• End Legal Slavery in U.S. Prisons
    The 13th Amendment (1865) ordered the abolition of slavery in the United States, except as punishment for a criminal conviction. In other words, federal law permits the use of prisoners and incarcerated persons for free labor by state officials as well as the private sector. From the late 1800s until now, unpaid prison labor has been the pattern, practice, and collective mindset of various states across America. Southern states have taken particular advantage of the wording of the 13th Amendment, and in turn, current resistance movements have risen out of prison-dense states like Texas and Alabama, where units are often compared to plantations. Over the past few weeks, prison activists in Texas and Alabama have organized a series of prison-labor strikes -- where they refuse to work their assigned jobs in protest of unpaid labor compounded with toxic and unsanitary working conditions. The prison-labor strikes have led to prison lockdowns, starvation tactics and brutality by guards. Thus far, three prison units in Alabama and fourteen units in Texas (including a women's unit) have been placed on lockdown in reprisal for a collective work-stoppage. RootsAction stands in solidarity with these prison activists fighting for their human rights, and we urge you to do the same. Prisoners, like all other human beings, should be compensated for their labor, whether with wages or with reduced sentences. Paying prisoners for their labor enables them, not only to better provide for themselves while in prison, but also to pay outstanding bills and unpaid court fees that have accumulated over time (and that may have landed many of them in prison in the first place). Compensating prisoners for their labor through a legitimate "Work Time" system that reduces their sentence grants hardworking prisoners the opportunity to be reviewed early by parole boards and released back into society. This system also relieves state taxpayers, through the simple fact that an earned early release is one less prisoner to pay for. END PRISON SLAVERY NOW Sign this petition to demand that Congress revisit the 13th Amendment and propose a new amendment to the Constitution that abolishes free prison labor and applies the federal minimum wage to all labor in the U.S. and its imperial territories.
    9,129 of 10,000 Signatures
    Created by Jamani M.
  • REPEAL THE JONES ACT
    This action will drastically reduce Puerto Rico's dependency on the U.S. Congress and help Puerto Rico climb out of its current fiscal crisis.
    96 of 100 Signatures
    Created by EDWIN N.
  • Toxic Work Conditions in Texas Prisons
    Prisoners 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 administration
    4,171 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Jamani M.
  • Discounts for the Disabled
    My income is lower than most seniors. Why can't we get discount on clothes, movies, etc...?
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    Created by James M.
  • No New Pipeline Construction in Charlottesville/Albemarle
    As corporate fracking and gas pipeline proposals proliferate across the region promising jobs and cheap energy, the reality of the situation is that almost all of the fracked natural gas expected to transit our state will be shipped overseas, and very few permanent jobs will be created. Pipelines are dangerous, often exploding and leaking. Pipelines devalue land and hurt local farmers and forests. Our political leaders need to act decisively in the interest of the land, the wildlife, the farmers and the people. Join members of the Sierra Club, the Charlottesville Center for Peace & Justice, Wild Virginia, Appalachian Voices, and Friends of Nelson County in telling the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and the Charlottesville City Council to adopt a resolution banning new pipeline construction in their areas! [This petition was created by Kirk Bowers and Evan Knappenberger of the Charlottesville Center for Peace & Justice.]
    283 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Evan K. Picture
  • Eliminate Social Security Deduction CAP
    This is important because it will allow for expansion of benefits to all recipients of Social Security and will in turn increase our GNP.
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    Created by jj h.
  • Term Limits for Senators and Congress
    This would get rid of the life time positions that they have now and would force them to listen to their constituents.
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    Created by Shan S.
