• Stop Using SSNVS for Voter ID Verification
    With Voter ID laws in the country being passed in many states, many are perhaps using the SS Administration SS Number Verification System (SSNVS) to check citizens ID. This is against the Social Security Administration rules."It is not proper to use SSNVS for non-wage reporting purposes, such as identity, credit checks, mortgage applications, etc." http://www.ssa.gov/employer/ssnvrestrict.htm
    26 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Stephen Caruso
  • Medical Marijuana
    Montana Medical Marijuana laws were put into place in 2004, with an overwhelming majority vote. Over the past seven years, the caregiving industry has grown and many businesses had finally found themselves established. This past year, the Federal Government has vandalized these establishments and the materials therein, leaving the businesses unable to continue operation and on top of that, now numerous owners are being Federally indited. Families are going to be torn apart and good people put into prison, if we do not take a stand; President Obama himself announced that in regards to Medical Marijuana, State Law precedes Federal Law - time to speak up for our civil rights.
    39 of 100 Signatures
    Created by sarah
  • GQ: Issue Apology for Down Syndrome Discrimination
    The day following the July 15, 2011 publishing of an unethical GQ fashion article that linked people with Down syndrome to the clothing choices of people in Boston, MA, with adjectives like stagnate, putrefy, and inbreeding, advocates had gained media attention by speaking out against GQ's Down syndrome discrimination. From Boston to across the nation people began discussing the negative effects this type of prejudice creates through Facebook and Twitter. The media coverage continues because the article by John B. Thompson has since been revised by removing his detrimental statement, "..... Boston suffers from a kind of Style Down Syndrome, where a little extra ends up ruining everything.", but an explanation from the magazine or apology from the author has not been issued. There is an uproar of hurt, disgust, and action from family members and advocates in the disability community. Thompson and others need to know how harmful their views, words, and choices are to people with Down syndrome and their families. Their future family member, child's classmate or next door neighbor could be someone with Down syndrome who has to face degrading stereotypes like this everyday. How have others responded? 7/16/11 The Boston Herald interviewed community advocate Dafna Krouk-Gordon president of TILL Inc., in GQ magazine slams Boston with slur against people with Down syndrome, who said, "They are doing societal damage by using those kind of examples.", and parent Melanie McLaughlin who said, "It makes you feel like somebody really stabbed you in the heart." 7/18/11 Dr. Brian Skotko, MD, MPP from Children's Hospital Boston's Down syndrome Program blogged his take titled Mock My Pants Not My Sister and said, "If my friends who are black were mocked, they would not take it. If my friends who are gay were slurred, they would not take it. My 400,000 fellow Americans with Down syndrome have been cheapened, and I will not take it." The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress wrote to GQ Editor-in-Chief Jim Nelson after numerous requests from their membership explaining, "how offensive, demeaning, and hurtful this comment is to people with Down syndrome and their families." The National Down Syndrome Society wrote about the retraction, to request he educate himself, and further advocated with the statement, "When people with Down syndrome are inappropriately referenced, it sustains and perpetuates these low expectations and negative stereotypes and further impedes the acceptance of people with disabilities in schools, the workplace and the community." 7/19/11 Washington Post author Jennifer LaRue Huget told readers what she teaches her children about talking about others, "Making jokes at other people’s expense isn’t kind, it isn’t respectful, and it’s not funny.", in What is ‘style Down syndrome‘?. FoxNews reported on GQ's Down syndrome slurs in an interview with Dr. Brian Skotko who has a sister with Down syndrome and has fueled the advocacy efforts around this issue through his social networks, Thrive blog and message on the show. How has GQ responded? 7/20/11 Since removing the original slur GQ has done very little. They haven’t told their readers why they allowed the offensive material or why they decided to retract it. Now copies of a blanket response has been sent in reply to the concerned citizens who emailed GQ at [email protected]. However, this message to those who decided to email does NOT make up for the widespread damage they have caused: "We received your letter and absolutely understand that we have caused many of our readers and their loved ones pain. Hurting anyone’s feelings or being disrespectful or cruel was certainly never our intent, but your letter helped us understand how poorly chosen our words were. What we initially posted was insensitive and ill-informed, and we’ve removed the offensive language from the website. We deeply regret our error in judgment. There is no excuse. We are both very sorry. Sincerely, Sean Fennessey, editor, GQ.com John B. Thompson, writer, GQ.com " Only select people will receive GQ's email while the rest of America waits for GQ to admit their wrongs, say sorry, and shed a positive light on such a disastrous situation. Everyone is wondering why GQ has not taken responsibility by respectfully addressing their mistakes. What now? 7/21/11 Boston.com writer Joan Venochi recapped this situation in an article, A magazine with style, but no taste, and reported, "A Condé Nast spokesman, responding via e-mail, said, “The author has personally responded to the people who reached out concerning this matter.’’ Even the GQ publishing company thinks the matter is handled. 7/25/11 Campaign letter and petition with six hundred signatures was sent to GQ. The letter contained this message, "You still have a chance to turn this unfortunate situation around and help our society presume the best about people with Down syndrome. Today marks tens days since you published a Down syndrome slur, and marks the tenth day your company has not apologized for publishing it. An official acknowledgment in response to this serious diversity intolerance matter will create positive publicity for your company, and Down syndrome awareness as well. Altering your article’s original content, and sending form emails to those people who wrote to your editor, isn’t enough and doesn’t reach everyone affected." 8/29/11 Folowing action plan sent out to all petition signers -Call 212-286-4258 Condé Nast President Bob Sauerberg to ask him to publish apology by Oct. for Ds Awareness Month -Cancel all Condé Nast Publications -Email [email protected], GQ Editor Sean Fennessey: What is being done to correct the Ds discrimination in GQ magazine from July 15? Today It's your turn to be heard. Sign this petition asking GQ for a formal public apology and share your thoughts through your networks about why GQ owes their readers, people with Down syndrome and the general public a ...
