Bathsheba Rook signed Let Third Parties Debate: Lower the Polling Limit Requirement 2017-03-03 16:32:21 -0800GOAL: 819 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.
Bathsheba Rook signed End New American Slavery: Tell the Department of Justice to Stop the System of Forced Prison Labor 2017-03-03 16:32:08 -0800GOAL: 940 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.
Bathsheba Rook signed Tell the EPA: Stop Dumping Fracking Waste into the Gulf of Mexico 2017-03-03 16:31:27 -0800GOAL: 1,989 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.
Bathsheba Rook signed Tell Congress: Give Regulatory Agencies Enough Funding to do Their Jobs 2017-03-03 16:31:07 -0800GOAL: 1,411 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.
Bathsheba Rook signed Tell the Trump Administration to stop Big Oil from Completing the Dakota Access Pipeline 2017-03-03 16:30:30 -0800GOAL: 7,552 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.
GOAL: 1,271 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.
Bathsheba Rook signed Tell El Cajon Police to Release Video Footage of Alfred Olango Shooting 2017-03-03 16:29:48 -0800GOAL: 145 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.
GOAL: 1,269 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.
Bathsheba Rook signed Tell the Federal Elections Commission to Make Tax Return Disclosure a Requirement 2017-03-03 16:28:35 -0800GOAL: 940 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.
Bathsheba Rook signed Tell the NYPD: Release Records of Undercover Operations at Black Lives Matter Protests 2017-03-03 16:28:21 -0800GOAL: 468 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill asking for him to release the NYPD records on their undercover operations at Black Lives Matter events.
According to legal papers filed by the New York Police Department, the NYPD sent, and is probably still sending, undercover officers to Black Lives Matter protests after the death of Eric Garner.
As reported by The Guardian, NYPD was asked to disclose these undercover operations when requested to do so by a “group of New York attorneys requesting records under the state freedom of information law.” But the NYPD is refusing to release the records.
- The first set contains “multimedia records” relating to the petitioners’ request for “pictures, videos, audio recordings, data, and metadata” collected or received by the NYPD at the Grand Central Station protests, which Black Lives Matter groups are still leading, according to the NYPD response.
- The second “consists entirely of communications between and among NYPD undercover officers and their handlers”, pertaining to the protests. According to a 22 August NYPD Memorandum of Law, these undercover communications “consist primarily of immediate impressions concerning ongoing events”.
- The third “consists of a single record, which is a communication from an NYPD officer working in an undercover capacity and his base”, pertaining to the protests, the response indicates.
The records request is the same one that led The Intercept to release documents a year ago detailing the MTA and Metro-North transit police sending their own undercover officers to spy on Black Lives Matter protesters in and around Grand Central. Officers in plainclothes monitored the protestors and took photos of the activists. The outcome of their observations determined that the protests were “peaceful” and “orderly.”
The attorneys involved in the request for the records say that the NYPD’s undercover operations are potential constitutional violations. MJ Williams, one of these attorneys, stated:
“The fear and disarming effect caused by undercovers being assigned to what were and continue to be extraordinarily peaceful protests is disturbing. To the extent that it would influence individuals not to participate and get individuals to censor what they say because of a fear of undercovers – that’s a basis for a first amendment violation.”
“As someone who was present at the protests, it’s disturbing to know the NYPD may have a file on me, ready to be used or to prevent me from getting a job simply because I’ve been active in some political capacity. That’s potentially a fourth amendment violation for unlawful seizure, but on the other hand, we’ve seen law enforcement agencies have all sorts of justifications for data collection for public safety that the courts have allowed.”
Help us tell the NYPD to release their records and provide transparency for the undercover operations in peaceful protests.
GOAL: 730 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.
GOAL: 1,917 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to draft legislation that will put protections for wild tigers in place.
[Update 1/25/17: We are sending the first letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Did you know that there are only 3,200 wild tigers left on Earth? Poaching is the number one threat to wild tigers. They are hunted for everything from wallets to medicines.
Currently there is legislation that can help put a stop to most of the trade of tiger products. If Congress were to pass the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act there would be serious consequences and protections put into place against poachers and traffickers, thus seriously limiting the illegal trade of tiger products.
Sign the petition and help us tell Congress that you want this legislation, and future legislation for the protection of wild tigers, put into place.
GOAL: 3,505 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking him to help stop commercial seal hunts.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
Baby seals are dying for no reason. Every spring, seal pups anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months old are killed, their bodies left on the ice or in the ocean.
Most commercial sealing in Canada can only exist with government subsidies. Seal products are not in demand, but sealing continues.
Please sign the petition and help us tell Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to put an end to commercial seal hunting.
As Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau can work with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to buy out commercial sealing licenses and end commercial sealing.
Sign the petition and help us end this cruel practice.
GOAL: 466 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA asking them to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The Renewable Fuel Standard is a current policy that helps strengthen our national security and lowers our dependence on foreign oil. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering gutting it.
Purchasing oil from foreign countries increases funding to groups that fight against our military. The Renewable Fuel Standard currently limits by requiring a minimum number of renewable fuels are used for transportation in the United States.
