• Help the Mental Health Shortage! Support the Behavioral Health Workforce Revitalization Act SB964
    Under SB 964, the California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California systems would be required to develop accelerated programs for social work degrees, such as allowing students to combine their last one or two years of undergraduate study with their graduate work to complete both programs more quickly. Senate Bill 964 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would offer $37,000 in stipends to students pursuing a master’s degree in social work who go on to work in behavioral health at a public agency while creating a state fund to increase pay and provide bonuses for licensed professionals already working in the field. We must urgently restore and revitalize the behavioral health workforce. Our most vulnerable will receive the aid they need with a rejuvenated workforce treated equitably and representing all Californians.
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    Created by SWRK 645: Urban Social Policy & Advocacy
  • SAY NO TO PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN MICHIGAN!
    Bills 597 & 598 would cut all funding to community based behavioral health care systems in Michigan. These bills would privatize the Medicaid Mental Health services by giving full financial control and oversight to for-profit insurance companies. These bills would eliminate public accountabily, transparency (e.g., not be subject to comply with the Freedom of Information Act) and the ability to collaborate with community partners such as law enforcement, hospitals, schools, courts, housing and more. Over 62 Michigan counties have already passed resolutions opposing these bills and the Wayne County Commission is in direct opposition as well. Sign the petition to help us put a stop to SB 597 and 598 today! Bill 597: http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2021-SB-0597 Bill 598: http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2021-SB-0598"
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    Created by Latanya Gater
  • Mental Health Matters
    May is Mental Health Awareness Month. On behalf of all student athletes and students, we hope that you will take this time as an opportunity to invest in their mental health. The Mental Health Reform Act embedded in the 21st Century Cures Act includes funding to promote integrated physical and mental health care. A policy requiring student athletes to speak with a mental health professional at least once during their sport’s season. Just as students are required to have annual physicals and dental check up requirements for player eligibility. We are asking you to work on creating a mental health component to add those requirements. In addition, athletes experience emotional trauma from being out of the game due to an injury. If an injury occurs that causes an athlete to be out at least 3-4 months, speaking with a mental health professional prior to returning to play would be just as beneficial. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I am asking policy-makers to support a student athlete mental health initiative.
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    Created by Charese Munoz
  • Don't Shoot! Advocating for the passage of AB-89
    Black Californians are about three times more likely to be seriously injured, shot, or killed by the police relative to their share of the state’s population (Public Policy Institute of California, October 2021). California has already implemented many reforms through state legislation, including requiring local law enforcement agencies to report incidents of serious use of force, permitting public access to law enforcement records for certain misconduct and use-of-force incidents, and establishing an independent board and data collection effort aimed at reducing racial disparities in police encounters (Public Policy Institute of California, October 2021). Although these efforts may be valiant, there is still room for continued change in decreasing the amount of deaths due to excessive force and police brutality. Through the passage of Assembly-Bill 89, California police officers will be required to be trained at a state standard. Along with this, officers will be required to obtain either an associates or a bachelors degree. These changes will allow police officers across the state to be held to a higher standard and training program as well as increasing education has shown that it can decrease excessive use of force. T
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    Created by SWRK645 Advocacy
  • Protect Roe. Don't Deny Families Abortion Access!
    The Supreme Court has drafted an opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the historic Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal across the United States. If this ruling is issued it will take private health care decisions out of the hands of families' and their medical providers and instead give politicians power over our bodies. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 59% of people seeking abortions already had one birth, and 75% of patients had income below the federal poverty level or are considered low-income. Attacks on reproductive healthcare have already made abortion practically inaccessible to millions of families. If the draft opinion becomes official, millions more, particularly low-income people and people of color, will lose access to important reproductive health care, have the ability to decide their own future taken away, and be left to the mercy of local politicians. Safe, legal abortion is health care that millions of families need. Restricting or eliminating access to abortion not only negatively impacts the personal and financial life of an individual parent, but that of their family as well. This is NOT a done deal. Congress can still act to protect everyone’s right to safe, legal abortion. The Women’s Health Protection Act would protect a person’s ability to determine whether to continue or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide reproductive healthcare. Let Congress know that you support reproductive freedom for all by demanding that they pass the Women's Health Protection Act into law.
