Marilyn Shepherd

  • Marilyn Shepherd

    Help Protect Rhinos from Becoming Extinct

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    GOAL: 2,731 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the South African government asking them to crack down on Rhino poaching.

    [Update 3/16/17: We are sending the first letter to the South African government with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    Rhino poaching is on the rise and if the trend continues, the species could face extinction. Poaching has hit a new annual record, according to South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

    With a 5,000 percent increase in rhino poaching in the recent year, rhino’s horns are a big commodity on the black market. Rhino horns sell for up to $100,000 a kilo, which surpasses the price of gold. And selling at this hefty price, rhino poachers are attracting more impoverished people to join in the crime syndicate.

    Rhino poaching greatly increased after a story that a Vietnamese politician’s relative was cured of cancer from the horn even though science doesn’t support the claim. Cultural traditions in Vietnam, Thailand and China also make rhinos’ horns popular and therefore, increase their demand. And many of the poachers are cross the Mozambique border into Kruger National Park in South Africa where rhino killings are putting the animal in jeopardy of extinction.

    If no “effective measures are taken” to stop the criminal poaching, the South African government confirms the world’s rhino population will be close to extinct come 2026.

    Help StopRhinoPoaching.com in their global campaign to raise awareness about illegal poaching and help support provincial and private reserves in South Africa as their efforts toward protection before extinction.

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  • End Whaling in Japan

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    GOAL: 2,389 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump Administration, demanding they take real action to end whaling in Japan.

    [Update: We are sending the first letter to the Trump Administration with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    In 2014 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling was illegal. But the government of Japan continues to kill hundreds of whales each year. This is a direct violation of the ruling, which stated that the country could not continue whaling until it could prove it was for scientific purposes. The new plan for whaling in the Southern Ocean will kill almost 4,000 minke whales over 12 years, for ‘scientific’ purposes.

    Japan's scientific whaling program is widely recognized as a cover for its ongoing commercial whaling operation. Additionally, a new study shows that countries that participate in lethal scientific whaling do not produce superior scientific research.

    Japan has already killed 333 minke whales in the Antarctic during its 2015-2016 whaling season – including more than 200 pregnant females – as part of this year’s Antarctic whale hunt, according to the country’s Institute for Cetacean Research.

    The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration fear the population of minke whales may be smaller than current estimates owing to surges in modern whaling from countries such as Japan, and that the reason for the population being currently stable is due to the hunting of other whale populations, which has created less competition for food sources.

    The President of the United States has power to apply sanctions against Japan for the continued hunting of whales under the Pelly Amendment and the Packwood-Magnuson Amendment, but as of now has taken no action to prevent the needless slaughter.

    Help us tell President Trump to take real action to prevent Japan from resuming whaling. Sign the petition today.

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  • Marilyn Shepherd

    Tell the FDA to Cut Animal Cruelty Out of Cosmetics

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    GOAL: 2,437 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!]

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    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.

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

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    GOAL: 1,388 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.

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  • End Dark Money: Tell the FEC to Require the Disclosure of Secret Donors During Political Campaigns

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    GOAL: 1,337 signatures

    WATCH THE VIDEO

    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.

     

     

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  • Tell Congress: Keep the pre-existing condition clause for health insurance

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    GOAL: 798 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.

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  • Marilyn Shepherd

    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 the NYPD: Release Records of Undercover Operations at Black Lives Matter Protests

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    GOAL: 467 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill asking for him to release the NYPD records on their undercover operations at Black Lives Matter events.

    According to legal papers filed by the New York Police Department, the NYPD sent, and is probably still sending, undercover officers to Black Lives Matter protests after the death of Eric Garner.

    As reported by The Guardian, NYPD was asked to disclose these undercover operations when requested to do so by a “group of New York attorneys requesting records under the state freedom of information law.” But the NYPD is refusing to release the records.

    • The first set contains “multimedia records” relating to the petitioners’ request for “pictures, videos, audio recordings, data, and metadata” collected or received by the NYPD at the Grand Central Station protests, which Black Lives Matter groups are still leading, according to the NYPD response.
    • The second “consists entirely of communications between and among NYPD undercover officers and their handlers”, pertaining to the protests. According to a 22 August NYPD Memorandum of Law, these undercover communications “consist primarily of immediate impressions concerning ongoing events”.
    • The third “consists of a single record, which is a communication from an NYPD officer working in an undercover capacity and his base”, pertaining to the protests, the response indicates.

    The records request is the same one that led The Intercept to release documents a year ago detailing the MTA and Metro-North transit police sending their own undercover officers to spy on Black Lives Matter protesters in and around Grand Central. Officers in plainclothes monitored the protestors and took photos of the activists. The outcome of their observations determined that the protests were “peaceful” and “orderly.”

    The attorneys involved in the request for the records say that the NYPD’s undercover operations are potential constitutional violations. MJ Williams, one of these attorneys, stated:

    “The fear and disarming effect caused by undercovers being assigned to what were and continue to be extraordinarily peaceful protests is disturbing. To the extent that it would influence individuals not to participate and get individuals to censor what they say because of a fear of undercovers – that’s a basis for a first amendment violation.”

    “As someone who was present at the protests, it’s disturbing to know the NYPD may have a file on me, ready to be used or to prevent me from getting a job simply because I’ve been active in some political capacity. That’s potentially a fourth amendment violation for unlawful seizure, but on the other hand, we’ve seen law enforcement agencies have all sorts of justifications for data collection for public safety that the courts have allowed.”

