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Stop Trump Rally - WNY Organizations & IndividualsDear Friend, America is a nation that still struggles to live up to the promise of the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence "that all men are created equal." We are a nation made up of people from all over the globe who have migrated to America with the hope of finding a better life. Despite the ugly past of the dispossessing of native peoples and the brutal enslavement of African people, America is still a land where people of many races live, work, and worship shoulder to shoulder with each other. We have not yet met the lofty ideals of the founding fathers, but we are a nation that has made amazing progress over the years The recent emergence of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination for the Presidency of the United States threatens to stymy the progress of this generation. The wisdom of Solomon teaches us a poignant lesson: "Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs" (NIV, Proverbs 10:12). From day one of his regressive campaign, Mr. Trump has spewed hate-filled rhetoric that has brought nothing but conflict to our nation. Mr. Trump repeatedly insults his opponents and those who differ from his narrow-minded view of the future of America. His race-based insults if the Latino community as it relates to immigration denies the promise held in the words of the Statue of Liberty. His hate-filled rhetoric against Islam denies one of the founding principles of America, which is religious freedom. His links to white supremacy terrorist organizations threatens to reverse the great progress America has made from slavery, Jim Crow to the Civil Rights movement. Having Mr. Trump as the standard bearer for the GOP prevents it from upholding its heritage as the party of Lincoln; reducing it to the party of hatred, division and racism. After a generation of despair due to the decline in the auto, steel and other manufacturing industries, Western New York is currently experiencing an economic renaissance. Along with this resurgence, new visionary leadership has taken on the segregated past of our region in an attempt to bring our community together. Initiatives like the Opportunity Pledge, Racial Roundtable and One Buffalo has ushered in a new era of inclusion, diversity and unity, creating an atmosphere of hope in the region. The last thing we need in this region is a visit from a man who by his own words stands against unity while exploiting old stereotypes and race based bias to fuel his campaign of hate. So we are calling on people of good conscious across this region to say Mr. Trump your campaign, your words and your presence is not welcome in our region. Mr. Trump’s words and his surrogates who spew his rhetoric clearly show where his heart is along with his blurred vision for the future of our nation. We must send a peaceful but powerful message to Mr. Trump and those who support his campaign, that we have fought too hard to tear down the walls of division and we refuse to go back to our painful past. We must send a powerful and peaceful message to those like Chairman Langworthy, Congressman Collins and Mr. Paladino that this campaign of intolerance has no place in our community. So lets us stand together hand in hand reaching across the lines of race, religion, gender, class and sexual orientation to say yes to love. And let us embrace the prophetic words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision of the beloved community: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”75 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Victoria R.
Contaminated Water Causes Cancer in Texas Prisons; Officials Ignore Complaints and Avoid Clean-upMark Schwarzer spent five years at Wallace Pack Unit, where he was exposed to high levels of arsenic discovered in the prison water supply. While serving time at Wallace Pack Unit, Mark was diagnosed with skin cancer. He attributes the cancer to his consumption of the arsenic-tainted water in the prison. Soon after, Mr. Schwarzer requested that his blood be tested for arsenic but University of Texas Medical Branch personnel vehemently refused. As a result of their refusal, Mark filed a Step I (I-127) grievance. In September 2015, not long after these events, Mark was involuntarily transferred from Wallace Park Unit, in Navasota, TX to Boyd Unit in Teague, TX. Mr. Schwarzer discovered that his Step I (I-127) grievance had been denied, and he filed a Step II (I-128) grievance at the Boyd Unit. The Unit Grievance Investigator at Boyd, Mr. Mark Fryhoff, has refused to produce a copy of Mr. Schwarzer's Step II grievance, claiming it has mysteriously disappeared. Without this document, these is no evidence at the Boyd Unit that Mark Schwarzer has filed a grievance or requested blood tests. Mark Schwarzer is suffering from arsenic-caused skin cancer, and because of Officer Fryhoff’s either intentional or irresponsible misplacement of the Step II (I-128) grievance, Mark is unlikely to receive the immediate testing and treatment that he is asking for. Losing grievances or failing to produce copies damages the integrity of the entire process. There are numerous incidents of TDCJ prison officials attempting to cover up contaminated water problems at its facilities. Texas prisons promote a pattern of conduct where TDCJ employees, including wardens, corrections officers and classification personnel, use their positions to retaliate against prisoners who file grievances or shed light on injustices and abuse. We must begin to hold these individuals accountable for their abuse of power! Please sign this petition, demanding that Senator Ellis and Senator Whitmire contact the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and mandate an inquiry and investigation into the unethical conduct of Boyd Unit Grievance Officer Mark Fryhoff.5,389 of 6,000 SignaturesCreated by Jamani M.
