Terrance Balun signed Tell Congress Not to Sell Our Wilderness to the Highest Bidder 2017-04-26 13:59:53 -0700GOAL: 3,054 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.
GOAL: 1,642 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to President Trump, telling him to end the U.S. policy of perpetual war.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to President Trump with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
As Michael Payne puts it, “The War on Terror is not a war unto itself; it is just one facet of the larger agenda of perpetual war that this government, filled with bloodthirsty war hawks, has conducted for far too long.”
For the last 15 years America, has been engaged in perpetual war.
Our government tells us to be afraid, and that terrorist groups pose a great threat to our country. But America has played the largest role in the origin, spread, and cultivation of these terrorist groups with our constant aggressive military policies.
It is time for the United States to end this state of perpetual war, to bring our troops home, and to cease our aggressive military policies.
Please join us in telling President Trump to stop the war on terror. We need to promote peace and communication between countries, not aggressive foreign policy and military practices.
GOAL: 227 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
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!
GOAL: 589 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send letters to President Trump and Scott Pruitt demanding that they reinstate the Clean Power Plan and continue providing funding for climate science.
Since being sworn into office, President Trump has issued numerous Executive Orders that have rolled back progress on climate change.
Among these are orders directly to the EPA and other government agencies to abandon climate research and roll back policies put into place to combat climate change.
Agencies are being ordered to ignore the impacts of carbon pollution and begin leasing coal mining rights on federal land. The EPA is being ordered to dismantle its landmark climate protections, the Clean Power Plan.
Trump is also pulling funding from projects that would help us learn more about climate change and our effects on it, such as NASA’s climate science department.
We can’t let the Trump administration get away with this. It has been shown that an outpouring of public outrage can have a profound effect on policy. Public response and activism has helped combat the Muslim ban and prevented Republicans from passing a disastrous health care plan.
Now we need this same outrage to keep Trump from obliterating all climate action and protections.
Tell President Trump and EPA director Scott Pruitt to reinstate the Clean Power Plan and continue funding climate science.
GOAL: 2,481 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.
Terrance Balun signed Tell the Federal Elections Commission to Make Tax Return Disclosure a Requirement 2017-04-18 12:14:24 -0700GOAL: 942 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.
GOAL: 1,317 signatures
For everyone 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Department of Labor demanding a raise for the federal minimum wage for tipped employees.
[Update 1/25/17: We are sending the first letter to the Department of Labor with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Tell the Department of Labor to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
While other federal minimum wages have increased throughout the years, the minimum wage for tipped employees remains the same.
Since 1991, the federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour, according to the Department of Labor. While servers struggle to make ends meet earning poverty-level wages, discrimination and inequality continue to plague the restaurant industry.
The Department of Labor justifies the minimum hourly wage with tips – claiming that servers will make up the difference in their wage to that of the current federal minimum wage. And the National Restaurant Association is doing nothing to support the tipped employees; instead the association is reaping the benefits.
With more than 13 million restaurant workers in the U.S., most tipped employees are living below the poverty line while the National Restaurant Association is pocketing around $660 billion in revenue.
Employment in food services has been growing at a much faster rate than employment in general and the restaurant industry has continued hiring despite the recession.
Let’s get with the times and make a change – tell the DOL to raise wages for tipped employees!
GOAL: 8,058 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.
GOAL: 1,280 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they create a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
[Update 2/16/17: We have sent your letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
In 2010 the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The ruling said that freedom of speech prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.
The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.
The case of Citizens United allows for dark money, the funds given to nonprofit organizations that can receive unlimited donations from corporations, individuals, and unions, and spend funds to influence elections, but are not required to disclose their donors.
The Supreme Court's decisions in Citizens United and other cases opened the gates to a flood of billions of dollars that threatens to undermine our democracy.
What we need now is a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Sign the petition to tell Congress to create a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
GOAL: 1,304 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.
Terrance Balun signed Tell the FDA to Cut Animal Cruelty Out of Cosmetics 2017-03-25 10:14:06 -0700GOAL: 2,446 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, demanding they ban animal testing for cosmetics.
[Update 2/16/17: We have sent another letter to the FDA with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
While “cruelty-free testing” is mandatory in Europe, in the U.S., there are no regulations regarding the testing of cosmetics. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who oversees the industry, does not approve such products before they go on the market. And according to the FDA, cosmetic authority is solely the responsibility of cosmetic manufacturers.
Therefore, to see to it that their products and the products’ ingredients are safe for human use, a majority of cosmetics are tested on animals. But as a country, we must ban animal-tested cosmetics.
Not only does moving away from animal testing make good economic and trade sense since the EU recently banned the sale of animal-tested cosmetics, it is time we protect animal rights.
With many alternatives to the commonly required safety tests, animal testing is no longer necessary.
There are sophisticated non-animal research methods which are more accurate, less expensive and less time-consuming than certain animal-based research methods. Alternatives include computer simulators and imaging techniques, epidemiological studies (studies of human populations), clinical research, in vitro research (in a test tube) and replacing animals with human cells in safety tests.
While three states—California, New Jersey and New York—passed laws mandating that available alternatives to animal tests be used, the U.S. currently has no federal law prohibiting animal testing.
With many toxic and carcinogenic ingredients found in cosmetics, not only are animals' health at risk their rights are in question. It is time we protect animals and encourage modern science in response to the interests of consumers. Tell the FDA to ban animal testing for cosmetics.
Terrance Balun signed Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children 2017-03-22 18:52:45 -0700GOAL: 1,409 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.
GOAL: 454 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."
GOAL: 1,508 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: 1,688 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.
GOAL: 2,158 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!
Terrance Balun signed End Dark Money: Tell the FEC to Require the Disclosure of Secret Donors During Political Campaigns 2017-04-17 23:01:53 -0700GOAL: 1,462 signatures
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.
GOAL: 888 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, urging them to draft a new law requiring disposable kitchenware to be biodegradable.
This month, France became the first country to ban plastic silverware, plates, and cups. Companies who produce these products will have until 2020 to make sure their products are biodegradable.
It is time for the United States to follow suit.
Plastic has become a huge problem for the earth. It takes an incredible amount of time to break down, causing high levels of plastic pollution all over the world, including places not normally inhabited by humans.
Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. 50 percent of plastic we use once and throw away. It is time for this to change.
Help us tell Congress to follow France’s lead and ban all plastic kitchenware.
Terrance Balun signed Tell Congress: Keep the pre-existing condition clause for health insurance 2017-03-14 16:07:20 -0700GOAL: 844 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.
Terrance Balun signed Tell the EPA: Stop Dumping Fracking Waste into the Gulf of Mexico 2017-04-10 16:28:01 -0700GOAL: 1,990 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.