    656 of 800 Signatures
  • Defund APD in FY23
    After George Floyd’s murder in 2020, there was a national cry to end racist policing. Though the national outrage has fizzled, police brutality remains far too common. In 2022, Orlando Taylor was killed by Springfield Police and Miguel Estrella was killed by Pittsfield Police, both during calls for a person in mental distress. Policing is not the solution to public safety. Advocates in Amherst have continued to call for defunding the Amherst Police Department. A promising, BIPOC-led envisioning of an alternative safety department has been implemented. However, the funding proposed is inadequate. The FY23 budget proposes only $621,520 in funding for CRESS, or $2,117,780 less than CSWG’s recommendation. There FY23 budget allocates $0 to a BIPOC cultural center, $407,690 less than CSWG’s recommendation. The FY23 budget allocates $500,000 to the youth empowerment center, above what was recommended— but it provides no clear plan as to what this money will support. The FY23 budget proposes $175,257 to the DEI office, $52,390 less than CSWG’s recommendation. These proposed programs will help create community safety in a responsive, anti-racist manner. They should be fully funded with money redirected from the police budget. The demand is still DEFUND THE POLICE.
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    Created by allegra clark
  • We The People!!
    I implore all Americans to stand up, be heard & do something to help better your life & the lives of all those around you! If we don’t speak up NOW, there will never be change… We have the power to change the world, right the wrongs, unlock the chains of injustice & demand a better quality of life! Change starts with you! Your voice matters! You CAN make a difference! Stand with me in pleading… no, DEMANDING more from our government! We demand more assistance to climb our way out of poverty! We demand our government to respect & hear the people! We demand a better quality of life for our children! And lastly, we demand action from our government! If change doesn’t happen NOW, I fear those people who feel frustrated & unheard will begin to revolt. We do NOT need a revolution, we need a resolution… When parents go hungry so their children do not, you know there is something inherently wrong with the system. When the people are scared to seek medical help because of the outrageously high costs, there is something inherently wrong with the system. When a parent has to choose between working just to pay daycare or staying home to raise their children and not being able to pay rent, there is something inherently wrong with the system. We are not asking for a handout, we are asking for a leg up! I implore you to take these words seriously. For if you don’t, the people may rise up to seek justice themselves. We will no longer stand by and go unheard and unseen. We will shout from the rooftops until change happens! I will stand up for what is right, even if I have to stand alone…
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    Created by Jessica Calder Picture
  • Prioritize Parents in the California Budget!
    As the world continues to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents around the state are sending out an S.O.S. to Save Our Selves, Save Our System, and Save Our State. Time is of the essence as child care family fee waivers expire June 30, 2022 if the Governor and Legislature fail to act. Child care providers continue to close due to low reimbursement rates and hundreds of thousands of families are still stuck on the waiting list for child care. To realize the Governor’s January budget proposal to expand subsidized child care by an additional 36,000 slots, parents called for increased wages for providers and waiving family fees through September 2024. Mientras nuestro mundo sigue tratando con el impacto de la pandemia de COVID-19, padres alrededor del estado están mandando un “S.O.S.” para Salvar a Nosotros Mismo, Salvar Nuestro Sistema, y Salvar Nuestro Estado. No podemos demorar así que la exención de pagos por cuidado de niño se vence el 30 de junio de 2022 si el Gobernador y la Legislatura no toman acción. Proveedores de cuidado de niño siguen cerrando por causa de una taza de reembolso demasiado baja. Cientos de miles de familias están varados en la lista de espera de cuidado de nino. Para realizar la propuesta del Gobernador para añadir 36,000 espacios nuevos de cuidado de niño, padres están pidiendo un aumento de sueldo para proveedores, y una extensión de la exención de pagos familiares hasta el 30 de septiembre de 2024.
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    Created by Evan Smith
  • Preserve a JP Landmark & Create a More Affordable Jamaica Plain!