Free Leonard PeltierIt's time to free Leonard Peltier and send him home. His co-defendent was freed years ago. Keeping him in prison is just plain wrong!15 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Nancy A.
Discounts for the DisabledMy income is lower than most seniors. Why can't we get discount on clothes, movies, etc...?9 of 100 SignaturesCreated by James M.
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Demand adequate treatment and protection for inmate, Keith "Malik" WashingtonKeith "Malik" Washington is an activist and current prisoner of the menacing U.S. criminal justice system. Throughout his sentence, Malik has witnessed and experienced severe environmental neglect and its detrimental effects in Texas state prisons. He has written dozens of letters to legislators and activists revealing the horrendous conditions in TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) facilities, including malnutrition, contaminated water and extreme overheating. Retaliation is real! Malik’s efforts, instead of being met with serious investigation and support, have been treated as a threat to Texas legislators and officials. In retaliation to Malik’s efforts to expose the environmental injustices in Texas prisons, he has been transferred to the Coffield Unit, the largest and most gang-present prison in the state of Texas. Malik has deliberately been placed in harm’s way by the TDCJ! According to Malik, there have been multiple threats made against his life from both guards and prisoners and it is very clear that he was transferred to Coffield because the TDCJ is retaliating against him for exposing environmental injustices in the TDCJ system. Malik needs to be protected from threats made from guards and gangs in the Coffield Unit, which the unit’s administration have encouraged. We demand that Malik immediately be placed either in a different unit or in some sort of protective custody. Malik has devoted his life to exposing injustices in prisons across the country through education and activism - even while confined to a prison cell. He has written numerous articles for online prison activist sites. One of his more recent articles is provided below: http://sfbayview.com/2015/07/tdcj-placed-me-in-harms-way-because-i-spoke-out-in-reference-to-the-extreme-heat/keith-malik-washington/ Sign this petition demand Malik’s immediate removal from the Coffield unit or immediate placement into protective custody within the prison!6,810 of 7,000 SignaturesCreated by Jamani M.
Don't Let the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Get Away with MurderKeith Cole is a 61-year old black male prisoner whose life is in serious danger. In 2014 Keith Cole, along with 3 other prisoners, filed a federal civil complaint against extreme overheating in TDCJ facilities. The deadly heat lawsuit placed pressure on the Warden of the Wallace Pack Unit - where Keith was housed at the time - and thus made Keith a primary target for retaliation. The trial for the deadly heat lawsuit is set for February 2016. In this light, Keith was recently transferred to the McConnell Unit - one of the most neglected, dilapidated and understaffed prisons in Texas. Keith has a chronic heart condition that requires him to take multiple high-dosage medications daily and as a result, could suffer a heart attack at any time. The McConnell Unit is one of the few Texas prisons without emergency call buttons inside the cells. Keith Cole’s transfer to the neglected McConnell Unit is a deliberate attempt to place him in harm’s way before the upcoming trial in February. We worry that his medication is being withheld as retaliation for his extreme overheating lawsuit against the TDCJ. This lawsuit could change environmental standards affecting all TDCJ prisons, and Keith Cole's presence and testimony is needed to make that happen. Please sign this petition to demand that Keith Cole be immediately transferred to a unit with adequate, humane supervision and be placed in a cell with an emergency-call button!6,028 of 7,000 SignaturesCreated by Jamani M.
Free Steve Avery and Brendan DasseyThe Netflix documentary *Making of a Murderer* makes clear their innocence. Read this: http://davidswanson.org/node/50136,009 of 7,000 SignaturesCreated by David S.
JUSTICE FOR LAQUAN MCDONALD.On Tuesday November 25, 2015 the video tape recording of the murder of 17 year old Laquan McDonald was released to the public. It is clear from viewing the police video that the police lied about Laquan McDonald's murder. Yet Prosecuting Attorney Anita Alvarez, the Independent Police Review Authority and Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department set on this video for 13 months knowing that a murder had been committed. They violated the law. The Department of Justice the DOJ needs to step up and hold all those who covered up the murder of Laquan McDonald accountable. :Laquan McDonald's murder was a clear violation of his federally protected constitutional rights as a citizen. We demand that the DOJ take action.325 of 400 SignaturesCreated by FRANK C.
