• 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.
    9,166 of 10,000 Signatures
    Created by Jamani M.
  • Thousands of Georgia Prisoners Are Never Given A Release Date
    In the state of Georgia, people who are sentenced to life in prison (25 years or more) are never given a release date. In other words, if a Georgia resident is convicted at the age of twenty, and receives a single life sentence (25 years or more), they are never notified of an official release date and are unaware that they could potentially be free, soonest, at the age of forty-five. Georgia inmates suffer dramatically because of this. The detrimental effects of inmates not knowing when they will be released are numerous, including carelessness, mental illness, excessive pill use, adjustment disorders, depressive nostalgia and violent behavior. In addition, inmates with life sentences have the lowest prison visitation rates due to a loss of family support attributed to indefinite time sentencing. Georgia prisoners and their families are asking for state law to require a set release date during sentencing. Sign this petition to urge Georgia state legislators to create legislation allowing Georgia prison inmates to be given a definite release date, regardless of life sentences.
    3,458 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Jamani M.
  • Truth in Media
    This will give the American people the ability to trust what they are buying, who they are electing to office and news reports. Along with a number of other things that will help them in life. It is hard to know what is true in the media today.
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    Created by James 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
  • Change the Name of Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington
    Whereas, Arlington County prides itself on diversity and a welcoming attitude toward all ethnic groups, and *Arlington County, where Freedmans Village was located, was the destination for African Americans liberated by President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War, and *African American soldiers were trained at Camp Casey in Arlington County to fight to end slavery and to preserve the United States, and *Arlington County was never part of the Confederacy, and *Confederate President Jefferson Davis sought to perpetuate the enslavement of African Americans, and has no personal relationship to Arlington County, We, the undersigned, consider continued use of the name Jefferson Davis in connection with Route 1 and Route 110 not only to have no relevance to Arlington County, but also to be a symbol viewed by many as racist, similar to flying the Confederate flag, and therefore petition the Arlington County Board to take appropriate steps to initiate the removal of the name Jefferson Davis from those roadways. For information about Jefferson Davis Highway from the Department of Transportation: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/jdavis.cfm For more information on Camp Casey: https://consortiumnews.com/2015/02/26/the-mystery-of-the-civil-wars-camp-casey/ See also, "Lynching and Jeff Davis Highway:" https://consortiumnews.com/2015/02/12/lynching-and-jeff-davis-highway/
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    Created by Diane D.
  • 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
  • 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 .
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    Created by Gregory H. Picture
  • Credits/Refunds for television and internet downtime
    You the customer are now being billed for 24/7 service. This billing does not give any credit to the customer for the loss of signal due to areas for which the providers are responsible. This includes equipment downtime due to poor maintenance of cables, relay stations, disks, shoddy equipment required and provided by suppliers for in house service and service personal who lack knowledge in repairs. Under the present billing system these providers have no incentive to improve their services and equipment maintenance. You are charged for these services even when you can not access them and have no control as to when they will be repaired.
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    Created by Ernestine F. Picture
  • Merger of Sprint and T-Mobile
    Not only would this merger narrow choices for everybody, it would ultimately increase costs for those who can afford it least. Perhaps even more important is the hold that Crown Prince Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia would have on our population. He is a major shareholder in Softbank, an international holding company that already effectively controls 85 percent of Sprint. Should this occur, then, according to Trita Parsi, "Softbank will gain a 27 percent stake overall in what would become one of the largest US mobile providers in the United States. This would give the repressive Saudi dictatorship influence in the creation of America's first 5G network."
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    Created by Anne H.
  • Pressure Donald Trump to release his tax returns
    He 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.
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    Created by shawn b.
  • Sign to have Comcast Air Free Speech Television on their cable network
    It is a conflict of interest to get our news from corporate-sponsored media the same entities who poisoned our water through fracking; the same industry that exacerbates global warming; the same industries that poison our air and water with BPA, C8, lead, radiation and glyphosate; the same industry that tells us our tax dollars won't cover universal healthcare. While in reality they go for perpetual war, bailing out banks, subsidizing the losses of corporations and cleaning up their messes.
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    Created by Angel S.
  • Hire Robert Parry as the New Editor of the New York Times
    The New York Times has descended into poorly documented reporting, usually politically biased and often hysterical. It's readership has declined as a result. Restoring credibility will not be easy. In contrast, Robert Parry of Consortium News, has established over many years the concern with careful documentation that lends credibility and usefulness to news reporting. His editorship has provided readers with close examinations of evidence, very readable in-depth summaries of many areas of news, and a variety of articles of great interest. The simplest way for the New York Times to restore credibility would be to hire Mr. Parry as its senior editor. This would stop the flood of criticism of the NYT. Mr. Parry would endeavor to provide the same level of experienced and impartial editorship that his readers now enjoy. Readers of the NYT would enjoy a greatly improved standard of reporting, and the NYT would rapidly regain credibility and circulation. *Note: This petition is based on one originally started at Change.org by John Barth.
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    Created by Natylie B.