GOAL: 1,304 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!
GOAL: 342 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, Nationofchange will send a letter to Congress asking them to adopt legislation that will reward corporations who move jobs to United States and punish corporations for outsourcing jobs.
Right now too many corporations are shipping jobs overseas in order to save a buck. Current legislation allows for companies to get tax breaks when they ship jobs overseas.
Too many companies are closing their center of operations in the United States in favor of moving operations overseas. Corporations not only receive tax breaks when moving offshore, but they are able to exploit lower wage workers in countries where workers rights laws are lax or non existent.
It is time for this to stop. The American people could use these jobs that are being exported overseas and corporations do not need more tax breaks.
It is time to create legislation that will incentivize American companies for bringing their offshore jobs back to the U.S., or for keeping them here in the first place. Legislation should also include punishment for corporations that move jobs overseas. This way conditions would be optimal for American companies to keep their jobs in the country.
Nicole Loh signed Tell Governor Pat McCrory to Officially Repeal North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law 2017-05-02 12:58:18 -0700GOAL: 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.
GOAL: 425 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA and Congress demanding that they pass legislation that bans fracking nationwide, permanently.
Fracking, the process of releasing natural gas by injecting huge amounts of water, chemicals and sand into shale rock formations, has become highly controversial due to its connections to multiple health problems.
The process of fracking has been found to contaminate local water supplies . Fracking has also been linked to earthquakes, such as in Oklahoma, can worsen asthma for nearby residents, and puts infants and children at risk for developing heart and lung problems.
Only 30-50% of chemicals used in fracking are recovered after the job is done. Which means the rest are left in the ground, leeching into our soil and potentially our groundwater.
Despite all this, the use of fracking continues to spread across the United States.
Fracking is causing serious health problems. Help NationofChange tell Congress that fracking needs to be banned now.
GOAL: 1,043 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: 456 signatures
Over the past 50 years, the use and disposal of plastic has increased dramatically, causing a world-wide pollution issue. The use of plastic is attractive because it is lightweight, strong, water-resistant and inexpensive, but it is coming at a very high cost. It is estimated that at this rate, by 2050, we are expected to accumulate more plastic than fish by weight. Over a third of plastic packaging does not make it to a collection system and ends up polluting oceans and clogging infrastructure.
The degrading process for plastic is extremely slow, and the majority of the world’s glutinous consumption of plastic has led to the over pollution of our lands and oceans. When plastic breaks down into smaller particles, it’s toxins and material are consumed by animals, contaminating food chains and environments.
There are ways to help reduce your plastic usage:
1. Use less disposable plastics
2. Avoid microbeads
3. Purchase items secondhand
5. Support and encourage bag taxes or bans
6. Buy in bulk
7. Bring your own bags and containers while shopping or dining
8. Reuse durable, non-toxic plastic for as long as you can
9. Put pressure on manufacturers and governments to help make change
Take the pledge and make an effort to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle!
GOAL: 1,686 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.
Nicole Loh signed End the Dickey Amendment: Tell Congress to Allow Research on Gun Violence 2016-12-21 06:49:20 -0800GOAL: 1,383 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they repeal the Dickey Amendment and allow for more research on gun violence.
[Update 2/16/17: We have sent your letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Gun violence kills nearly 100 Americans every day. But Congress refuses to move forward on gun control legislation claiming that there is not enough evidence and not enough research to move forward.
The number of mass shootings has increased dramatically over the last several years. This is the time for action.
We are concerned about the influence NRA has on Congress. In 1996 the NRA passed the Dickey Amendment, preventing the Center for Disease Control from studying the effect of gun violence on the American public. Now, 20 years later, even the author of the amendment, Congressman jay Dickey, believes it should be repealed.
Not only has Congress not allow any new gun control measures to pass, or in some cases even be voted upon, but they are also working hard to keep anyone from doing any serious research on gun violence.
Now the most powerful medical association in the United States has called gun violence a “public health crisis.” If the American Medical Association is calling for changes to gun control it is time we, and Congress, listen.
Sign the petition now and tell Congress to take the first step – repeal the Dickey Amendment and allow for more research on gun violence.
GOAL: 942 signatures
Gun Control: Second Amendment Needs to be Updated to Reflect the Growing Danger of Guns
The Second Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms. It gives way to personal defense. But the law is highly misunderstood.
When the Second Amendment was written, it referred to a number of weapons, such as knives, bow and arrows, etc., because few people owned guns since the cost of importing them was so expensive. But now days, guns are easily accessible and relatively affordable that the U.S. has the highest rate of legal gun ownership compared to the rest of the world.
So while the context of the Second Amendment remains the same, over time, it’s become flawed.
And today, guns are overwhelmingly being used to offend rather defend.
According to a study published in Business Week, it estimated defensive gun use at 300,000 times per year. Contrastingly, Slate.com reported around 500,000 instances of gun use by criminals, which puts the U.S. at more than double the death rate by guns than that of any other developed nation.
It’s time we rewrite the law to reflect this day and age and address the growing epidemic guns pose on society. Because of “their accuracy and relatively attainable price,” we need a stricter interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Take action today and sign the petition telling Congress to update the law.
GOAL: 455 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."
Nicole Loh signed End Dark Money: Tell the FEC to Require the Disclosure of Secret Donors During Political Campaigns 2016-12-21 06:48:39 -0800GOAL: 1,555 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: 1,316 signatures
For everyone 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Department of Labor demanding a raise for the federal minimum wage for tipped employees.
[Update 1/25/17: We are sending the first letter to the Department of Labor with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Tell the Department of Labor to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
While other federal minimum wages have increased throughout the years, the minimum wage for tipped employees remains the same.