  • Ask United Nations members to fund 4th Estate
    OVERVIEW Please consider putting your name to this petition. It calls for United Nations members to recognise the Global Journalism Crisis and support rapid expansion of emergency funding. An initial target is 0.7% of global aid spending, amounting to US$1.4 billion. This is equivalent to 14,000 global news positions. BACKGROUND Global aid targets aim for 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product, worldwide. The Journalism Agenda 2025 narrows that target by calling for 0.7% of global aid to go towards globalising the 4th Estate. Why? News media have suffered increasingly severe cutbacks ever since the Pentagon Papers, and Watergate. GLOBALISATION Journalism has fallen far behind globalisation. Evidence for this comes in the form of a war on terror started on misleading information, and a global financial crisis missed completely by news media too busy cheerleading “free” markets. Averting global collapse of social cohesion requires strong, independent journalism not tied to corporate and/or political interests. INDUSTRY TARGET Longer term, the agenda targets the communications industry to share 0.7% of their own communication spending, to go towards independent, investigative journalism. Ethics-based, solutions-focused and forward thinking, JA2025 applies multiple layers of crowd-sourced media accountability systems. Ranging from Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, and LinkedIn thumbs up, JA2025 adds survey or wizard-based responses to each story for complaints, praise, corrections or fresh details. FINE-GRAIN GROUND-TRUTH As an additional layer of accountability, these surveys can then also be compared with existing reputation rankings via social networks, e.g. pwik, opendns, klout, and/or the web of trust. Such an approach enables a finer-grain response to each issue, enabling journalists to build ground-truths into the institutional memory of the 4th Estate. This is an example of JA2025 proposals using open newsroom standards. JA2025 is platform neutral – no proprietary software means we can network with anyone, anywhere, using their tools not ‘ours.’ POLICY EQUITY Creating policy equity with legislators, executives and the judiciary, @jagenda2025 drafts out a 10 year plan to rescue journalism, and rebuild the 4th Estate into a worldwide institution. Journalism aid could include investing a recommended ratio towards a permanent trust fund. To put that in context, the US alone has fired 20,000 journalists since the Global Financial Crisis. There are now just 39,000 journalists left in the United States. The US figures suggest an estimate of 50,000 or more also being sacked, worldwide. WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT Journalism was a public good. No longer functioning as the 4th Estate, journalism cannot hold power to account and protect human rights, anywhere. Newsroom pay rolls began shrinking in 1990, beginning a 25 year decline in journalism jobs. WHY JOURNALISM IS A PUBLIC GOOD A strong, independent press is the globe’s best chance of responding to looming challenges from climate change. Informing the public is the most sacred duty of our local, national, regional and international representatives. There can be no public unless there is public media. Publicly or privately owned, news media are a public service. WHAT IT IS We, the undersigned, petition world authorities to fund independent, investigative journalism. JA2025, the global journalism agenda, calls for at least 0.7% of aid to be quarantined for news media. That slice equals aid funding of US$1.4 billion, representing equivalent spending on 14,000 new journalist positions, about 10% of newsroom jobs lost worldwide since 1975. CHALLENGE A challenge will be issued to NGOs, governments and companies to match this funding. This challenge calls for another 0.7% sliver, of all communications, public relations and other corporate messaging, a further US$3.6 billion in funding for independent, investigative journalism. SOURCES Pew Institute, state of the media US Census figures European Journalism Centre Media Rights Agenda (Africa) Asia-Pacific Association of Press Clubs Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance (Aus, NZ) Pacific Freedom Forum
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    Created by Jason B. Picture
  • The Greek people got to vote. Why shouldn't we?
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement dictated by the corporate and wealthy interests who will reap its rewards. If adopted, the majority of Americans will be the losers. They’re using negotiations that they have branded as “trade talks” to impose many non-trade policies that could lower our standard of living, export our jobs and undermine our rights. TPP is being negotiated in secret. Corporations are at the table. The American people are not. Congress won't even know what it is voting on until all the negotiations are over. Congress' decision to give the president Fast Track authority means TPP can't be modified or amended to protect the American people. If you like NAFTA, you'll love TPP! Requirements like “renewable/recycled” or “sweat free” and obligations for firms to meet basic health, safety, minimum and prevaling wage, child labor, human rights and other standards could be challenged, even on work for the government paid for with our tax dollars. Corporations will be able to sue our government for unlimited compensation if they believe labor, environment, food safety or other standards affected their "expected future profits". More American workers will lose their jobs and incomes as companies export our jobs to wherever they can pay the lowest wages with the fewest restrictions, including places with child labor and modern forms of slavery. Shouldn't the American people get to vote whether we are subjected to this corporate power grab dressed up as a trade agreement? Shouldn't we have at least as much democracy as the Greek people in deciding our fate?
    651 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Michael E. Picture
  • Vote for TPP and I'll Never Vote for You
    The TPP is a disaster that towers over considerations of gentility and lesser-evilism. This is Congress, as our supposed representatives, giving the power to overturn its own laws to corporations. This is NAFTA on steroids, economically and environmentally destructive at home and abroad. Most of it has nothing to do with trade, but is rather about empowering banks and corporations with powers that couldn't be passed separately or transparently because they're too terrible and unpopular. It's time we take a stand against wrecking the world, even with corrupt politicians who can find someone slightly more corrupt to run against. Here are the senators who voted for Fast Track: http://1.usa.gov/1GtAdTH And the House members who voted for Fast Track: http://1.usa.gov/1GAl1TT Let them know the consequences if they vote for the TPP.
