GOAL: 799 signatures
Gun Control: Second Amendment Needs to be Updated to Reflect the Growing Danger of Guns
The Second Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms. It gives way to personal defense. But the law is highly misunderstood.
When the Second Amendment was written, it referred to a number of weapons, such as knives, bow and arrows, etc., because few people owned guns since the cost of importing them was so expensive. But now days, guns are easily accessible and relatively affordable that the U.S. has the highest rate of legal gun ownership compared to the rest of the world.
So while the context of the Second Amendment remains the same, over time, it’s become flawed.
And today, guns are overwhelmingly being used to offend rather defend.
According to a study published in Business Week, it estimated defensive gun use at 300,000 times per year. Contrastingly, Slate.com reported around 500,000 instances of gun use by criminals, which puts the U.S. at more than double the death rate by guns than that of any other developed nation.
It’s time we rewrite the law to reflect this day and age and address the growing epidemic guns pose on society. Because of “their accuracy and relatively attainable price,” we need a stricter interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Take action today and sign the petition telling Congress to update the law.
GOAL: 2,775 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the South African government asking them to crack down on Rhino poaching.
[Update 3/16/17: We are sending the first letter to the South African government with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Rhino poaching is on the rise and if the trend continues, the species could face extinction. Poaching has hit a new annual record, according to South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
With a 5,000 percent increase in rhino poaching in the recent year, rhino’s horns are a big commodity on the black market. Rhino horns sell for up to $100,000 a kilo, which surpasses the price of gold. And selling at this hefty price, rhino poachers are attracting more impoverished people to join in the crime syndicate.
Rhino poaching greatly increased after a story that a Vietnamese politician’s relative was cured of cancer from the horn even though science doesn’t support the claim. Cultural traditions in Vietnam, Thailand and China also make rhinos’ horns popular and therefore, increase their demand. And many of the poachers are cross the Mozambique border into Kruger National Park in South Africa where rhino killings are putting the animal in jeopardy of extinction.
If no “effective measures are taken” to stop the criminal poaching, the South African government confirms the world’s rhino population will be close to extinct come 2026.
Help StopRhinoPoaching.com in their global campaign to raise awareness about illegal poaching and help support provincial and private reserves in South Africa as their efforts toward protection before extinction.
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.
Amy Harlib posted about Stop the GM Apple from Entering Our Food System on Facebook 2016-12-04 13:28:02 -0800Sign the petition: Stop the GM Apple from Entering Our Food SystemGOAL: 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.
Amy Harlib signed Tell the FDA to Cut Animal Cruelty Out of Cosmetics 2016-06-09 17:02:46 -0700GOAL: 2,440 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.
Amy Harlib posted about Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children on Facebook 2017-03-23 11:16:55 -0700Sign the petition: Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor ChildrenGOAL: 1,390 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.
Amy Harlib signed Tell Cruise Lines to Clean Up Their Act and Reduce Carbon Footprint 2016-06-11 08:11:56 -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.
Sign the petition: End Whaling in JapanGOAL: 2,433 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump Administration, demanding they take real action to end whaling in Japan.
[Update: We are sending the first letter to the Trump Administration with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
In 2014 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling was illegal. But the government of Japan continues to kill hundreds of whales each year. This is a direct violation of the ruling, which stated that the country could not continue whaling until it could prove it was for scientific purposes. The new plan for whaling in the Southern Ocean will kill almost 4,000 minke whales over 12 years, for ‘scientific’ purposes.
Japan's scientific whaling program is widely recognized as a cover for its ongoing commercial whaling operation. Additionally, a new study shows that countries that participate in lethal scientific whaling do not produce superior scientific research.
Japan has already killed 333 minke whales in the Antarctic during its 2015-2016 whaling season – including more than 200 pregnant females – as part of this year’s Antarctic whale hunt, according to the country’s Institute for Cetacean Research.
The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration fear the population of minke whales may be smaller than current estimates owing to surges in modern whaling from countries such as Japan, and that the reason for the population being currently stable is due to the hunting of other whale populations, which has created less competition for food sources.
The President of the United States has power to apply sanctions against Japan for the continued hunting of whales under the Pelly Amendment and the Packwood-Magnuson Amendment, but as of now has taken no action to prevent the needless slaughter.
Help us tell President Trump to take real action to prevent Japan from resuming whaling. Sign the petition today.