    Help us tell the NYPD to release their records and provide transparency for the undercover operations in peaceful protests.

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

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    GOAL: 1,378 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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  • Tell Congress: Give Regulatory Agencies Enough Funding to do Their Jobs

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    GOAL: 1,250 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.

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  • Marilyn Shepherd

    Protect the Bats from Lethal Wind Turbines

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    GOAL: 1,057 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the American Wind Energy Association, asking them to adopt new voluntary guidelines to help prevent bat deaths from wind turbines.

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

    In the last ten years there has been a major epidemic of bats disappearing due to fatal white-nose syndrome and wind turbine fatalities. 

    Scientists believe that bats are having a hard time confusing wind turbines with trees. Last year the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced “voluntary guidelines to halt turbines at low wind speeds, when bats are most active, which would save lives.” These new changes were expected to help reduce fatalities by 30 percent.

    However, there could be more done. If the industry can hold the blades in check just a little longer bat fatalities could be reduced by 90 percent. To do this there only need to be two minor changes: feathering, or "turning the blades parallel to the wind so the turbines do not rotate," and implementing higher cut-in speeds, ideally between 5 and to 6.5 meters per second.

    Please sign the petition to tell the AWEA to make these changes so that we can save 90 percent of the bats rather than just 30 percent.

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  • End the Dickey Amendment: Tell Congress to Allow Research on Gun Violence

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    GOAL: 1,235 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!]

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    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.

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

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    GOAL: 1,363 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/

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  • Marilyn Shepherd

    Pledge to Buy Non-GMO

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    Take Back Our Food System from Big Food—Sign the Pledge to Buy Non-GMO

    Have you ever asked yourself why our food is being produced and modified by the biotech industry?

    While the government isn't doing anything about it, it's up to consumers to take back our food system from "powerful industries with bottomless pockets." We have been made into science projects and it's time we take matters into our own hands. With no national mandatory labeling laws for GMO foods, both lobbyists as well as food companies are paying millions of dollars to make sure that it stays that way.

    GOAL: 1,717 signatures

    With H.R. 1599 or Denying Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK) close to Senate approval, consumers' Right to Know what's in our food under a GMO-labeling initiative is at stake. Our health is being compromised as our government sells out to "multi-million dollar public relations and lobbying campaigns built on lies and deception."

    Genetically-modified organisms have caused years of damage—recent studies show GMOs cause a multitude of health risks including tumors and organ damage, and contribute to climate change.

    As GMOs continue to invade our food system, you can do your part by buying certified organic products with the USDA Organic seal as well as looking for products that bear the “Non-GMO Project” stamp of approval (these products have been through a non-GMO certification process).

    So don’t be kept in the dark about what you're eating and misled by bogus marketing claims from Big Foods and the Grocery Manufacturing Association. It's our right to know what's in our food. 

    Starting now, we ask you to take the pledge to avoid Big Food companies and products that contain GMOs. It's time we vote with our wallets to take back our food system and our health.

    Please, click here to sign the pledge to Buy Non-GMO and use the list below for non-GMO product and brand verification:

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  • Marilyn Shepherd

    Raise the Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

    Raise the Federal Minimum Wage

    GOAL: 1,228 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!

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  • Marilyn Shepherd

    Tell Congress: Save the giraffe from extinction

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    GOAL: 1,584 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.

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  • End New American Slavery: Tell the Department of Justice to Stop the System of Forced Prison Labor

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    GOAL: 889 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Department of Justice, asking them to enforce a high minimum wage and humane working conditions for prison workers.

    The largest ever prison strike is going on this month - and likely you haven’t heard of it. The mainstream media doesn’t seem to want to cover it.

    Prisoners across 24 states and 40 prisons are joining together and refusing to work until their worker rights are met.

    This is a call to end slavery in America…To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.

    Speaking out against low wages, forced work, and working conditions, inmates are referring to work in prisons as the new modern slavery.

    Inmates who are able to work are forced to, and receive very little compensation. In most federal prisons pay ranges from $0.12 to $0.40 an hour and in some states, like Texas, they receive no compensation at all.

    They are not protected by labor laws. In addition to working at jobs for prison maintenance and upkeep, many prisoners work for large corporations, such as Victoria’s Secret, Whole Foods, and Walmart.

    It is time to change this system. Prisoners at the very least should be able to work in conditions that are held to the same standards as any other American worker, and their minimum wage should be raised.

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  • Stop Tax Breaks for the Rich: Create a New Tax System that Doesn't Favor the Wealthy

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    GOAL: 1,249 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.

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  • Marilyn Shepherd

    Tell Canada to Stop the Commercial Seal Hunts

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    GOAL: 3,485 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking him to help stop commercial seal hunts. 

    [Update 3/16/17: We have sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    Baby seals are dying for no reason. Every spring, seal pups anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months old are killed, their bodies left on the ice or in the ocean.

    Most commercial sealing in Canada can only exist with government subsidies. Seal products are not in demand, but sealing continues.

    Please sign the petition and help us tell Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to put an end to commercial seal hunting.

    As Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau can work with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to buy out commercial sealing licenses and end commercial sealing.

    Sign the petition and help us end this cruel practice.

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  • Marilyn Shepherd

    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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