DebraJw Michael

  • Sign the petition: Tell Congress: Let Borrowers Refinance Their Student Loans

    Tell Congress: Let Borrowers Refinance Their Student Loans

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    GOAL: 278 signatures

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

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

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

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

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  • Sign the petition: Sea Turtles: Stop the Illegal Poaching in Mexico

    Sea Turtles: Stop the Illegal Poaching in Mexico

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    GOAL: 7,982 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, demanding that Mexico promote and support coastal communities’ ecotourism and sustainable travel.

    [Update 12/11/2016: We have sent our first letter, with over 7,000 signatures to President Nieto]

    Poached and hunted for their shells, meat and eggs, sea turtles are considered a lucrative commodity on Mexico’s black market.

    With more than 35,000 “slaughtered” off the coast of Baja California Sur each year, six out of the seven subspecies of sea turtles are endangered, according to WILDCOAST—an international ecosystems and wildlife conservation team. 

    But we can stop the illegal harvesting of sea turtles through ecotourism. We need to focus on supporting sustainable travel companies, who aim to bring people to the center of conservation and make local people the “solution to long-term environmental issues.” 

    As sea turtles continue to decline at an “alarming rate,” we must create sustainable economic alternatives to poaching and hunting sea turtles in local communities before they go extinct.

    Take action and help protect sea turtles against illegal poaching by asking the Mexican government to promote and support coastal communities’ ecotourism and sustainable travel.

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  • Sign the petition: Tell Congress: Bring jobs back to America

    Tell Congress: Bring jobs back to America

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    GOAL: 271 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, Nationofchange will send a letter to Congress asking them to adopt legislation that will reward corporations who move jobs to United States and punish corporations for outsourcing jobs.

    Right now too many corporations are shipping jobs overseas in order to save a buck. Current legislation allows for companies to get tax breaks when they ship jobs overseas. 

    Too many companies are closing their center of operations in the United States in favor of moving operations overseas. Corporations not only receive tax breaks when moving offshore, but they are able to exploit lower wage workers in countries where workers rights laws are lax or non existent.

    It is time for this to stop. The American people could use these jobs that are being exported overseas and corporations do not need more tax breaks. 

    It is time to create legislation that will incentivize American companies for bringing their offshore jobs back to the U.S., or for keeping them here in the first place. Legislation should also include punishment for corporations that move jobs overseas. This way conditions would be optimal for American companies to keep their jobs in the country.

     

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  • Sign the petition: Let Third Parties Debate: Lower the Polling Limit Requirement

    Let Third Parties Debate: Lower the Polling Limit Requirement

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    GOAL: 765 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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  • Tell EPA to disallow unlimited fracking wastewater to be dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.

    Tell the EPA: Stop Dumping Fracking Waste into the Gulf of Mexico

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    GOAL: 1,390 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA, demanding that they reject the proposal that would allow for unlimited fracking wastewater to be dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.

    [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!]


    NationofChange is standing with the Center for Biological Diversity in their efforts to convince the EPA to reject a proposal that would allow for unlimited dumping of fracking wastewater into the Gulf of Mexico.

    The proposed permit “violates the Clean Water Act because it causes an undue degradation of the marine environment.”

    We, along with the Center for Biological Diversity, believe that EPA’s consideration of the permit does not take into account how dumping wastewater containing chemicals from fracking and acidizing operations would impact water quality and marine wildlife.

    Here is the full release from the Center for Biological Diversity:

    Proposed Permit Threatens Sea Turtles, Fish, Other Gulf Wildlife

    ATLANTA— An Obama administration proposal to continue allowing oil companies to dump unlimited amounts of offshore fracking chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico violates federal law and threatens endangered marine wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity warned over the weekend.

    In a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on a proposed wastewater discharge permit for offshore oil and gas drilling activities in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Center explained that the proposed permit violates the Clean Water Act because it causes an undue degradation of the marine environment. “The permit allows the unlimited discharge of produced wastewater, including the unlimited discharge of chemicals used in offshore fracking and other well-stimulation treatments,” the letter noted.