Getting rid of the policy would not only increase funding for weapons in the hands of dangerous militia, but would remove funding for thousands on jobs in the United States and would cause worldwide oil prices to be out of control.
Help us tell the EPA to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard and keep the United States moving away from dependence on foreign oil.
GOAL: 1,303 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Chinese Ambassador of the U.S. Ambassador Cui Tiankai and the Governor of Yulin GuangXi Province Mr. Chen Wu.
Every year thousands of dogs are butchered for the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. The festival is due to start again this year on June 21, 2017.
Many of the dogs are stolen, put in disgusting conditions in cages, and starved before being beaten to death or having their throats slit.
Over the years the Yulin Dog Meat Festival has lost a lot of support. Most Chinese citizens do not support it, and Yulin authorities themselves have stated they would no longer support the festival.
However this hasn’t resulted in the festival being cancelled, but rather just a smaller event with fewer dogs. Meat traders that help put on the festival are committed to putting on the event regardless of official support.
Please join with us in urging the Yulin authorities to take direct action in ending the festival for good and ending the slaughter of thousands of dogs a year.
Bathsheba Rook signed Tell the FDA to Routinely Screen Food for Glyphosate 2017-03-03 16:27:07 -0800GOAL: 1,474 signatures
For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the FDA, demanding routine testing of U.S. food for glyphosate residue.
[Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the FDA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed the presence of glyphosate in a variety of oat products, including oat cereals for babies.
Recently the USDA started testing U.S. foods for glyphosate, the active ingredient used in Monsanto’s Roundup and which has been linked to cancer. Last year the World Health Organization released a report by a group of international cancer experts that stated glyphosate is a probably human carcinogen.
Despite these recent findings, Roundup continues to be the most heavily used weed killer in the world. The EPA still maintains that glyphosate is “not likely” to cause cancer.
The current safe levels for glyphosate in oats, as suggested by the EPA, is 30 ppm. The levels detected in the findings fall within this range. In 2013 Monsanto requested and receive higher tolerances for many foods. In the European Union the tolerance levels are much lower, for example the tolerance for glyphosate in oats is 20 ppm.
Monsanto and U.S. regulators maintain that all of these findings show that glyphosate levels in our food are too low to cause any health concerns, but many believe that food will need to continue to be routinely tested to maintain safe levels. Besides that, some foods in the United States do not have a legal tolerance level. For example, honey does not have a legal tolerance level, yet when tested earlier this year every sample came back with traces of glyphosate, some with residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union.
Help us tell the FDA that they need to routinely screen foods for glyphosate and maintain low levels of contamination regardless of their stance on glyphosate being linked to cancer.
GOAL: 1,816 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.
Bathsheba Rook signed Tell President Trump to Address Food and Agriculture in His Climate Action Plans 2017-03-03 16:25:14 -0800GOAL: 522 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to President Trump, asking him to address food and agriculture in his upcoming climate action plan.
The theme of this year's World Food Day is "Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too."
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is calling on countries around the world to focus on climate change and food security. According to the FAO:
"One of the biggest issues related to climate change is food security. The world’s poorest - many of whom are farmers, fishers and pastoralists - are being hit hardest by higher temperatures and an increasing frequency in weather-related disasters.
At the same time, the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet such a heavy demand, agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable. This is the only way that we can ensure the wellbeing of ecosystems and rural populations and reduce emissions.
Growing food in a sustainable way means adopting practices that produce more with less in the same area of land and use natural resources wisely. It also means reducing food losses before the final product or retail stage through a number of initiatives including better harvesting, storage, packing, transport, infrastructure, market mechanisms, as well as institutional and legal frameworks."
NationofChange is standing with the FAO in asking President Trump to address food and agriculture in his climate action plan and invest more in rural development.
GOAL: 1,238 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!
Bathsheba Rook signed Tell Congress to Regulate Prescription Drug Prices 2017-03-03 16:24:42 -0800GOAL: 2,567 signatures
For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they pass legislation to regulate prescription drug prices and end price gouging.
[Update: We have surpassed 2000 signatures! NationofChange is sending a letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them to regulate prescription drug prices. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]
Americans pay, by far, the highest prices for prescription drugs in the entire world.
Access to health care is a human right, and that should include affordable prescription drugs. Yet we have companies like Mylan, Turing Pharmaceuticals, and Ariad Pharmaceuticals that love to hike drug prices up. This means that many life saving drugs have become unaffordable for the average American family.
Last year, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of an AIDS drug from $13.50 per pill to $750.00 — overnight.
Prices for drugs overall have increased more than tenfold between the year 2000 and today. The average price of cancer drugs is increasing by over $8,000 a year.
It is time for Congress to pass legislation to regulate pharmaceutical drug prices and end price gouging. This should also include things such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, allowing the importation of cancer drugs across U.S. borders for personal use, legislation that prevents drug companies from delaying access to generic drugs and extending the life of drug patents, and creating an FDA approval group or mechanism that can estimate and propose a fair price for new treatments.