GOAL: 1,055 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.
David Arntson signed Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children 2017-03-23 12:43:39 -0700GOAL: 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.
GOAL: 937 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the FDA demanding that they retract their approval on the GM Apple.
As early as 2017, the new FDA-approved genetically engineered Arctic apple could makes its way into the country’s food system. But not before growers and consumers battle the GM apple.
Arctic apples, which are breeding in many varieties at Okanagan Specialty Fruits, use a genetic modification technology called RNA interference that manipulates the proteins in cells to grow these new non-browning, high-tech apples. While the biotech industry claim the apples are designed to be the “perfect apple for your busy life,” scientists confirm that the GMO Arctic apples pose health risks to humans. Not only does the manipulated RNA get into the body’s bloodstream and digestive system, the pesticide residue also causes a harmful effect.
The truly non-browning, genetically engineered Arctic apple was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) in which the agency stated on March 20 that the crops are just as "nutritious and safe as conventional apples," according to Chemical and Engineering News
While genetically modified organisms have found their way into processed-food products, consumers are concerned about them tainting “fresh whole foods.”
It's time we pressure significant purchasers of apples not to use Arctic apples in their food products. sking Gerber to remain GMO-free.
While there are potential environmental, health and economic risks associated with the GM apples there are also concerns that the products won’t be labeled as containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
While health concerns are the main focus for consumers, there is also the worry that potential cross-contamination from pollen and other unknown impacts on the environment will effect farmers. We must stop the GM apple for marketplace concerns, which could have a serious impact on fresh apple sales in the U.S. and abroad.
While the Arctic apple isn't slated to make its debut until 2017, we must spread awareness to help stop the apple from entering our food system.
David Arntson signed Tell the FDA to Cut Animal Cruelty Out of Cosmetics 2017-01-02 12:29:23 -0800GOAL: 2,431 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.
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: 10,192 signatures
Don't Let the Government Keep Us in the DARK—Take the pledge to demand support for mandatory GMO labeling and tell your Senators to the new bill introduced by Senator Pat Roberts.
The U.S. needs a national labeling law for genetically modified foods. While it won't undo years of damage from genetically modifies organisms, it will give us the right to know what's in our food and give states the power to facilitate consumer choice.
For years we have been kept in the dark about our food system and misled by bogus marketing claims from big food's Grocery Manufacturing Association. And while the government's role in regulating genetically modified foods has been kept aloof by "powerful industries with bottomless pockets," human and environmental health has suffered.
Now we are faced with a legislation developed by some food companies in response to states' efforts to label GMOs. Dubbed Denying Americans the Right to Know or the DARK Act, this bill has passed through the House of Representatives and will soon be introduced in the Senate.
The DARK Act supports the likes of companies, such as Monsanto, within the biotech and junk food industry over consumer's rights and would undercut meaningful efforts to label GMOs. If passed, the bill would:
- Void state legislation requiring GMO food labels.
- End the FDA’s efforts to produce a national GMO labeling system.
- Create a GMO “safety” review system based on industry science.
- Allow GMO ingredients in so-called “natural” food products.
The Senate has two choices: to side with states who are helping to facilitate consumer choice or sell out to "multi-million dollar public relations and lobbying campaigns built on lies and deception."
We need to take immediate action and urge Congress to oppose the DARK Act. Contact your Senators, Representatives and Congressmen and women and take back your right to know!
Be part of the growing movement, backed by science and motivated by human and environmental health that's up against "powerful industries with bottomless pockets" and stand with NoC as we continue the fight for federally mandated GMO labeling.
Please sign the pledge to demand support for mandatory GMO labeling and find your Senator's contact information to tell them to oppose the DARK Act.
GOAL: 1,426 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.
David Arntson signed End Dark Money: Tell the FEC to Require the Disclosure of Secret Donors During Political Campaigns 2017-03-18 13:00:00 -0700GOAL: 1,337 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: 7,962 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.
David Arntson signed Stop Oprah from Featuring Monsanto Ads in Her Magazine 2016-03-29 12:07:48 -0700GOAL: 10,992 signatures
As one of the most influence people in the world, it was once thought that Oprah Winfrey was an advocate for the organic and GMO Free Movement. After recently learning about her "growing affinity for organics"—not only does she own an organic farm on Maui, Hawaii, Oprah recently branded her own organic food line called “Oprah’s Organics”—it was thought that she could "propel the organic and GMO Free movement to the next level."
But this all surprisingly changed when the talk show host and media mogul became part Monsanto's "burgeoning multi-million dollar advertising campaign" inside her best-selling, worldwide magazine, O. While Oprah didn't come out in support of Monsanto, we can't help but think she sold out to one of the "biggest land polluters and most hated companies in the world."
It's time we call her out on it and ask where her true allegiances lie.
In a campaign to get Oprah to reconsider the ads, which are slated for publication in 2015, we must pressure her to pull the ad from her magazine. Oprah's decision to accept a GMO ad after the magazine extensively cover GMO labeling and potential health risks associated with GMOs is absurd. With “more than 100 species of fruits, vegetables and herbs growing" on her organic farm, why are Monsanto’s suicide seeds gracing the pages of Oprah's magazine?
