- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
- Civil Rights
- Economic Justice
- Government Accountability / Whistleblowers
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Law Enforcement
- Post Office
- Retirement and Healthcare
Summer Heat Serves Texas Prisoners an Early Death SentenceIn the recent summer months, an unreleased number of heat-related deaths have taken place throughout Texas state prisons. With internal temperatures reportedly reaching up to 140 degrees on some days and only 30 of the 109 Texas state prisons having facility-wide air-conditioning, a number of incarcerated men and women have died by means of heat stroke, asthma attacks, extreme dehydration, and various other heat-related illnesses. “Prisoners look upon the summer months in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) with dread and trepidation. For one is acutely aware that one may not survive another summer. Many do not.” -- Benny Hernandez, Price Daniel Unit, Dallas, Texas The Texas Department of Criminal Justice houses more than 146,000 inmates and is currently in the middle of a lawsuit over what many prisoners and prison activists have described as "deadly heat" in its facilities. Instead of making plans to install central-air systems inside of the prisons, TDCJ officials have taken steps to minimize costs and accountability by placing fans in common areas and increasing ice distribution throughout the day. “Prison guards are suffering also. They too are exposed to the deadly extreme heat, which causes tension and conflict between guards and inmates.” -- Keith “Malik” Washington, H. H. Coffield Unit, Tennessee Colony, Texas At the Wallace Pack Unit in Navasota, Texas, prisoners have to choose between drinking water contaminated with dangerous levels of arsenic or becoming dehydrated because of the extreme summer heat. Despite widespread knowledge of the cancer-causing pollutants, prison officials have continued to encourage inmates to drink at least two gallons a day. Those who are aware of the dangerous water situation try their best to drink bottled water only, when available at commissary. “It routinely feels as if one’s sitting in a convection oven being slowly cooked alive.” -- Benny Hernandez, Price Daniel Unit, Dallas, Texas This attitude of reckless indifference exhibited by prison authorities and Texas officials is a violation of basic human rights as well as the 8th constitutional amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Sign this petition demanding that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice immediately enforce the guidelines of the Texas Prisoners’ Civil Rights Manual by implementing air-conditioning systems throughout all housing units in Texas state prisons and enforcing maximum temperature guidelines. Deadly Heat in U.S. Prisons is Killing Inmates and Spawning Lawsuits: https://theintercept.com/2016/08/24/deadly-heat-in-u-s-prisons-is-killing-inmates-and-spawning-lawsuits/5,743 of 6,000 SignaturesCreated by Jamani M.
Last Chance to STOP Anti-BDS Bill in California!AB 2844 chills free speech by falsely associating legal and time-honored boycotts for human rights with unlawful discrimination, and by creating a vague new crime in the process. The bill could cost California taxpayers over $140 million (Senate Committee on Appropriations Analysis estimate) and unknown additional sums for fielding complaints and lawsuits. Although the title and some of the content of AB 2844 have changed over time, its intent remains the same: to stigmatize and suppress protected political speech, especially advocacy for Palestinian human rights through the nonviolent tactics of boycott, divestment and sanctions. Stop this attack on Californians’ free speech. Veto AB 2844.2,161 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Rashad A.
Prisoners in Namibia Need Water -- And You Can HelpContinuous efforts to cut back on water waste has turned into a political battle over water access in Namibia's Windhoek Central Prison, located near the center of the sub-Saharan desert. In late 2015, experts discovered multiple underground pipe-leaks throughout the prison's water system. About 70% of the water traveling through the prison each day is wasted due to these pipe-leaks. The Windhoek city government is traditionally responsible for paying for water services at the prison. Since the discovery of the underground pipe-leaks, the Windhoek city government has repeatedly asked the Namibian Correctional Service to fix the pipes at Windhoek Central Prison. Namibian prison officials, however, claim that there are no funds to do so. The city government has since limited the amount of water routed to Windhoek Central Prison, and on one occasion, completely shut off the prison's water supply until forced by the municipal court to turn it back on. Still, no resolution or plan of action has been made by city or prison officials. In reality, the only people physically affected by this petty political battle are the 3,500 Namibian prisoners who are in constant fear of waking up to no water. You can help them by signing this petition.2,243 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by Jamani M.
