s scales signed Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children 2017-05-22 13:50:35 -0700s scalesGOAL: 1,548 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.
s scales signed Create New Transition Programs for Veterans Returning Home 2017-05-13 17:00:17 -0700s scalesGOAL: 615 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
GOAL: 974 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send letters to President Trump and Scott Pruitt demanding that they reinstate the Clean Power Plan and continue providing funding for climate science.
Since being sworn into office, President Trump has issued numerous Executive Orders that have rolled back progress on climate change.
Among these are orders directly to the EPA and other government agencies to abandon climate research and roll back policies put into place to combat climate change.
Agencies are being ordered to ignore the impacts of carbon pollution and begin leasing coal mining rights on federal land. The EPA is being ordered to dismantle its landmark climate protections, the Clean Power Plan.
Trump is also pulling funding from projects that would help us learn more about climate change and our effects on it, such as NASA’s climate science department.
We can’t let the Trump administration get away with this. It has been shown that an outpouring of public outrage can have a profound effect on policy. Public response and activism has helped combat the Muslim ban and prevented Republicans from passing a disastrous health care plan.
Now we need this same outrage to keep Trump from obliterating all climate action and protections.
Tell President Trump and EPA director Scott Pruitt to reinstate the Clean Power Plan and continue funding climate science.
GOAL: 350 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to enact legislation that will end unregulated healthcare pricing.
Did you know that billing rates are not set nor regulated in the healthcare industry?
Billing is determine on a case by case basis. A simple blood test can range from $10 to $400 at the same lab. Hospitalization can result in a bill that varies by thousands of dollars for the same services.
We are asking Congress to force providers to show transparency and publish legitimate pricing. This allows for healthcare providers to still set their own rates but prohibits them from charging different rates for different patients.
Hospitals especially are known for overcharging patients - especially those with no insurance. In a recent study it was found that fifty hospitals in the United States were charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care.
We need a system in which the public can search for a medical procedure online and see pricing for all providers in their area. This will save patients thousands of dollars as well as get rid of the “in network” and “out of network” system that causes confusion and costs an enormous amount of money and administrative burden every year.
Tell Congress to stop unregulated healthcare pricing, thus allowing for lower healthcare costs and an end to restrictions on patient choice.
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.
s scales signed Tell the Federal Elections Commission to Make Tax Return Disclosure a Requirement 2017-05-05 14:10:43 -0700s scalesGOAL: 1,043 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Federal Elections Commission, asking them to make tax return disclosure a requirement for all future presidential elections.
Every U.S. Presidential candidate since Richard Nixon has voluntarily released copies of their tax returns to the public so that voters can assess the amount and sources of income, taxes paid, charitable contributions and other data which can affect our propensity to elect them.
This election cycle is the first time a presidential candidate has refused to do so. Donald Trump, despite enormous public pressure, has refused to release any of his tax returns.
Recently someone leaked one year of Trump's tax returns to the New York Times. This one year suggest that Trump may not have paid federal taxes for almost two decades.
We should insist on transparency from all presidential candidates. Help us tell the Federal Elections Commission that not only do we want Trump to have to release his tax returns, but we want tax return disclosure to be a requirement in all future elections.
GOAL: 1,316 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!
s scales signed Tell Governor Pat McCrory to Officially Repeal North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law 2017-03-29 17:33:09 -0700s scalesGOAL: 427 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Governor Pat McCrory demanding that North Carolina officially repeal its anti-LGBT law.
North Carolina recently passed HB2, causing them to become the most anti-LGBTQ state in the country. The measure revoke local gay and trans nondiscrimination ordinances throughout the state, effectively legalizing anti-LGBTQ discrimination. It also forbids trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.
North Carolina Republicans claimed that the measure was created in response to the city of Charlotte passing a LGBT nondiscrimination law. Although the Charlotte measure was just a generic nondiscrimination measure, Republicans declared that HB2 would remain on the books until Charlotte repealed its law.
Charlotte's response was repealing every provision to which Republicans had objected on the condition that the legislature repeal HB2 by the end of the year.
But then Republicans claimed Charlotte had “lied directly to the people” and broken its promise by retaining provisions of its code that prohibited the city from hiring contractors who have discriminated against subcontractors on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This provision was never mentioned previously and Republicans never showed any objection to it.
Charlotte again complied, even holding an emergency meeting in order to formally repeal the entire ordinance. This still wasn't enough for Republican legislators. Instead of repealing HB2 entirely, as promised under the circumstances, the new bill includes moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances for six months. Because Republicans hold a supermajority in the legislature, this “cooling off period” could easily be extended in six months’ time. The original compromise agreed to did not include such a moratorium.
This means that “No local government in this State may enact or amend an ordinance regulating employment practices or regulating public accommodations or access to restrooms, showers, or changing facilities.”
