Elizabeth kOUNDAKJIAN

  • Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children

    lunch.jpg

    GOAL: 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.

    Add signature

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

    water.png

    GOAL: 1,606 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/

    Add signature

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

    justice-department.jpg

    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.

    Add signature

  • Take the pledge and help end plastic pollution

    pollution-203737_960_720.jpg

    GOAL: 445 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! 

    Add signature

  • Fight Pollinator Decline: Tell the EPA to Save the Bees

    savebees.jpg

    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.

    Add signature

  • Stop Monsanto: Support Mandatory GMO Labeling

    LabelItGMO.jpg

    GOAL: 2,550 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump administration demanding mandatory GMO labeling and the right to know what we're eating.

    [Update 1/20/2017: We have surpassed 2,000 signatures! NationofChange has sent the first letter to the Obama administration with your signatures and will continue to send a letter for every 1,000 signatures we receive.]

    Stand up to Monsanto and tell the Trump Administration to Support Mandatory GMO Labeling

    Genetically engineered foods stock the shelves in grocery stores. But consumers' rights to know what they are eating and feeding to their families is being blocked throughout the U.S. by the biotech companies that manufacture the GE ingredients. 

    Sixty-four countries, and counting, currently require labels on genetically engineered foods, including Australia, Russia, China and Japan. And while the U.S. is trying to follow suit and "require transparency in genetically engineered food labeling," the FDA has yet to act. 

    According to the White House, a recent survey revealed that "nearly all Democrats (93 percent), Independents (90 percent) and Republicans (89 percent) support labeling of GMOs. So it is time we stop biotech companies, like Monsanto, from paying off the FDA and deceiving the public, and support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. 

    Sign the petition and tell the Trump Administration we have the right to know what we're eating.

    Add signature

  • Tell Congress: Let Borrowers Refinance Their Student Loans

    campos_student_loans.jpg

    GOAL: 645 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. 

    Add signature

  • Tell the Trump Administration to stop Big Oil from Completing the Dakota Access Pipeline

    standingrock.jpg

    GOAL: 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.

    3,000+ signatures sent to Obama

    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. 

     

    Add signature

  • Tell the FDA to Routinely Screen Food for Glyphosate

    baby-eating.jpg

    GOAL: 1,477 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the FDA, demanding routine testing of U.S. food for glyphosate residue.

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

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed the presence of glyphosate in a variety of  oat products, including oat cereals for babies.

    Recently the USDA started testing U.S. foods for glyphosate, the active ingredient used in Monsanto’s Roundup and which has been linked to cancer. Last year the World Health Organization released a report by a group of international cancer experts that stated glyphosate is a probably human carcinogen.

    Despite these recent findings, Roundup continues to be the most heavily used weed killer in the world. The EPA still maintains that glyphosate is “not likely” to cause cancer.

    The current safe levels for glyphosate in oats, as suggested by the EPA, is 30 ppm. The levels detected in the findings fall within this range. In 2013 Monsanto requested and receive higher tolerances for many foods. In the European Union the tolerance levels are much lower, for example the tolerance for glyphosate in oats is 20 ppm.

    Monsanto and U.S. regulators maintain that all of these findings show that glyphosate levels in our food are too low to cause any health concerns, but many believe that food will need to continue to be routinely tested to maintain safe levels. Besides that, some foods in the United States do not have a legal tolerance level. For example, honey does not have a legal tolerance level, yet when tested earlier this year every sample came back with traces of glyphosate, some with residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union.

    Help us tell the FDA that they need to routinely screen foods for glyphosate and maintain low levels of contamination regardless of their stance on glyphosate being linked to cancer.

    Add signature