    12,636 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by David S. Picture
  • Hold the insurance industry accountable for its many abuses.
    For the last 3 decades, many Americans whether they are regular patients, injured workers or veterans are being denied access to real medical care and other benefits. This effects the poorer folks, the elderly, minorities, the disabled & the sick. Under the Affordable Care Act, this was to stop. It has not. The conditions to deny are worse.Why? Because the insurance industry has impunity against its many humane rights abuses which include denial and refusal of the proper medical care, paying for the wrong care & "care" that will make a patient medical condition worse which will create more injuries or illnesses. such as injecting patients with unknown drugs that not only make the condition worse but actually harms the patient immeasurable for life, preventing them from ever working again. Patients that try to fight back in getting the right care or speaking against the denial or refusal of medical care are retaliated against. One way is to have them under constant and illegal surveillance, in many cases, years of surveillance even by local or top law enforcement such as the FBI. Surveillance that involves stalking the patient while out in public and public or private business and while in vehicles with GPS monitoring and causing car accidents, phone tapping, computer hacking, breaking & entering a patient's home or other owned properties. The police break into patients homes under guise that there are illegal drugs in the home. Private investigators are hired to go into churches to spy on ill or injured patients. There is also the theft of U.S.mail evidence that could prove to win against the insurers. Patients are now claiming that they are afraid of their medications and their food being tampered with. Patients or family members who try and speak out for themselves or their families have been stopped by police, looking for "drugs" and or arrested with no charge. Then there are the insurance doctors reports that are falsely altering medical reports and these same doctors will then deem these patients as mental cases. Now it is happening to our veterans, those who are coming came back from the wars in the Mideast. After listening to patients and injured workers for many years, it has become quite clear that being injured or ill makes one a target of inhumane treatment which includes not getting their right medical care treatment or any other benefit. The SSA & Medicare (tax payer money) should not be the only insurance companies to pick up the tab for insurers who continue to ultimately deny any rightful and owed benefits. This has to stop! AND the only way is for our leadership in our Washington D.C. leadership should hold the insurance cartel/monopoly fully accountable with enforcement of the laws that guarantee us our civil, constitutional & human rights. No insurer should have impunity or immunity that results in the delays and denials for the right to receive medical treatment and benefits or in the targeting with inhumane AND illegal practices on those of whom are the most vulnerable, the sick and injured.
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    Created by DINA P. Picture
  • Keep Nestle Out of the Cascades!
    Help keep Oregon beautiful, natural, independent, and HEALTHY! If you live in, or care about, the state of Oregon then there is something happening that you should know about. Cascade Locks is trying to sell Nestle rights to Oregon's water and permission to build a bottling plant in our state without so much as a by-your-leave from the Oregonians who currently own this water and who will be affected by this plant. If you do not already know why this would be a problem I invite you to take a moment to look at Nestle's recent actions around the world: http://www.corp-research.org/nestle and how Californians feel about the deals they made with Nestle now that they have the benefit of hindsight http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/20/nestle-water-bottling-california-drought This is an invasive and abusive company that will promise anything to get in and then, once they are established, they proceed to ignore any and all restrictions or complaints about their abuses unless they are constantly and very aggressively enforced. You can see the destructive pattern repeated over and over in Colorado, California, China, and South America. The jobs they promise the community either mysteriously never seem to manifest or they are minimum wage and temp jobs while all high pay positions are filled with imported personnel. Meanwhile the plant continues to sprawl across the previously gorgeous countryside and suck up increasingly precious clean water. Once Nestle owns water rights they are NEVER so stupid as to sell them back again (that alone should indicate that you have something more valuable than what they are offering for it) and it becomes almost impossible to effectively enforce water usage restrictions, as California is discovering. Oregon has some of the most beautiful and unspoiled wetlands in the world, and fresh, clean WATER IS THE MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE IN THE WORLD. Nestle knows that. They see the droughts rampaging across the entire globe and they know how pricelessly precious these springs and aquifers are, so they will offer any price to acquire them and then never let them go. I don't want these unscrupulous profit-hounds anywhere near us, but since Nestle has gone behind the public's back (after the Cascade Locks community rejected their proposals multiple times) nobody plans on giving any of us a real say! This will not simply affect the Cascade Locks area. This is upstream of a lot of other Oregonians who are being given NO say whatsoever in this decision even though they also depend upon this water source. I plan on yelling directly at the Oregon Water Resources board, Governor Kate Brown, and the Cascade Locks City Council to let them know I will NOT quietly sit by while they sell off our most precious natural resource, all on the promises of a known liar! I invite you to join me.
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    Created by Meghan O. Picture