- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
- Civil Rights
- Economic Justice
- Government Accountability / Whistleblowers
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Law Enforcement
- Post Office
- Retirement and Healthcare
Law Enforcement Personnel Held Totally Accountable By Using BodyCam Equipment.Law Enforcement Is Not Working Well in the USA. Too Many People Being Incarcerated with High Recidivism Rates. Too Many Cops Shooting Suspects, Too Many "Deals" in Prosecution and Sentencing. Too Much Individual Discretion Applied in the Whole Process By Law Enforcement Personnel .
STOP Timber Mountain OHV AreaThe 1995 Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Medford District BLM included a listing of three areas “to be managed for OHV use.” (Off-Highway Vechicles) Thirty-eight characters describe the Timber Mountain/John’s Peak OHV Area (original name; it keeps changing). “Timber Mountain/John’s Peak, 16,250 acres.” Though a table describes these areas as “Limited to existing roads and trails,” the RMP contains no written descriptions of the areas, no maps showing area boundaries, and no maps showing existing trails. Since 1995 the BLM has actively promoted the area, including getting Oregon Parks and Recreation to include it in their recreation materials. Area residents, dealing with trespass, noise, erosion, trash and illegal activity, found BLM totally unresponsive to complaints. BLM maintains the area was designated in 1995 and that BLM lands are “Open unless marked Closed.” An uncontrolled surge of OHV enthusiasts increasingly carved out trails wherever they could, often trespassing on private land. In 2005 BLM began an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. It wasn’t until 2006 that area residents saw any maps of the area. (In Oregon most BLM lands are every other section of land, making it a checkerboard pattern interspersed with private lands.) More than 1200 area landowners, registered voters all, submitted a petition to BLM requesting the area be removed for OHV use as an “inappropriate area.” BLM released a DRAFT EIS in 2009. It was heavily criticized and no official action has been taken since to manage the situation. Recently, however, BLM issued a Categorical Exclusion (CE), an action that allows them to do work without requiring environmental analysis. The CE provides for the “rehabilitation/restoration” of 92 miles of trail over a period of five years. Some of the trails on the accompanying map don’t even exist. The government has been like an unwelcome cousin that stands at the fence and yells, then invites all his buddies down to your house where they make noise, scorch the countertop, scar the coffee table, and leave behind a bad smell. Enough. This has been going on for twenty years. Please join me in asking Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to correct this situation. Thank you.
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!
FIre Top Three Secret Intelligence OfficialsTorture is not the only secret program that has failed to produce intelligence with integrity – this failure is true of every part of the secret world from the CIA, which relies on foreign liaison hand-outs for the bulk of its “clandestine” intelligence to the NSA, which processes less than 1% of what it collects, to the NRO and NGA that are inept at “Big Data” and incapable of providing all-source fused data to the end-user at a desk in Washington or in a foxhole abroad. This is about far more than torture – this is about the complicity of military and civilian intelligence in assassinating thousands (with a documented 98% innocents along the way) while spending over a trillion dollars in a manner that is not helpful to Whole of Government strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations. SHORT URL for Open Letter: http://tinyurl.com/fire-intel-3
Stop Torture: Accountability: YES – Impunity: NOIt is now time to take action. The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in the torture report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes. It is critical that we hold accountable those who authorized, those who legally sanctioned and those who implemented the torture policies.
No War in Ukraine!The threat of nuclear war is very real. Currently US foreign policy towards Ukraine has made nuclear war with Russia far more likely. The United States has recklessly brought NATO – a nuclear armed alliance – into conflict with Russia – a nuclear armed state. Recently, Russia has unveiled an updated arsenal of nuclear weapons, which in turn has brought the US into a new nuclear arms race, obliterating the gains of nuclear disarmament and containment. This needs to stop if the world is to avoid yet more needless war.
Amend Presidential Eligibility (Candidates Conduct and Good Moral Character Vetting)This is critically important as our increasingly diverse culture and divided Nation has created gaps in expectations of enforceable Standards of Ethical Conduct (as required for employees of our government's Executive Branch and every member of our Department of Defense). Leaders must exemplify agreed Standards.
Pressure Donald Trump to release his tax returnsHe said on the popular morning show Good Morning America that he fights “very hard to pay as little tax as possible.” His claim to wealth has also been called into question.The best way for this refusal to hurt his campaign is to get news outlets to cover the issue. Urge multiple highly popular news companies to step up their game and start seriously pressuring Donald Trump to release his tax returns.Trump is never going to release his tax returns unless there are consequences for not doing so. You have a responsibility to keep important political candidates like this honest. We demand that you start adequately covering Trump’s failure to release his returns and continue putting on the pressure until he does so. The future of the entire nation is at stake.