I volunteer to help the U.S. Army find its missing $6.5 trillion$30 billion a year could end starvation and hunger worldwide. $11 billion a year could provide clean drinking water to everyone who needs it. All the green energy projects ever envisioned that could preserve life on earth would collectively cost significantly less than this pocket change of yours that has gone missing. We realize you didn't drop it in the yard with your keys somewhere, that you SPENT it on things you don't really want to go into details about with us, even though it was our money to begin with. Nonetheless, we'll help you identify exactly where it all went. It shouldn't be hard if you give us proper access. Here's your report on the unaccounted for money: http://www.dodig.mil/pubs/documents/DODIG-2016-113.pdf3,986 of 4,000 SignaturesCreated by David S.
Stop Military Demonstration TeamsThese military demonstration teams draw tens of thousands of visitors to an already overcrowded city during the annual Cherry Festival. The planes emit tons of CO2, violate the city noise ordinance, disturb the young, old and those with PTSD and they cost taxpayers over $100 million per year. Further, the crowds overextend our first responders and overtax our limited infrastructure. Finally, these aircraft are war machines - they are not entertainment. Stand with me in asking the city commission to restore a measure of purity to our town.5 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Tim K.
Toxic Work Conditions in Texas PrisonsPrisoners within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice are working, unpaid, in the TCI chemical plant without being issued the proper air-ventilated safety masks. In an open letter, TDCJ inmate David Martinez described the entire work area at the Coffield Unit’s Metal Fabrication Plant as having a faulty ventilation system. "It is not fully operational and does not protect prison workers or TCI employees from hazardous and toxic fumes that are put into the atmosphere by numerous projects like welding and painting," writes Martinez. The Metal Fabrication Plant Manager and his staff have devised a “warning system” that TDCJ inmates are very familiar with, Martinez says — a warning system that gives the Metal Fabrication Plant Manager a “heads up” when any kind of inspector or auditor is at the front gate — allowing the prisoners and Texas Correctional Industry employees to shut down all activities deemed illegal and unsafe by the Fire Marshal or any other oversight Agency. The Metal Fabrication Plant is currently devising a plan for expansion, filling an order for 5,000 new storage lockers, Martinez adds, while there are no current plans to fix the plant’s ventilation system, nor to restock masks and safety equipment for the inmates who work there. Many of the chemicals and substances used in the Coffield Unit’s Metal Fabrication Plant, and in many other units and plants throughout Texas, have clear warning labels that they have the potential to cause cancer. Martinez explains that Texas prisoners are being forced to work in a very dangerous environment and to engage in hazardous and illegal practices with no regard for their health or safety. "Many prisoners are afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation," Martinez reports. "Prisoners are threatened with disciplinary action if they [complain, refuse to work or] do not sign Material Safety Data Sheets (which give the 'appearance' that Texas prisoners are being given the proper training and safety equipment) in this very volatile and hazardous atmosphere." David Martinez and thousands of other Texas prisoners need your immediate help and support! Sign this petition to demand that Texas state officials provide immediate relief to the affected prisoners and to facilitate investigation by a body that's not part of the prison administration4,169 of 5,000 SignaturesCreated by Jamani M.
We Need High-Speed Long Island FerriesLong Islanders and New Yorkers in general put up with the worst transportation in the United States, with the highest average commute. We are the ONLY city surrounded by water which does NOT have a government funded ferry system. This is important in many ways including, less commute time (by half), easier access to destinations, an alternative to the constant delay and shut down of LIRR and major roadways, less cost to the rider, less pollution, and restoration of our ports. Some of the other advantages are less tax due to direct revenue, more high paying jobs, and increased property value for those communities with a port.6 of 100 SignaturesCreated by James W.
