• 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 ...
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    Created by Jamie Lesley Burch
  • A Challange to the Early Learn RFP
    The ACS Early Learn RFP creates a serious and complex issue for the New York City publicly funded child care system at this time. As stated by the Day Care Council of New York," nonprofit providers from small community based child care centers, family child care providers, as well as, large multi-service organizations servicing 100 or more children in various community neighborhoods are grappling with a disturbing situation with very little recourse." We are calling on ACS to withdraw the Early Learn RFP until the many areas of concern are addressed.
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    Created by PADCDNYC
  • Release Republicans from Norquist's "No-Tax Pledge"
    Republicans intransigent position on addressing REVENUE increases in order to help solve our National Debt and Budget issues threaten to plunge our Country into Economic Depression that would be devastating to America and throughout the world. Our goal is to enable and encourage genuine negotiations and forward progress within Congress on both the debate concerning raising the Debt Ceiling, and the Budget Debate, by nullifying Grover Norquists' "Taxpayer Protection Pledge"
    495 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Mary Elizabeth Harder
  • Truck Traffic on University Avenue
    Trucks too loud? Road condition poor? Let’s do something about it! We are your neighbors on University Ave, between 35W and St Anthony Pkwy (3rd Ward). Over the last few years, we have noticed that truck traffic has increased significantly, University Avenue road quality has depreciated, and the noise pollution is a growing nuisance. On 7/12/2011, we counted 261 container trucks from 6am to 6pm. We are reaching out to our neighbors to build a case to share with our Third Ward City Council Member, Diane Hofstede. Are you are being impacted in some of the following ways? • Noise level of trucks affects ability to open windows, sleep, hear television, or have phone conversations • Trucks cause shaking of homes and some complaints of recent cracks in walls • Truck frequency and noise starts about 5 am every week day and goes into the early evening as well as weekends • University Ave road conditions are poor • Risk of home value depreciation Do you agree with these potential solutions? • Improve road condition to better manage/absorb the truck usage • Limit use of flatbed container trucks on University • Reroute trucks to less residential areas • Determine if trucks could be secured better to cause less noise • Enforce weight restrictions (assumption is that many are overweight and causing the poor road conditions) We need your help! We must prove that many of the residents on University Avenue have similar concerns. Please sign this petition to help us reduce the truck traffic on University Avenue. Thank you.
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    Created by Alisa Mulhair
  • Term Limits 4 Members of Congress!
    My petition speaks for itself! House of Representatives, and Senators alike would never ever bring this bill up for a vote. We all know why, they would be voting themselves out of a job!!Duh!! 2 terms, after that so long!
    53 of 100 Signatures
    Created by JoAnn Diaferio
  • Political Office Reform
    No tenure/pensions for elected officials at any level. Serving is a priviledge, not an entitlement. Also, they should have to participate in the same health care programs they are trying to force upon Americans. This is yet another way to cut the debt!
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    Created by Maggie Marlowe
  • Mr. President, please fund the United States Interest Free Home Mortgage Corporation
    Abraham Lincoln issued an executive order for the Secretary of the Treasury to issue debt free American money. JFK tried and Bobby Kennedy would have tried. We are asking you to use your Presidential power to issue an executive order to the Secretary of the Treasury to fund the United States Interest Free Home Mortgage Corporation with debt free American money.
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    Created by Lee Cheney
  • Bring Diesel Cars to America
    We can reduce fossil fuel consumption by 30% or more immediately by driving fuel-efficient diesel powered cars. In Europe, they have cars that get 60 mpg. or more. And they can use Biodiesel, a much more sustainable fuel than ethanol. We need these cars in the US.
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    Created by Jim Gilbert
  • No Incarceration for Back Child Support without DNA Paternity Confirmation
    Thousands have been incarcerated for owing back child support without DNA confirmation of paternity. Many state social service agencies, for example Missouri, shirk their responsibility to order DNA testing upon receipt of a paternity challenge. Too many have been denied the right to know their true genealogy; especially the offspring.
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    Created by Darryl Lynn Jones
  • Save Congress from Political Cults
    Lawmakers who signed the Norquist pledge belong to a Political Cult. They have displayed religious fervor and unquestioned loyalty towards Political Cult Leader, Grover Norquist. Lawmakers who pledged allegiance to him show misplaced loyalty and a dereliction of duty.
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    Created by CMSimn
  • Repeal Obama's Nobel
    The Nobel Peace prize was most likely awarded to Obama for two reasons. 1) based on his pre-election rhetoric/speeches 2) to encourage him to lead the world into a more peaceful existence. Obama did not follow his own rhetoric and he maintained 2 wars and launched a third. The whole world can/will sign this petition. It can't be hidden by the US media once it goes worldwide. Tweet Away!
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    Created by Seth Johnson
  • End support for GMO crops, and label all GMO foods
    Monsanto has launched lawsuits for years against Canadian and US farmers, and winning, when their GMO pollen drifts onto an organic/nonGMO farm--saying the organic/nonGMO farmer stole their patent--calling it patent infringement. These legal actions are insane, and dangerous, and destroying and scaring small farmers. Monsanto is infecting organic farms, which could end all organics, and change organic standards to include virus and bacteria DNA which are in GMOs. Monsanto is supported by the US presidency, regulatory agencies, and courts, and is aggressively courting the same power structures in Europe. They are threatening to turn all of the world's food supply into GMOs.
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    Created by Geoffrey C Saign