We must not support this as an adequate substitute for HB2. By doing this, North Carolina Republicans are allowing for discrimination against LBGT people. Please join us in telling Governor Pat McCrory to remove the moratorium and allow local governments in the state to enact measures to protect members of the LGBT community.
s scales signed Tell the EPA: Stop Dumping Fracking Waste into the Gulf of Mexico 2017-03-12 00:24:18 -0800s scalesGOAL: 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.
s scales signed Tell Congress: Give Regulatory Agencies Enough Funding to do Their Jobs 2017-05-16 17:47:44 -0700s scalesGOAL: 1,605 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.
GOAL: 1,854 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.
s scales signed Stop Tax Breaks for the Rich: Create a New Tax System that Doesn't Favor the Wealthy 2017-05-11 22:15:01 -0700s scalesGOAL: 1,490 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.
s scales signed End New American Slavery: Tell the Department of Justice to Stop the System of Forced Prison Labor 2017-02-11 17:34:31 -0800s scalesGOAL: 948 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.
GOAL: 855 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service demanding that they continue the red wolf recovery program instead of opting for captive breeding programs.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is taking heat from scientists for their September 12th decision to abandon the wild red wolf population in North Carolina in favor of captive breeding programs.
USFWS based their decision to remove 32 of the 45 remaining red wolves left in the wild on a population viability analysis (PVA) conducted by a team of scientists — the same scientists now rebuking the USFWS for that decision.
It is clear that the USFWS values the concerns of private land owners over the future of the red wolf. According the the USFWS’ decision memo:
“Acknowledging growing concerns from private landowners regarding management of Service’s Red Wolf NEP project in eastern North Carolina, the Service and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission met to discuss and develop a canid management strategy.”
These landowners’ concerns do not match those of the majority of North Carolinians, who actually support efforts to enhance the wild red wolf population, according to a poll.
Unless the USFWS can revise it’s protection plan and make good on its mission to “conserve, protect, and enhance” these animals and their habitats, the future for the red wolf looks bleak.
Please join NationofChange in telling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not abandon the Red Wolf population and to continue their Red Wolf recovery program, rather than opting for captive breeding.
s scales signed Tell the Trump Administration to stop Big Oil from Completing the Dakota Access Pipeline 2017-05-17 19:49:32 -0700s scalesGOAL: 7,862 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.
s scales signed Tell Governor Snyder to Stop Making Flint Residents Pay for Contaminated Water 2017-05-18 18:18:51 -0700s scalesGOAL: 1,605 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/
s scales signed Tell the U.S. Government Not to Opt Out of Paris Climate Agreement 2016-10-16 20:47:57 -0700s scalesGOAL: 531 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Obama Administration demanding that they not opt-out of the Paris Climate Agreement and adhere to the guidelines it calls for.
[Update: VICTORY! Thanks to the pressure you and others put on the Obama Administration, The U.S. has officially entered into the Paris Agreement!]
Climate change should be a top priority as it is drastically affecting us right now. The burning of oil, coal and gas has caused such a huge increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, which directly changes our climate.
Human-cause climate change is visible already and it will only get worse if we do not do something now. Our oceans are getting warmer and the sea level is rising, our ice caps are melting, our lands are getting warmer and drought-ridden and so many other aspects of climate change can be seen.
Let’s join together with members of the U.S. National Academy Of Sciences to make sure the U.S. government does not opt out of the Paris agreement. By opting out, the consequences would be severe and long-lasting for our planet.
The Paris agreement would set “out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.” The agreement is set to go into effect in 2020.
Sign our petition and let’s make climate change a thing of the past!
s scales signed Tell Congress: Let Borrowers Refinance Their Student Loans 2016-10-15 12:22:48 -0700s scalesGOAL: 640 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking for student loan refinancing legislation.
Americans are more than $1.2 trillion in student debt. Many of them are failing to pay even the minimum on their student loans, with no hope of refinancing.
Currently homeowners and corporations have the opportunity to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Student loan borrowers should be able to do the same, yet are stuck paying sky-high interest rates. The impacts their ability to purchase homes, save for retirement, and more.
We need new legislation that will not only allow for, but make it easy for student loan borrowers to refinance their student loans. We stand with groups such as Generation Progress and Take Part in moving forward to urge Congress to pass new legislation to allow for student loan refinancing.
GOAL: 962 signatures
Update: VICTORY! Thanks to the pressure you and others put on Congress, we have defeated the TPP!
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an international treaty, often called a “trade agreement,” that was negotiated in secret for five years behind the backs of congress and the American people, but with the help of hundreds of corporate advisers.
Now that we can read the text, we see that it undermines democracy by entrenching corporate power in virtually every area of our lives: from food safety and the environment, to worker rights, internet freedom and access to health care.
The TPP is about much more than trade. It is a global corporate coup.
Congress members are in a key position to stop the TPP because both the Senate and House will be voting to pass the deal in November. To counter the influence of Obama, big money, and corporate media we must apply pressure to Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate to make sure they stand firm against these dirty deals when they come to Congress.