We need to pressure Oprah to put her money where her mouth is and help rid the world of GMOs.
We thought Oprah was on our side! "This is definitely out of character for a woman who owns an organic farm" and has "discuss the dangers of GMOs."
Join our campaign to stop the biotech giant from being featured in the pages of Oprah’s magazine.
David Arntson signed Let Californians Oversize Their Renewable Energy Systems 2014-12-18 12:19:56 -0800GOAL: 710 signatures
While the California Feed-in Tariff allows eligible customers the opportunity to sell the electricity they generate through renewable energy systems, such as solar or wind, the state's government puts a limit to the size of their systems.
According to Clean Technica, in order for customers to participate in the California Solar Initiative (CSI), "the customer is not allowed to install a system that inherently over-produces more than what is needed for his or her home."
Since California has mandated that 33 percent of its energy come from renewable energy by 2020, it is important that we let homeowners oversize their renewable energy systems and help promote clean energy.
While California has "carved out a 480 megawatt FiT from renewable facilities smaller than 1.5 megawatts," because of new legislation, California’s feed-in tariff is in "flux" and renewable portfolio standards (RPS) have created "caps on the deployment of renewable energies."
By entering into a 10-, 15-, or 20-year contract, customers are paid for the energy produced, but at a very low rate. It's time we pressure the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utility Commission and Governor Jerry Brown to change the FiT payment levels and create a program that is open ended.
Let's stop lawmakers and energy experts from slowing down the process and let homeowners get in on a FiT that has no size limit.
Not only will FiT help California generate clean energy, it's an overall greener solution for climate change.
Sign the petition and help make renewable energy the future of California.
GOAL: 1,204 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the FDA asking them to ban the artificial sweetener aspartame until conclusive studies can be done on its effects on human health.
[Update 2/2/17: We have sent first letter to the FDA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Introduced into the European food supply 25 years ago, aspartame is in just about “every component of most diet beverages, sugar-free desserts and chewing gums in many countries around the world.” But no matter its name – AminoSweet, Equal, Splenda, Sweet-N-Low – the artificial sweetener’s health risks have long been debated.
Aspartame has a particularly sketchy history as an artificial substance.
Said to cause neurological brain damage, cancerous tumors and endocrine disruption, among many other health risks, aspartame was banned by the FDA before a Reagan appointee rigged a committee to approve it as a food additive in 1981. Aspartame, which was an accidental discovery by James Schlatter, a chemist who was trying to invent an anti-ulcer pharmaceutical drug back in 1965, is comprised of two amino acids—methanol and phenylalanine.
But according to some studies, ingesting these chemically produced amino acids can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine causing emotional disorders, such as depression, while methanol is broken down into formaldehyde in the body, which is a toxin. Researchers studied the “adverse effects of aspartame” and found it to “trigger” or “worsen” brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia and diabetes.
Furthermore, the hyper-sweet additive has had adverse effects in the fight against obesity. Research proved that by creating foods with aspartame, it tricks our brains into over consuming and training the brain to crave sweets. Therefore, aspartame is contributing to the obesity problem that many countries face.
As consumers, we need to be aware of the potential dangers of artificial sweeteners and know the heath risks associated with such products. It's time to stop aspartame from entering our foods. Join the fight against artificial sweeteners and tell the FDA to ban aspartame and protect the health of human beings!
David Arntson signed Tell Cruise Lines to Clean Up Their Act and Reduce Carbon Footprint 2014-09-26 12:11:47 -0700GOAL: 978 signatures
While cruises are popular vacations for many Americans, the negative impact they have on the environment goes otherwise unnoticed. The carbon footprint cruise ships carrying up to 7,000 passengers have on the environment can be measured in air and water pollution along with sewage treatment.
Friends of the Earth, a federation of independent local groups striving for a more environmentally sustainable future, evaluated 10 cruise lines on three environmental factors—sewage treatment, air pollution reduction and water quality compliance—and determined that many of the cruise lines failed each category.
Among the cruise lines evaluated yearly by the Friends of the Earth are Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Silversea Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Disney Cruise Line. A grading scale of A through F, including plus and minuses, is used to determine the report card.
We need to hold cruise ships accountable and insist they adopt a sewage treatment system to protect the health of humans and marine life. One of those many methods could be marine sanitation devices, advance sewage treatment technology or, the most environmentally friendly way, hold the treated sewage onboard and not dump it into the ocean.
Also, cruise lines need to reduce their carbon footprint. Since the ships’ engines release harmful toxins that impact human health and climate change. There are ways to manage air pollution and cruise lines must start the reduction by adopting the method of cold ironing—plugging into shoreline power rather than sitting with the cruise ships’ engines idling—to keep the ships operating while in port.
As consumers, we should be aware of these environmental factors contributing to climate change and choose a greener option when planning a cruise vacation.
Tell cruise lines to clean up their act and stop polluting the air and water throughout the world.
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!
GOAL: 4,823 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: 2,268 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 Obama 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.