Since 1991, the federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour, according to the Department of Labor. While servers struggle to make ends meet earning poverty-level wages, discrimination and inequality continue to plague the restaurant industry.
The Department of Labor justifies the minimum hourly wage with tips – claiming that servers will make up the difference in their wage to that of the current federal minimum wage. And the National Restaurant Association is doing nothing to support the tipped employees; instead the association is reaping the benefits.
With more than 13 million restaurant workers in the U.S., most tipped employees are living below the poverty line while the National Restaurant Association is pocketing around $660 billion in revenue.
Employment in food services has been growing at a much faster rate than employment in general and the restaurant industry has continued hiring despite the recession.
Let’s get with the times and make a change – tell the DOL to raise wages for tipped employees!
GOAL: 25,616 signatures
Support Your Right to Know and Help Defend Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law
The Grocery Manufacturers Association and their allies recently filed a lawsuit against Vermont’s newly signed GMO labeling law. After the state became the first to pass a law requiring labels be put on GMO foods, the law is under attack.
While this was not unexpected, it is our right as consumers to know what is in our food and defend the law.
A recently leaked document by the Grocery Manufacturers Association contained “purposefully misleading information to consumers and politically charged language meant to sway lawmakers into rejecting GMO labeling laws at the state level.”
Our food continues to be altered by biotech companies causing ongoing health risks and environmental hazards.
We must continue the fight for GMO labeling at the state level and help Vermont become the first state to mandate GMO labeling.
Take action today and help defend Vermont’s strong constitutional law and put an end to Monsanto and other GMO food manufacturers’ propaganda campaign.
Nicole Loh signed Create New Transition Programs for Veterans Returning Home 2016-12-21 06:48:21 -0800GOAL: 618 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
Nicole Loh signed Let Third Parties Debate: Lower the Polling Limit Requirement 2017-03-14 12:24:13 -0700GOAL: 822 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.
GOAL: 1,445 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA asking them to impose stronger air pollution standards.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the EPA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Over 90% of the world’s population resides in areas where air pollution levels are alarmingly high. Air pollution has become a public health emergency.
According to a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO), millions of people die annually because of exposure to pollution. “To date, air pollution — both ambient (outdoor) and household (indoor) — is the biggest environmental risk to health, carrying responsibility for about one in every nine deaths annually,” the report states. “Air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, and affects economies and people’s quality of life; it is a public health emergency.”
But a new report released by the American Thoracic Society and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University shows that stricter air pollution standards could have health benefits.
The standards advocate 60 parts per billion (ppb) 8-hour standard for ozone (compared with the EPA’s standard of 70 ppb). They suggest a standard of 11 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) annually for PM2.5, rather than the EPA’s 12 µg/m3 annual standard.
The report calculates that adhering to these stronger pollution standards could save 9,320 lives in the United States per year, could reduce serious health events (morbidities), such as heart attacks, hospital admissions and emergency room visits, by 21,400; and decrease “adverse impact days,” during which people may not be able to work, go to school or otherwise be physically active because of severe breathing problems, by 19,300,000 days.
This new report shows that tighter standards for air pollution could save lives. Sign the petition to tell the EPA to adopt stronger air pollution standards to combat this public health emergency.
GOAL: 1,408 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they create a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
[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!]
In 2010 the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The ruling said that freedom of speech prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.
The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.
The case of Citizens United allows for dark money, the funds given to nonprofit organizations that can receive unlimited donations from corporations, individuals, and unions, and spend funds to influence elections, but are not required to disclose their donors.
The Supreme Court's decisions in Citizens United and other cases opened the gates to a flood of billions of dollars that threatens to undermine our democracy.
What we need now is a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Sign the petition to tell Congress to create a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Nicole Loh signed Tell the Federal Elections Commission to Make Tax Return Disclosure a Requirement 2016-12-21 06:47:58 -0800GOAL: 1,044 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: 1,855 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, asking them to pass legislation that will close tax loopholes for the ultra-rich.
[Update: We have surpassed 500 signatures! NationofChange is sending the first letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them to close the tax loopholes for the ultra-rich. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]
Senator Bernie Sanders will introduce a new bill in the 115th Congress, which begins next year.
The proposed bill, if passed, would close all of the tax loopholes that Trump exploited in his 1995 tax returns. These loops holes do nothing to boost the economy, but continue to allow real estate investors like Trump to get out of pay millions of dollars in taxes.
“Special tax breaks and loopholes in a corrupt tax code enable billionaires and powerful corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes while sticking the burden on the middle class,” Sanders said. “It’s time to create a tax system which is fair and which asks the wealthy and powerful to start paying their fair share of taxes.”
Sanders’ legislation would close the following loopholes:
Exemption for the real estate from passive loss rules (Section 469): This loophole allows for an exception for real estate so that real estate investors can use losses to offset any other income, regardless of if it has to do with their business.
Exemption for real estate from at-risk rules (Section 465): An exemption for real estate investors that allows them to claim losses exceeding what they actually invested.
Like-kind exchanges (Section 1031): Allows real estate owners to swap pieces of property of the same type in order to claim they have no gain to report to the IRS because technically there was no sale.
Debt and Depreciation: Allows for investors to combine tax breaks for for borrowing with tax breaks when an investment rapidly loses value, allowing them to borrow money to make an investment, take deductions for the interest they pay on the debt and then take deductions as the property depreciates.
Stand with Senator Sanders and NationofChange and tell Congress to close the tax loopholes that rich investors are using to dodge taxes.
Nicole Loh signed Tell Congress: Let Borrowers Refinance Their Student Loans 2016-12-21 06:46:19 -0800GOAL: 645 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.