Protect and Strengthen Fresno’s Office of Independent Review“The mission of the Office of Independent Review (OIR) is to strengthen community trust in the Fresno Police Department by providing neutral, third-party review of police policies, procedures, strategies and internal investigations. The OIR works independently of the Fresno Police Department and provides the City’s leaders and the public with objective analysis of policing data, actions and outcomes” (from the City of Fresno’s website: http://www.fresno.gov/Government/CityManager/IndependentReview/default.htm). As concerned members of the Fresno community, we recognize the vital role police officers play in providing safety within our communities and the importance of cultivating trust with those they serve. Indeed, the motto of the Fresno PD is “Safety, Service and Trust.” Transparency and accountability are critical to the establishment of that trust, and the existence of the OIR ensures a systematic process of objective, third-party review of all complaints filed by citizens and all internal affairs investigations, including quarterly reports with recommendations on findings to increase thoroughness, compliance, quality and accuracy. Currently, the Fresno City OIR has been led by Richard Rasmussen, who was hired in September 2012, having just retired after serving 21+ years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Second and Third Quarter Reports of 2016 issued by the Fresno OIR are based on data provided by Fresno PD and reveal that African Americans and Hispanics are subject to more “Field Interviews” and “Traffic Stops” than their respective proportions in the population would predict. For example, although African Americans constitute only 7.7% of the population of the City of Fresno, they represent 13.2% of the traffic stops and 24.4% of the field interviews by Fresno PD--a statistically significant difference. The irony is that the same Fresno PD statistics reveal that only 3.03% and 2.42% of the Field Interviews of African Americans and Hispanics, respectively, result in arrest/detention, compared to 4.11% of the Field Interviews of whites (a statistically significant difference). Consequently, the recent OIR reports provide recommendations on how Fresno PD might build greater trust with the population served. Our most pressing issue must be to PROTECT our existing Office of Independent Review. The existence of the OIR is threatened by both 2016 mayoral candidates (Henry Perea and Lee Brand), neither of whom has expressed a long-term commitment to the OIR. Henry Perea “favors making the police auditor local, … does not support giving the position investigative and subpoena powers and also does not support any sort of community advisory board. He says there already are enough investigative layers as is” (Ellis, “Summer pushes new issues to forefront of Fresno mayor’s race,” The Fresno Bee). Lee Brand also believes the auditor should be local but that it would be too difficult to expand its investigative power. Instead, Brand would consider a Community Advisory Board (CAB), without mentioning how the CAB would be constituted and what “power” it would have. The community would like to not only keep but STRENGTHEN the powers of the OIR to include the ability to subpoena witnesses. In Salt Lake City, for example, they have an Independent Investigator and a Civilian Review Board (not just “Advisory”). The Investigator conducts a side-by-side investigation with the Internal Affairs Unit of the Police Department (as opposed to “after” the IA investigation currently in place in Fresno). The Investigator participates in all interviews, has access to all evidence, and may compel witnesses to be interviewed. Once the Investigator has finished the investigation, it is presented to the Civilian Review Board which deliberates and sends a recommendation to the Police Chief regarding whether or not the complaint should be sustained, along with any other recommendations. The Police Chief has complete and final authority over all disciplinary decisions but is required to take the recommendations of the Police Civilian Review Board into consideration. Fresno’s OIR has made recommendations in department policies and procedures that have been critical in reducing the number of officer involved shootings (OIS), increasing the use of de-escalation tactics, and requiring the use body cameras. It is because of the OIR that the public is able to get access to hard-to-obtain information such as racial data on police field interviews, traffic stops, and detentions (Hess, “Role of Fresno’s Police Auditor Questioned,” Valley Public Radio). Prior to Mr. Rasmussen’s arrival, more than two dozen lawsuits alleging excessive force and police misconduct by Fresno PD were winding their way through federal court. The price of fighting these legal battles, not to mention the payouts resulting from either settlements or findings against Fresno PD, cost us taxpayers millions of dollars. According to KMPH-KFRE.COM media reports, about 180 lawsuits were filed against the Fresno Police Department between 1997 and 2009, and the city paid out about $5.7 million in settlements and judgments, $2.8 million of which were specifically for civil rights violations. Since the re-institution of the OIR under Rick Rasmussen in September 2012, there have been no payouts resulting from any complaint to date (any recent payouts were from complaints filed prior to September 2012). The presence of the OIR seems can help build public trust and also save the city money.
NEW LAWS EMPOWERING & PROTECTING PEOPLE WITH AUTISM WORLDWIDEPeople with Autism, despite their limitations, have much to contribute to society. New skills, perspectives, talents, accomplishments - and therefore they must be protected from neurotypicals who don't know how to approach them properly. We can no longer tolerate this abuse - it is time for the world to act.