    “The EPA is endangering an entire ecosystem by allowing the oil industry to dump unlimited amounts of fracking chemicals and drilling waste fluid into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Center attorney Kristen Monsell. “This appalling plan from the agency that's supposed to protect our water violates federal law and shows a disturbing disregard for offshore fracking’s toxic threats to sea turtles and other Gulf wildlife.”

    Today's letter also points out that the EPA is relying on a 33-year-old study of waste fluid produced by offshore platforms, despite the drilling of more than 450 wells in the area since 2010 alone. The letter urges EPA to adopt a zero-discharge requirement for produced water and fracking chemicals, as is required under other offshore drilling permits.

    At least 10 fracking chemicals routinely used in offshore fracking could kill or harm a broad variety of marine species, including marine mammals and fish, Center scientists have found. The California Council on Science and Technology has identified some common fracking chemicals to be among the most toxic in the world to marine animals.

    Fracking chemicals raise grave ecological concerns because, among other factors, the Gulf of Mexico is important habitat for whales, sea turtles and fish, and contains critical habitat for imperiled loggerhead sea turtles. Dolphins and other species in the Gulf are still suffering lingering effects from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

     As explained in the letter, the EPA is proposing to allow oil companies to discharge fracking chemicals without even knowing how much fracking has, or would, occur in the Gulf by relying on data from 1988. Information recently obtained by the Center indicates that oil companies were permitted to frack more than 1,200 times from more than 600 wells from 2010 to 2014 alone. And the agency is relying on more than 30-year-old data to estimate the volume of produced water to be discharged.

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  • Sign the petition: Tell Congress: Close Tax Loopholes!

    Tell Congress: Close Tax Loopholes!

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    GOAL: 1,490 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.]

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    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.

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  • Sign the petition: Tell Governor Pat McCrory to Officially Repeal North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law

    Tell Governor Pat McCrory to Officially Repeal North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law

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    GOAL: 345 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Governor Pat McCrory demanding that North Carolina officially repeal its anti-LGBT law.

    North Carolina recently passed HB2, causing them to become the most anti-LGBTQ state in the country. The measure revoke local gay and trans nondiscrimination ordinances throughout the state, effectively legalizing anti-LGBTQ discrimination. It also forbids trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

    North Carolina Republicans claimed that the measure was created in response to the city of Charlotte passing a LGBT nondiscrimination law. Although the Charlotte measure was just a generic nondiscrimination measure, Republicans declared that HB2 would remain on the books until Charlotte repealed its law.

    Charlotte's response was repealing every provision to which Republicans had objected on the condition that the legislature repeal HB2 by the end of the year.

    But then Republicans claimed Charlotte had “lied directly to the people” and broken its promise by retaining provisions of its code that prohibited the city from hiring contractors who have discriminated against subcontractors on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This provision was never mentioned previously and Republicans never showed any objection to it.

    Charlotte again complied, even holding an emergency meeting in order to formally repeal the entire ordinance. This still wasn't enough for Republican legislators. Instead of repealing HB2 entirely, as promised under the circumstances, the new bill includes moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances for six months. Because Republicans hold a supermajority in the legislature, this “cooling off period” could easily be extended in six months’ time. The original compromise agreed to did not include such a moratorium.

    This means that “No local government in this State may enact or amend an ordinance regulating employment practices or regulating public accommodations or access to restrooms, showers, or changing facilities.”

    We must not support this as an adequate substitute for HB2. By doing this, North Carolina Republicans are allowing for discrimination against LBGT people. Please join us in telling Governor Pat McCrory to remove the moratorium and allow local governments in the state to enact measures to protect members of the LGBT community.

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  • Sign the petition: Tell Congress to Regulate Prescription Drug Prices

    Tell Congress to Regulate Prescription Drug Prices

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    GOAL: 2,376 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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  • Pledge to boycott Koch products

    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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  • Sign the petition: Get the Fossil Fuels Out of Climate Policymaking

    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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  • For every 1000 signatures we will send a letter to the Obama administration demanding the pipeline be abandoned.

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

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    GOAL: 7,519 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. 

     

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