Ask United Nations members to fund 4th EstateOVERVIEW 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 Forum406 of 500 SignaturesCreated by Jason B.
Rename J.E.B Stuart High School To Thurgood Marshall High SchoolOur schools support parents as they teach their children values. Segregation and racial supremacy are not American values. In 2015 is it embarrassing for a suburb of Washington, DC and home of Justice Thurgood Marshall to have a high school bearing the name of a Confederate general who fought for white supremacy and slavery. In 2015, it is inappropriate for Fairfax County to continue to honor a Confederate general 150 years after the Civil War by having his name attached to a diverse public high school. The Confederacy fought against the United States of America to maintain a system of white supremacy and slavery. Instead, Fairfax County should honor long-time Falls Church resident Thurgood Marshall who, as head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, was the chief architect of the legal strategy to dismantle segregation. As a result of his brilliant advocacy in Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court declared racial segregation in the schools unconstitutional. While on the Supreme Court, Justice Marshall issued numerous opinions stressing the vital importance of equal educational opportunities for all children. On October 2, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as a justice on the United States Supreme Court. In 1968, Justice Marshall and his wife moved to the Falls Church area in Fairfax County. He lived in the very high school area that the present JEB Stuart High School is located until he died in 1993.1,492 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Andrea M.
Don't showcase Confederate "heroes" during International Bicycle Race.In the aftermath of the horrific white-supremacist massacre of nine African-Americans in Charleston, S.C., calls are being raised across the country for the removal of Confederate symbols from public places. But in Richmond, Va., the former capital of the slavery-defending Confederacy, during the 150th anniversary year of Emancipation and the end of the Civil War, prominent elected officials are defending their decision to spotlight racist symbols in an international sports event. The UCI Road Word Championships bicycle race, scheduled to take place in Richmond Sept. 19-27, is one of the cycling world's most prestigious competitions. It also likely will be the largest sports event held in the United States in 2015. Some 450,000 people are expected to attend, along with representatives of 500 U.S. news outlets, reporters from 100 countries and a worldwide TV viewing audience of 300 million. Truly, this event will showcase not only Richmond and the state of Virginia, but the entire country. And yet, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones – all Northern-born Democrats and chairmen of Richmond 2015, the official race organizing committee – have chosen to highlight Richmond's Monument Avenue, a virtual shrine to the Confederacy. (The fourth committee chairman is Thomas F. Farrell II, Chairman, CEO and President of Dominion Resources, Virginia's most politically influential corporation.) Hundreds of millions of people will watch as riders pass statues of Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, J.E.B. Stuart and Naval Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury. Then, for the critical half-way point of the race, the riders will circle around the towering monument to Jefferson Davis, the slave-owning Confederate president. The route even manages to skip the avenue's one statue dedicated to an African-American, Richmond-born tennis champion and human rights activist Arthur Ashe, who was particularly known for his activism against the racist apartheid system of South Africa. The route then continues over Shockoe Bottom, the former slave-trading area that once was the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade and an area that Gov. McAuliffe and Mayor Jones had been promoting for a commercial baseball stadium, until that for-profit developer's scheme was blocked by a prolonged community struggle. Many of the corporate principals of Richmond 2015 are the same business leaders who heavily promoted the stadium proposal. So, 150 years after Emancipation and the end of the Civil War, Sen. Warner, Gov. McAuliffe, Mayor Jones and CEO Farrell are saying that the finest this country has to present to the world are the monuments to the traitors who fought to preserve slavery – and that this outrageous statement is being made at the same time they are failing dismally to properly memorialize the site that once was the fountainhead of the domestic slave trade. Simply put, the message is: Black Lives and History Really Do Not Matter. In Richmond, the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, a community organization and a founding member of UNAC that has been fighting since 2002 to reclaim Shockoe Bottom, is calling on the race organizers to move the route off Monument Avenue and for the city to finally commit to a proper memorialization of Shockoe Bottom. The Defenders also are calling for progressives to join them in a National Presence in Richmond at noon on Saturday, Sept. 19, the opening day of the UCI race – at the Jefferson Davis monument. UNAC endorses these demands and strongly encourages all our members and allies to be in Richmond on Sept. 19 to let the world know that we reject this honoring of the slavery-defending Confederacy and demand a proper memorialization of all slavery-related sites, including Richmond's Shockoe Bottom.1,558 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Joe L.