Recognized as an international bill of rights for women, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations to help women out of poverty, protect them from domestic violence, and provide equal access to healthcare. Three decades later, the United States has yet to ratify the treaty. As a professed model for human rights, the United States must pass CEDAW and make the safety and security of women a priority.
The U.S. Postal Service faces a serious risk of being shut down. It performs an important service and it is financially sound, but because of an absurd accounting rule that requires it to pre-fund health benefits for its retirees 75 years into the future, it now has a $9.2 billion budget deficit.
Families in Washington State with autistic children are losing child care assistance because the Working Connections Child Care program only looks at total monthly income versus the number of people per household, and not the individual circumstances. There is no consideration given for the fact that the family of three with a disabled child is paying substantially more per month in medical and care costs than the family of three with a non-disabled child.
Parents in California are anxiously awaiting word on the passage of the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act. This bill would prohibit the use of BPA in baby bottles and children’s cups statewide. It would allow for healthier products to be available for all parents, regardless of income. Ask Governor Brown to help pass this bill to further ensure the health of young children in CA.
In May 2008, same sex California citizens were celebrating the acceptance and approval of their union in marriage by the Supreme Court of California. 18,000 same sex couples got married in California between June 17th and November 4th that same year. On that same November 4th, slightly more than half of the voters in California, 52.3%, overruled the Court’s decision to create marriage equality for all of California’s citizens and took away equal rights for same sex couples.
Gas prices continue to rise primarily as a result of speculation in oil futures markets, not due to actual increased costs. Oil companies continue to pocket billions of dollars in profits without regulation. This system abuses the American consumer and we must not tolerate it any further.
The Obama administration has abandoned stricter regulations of ozone and are trading human lives in favor of slightly lower costs for big polluters. Moving backwards to an ozone standard even lower than that set by the Bush administration means betraying the hopes of everyone concerned for clean air and the environment.
The Sargasso Sea, located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, is the only sea on Earth that does not have any land boundaries. Instead it is identified, mainly, by circulating currents around the North Atlanticsub-tropical gyre and by mats of sargassum floating on the surface of the water. Help to protect this area of ocean, much like a National Park, and ask that it become a Marine Protected Area (MPA)
In order to ensure critical thinkers and engaged, empowered citizens, there needs to be a complete restructuring of the current school curricula and standards. Urge the U.S. Department of Education to reevaluate the current school model and make changes that will liberate students, not trap them.
Judges hearing criminal cases typically set bond which, if met, allow the alleged offenders to await trial without staying in jail. However, those that are not financially able to meet the bond requirements are at a disadvantage and typically sustain higher rates of pre-trial incarceration. We must eliminate this financial discrimination in administering justice.
To date, over 30, 000 children have died with 12 million more on the brink of starvation in East Africa. In countries like Somalia, humanitarian aid is not being received due to anti-terrorist laws imposed by the American government. It’s time the U.S. government lifted these laws in order to ensure that aid be sent to the areas hardest hit in Somalia.
14 millions Americans are currently reported as out of work, even though the true number is higher. Billions of U.S. dollars have been set aside to assist with short term solutions, but no realistic, long term programs have been proposed, largely due to the stalemate and partisanship that exists in Congress. We need to demand accountability for unemployment.
A massive new oil pipeline has US State Department approval to transport crude oil from Alberta to Texas, cleaving the natural landscapes of Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. This decision makes little security sense and exacts a massive environmental toll: Waterways, soil, and wildlife species are at risk throughout the entire country, and America would still rely on foreign fossil fuels.
This proposed legislation that allows officials to secretly detain criminal suspects for up to six months in an undisclosed location is an infringement on basic human rights and is contradictory to International law.
Bear Witness to Victims of Domestic Abuse by Organizing or Participating in a Clothesline Project Event
It is estimated that three out of four people within the United States know someone who currently is, or has been, a victim of domestic violence. Begun in 1990, The Clothesline Project has been duplicated around the world in the years since, and served as a visual monument and healing tool for victims of domestic abuse. Pledging to participate in, or organize a Clothesline Project within your community, demonstrates your commitment to break the silence that so often shrouds intimate partner violence against women.
Pay Tribute to the 9/11 First Responders and Ask That They Be Invited to Ground Zero for the 10th Anniversary of September 11th
On the morning of September 11, 2001, countless members of the New York Police and Fire Departments reported to duty like any other day. Thousands of firefighters, medical workers, and police officers worked non stop to help those in the wreckage of the fallen towers. This September 11th, however they have been excluded from the 9/11 ceremony held at ground zero. Honor the 9/11 first responders and allow them to be a part of the ceremony commemorating the event.
This year, youth unemployment has hit an unprecedented high at 48 percent. Concurrently, gun and gang violence among youth has been on the rise in cities across the country. We must pass the Emergency Jobs Bill to secure a prosperous future for a new generation and reduce violence among youth.
Aerial gunning is an inhumane and archaic practice stemming from a time when unregulated trophy hunting targeted animals worldwide in need of protection. Aerial killing runs counter to the ethical standards society has to protect these creatures, as well as the will of Alaska’s general populace. There can be only one true solution, end aerial gunning of wolves in Alaska for good.
Big banks have been using wrongful and fraudulent tactics to foreclose on American homes. They must be stopped and held accountable for their actions, not just given a slap on the wrist.
No Child Left Behind’s misguided teacher assessment relied far too heavily on end of year standardized tests to measure the effectiveness of teachers, thereby, effectively ignoring other more substantive measures. Instead, teacher effectiveness must be measured by the amount of student growth per year, rather than solely on meeting yearly standards.
Despite President Obama’s 2009 promise to shut down the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, no progress has been made toward trying or repatriating the inmates housed there. On the contrary, additional roadblocks have been put in place, preventing resolution of the fate of these detainees. We must take action to assure closure of this facility and proper handling of the remaining inmates.
The sport of Greyhound racing has led to various cases of severely inhumane treatment. Dogs are forced to endure a life of nearly endless confinement, sustain serious injuries, risk being killed or neglected when no longer profitable, and possibly be drugged with steroids and cocaine. It is time to tackle this issue on a national level and prohibit Greyhound racing.
Despite the apparent protection from economic hardship the Social Security and Medicare programs have provided since their inception, it is estimated that over 3 million seniors age 65 and older still live below the federal poverty line (FPL) in the United States. A new measure of economic security reveals that this number is vastly underestimated. We must take action now to protect the most vulnerable among us.
At any given time, 12 million people in California are uninsured for health care. However, affordable health care for everyone is still a possibility. Shifting from an individual to collective perspective of basic human needs and rights is imperative in a democracy where equality and the pursuit of happiness for all has been of utmost importance since the beginning of our country.
A couple in Wyoming was hoarding over 170 cats in their small home and outdoor area. When animal welfare workers entered the home on August 26th, many cats were extremely ill and all were living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Ask that these abusive hoarders be brought to justice, so these cats can know peace finally.