Amy Harlib posted about Raise the Minimum Wage: Join the Fight for 15 on Facebook 2016-12-31 03:14:26 -0800Sign the petition: Raise the Minimum Wage: Join the Fight for 15GOAL: 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."
Sign the petition: Tell the Department of Labor to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped WorkersGOAL: 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: 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!
GOAL: 25,616 signatures
Support Your Right to Know and Help Defend Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law
The Grocery Manufacturers Association and their allies recently filed a lawsuit against Vermont’s newly signed GMO labeling law. After the state became the first to pass a law requiring labels be put on GMO foods, the law is under attack.
While this was not unexpected, it is our right as consumers to know what is in our food and defend the law.
A recently leaked document by the Grocery Manufacturers Association contained “purposefully misleading information to consumers and politically charged language meant to sway lawmakers into rejecting GMO labeling laws at the state level.”
Our food continues to be altered by biotech companies causing ongoing health risks and environmental hazards.
We must continue the fight for GMO labeling at the state level and help Vermont become the first state to mandate GMO labeling.
Take action today and help defend Vermont’s strong constitutional law and put an end to Monsanto and other GMO food manufacturers’ propaganda campaign.
GOAL: 2,101 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Laos government asking them to halt construction of the dam that threatens the lives on the Irrawaddy dolphins.
[Update 2/2/17: We are sending the second letter to the Laos government with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
We are concerned about the impending extinction of the Irrawaddy Dolphins.
“The alarming decline of Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins in Laos that we have witnessed this year is tragic,” Teak Seng, WWF Conservation Director for the Greater Mekong, said in a statement. “At this stage, we fear that in a year or two, there may be no more dolphins in Laos.”
The biggest threat to these beluga-like dolphins is gill net fishing. These large bodied mammals frequently get entangled in the long lines of unmanned nylon gill nets that are hung vertically to catch fish, and drown as a consequence.
Cambodia has banned the use of gill nets in the Mekong River. But in Laos, gill net fishing is prohibited only in the deepest parts of the Cheuteal pool off Hangsadam Village, where the dolphins usually reside. These nets, however, can be used immediately outside of the pool. So when the dolphins venture out of the pool, they run the risk of being trapped.
Thousands of tourists visit the dolphin pools in Laos every year. In fact, dolphin-watching tours have more than doubled since 2008, according to WWF. So the disappearance of the Irrawaddy dolphins from Lao waters could significantly impact eco-tourism in the area, the team says.
Therefore, NationofChange is asking the Laos government to extend the gill net ban to two kilometers radius around the Cheuteal Pool, expandable to four kilometers in the rainy season. We also ask for increased enforcement of gill net bans in other Mekong River dolphin pools to protect the remaining dolphin populations.
As Teak Seng said, “The loss of this iconic species for Laos is even more tragic given that it was entirely preventable through strict enforcement against gill net fishing.”
Amy Harlib posted about Tell Governor Snyder to Stop Making Flint Residents Pay for Contaminated Water on Facebook 2017-02-20 16:40:14 -0800Sign the petition: Tell Governor Snyder to Stop Making Flint Residents Pay for Contaminated WaterGOAL: 1,363 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Governor Snyder demanding that he cease charging Flint residents for contaminated water.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to Governor Snyder with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
The situation in Flint has gotten out of control. The National Guard has finally been called in to deal with a major water crisis that has left hundreds sick or dead. The emergency level of lead in the water has rendered it undrinkable, yet residents of Flint are still being charged for the poisoned water.
What’s even worse, is if residents don’t pay for the undrinkable water, they are threatened with a shutoff. Residents feel that not only should they be given a pass on water shut off but that they shouldn’t have to be for contaminated water that they can’t even use. Michigan officials were able to pay for clean water for state officials a full year before they started providing clean water to the public.
Officials in Flint had illegally hiked water rates several years ago, and ignored a judges order to halt shutoffs and revise customer’s bills. Residents are still receiving shut off notices regardless of the illegal rate hike and now the poisoned water.
We need to tell Governor Snyder to cease the shut off notices and stop charging Flint residents for undrinkable water until the crisis is under control.
You can read more information about the water crisis in Flint here:
For more information:
Flint Water Study: http://flintwaterstudy.org/
Water You Fighting For: http://www.wateryoufightingfor.com/
NO TO FRANKENFOODS!GOAL: 2,270 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.