    3,616 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Jamie Lesley Burch
  • Elder Financial Fraud or Exploitation
    The elder in our society are at high risk to have their civil rights violated by unsavory attorney's, corrupt judges, and so-called guardians. See the national statistics of ever increasing civil rights violations against the elder and most vulnerable in our society. The Clackamas County, Oregon, District Attorney is just one, which calls a criminal matter a civil matter, because of shortage of funds and lack of interest. "Elder Abuse is a serious crime and public health issue with far reaching consequences for both the victim and society" excerpt: www.ndaa.org.
    83 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Erna Boldt
  • Reverse the Citizens United decision
    The Citizens United decision allows unlimited donations to American political campaigns by individuals and corporations both national and international. This selling of American elections to the highest bidder usurps and erodes the democratic right of the people to elect their government officials without undue external influence.
    3 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Jim Scanlon
  • Tell Jerry Brown to sign the bill requiring public schools to teach the historical contributions ...
    The bill gained final passage from the state Assembly on a vote of 49-25, without a single Republican supporting it. The measure cleared the state Senate in April. California already requires public schools to teach the contributions made to society by women and by racial and ethnic groups that were historically discriminated against, such as blacks, Latinos and Native Americans. Supporters of the latest bill said it would simply include gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals in that existing requirement, making it part of the curriculum in history and other social studies classes.
    50 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Anthony Dispirito
  • Lower Ohio's Drinking Age to 18
    Ohio's drinking age was once 16, then raised to 18 after Prohibition, then raised again to 21 to comply with the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 which tried to curb drunk-driving fatalities by cutting off 10% of Federal Highway Funds to Non-Compliant States. This does not take into consideration that Men and Women can be enlisted or drafted into the Armed Services and therefore fight and die for one's country at 18 - yet cannot get a drink? Also, since the 1980s the law has made Binge Drinking/Alcoholism/Addiction among 18-21 year olds worse, by treating otherwise mature adults like children, by forcing them to hide their drinking like criminals, glamorizing an otherwise mundane and ordinary activity. Wise parental guidance has been transferred, ironically with the help of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, from parents to the Federal and State Government. This is also a stifling of state commerce, by limiting sales of alcohol to legally, official adults, 18-20. And the U.S. is the only western country whose drinking age is not 18.