We must pressure congress to vote NO on TPP before the lame-duck session this November!
The following information is provided by Flush the TPP.
The TPP Threatens Food Safety
The TPP places the profits of multinational corporations over the food security needs of individual nations.
Negotiated by Big-Ag, including Monsanto, Dupont, Cargill, and Syngenta, the TPP allows corporations to sue governments (including local and state governments) who pass food safety regulations or laws protecting family farmers, claiming they are “barriers to trade” that hurt expected future profits.
The TPP Will Reduce Wages and Worker Safety
The TPP will offshore more U.S. jobs to low-wage countries by giving special privileges to corporations and eliminating the risks of sending jobs overseas. Corporations like Walmart will move labor to countries such as Vietnam, where wages are already half that of China. The TPP also lets corporations sue countries for lost profits caused by labor laws, which will hinder safety regulations that prevent the kind of disaster that took place in Bangladesh on April 24th, 2013, where more than 1,000 died in a building collapse.
The TPP Grants Corporations Legal Status Equal to Sovereign Nations
According to leaked documents, the TPP would establish international trade tribunals with more power than governments by allowing corporations to sue governments whose laws or policies adversely impact “expected future profits.” Similar provisions in NAFTA have resulted in the overturning of many environmental and consumer protection laws. Judges in this system would consist mostly of corporate lawyers on leave from their regular jobs with multinational corporations. In this rigged system, appeals would not be allowed.
The TPP Puts Profits Before the Planet
The TPP allows corporations to sue governments in special corporate trade tribunals if their environmental laws or policies are deemed to negatively affect profits. Laws restricting air and water pollution or favoring clean energy could all be challenged under the TPP’s “investor state” provisions, making it virtually impossible for countries to protect the environment and mitigate climate change. If a domestic court holds a corporation liable for environmental contamination, even that decision could be appealed to the corporate tribunals.
The TPP Undermines Internet Freedom
The TPP is about much more than trade. It is a backdoor for corporations to create laws they could never get passed out in the open. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the TPP would impose copyright measures that “strip Internet users of their rights to privacy, free speech, and access to knowledge and culture, and could even work to undermine their very purpose of enabling and promoting innovation and creativity.”
These measures are modeled after the unpopular U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and would become impossible for Congress to change if ratified by the TPP. Other countries with less restrictive laws would also be forced to change them to adhere to the TPP.
The TPP Will Restrict Access to Lifesaving Medical Treatment
Through a process called “evergreening,” pharmaceutical corporations are pushing for never-ending patents to prevent generics and keep drug prices high. Medical devices, laboratory tests and even surgical procedures will be patented, restricting their access to people around the world.
The TPP also allows Big Pharma and private insurance corporations to challenge prices set by public health systems, which may easily lead to increased privatization of health care.
The TPP Lets Wall Street Run Amok
The TPP will undo the already inadequate regulation of Wall Street and prevent member countries from banning or regulation speculation and the toxic derivatives that led to the 2008 financial collapse. The separation of commercial from investment banking would also be prohibited.
Government efforts to impose a financial transaction tax or “Robin Hood tax” would be banned and public banks and red unions would be prohibited from loaning money below “market” interest rates.
The TPP would also allow corporations to move money in and out of countries with greater ease to wherever wages are lowest, resources cheapest, and laws the most lax.
What You Can Do
Sign this petition to tell congress to block the TPP
Join us in Washington, DC this November to protest the TPP
More ways you can fight the TPP
s scales signed Tell El Cajon Police to Release Video Footage of Alfred Olango Shooting 2016-09-29 19:25:35 -0700s scalesGOAL: 146 signatures
For every 1000 signatures we will send a letter to the El Cajon Police Department demanding that they release all video footage of the incident.
On Tuesday afternoon El Cajon police responded to a call concerning a mentally ill man walking in traffic. According to officers, after arriving on the scene they approached Alfred Olango, who repeatedly ignored commands while concealing a hand in his pants pocket. After pacing back and forth, Olengo took his hands out of his pocket and took a shooting stance.
The officer standing in front of Olengo then fired several shots at Olango while another officer fired his taser. Olengo died a short while later in the hospital.
Despite the fact that a witness captured the shooting on a cellphone and gave the video to El Cajon police, Chief Davis only presented one screenshot depicting Olango with his hands extended forward and aimed at a nearby officer. Ignoring calls from the community for total transparency, Davis refuses to release the cellphone video to the public.
A few minutes after the shooting, another bystander approached the crime scene and recorded a video of Olango’s sister asking the cops why they killed her mentally ill brother.
“Why couldn't you tase him? I told you he is sick - and you guys shot him!” Olango's sister can be heard telling officers in the video. “I called police to help him, not to kill him.”
Even though the San Diego County district attorney’s office and the El Cajon Police Department are investigating the incident, the current evidence does not suggest any forthcoming criminal charges against the officers involved in the shooting.
Help us to tell the El Cajon police to release all of the video footage and show true transparency in this tragic event.