    There is a serious shortage of affordable housing across Boston, especially in the Pondside and Jamaica Hills sections of JP, where the monastery is located. In 2021, the City of Boston committed to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, and now requires that developers analyze and account for the history of racial exclusion and segregation in any new housing development. The monastery offers an opportunity to realize fair housing principles and create housing for folks that have been historically excluded: working class, people of color, and/or people with accessibility needs. If the city allows Holland Development to demolish the monastery, they plan to develop 26 market-rate condominiums. Under the city and neighborhood inclusionary policies, we might achieve a few affordable units. However, if we can preserve the building and win a robust planning process, then there is room for more creative re-use and more affordable housing. The City of Boston and the Landmarks Commission must put the needs of the community ahead of developers. Many community members would like to see the building preserved for its historical and architectural associations with Jamaica Plain’s development, Boston’s religious history, the significance of this Poor Clare Monastery in the history of the Order in the United States, and its organizing and charitable work domestically and abroad. The parcel at 920 Centre Street is large - nearly three acres. The wider community should have a voice in the future of this prominent, large and unique parcel. In the process of responding to the owners’ demolition request, the Boston Landmarks Commission staff has also determined that the monastery building (built in 1932) itself has historical significance. The current structure and any new construction on this parcel of land must include substantial affordable housing, in line with the inclusionary zoning requirements adopted by the JP Neighborhood Council, to preserve the diversity and meet the needs of Jamaica Plain and Boston.
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    Created by Jaya Aiyer
  • Creation of Disability Cultural Center at Portland Community College
    Students with Disabilities need an identity center separate from Disability Services/Accessible Education because the function of this office is to meet accessibility needs and process accommodation requests, not to meet the needs of Students with Disabilities, for whom there are many. With a Disability Cultural Center, the possibility for grant funding is created, as is the ability to hire student staff, have peer-to-peer programming and advocacy, and opportunity for students to connect with others who are marginalized by exceptionally isolating circumstances.
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    Created by PJ Golden
  • STOP THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
    Solitary confinement affects inmates in these three ways 1. Psychological -Inmates often experience a sense of “isolation panic” when initially put into solitary confinement -Those in solitary confinement often suffer from: depression, anxiety, psychosis and suicidal ideation -Those who have a history regarding mental health experience worsened state -The suicide rate amongst former inmates is highest among those who were in solitary confinement 2. Physical -exposure outside and amongst others is vital for “normal” brain function -lack of sensory exposure also leads to quickening memory loss -issues with long distance eyesight -Vitamin D deficiency increases risk for bone breaks and fractures 3. Societal -there is no treatment when released for trauma or solitary confinement -”Do we want people to come out better or worse than they went in” Also, Inmates that are assigned to solitary confinement during their incarceration are 3.2 times as likely to commit an act of self-harm as opposed to those who did not experience solitary confinement. Inmates that experienced solitary confinement were 2.1 times more likely to commit acts of self-harm during solitary confinement as well as 6.6 times more likely to commit acts of self-harm once outside of solitary confinement compared to inmates that never experienced solitary confinement. This study shows that Serious Mental Illness coupled with solitary confinement lead to the highest rates of potentially fatal self-harm. Solitary confinement, age, and serious mental illness overlaps showed that younger inmates were more likely to experience less lethal acts of self-harm, whereas older inmates were likely to commit more lethal acts of self-harm. Knowing this information is a clear indication of a human rights violation and we should stand to correct that. Please sign the petition in solitary to show Gov. Parson that the citizens of Missouri stand in solidarity to put human rights first.
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    Created by Alexis Martin
  • Stand Up for Restorative Justice
    Our nation, our state, and our city have a crime and incarceration problem. The US incarcerates a higher fraction of our population than any other country of the world. Yet, this incarceration practice is expensive, traumatizing, and ineffective. For example, the re-arrest and re-incarceration rate (recidivism rate) is extremely high at 70 to 80 %. The underlying cause of this cycle of crime is the epidemic of trauma. More than 2/3 of us have experienced trauma, and research shows that trauma heightens our fight, flight, and freeze responses, leading to more crime and trauma. We need trauma-informed justice. This is why Connection First has developed the Connection First Restorative Justice Program (Plan). What is RJ? It is an evidence-based framework that helps to heal the societal wounds of trauma. RJ brings together those that caused the harm with those who received the harm to ask: What happened? Who was impacted? What needs were not being met during the harm? How can the harm be repaired? How can we avoid future harm? Connection First has partnered with law enforcement, the public defender, and state attorney to develop an RJ program for Leon County and Tallahassee. For more information, visit our website at https://www.connectionfirst.org, or watch this youtube video: https://youtu.be/c2UcW9fzac4 Along with law enforcement and the judicial system, citizens share in the responsibility of maintaining safety and peace. To this end, Connection First proposes to split the funding in three ways: 1/3 from the county, 1/3 from the city, and 1/3 raised by citizens. This division will ensure that no one entity has sole power over the RJ process.
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    Created by Jeremiah Murphy