Stephen Landry posted about Take the pledge and help end plastic pollution on Facebook 2017-05-22 11:31:21 -0700Sign the petition: Take the pledge and help end plastic pollutionGOAL: 448 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!
Stephen Landry signed Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children 2017-05-22 11:29:58 -0700GOAL: 1,606 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.
Sign the petition: Stop Milk From RottingGOAL: 942 signatures
Gun Control: Second Amendment Needs to be Updated to Reflect the Growing Danger of Guns
The Second Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms. It gives way to personal defense. But the law is highly misunderstood.
When the Second Amendment was written, it referred to a number of weapons, such as knives, bow and arrows, etc., because few people owned guns since the cost of importing them was so expensive. But now days, guns are easily accessible and relatively affordable that the U.S. has the highest rate of legal gun ownership compared to the rest of the world.
So while the context of the Second Amendment remains the same, over time, it’s become flawed.
And today, guns are overwhelmingly being used to offend rather defend.
According to a study published in Business Week, it estimated defensive gun use at 300,000 times per year. Contrastingly, Slate.com reported around 500,000 instances of gun use by criminals, which puts the U.S. at more than double the death rate by guns than that of any other developed nation.
It’s time we rewrite the law to reflect this day and age and address the growing epidemic guns pose on society. Because of “their accuracy and relatively attainable price,” we need a stricter interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Take action today and sign the petition telling Congress to update the law.
Stephen Landry signed Tell Governor Snyder to Stop Making Flint Residents Pay for Contaminated Water 2017-05-19 07:29:02 -0700GOAL: 1,607 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/
Stephen Landry signed Tell Congress: Give Regulatory Agencies Enough Funding to do Their Jobs 2017-05-16 12:55:55 -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.
Stephen Landry posted about Tell the Trump Administration to Stop Pulling Federal Government out of Public Education on Facebook 2017-05-15 03:41:44 -0700Sign the petition: Tell the Trump Administration to Stop Pulling Federal Government out of Public EducationGOAL: 415 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.
Stephen Landry signed Stop Tax Breaks for the Rich: Create a New Tax System that Doesn't Favor the Wealthy 2017-05-14 04:42:34 -0700GOAL: 1,493 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, urging them to adopt a tax plan that will end tax breaks on the wealthy.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Tax breaks for the rich are completely out of hand.
When Bill Clinton was elected president the 400 highest-earning taxpayers in America paid nearly 27 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to I.R.S. data. By 2012 that figure had fallen to less than 17 percent. This number is even lower now, and doesn’t include the loopholes and other ways the rich have used to their advantage to decrease their taxes paid.
Now House Speaker Paul Ryan has rolled out a new “consensus” republican tax plan full of rate cuts for the 1% and corporates, including repealing the estate tax and making it easier for companies to hide profits overseas.
Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan would be no better, also providing additional tax cuts for the wealthy.
A Citizens for Tax Justice analysis found that 60 percent of the tax breaks in the Ryan plan would go to the top 1% of Americans, compared to 37 percent under Trump’s plan.
It is time for us to speak out and do something about the tax breaks for the wealthy. Help us write to Congress to tell them to pass a new tax plan that stops major tax breaks for the rich and helps close the wealth gap.
Stephen Landry signed Create New Transition Programs for Veterans Returning Home 2017-05-22 10:23:34 -0700GOAL: 617 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
Stephen Landry signed Tell Congress Not to Sell Our Wilderness to the Highest Bidder 2017-05-10 09:31:02 -0700GOAL: 3,320 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.
Stephen Landry signed Support Stronger Air Pollution Standards via Raphaël Ponce 2017-05-08 12:55:31 -0700GOAL: 1,444 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA asking them to impose stronger air pollution standards.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the EPA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Over 90% of the world’s population resides in areas where air pollution levels are alarmingly high. Air pollution has become a public health emergency.
According to a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO), millions of people die annually because of exposure to pollution. “To date, air pollution — both ambient (outdoor) and household (indoor) — is the biggest environmental risk to health, carrying responsibility for about one in every nine deaths annually,” the report states. “Air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, and affects economies and people’s quality of life; it is a public health emergency.”
But a new report released by the American Thoracic Society and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University shows that stricter air pollution standards could have health benefits.
The standards advocate 60 parts per billion (ppb) 8-hour standard for ozone (compared with the EPA’s standard of 70 ppb). They suggest a standard of 11 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) annually for PM2.5, rather than the EPA’s 12 µg/m3 annual standard.
The report calculates that adhering to these stronger pollution standards could save 9,320 lives in the United States per year, could reduce serious health events (morbidities), such as heart attacks, hospital admissions and emergency room visits, by 21,400; and decrease “adverse impact days,” during which people may not be able to work, go to school or otherwise be physically active because of severe breathing problems, by 19,300,000 days.
This new report shows that tighter standards for air pollution could save lives. Sign the petition to tell the EPA to adopt stronger air pollution standards to combat this public health emergency.
Stephen Landry signed End the Dickey Amendment: Tell Congress to Allow Research on Gun Violence via Raphaël Ponce 2017-05-08 12:54:19 -0700GOAL: 1,383 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.
Stephen Landry posted about Tell the Trump Administration to stop Big Oil from Completing the Dakota Access Pipeline on Facebook 2017-05-25 07:42:44 -0700For every 1000 signatures we will send a letter to the Obama administration demanding the pipeline be abandoned.GOAL: 7,986 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: 424 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA and Congress demanding that they pass legislation that bans fracking nationwide, permanently.
Fracking, the process of releasing natural gas by injecting huge amounts of water, chemicals and sand into shale rock formations, has become highly controversial due to its connections to multiple health problems.
The process of fracking has been found to contaminate local water supplies . Fracking has also been linked to earthquakes, such as in Oklahoma, can worsen asthma for nearby residents, and puts infants and children at risk for developing heart and lung problems.
Only 30-50% of chemicals used in fracking are recovered after the job is done. Which means the rest are left in the ground, leeching into our soil and potentially our groundwater.
Despite all this, the use of fracking continues to spread across the United States.
Fracking is causing serious health problems. Help NationofChange tell Congress that fracking needs to be banned now.
GOAL: 1,855 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.
Stephen Landry posted about Tell the EPA: Stop Dumping Fracking Waste into the Gulf of Mexico on Facebook 2017-04-14 06:19:18 -0700Tell EPA to disallow unlimited fracking wastewater to be dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.GOAL: 1,993 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.