letter with your signatures for every 1,000 signatures we receive.]
The primary source of exposure of bisphenol A or BPA is through the diet, yet the FDA allows this toxic chemical, which is linked to cancer and other diseases, to be used in most food and drink packaging. While the FDA banned the use of the chemical in baby bottles and children's cups, the FDA must protect the American people in its entirety.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which interferes with the processing of natural hormones within the human body, and is determined to be very hazardous to human health, according to Medical News Today (MNT).
Evidence proves the chemical to be harmful and links it to infertility, depression, ADHD and autism among several other diseases, but BPA is consistently present in plastic water bottles, epoxy resins that coat the inside of cans, some dental fillings and sealants and paper receipts. We can't avoid it.
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 95 percent of adult urine samples contain BPA. This shocking statistic confirms the need to completely ban this chemical from daily exposure for the health and safety of humans.
It is time Americans are protected from "unwittingly consuming a dangerous chemical."
Let's take action and tell the FDA to completely ban BPA from all food and drink packaging.
GOAL: 4,941 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA demanding it "blocks the increased use of thiamethoxam and sulfoxaflor and get all neonicotinoids out of U.S. agriculture as soon as possible."
[Update: 12/11/2016: We have reached over 4,000 signatures! We have sent a letter to the EPA. NationofChange will send a letter for each 1,000 signatures we raise.]
Pollinating insects and animals are vital to the world. Not only do bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and many other such pollinators support the ecosystem, they provide healthy watershed and maintain terrestrial productivity.
Yet pollinators are in a state of decline, especially the bee, which puts human life in danger, threatens global food webs and concerns the integrity of biodiversity. And the EPA is doing nothing to save the bees and stop companies, such as Bayer, Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta, from increasing the use of pesticides on crops that rely on pollination.
There is a great deal of evidence that uncovers the dangers of genetically modified crops, which release Bt toxins, require increased pesticide use and demand neonicotinoid seed treatment, to both bees and human. But the EPA is letting biotech companies get away with murder.
While more people are becoming aware of the decrease of bees and are concerned about the link between GMOs and toxic pesticides in the environment, it is time we stand up to the EPA and demand it "blocks the increased use of thiamethoxam and sulfoxaflor and get all neonicotinoids out of U.S. agriculture as soon as possible."
We must take down the companies that are contributing to the pollinator decline and help save the bees.
GOAL: 1,074 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.
GOAL: 2,205 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!]
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!
Ann Jones signed End the Dickey Amendment: Tell Congress to Allow Research on Gun Violence 2017-02-24 06:47:32 -0800GOAL: 1,379 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they repeal the Dickey Amendment and allow for more research on gun violence.
[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!]
Gun violence kills nearly 100 Americans every day. But Congress refuses to move forward on gun control legislation claiming that there is not enough evidence and not enough research to move forward.
The number of mass shootings has increased dramatically over the last several years. This is the time for action.
We are concerned about the influence NRA has on Congress. In 1996 the NRA passed the Dickey Amendment, preventing the Center for Disease Control from studying the effect of gun violence on the American public. Now, 20 years later, even the author of the amendment, Congressman jay Dickey, believes it should be repealed.
Not only has Congress not allow any new gun control measures to pass, or in some cases even be voted upon, but they are also working hard to keep anyone from doing any serious research on gun violence.
Now the most powerful medical association in the United States has called gun violence a “public health crisis.” If the American Medical Association is calling for changes to gun control it is time we, and Congress, listen.
Sign the petition now and tell Congress to take the first step – repeal the Dickey Amendment and allow for more research on gun violence.
GOAL: 2,034 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 Ultra
-Brawny paper towels
-Mardis Gras napkins
-Perfect Touch cups, paper products
-Sparkle paper towels
-Vanity Fair napkins & paper towels
-Georgia-Pacific Office products
-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
-DYTEK® Idea Intermediates
-FLEXISOLV® Solvent Solutions
-LYCRA HyFit® Fiber
-OXYCLEAR® Barrier Resin
-TERATHANE® Polyether Glycol
-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.
Ann Jones signed Tell the Trump Administration to stop Big Oil from Completing the Dakota Access Pipeline 2017-05-17 14:31:45 -0700GOAL: 7,955 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump administration, demanding they stop big oil from completing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
[Update 3/16/2017: We have sent the next letter to President Trump with 7,000+ of your signatures, demanding the Dakota Access Pipeline be abandoned. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
UPDATE: The Army Corps of Engineers has denied the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, but Energy Transfer Partners insists that they will go ahead with the project.
1,281 professionals from institutions like the Smithsonian and the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries claim that the construction work from the pipeline destroyed “ancient burial sites, places of prayer and other significant cultural artifacts sacred to the Lakota and Dakota people.”
The letter reads further: “The destruction of these sacred sites adds yet another injury to the Lakota, Dakota and other Indigenous Peoples who bear the impacts of fossil fuel extraction and transportation. If constructed, this pipeline will continue to encourage oil consumption that causes climate change, all the while harming those populations who contributed little to this crisis.”
President Obama halted temporarily construction on the the $3.8bn, 1,170-mile pipeline after the Standing Rock Sioux tribe legally challenged the project. The pipeline is supposed to funnel oil from the Bakken oil Fields in the Great Plains to Illinois and run next to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
We need to ensure the company abandons the pipeline on American Indian land. Sign the petition and stand with the thousands of professionals, and the Standing Rock Sioux, to tell the Trump administration to stop big oil from completing the Dakota Access pipeline for its destruction of Standing Rock Sioux lands, burial sites, and ancient artifacts that are crucial to our understanding of American heritage.
GOAL: 962 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
GOAL: 1,854 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, asking them to pass legislation that will close tax loopholes for the ultra-rich.
[Update: We have surpassed 500 signatures! NationofChange is sending the first letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them to close the tax loopholes for the ultra-rich. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]
Senator Bernie Sanders will introduce a new bill in the 115th Congress, which begins next year.
The proposed bill, if passed, would close all of the tax loopholes that Trump exploited in his 1995 tax returns. These loops holes do nothing to boost the economy, but continue to allow real estate investors like Trump to get out of pay millions of dollars in taxes.
“Special tax breaks and loopholes in a corrupt tax code enable billionaires and powerful corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes while sticking the burden on the middle class,” Sanders said. “It’s time to create a tax system which is fair and which asks the wealthy and powerful to start paying their fair share of taxes.”
Sanders’ legislation would close the following loopholes:
Exemption for the real estate from passive loss rules (Section 469): This loophole allows for an exception for real estate so that real estate investors can use losses to offset any other income, regardless of if it has to do with their business.
Exemption for real estate from at-risk rules (Section 465): An exemption for real estate investors that allows them to claim losses exceeding what they actually invested.
Like-kind exchanges (Section 1031): Allows real estate owners to swap pieces of property of the same type in order to claim they have no gain to report to the IRS because technically there was no sale.
Debt and Depreciation: Allows for investors to combine tax breaks for for borrowing with tax breaks when an investment rapidly loses value, allowing them to borrow money to make an investment, take deductions for the interest they pay on the debt and then take deductions as the property depreciates.
Stand with Senator Sanders and NationofChange and tell Congress to close the tax loopholes that rich investors are using to dodge taxes.
Ann Jones signed Tell the Federal Elections Commission to Make Tax Return Disclosure a Requirement 2016-10-04 12:15:54 -0700GOAL: 1,044 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.