End Funding of "Defense" Research That Ignores Climate ChangeThe United States has hundreds of programs at universities, think tanks, and research institutes that claim to devote their attention to “security” and “defense” studies. Yet in almost all of these programs that receive many millions of dollars in Federal funding, the vast majority of research, advocacy and instruction have nothing to do with climate change, the most serious threat to security of our age. In an act of profound intellectual irresponsibility, so-called scholars of "security studies" spend their hours imagining fantastic military scenarios, rather than responding to incontrovertible threat of climate change which scientists have unanimously identified as a reality. We cannot waste any more of our tax dollars on security and defense studies that fail to address the primary threat to the well-being of the United States, and of the world. The time has come to put an end to this insanity. We demand that all programs of defense and security studies in the United States identify in their statement of purpose climate change as the primary security threat to the United States and that they dedicate at least 70% of their budgets to research, teaching and advocacy to the critical topics of mitigation of (primarily) and adaptation to (secondarily) climate change. Any program that fails to focus on climate change in this manner should lose its status for Federal funding. Mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change should be the primary concerns for all in security and defense field studies. Obviously other security issues deserve study, but granted the fact that the cost of climate change will run in the trillions of dollars over the next decade, and even more beyond then, we do not have the funds to support programs that are not dedicated to addressing this immediate threat. Signers include: Emanuel Yi Pastreich Director The Asia Institute David Swanson Director World Beyond War John Kiriakou Associate fellow Institute for Policy Studies John Feffer Director Foreign Policy in Focus Norman Solomon Cofounder RootsAction.org Coleen Rowley Retired FBI agent and former Minneapolis Division legal counsel2,625 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by David S.
No update to the US Nuclear CapabilityWe need to be deactivating our nuclear capability not upgrading it.47 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Lanny V S.
Peace & Planet Call for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the United States atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It also marks 45 years since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entered into force, obligating all States parties to undertake good faith negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Instead, the world’s nuclear-armed nations are spending over $100 billion per year to maintain and modernize their nuclear arsenals. The danger of wars among nuclear-armed States is growing, and with it the threat of unimaginable death and suffering. From April 27 – May 22, 2015 representatives of the 189 members of the NPT, including the original nuclear-armed States (the U.S., Russia, the U.K, France, and China) will come together at the United Nations in New York City to review the Treaty’s operation. The recent Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons set up the potential for a direct challenge to the nuclear- armed States: States not possessing nuclear weapons will be demanding a new diplomatic process to achieve nuclear disarmament. It is long past time for the world’s governments to implement the global obligation to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world. We are at a crucial juncture, a time when the unresolved tensions of a deeply inequitable society, great power ambitions, and the destructive effects of an unsustainable economic system are exploding into overlapping crises. This petition campaign is part of the Peace & Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World. In a demonstration of their determination to build a fair, democratic, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful future, people will gather in New York City and around the world for international days of action April 24 – 26, 2015.1,243 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Jackie C.
Defund Bratton's Army!Whether it's a counterterrorism-unit build up or mobile units for neighborhood “safety” and disorder control, New Yorkers say NO to Department of Homeland Security-funded NYPD militarization! The War Resisters League's campaign, "Demilitarize Health and Security," condemns the unveiling of a DHS-funded 900-officer counterterrorism and special operations overhaul by New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. According to Bratton, in amendments to his original statements on January 29th, both the 350-member counterterrorist auxiliary unit - equipped with "long rifles and machine guns" designed for "disorder control and counterterrorism protection capabilities" - and the 500-officer special-operations unit Strategic Response Group (SRG) mandated to monitor protests and “sudden rises in crime” will be rolled out in the Summer of 2015. Bratton’s conflation of “terrorism issues, crime issues and demonstrations issues” will only further criminalize our communities, violate our right to protest, and curtail our ability to survive and thrive. We demand an end to the build up of Bratton’s army because militarization is a threat to our safety! We urge Mayor de Blasio to stand with New Yorkers and call for the defunding of Bratton’s two newly proposed units. Together, we can create real solutions for community safety and wellness without tanks and assault rifles!3,166 of 4,000 SignaturesCreated by Ali I.
Enforce Minimum Wage for Social Security and WelfareWe have minimum wage laws that most businesses can't get away with violating. But the government can, and does. They will say "Because benefits aren't wages". But that is dodging the question of WHY we have minimum wage laws: humaneness, simple morality. We have laws protecting animals. Humans need to be protected too! The fact that so many people receive unconscionably low benefits, IF THEY GET THEM AT ALL!- (Another problem!)- - is a significant factor creating poverty, homelessness, illness, and an EPIDEMIC OF SUICIDES. NEITHER PARTY HAS CARED TO ADDRESS THIS FOR DECADES! SHAME ON B O T H PARTIES! They will say "We can't afford it!" But we can always afford bogus wars, and rich people pay ZERO tax for Social Security on income above $128,400, as of 2018! Stop the Wars, and make the rich pay their fair share! It is up to the American people to hold "our representatives" ' feet to the fire, or REPLACE THEM!2 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Roger B.