GOAL: 2,150 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Laos government asking them to halt construction of the dam that threatens the lives on the Irrawaddy dolphins.
[Update 2/2/17: We are sending the second letter to the Laos government with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
We are concerned about the impending extinction of the Irrawaddy Dolphins.
“The alarming decline of Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins in Laos that we have witnessed this year is tragic,” Teak Seng, WWF Conservation Director for the Greater Mekong, said in a statement. “At this stage, we fear that in a year or two, there may be no more dolphins in Laos.”
The biggest threat to these beluga-like dolphins is gill net fishing. These large bodied mammals frequently get entangled in the long lines of unmanned nylon gill nets that are hung vertically to catch fish, and drown as a consequence.
Cambodia has banned the use of gill nets in the Mekong River. But in Laos, gill net fishing is prohibited only in the deepest parts of the Cheuteal pool off Hangsadam Village, where the dolphins usually reside. These nets, however, can be used immediately outside of the pool. So when the dolphins venture out of the pool, they run the risk of being trapped.
Thousands of tourists visit the dolphin pools in Laos every year. In fact, dolphin-watching tours have more than doubled since 2008, according to WWF. So the disappearance of the Irrawaddy dolphins from Lao waters could significantly impact eco-tourism in the area, the team says.
Therefore, NationofChange is asking the Laos government to extend the gill net ban to two kilometers radius around the Cheuteal Pool, expandable to four kilometers in the rainy season. We also ask for increased enforcement of gill net bans in other Mekong River dolphin pools to protect the remaining dolphin populations.
As Teak Seng said, “The loss of this iconic species for Laos is even more tragic given that it was entirely preventable through strict enforcement against gill net fishing.”
GOAL: 25,616 signatures
Support Your Right to Know and Help Defend Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law
The Grocery Manufacturers Association and their allies recently filed a lawsuit against Vermont’s newly signed GMO labeling law. After the state became the first to pass a law requiring labels be put on GMO foods, the law is under attack.
While this was not unexpected, it is our right as consumers to know what is in our food and defend the law.
A recently leaked document by the Grocery Manufacturers Association contained “purposefully misleading information to consumers and politically charged language meant to sway lawmakers into rejecting GMO labeling laws at the state level.”
Our food continues to be altered by biotech companies causing ongoing health risks and environmental hazards.
We must continue the fight for GMO labeling at the state level and help Vermont become the first state to mandate GMO labeling.
Take action today and help defend Vermont’s strong constitutional law and put an end to Monsanto and other GMO food manufacturers’ propaganda campaign.
GOAL: 4,941 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA demanding it "blocks the increased use of thiamethoxam and sulfoxaflor and get all neonicotinoids out of U.S. agriculture as soon as possible."
[Update: 12/11/2016: We have reached over 4,000 signatures! We have sent a letter to the EPA. NationofChange will send a letter for each 1,000 signatures we raise.]
Pollinating insects and animals are vital to the world. Not only do bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and many other such pollinators support the ecosystem, they provide healthy watershed and maintain terrestrial productivity.
Yet pollinators are in a state of decline, especially the bee, which puts human life in danger, threatens global food webs and concerns the integrity of biodiversity. And the EPA is doing nothing to save the bees and stop companies, such as Bayer, Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta, from increasing the use of pesticides on crops that rely on pollination.
There is a great deal of evidence that uncovers the dangers of genetically modified crops, which release Bt toxins, require increased pesticide use and demand neonicotinoid seed treatment, to both bees and human. But the EPA is letting biotech companies get away with murder.
While more people are becoming aware of the decrease of bees and are concerned about the link between GMOs and toxic pesticides in the environment, it is time we stand up to the EPA and demand it "blocks the increased use of thiamethoxam and sulfoxaflor and get all neonicotinoids out of U.S. agriculture as soon as possible."
We must take down the companies that are contributing to the pollinator decline and help save the bees.
GOAL: 1,316 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: 940 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.
GOAL: 2,545 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.
GOAL: 8,061 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.