Lora Schwartzberg signed Tell the Trump Administration to Stop Pulling Federal Government out of Public Education 2017-05-25 12:56:21 -0700GOAL: 405 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to President Trump demanding that the federal government not pull their funding for public schools.
On April 26, 2017, Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin pulling federal money and government out of K-12 public education in an attempt to return school control back to state and local responsibilities. This executive order is being called “Education Federalism Executive Order” and will be reviewed and modified/repealed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Trump has also overturned a series of Obama’s education-related actions recently that could hurt public education. His administration has ended a grant program that was implemented to help local districts boost socioeconomic diversity within their schools, an order stating federally funded teacher preparation programs be evaluated based on the academic outcomes of those teachers' students and a program that would help identify failing schools and what can be done to improve them.
We need to make sure our public schools are getting the funding and attention they need from federal government, and not place the responsibility of public schools solely on state and local shoulders.
Lora Schwartzberg signed Tell Cruise Lines to Clean Up Their Act and Reduce Carbon Footprint 2017-05-25 10:46:31 -0700GOAL: 1,240 signatures
While cruises are popular vacations for many Americans, the negative impact they have on the environment goes otherwise unnoticed. The carbon footprint cruise ships carrying up to 7,000 passengers have on the environment can be measured in air and water pollution along with sewage treatment.
Friends of the Earth, a federation of independent local groups striving for a more environmentally sustainable future, evaluated 10 cruise lines on three environmental factors—sewage treatment, air pollution reduction and water quality compliance—and determined that many of the cruise lines failed each category.
Among the cruise lines evaluated yearly by the Friends of the Earth are Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Silversea Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Disney Cruise Line. A grading scale of A through F, including plus and minuses, is used to determine the report card.
We need to hold cruise ships accountable and insist they adopt a sewage treatment system to protect the health of humans and marine life. One of those many methods could be marine sanitation devices, advance sewage treatment technology or, the most environmentally friendly way, hold the treated sewage onboard and not dump it into the ocean.
Also, cruise lines need to reduce their carbon footprint. Since the ships’ engines release harmful toxins that impact human health and climate change. There are ways to manage air pollution and cruise lines must start the reduction by adopting the method of cold ironing—plugging into shoreline power rather than sitting with the cruise ships’ engines idling—to keep the ships operating while in port.
As consumers, we should be aware of these environmental factors contributing to climate change and choose a greener option when planning a cruise vacation.
Tell cruise lines to clean up their act and stop polluting the air and water throughout the world.
GOAL: 447 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!
Lora Schwartzberg signed Tell Congress: Let Borrowers Refinance Their Student Loans 2017-04-28 12:58:18 -0700GOAL: 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.
GOAL: 998 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.
Lora Schwartzberg signed Tell Congress: Keep the pre-existing condition clause for health insurance 2017-03-19 14:08:19 -0700GOAL: 899 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress demanding that they keep the pre-existing condition clause in their new health care plan.
Before Obamacare it was nearly impossible for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions to find health insurance coverage.
Now that President Trump and the Republican Party are in power and want to repeal Obamacare and replace it with their own health care system, millions of people are once again in danger of not qualifying for health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
Even those that do qualify may face extremely expensive and/or limited insurance coverage.
Please join us in demanding that Congress retain the pre-existing condition clause for whatever health care system they plan to replace Obamacare with so that millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions can maintain their level of health care without their price skyrocketing.
GOAL: 1,517 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA demanding that they completely ban BPA from all food and drink packaging.
[Update 12/10/2016: We have surpassed 1,000 signatures! NationofChange has sent the first letter to the EPA. We will continue to send a letter with your signatures for every 1,000 signatures we receive.]
The primary source of exposure of bisphenol A or BPA is through the diet, yet the FDA allows this toxic chemical, which is linked to cancer and other diseases, to be used in most food and drink packaging. While the FDA banned the use of the chemical in baby bottles and children's cups, the FDA must protect the American people in its entirety.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which interferes with the processing of natural hormones within the human body, and is determined to be very hazardous to human health, according to Medical News Today (MNT).
Evidence proves the chemical to be harmful and links it to infertility, depression, ADHD and autism among several other diseases, but BPA is consistently present in plastic water bottles, epoxy resins that coat the inside of cans, some dental fillings and sealants and paper receipts. We can't avoid it.
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 95 percent of adult urine samples contain BPA. This shocking statistic confirms the need to completely ban this chemical from daily exposure for the health and safety of humans.
It is time Americans are protected from "unwittingly consuming a dangerous chemical."
Let's take action and tell the FDA to completely ban BPA from all food and drink packaging.
Lora Schwartzberg signed End Dark Money: Tell the FEC to Require the Disclosure of Secret Donors During Political Campaigns 2017-04-23 05:56:49 -0700GOAL: 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: 1,304 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!
Lora SchwartzbergGOAL: 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.
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: 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.
Lora Schwartzberg signed Let Third Parties Debate: Lower the Polling Limit Requirement 2017-03-14 07:11:15 -0700Lora SchwartzbergGOAL: 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: 825 signatures
Over the last ten years the Andersoni Moose, located in Minnesota and North Dakota, has declined by 60 percent. The Center for Biological Diversity in Minnesota warns that without protections that moose population will be extinct soon.
Yet every year more people apply for hunting licenses, regardless of severe overhunting practices. Specifically this year 202 licenses have been issued specifically for hunting the Andersoni Moose.
Please help us tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that we need to protect the Andersoni Moose, not continue to hunt and kill it at an alarming rate that is severely decreasing the population.
Lora Schwartzberg signed Tell Governor Pat McCrory to Officially Repeal North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law 2017-02-05 13:56:08 -0800GOAL: 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: 1,075 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the American Wind Energy Association, asking them to adopt new voluntary guidelines to help prevent bat deaths from wind turbines.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the American Wind Energy Association with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
In the last ten years there has been a major epidemic of bats disappearing due to fatal white-nose syndrome and wind turbine fatalities.
Scientists believe that bats are having a hard time confusing wind turbines with trees. Last year the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced “voluntary guidelines to halt turbines at low wind speeds, when bats are most active, which would save lives.” These new changes were expected to help reduce fatalities by 30 percent.
However, there could be more done. If the industry can hold the blades in check just a little longer bat fatalities could be reduced by 90 percent. To do this there only need to be two minor changes: feathering, or "turning the blades parallel to the wind so the turbines do not rotate," and implementing higher cut-in speeds, ideally between 5 and to 6.5 meters per second.
Please sign the petition to tell the AWEA to make these changes so that we can save 90 percent of the bats rather than just 30 percent.
GOAL: 2,787 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: 856 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.
Lora Schwartzberg signed End the Dickey Amendment: Tell Congress to Allow Research on Gun Violence 2017-01-02 12:31:42 -0800GOAL: 1,379 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.
Lora Schwartzberg signed Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Important School Lunch Programs for Poor Children 2017-03-22 12:38:19 -0700GOAL: 1,576 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.