    130 of 200 Signatures
    Created by b brian tupaz
  • Ban the Box
    Background: According to a 2008 study by the PEW Center on the States, an estimated 2.3 million adults are currently incarcerated in America. If people on parole and/or probation are included, the total number in the criminal justice system nationwide more than triples – to approximately 7.2 million. In addition, an estimated thirty million people in the U.S. have felony convictions. Seventeen million people have served time in jails and prisons; and three million are expected be released from prison over the next five years. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office 2008-2009 data, the average cost to incarcerate an inmate in a California prison is approximately $47,000 per year. Nationally, the unemployment rate among formerly-incarcerated people is estimated to be 65% to 70%. The number of women in prison grew by 832% from 1977 to 2007 •Two thirds of women in prison are there for non-violent offenses, many for drug-related crimes •Women of color are disproportionately represented in prison •There are more mothers in prison than ever before •Nearly two-thirds of women in prison are mothers •Seventy-seven percent of mothers in prison reported providing most of the daily care for their child(ren) -Children of incarcerated parents are more likely to drop out of school, engage in delinquency, and subsequently be incarcerated themselves. Issue: As social workers, we recognize that employment is critical for formerly-incarcerated people to achieve successful reentry. However, almost every job application in the United States asks the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” Although they may be qualified for the position, those with prior convictions find difficulty in obtaining those employment positions due to employers unwillingness in allowing them to continue through the hiring process once they disclose their criminal history. In California, more than two-thirds of its state parolees are returned to prison within three years of being released; in addition, 39% of these re-incarceration rates are not due to new crimes committed, but have resulted due to technicalities in their parole violations. Denying former prisoners a chance at gainful employment denies them a second chance to become self-reliant members of society. Every ex-offender who finds gainful employment and successful reintegration into the community is one less recidivist depleting criminal justice and corrections resources. Ban the Box is a grass roots campaign initiated and led by formerly-incarcerated persons. Its aim is to remove questions about past criminal convictions on public employment applications. This will allow applicants with prior convictions the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and experience alongside other applicants. Increasing the employment opportunities for ex-offenders will result in reduced rates of recidivism from prisons by 50%, reduced taxpayer’s spending on prisons; an increase of self-sufficient workers, stronger families due to ability to provide financial, cognitive, and emotional support for children, and a society which encourages rehabilitation. Over the past year, major U.S. cities including Boston, Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and San Francisco, have adopted model hiring reforms that promote employment of people with criminal records while protecting the integrity of their City hiring process. Describing the significance of the Chicago initiative, Mayor Richard Daley put it best when he said, “Implementing the new policy won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do . . . We cannot ask private employers to consider hiring former prisoners unless the City practices what it preaches.” Key points to the initiative Banning the box will not affect jobs where a BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation) check is mandated by law, such as working with children, disabled, and elderly (also exempts sensitive positions, where cause is shown); Banning the box will allow for a BCI check upon a conditional offer employment. Banning the box will not adversely affect employers. Banning the box increases the pool of qualified workers from which to choose. Many employers have found that people with past criminal records are excellent employees, with useful job skills and good work habits. Banning the box will not stop employers from conducting background checks, or from considering job-related convictions for a specific position. If a position requires a background check, the record can be reviewed after an initial offer of employment is made.
    41 of 100 Signatures
    Created by K. Vasquez, J. Valles, C. Yeh, E. Kassel
  • End the Federal Ban on Marijuana
    Our country's 'war on drugs' has been a miserable failure. Every year we spend billions of taxpayer dollars prosecuting people guilty of victim-less non-violent drug crimes, and every year the prevalence of drugs in our society only increases. Mexican drug cartels grip our border with violence that comes from the marketability of their illegal drug trade. Today, this Thursday, June 23rd, 2011, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will introduce legislation to end the federal ban on marijuana. Sign this petition to show your support for the end of the federal ban on marijuana.
    19 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Weston Kemmerer
  • Make Child Abuse Illegal
    In Montana a father who made his 5 year old clean up his own vomit was evaluated by a psycholgist as being fit to parent his child. He was given equal parenting time even with firm objection by the mother. A mother has little right to protect her child from such damaging offenses because such a horrific action is not illegal.
    18 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Tanya Ochoa
  • Full body scanners will soon be in Austin Airport within this year.
    The petition is about the new radiation scanners at airport that will soon be coming to Austin. I am bothered that I still seem to get liquids and leathermans that are located IN my bag (by accident) through carry-on scanners undetected. Even though TSA hasn't perfected those scanners to make us more safe, they are adding onto it with more expensive machinery, succumbing us to more radiation as well as a violating situation. I wish they would perfect one thing before moving onto a more complicated/expensive/invasive one. These new radiation scanners that spot everything under your clothing (producing a shiny nude image of everyone) are replacing old-fashioned magnetic scanners. Cancer risks correlate with the number of exposure to radiation, so no dose of radiation is too small to matter. The amount of radiation that you are exposed to is not as much as a doctor’s, BUT the cumulative effect of radiation may take a toll (especially if children 12+ are exposed to this routine at such a young age then continue through their adult years). If you chose to opt out of being scanned, you will instead have an intimate pat-down from a TSA agent – you end up being touched in places previously reserved for significant others or your Gynecologist/Urologist. When you experience this, you will realize how violating it truly is - I have and it's quite invasive.
    12 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Carolyn O'Connor
  • Stop Attacks on Ohio Voter Rights
    Gov. John Kasich and his political allies know what’s at stake in 2012: Ohio could be the state that decides whether Barack Obama wins or loses the election. And SB 5 will be on the ballot. So they will stop at nothing–no matter how brazen or unethical–to stack the deck in their favor. Recently, Ohio Republicans passed HB 194, a voter suppression bill that cuts down on early voting and makes it harder for Ohio voters to cast their ballots. Not satisfied with making it more difficult to vote, extreme senators are now saying they will take up a voter ID bill that would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Ohioans. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has called HB 159 the “most restrictive” measure of its kind in the country. Adding a photo ID requirement would only serve to further disenfranchise young people, seniors, people of color, people with disabilities and the poor.
    9,290 of 10,000 Signatures
    Created by Andy Richards