• Grant Immediate Emergency Aid to Puerto Rico & Eliminate Cost-Sharing for FEMA Aid
    Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 , making it the 4th most devastating storm to strike on U.S. territory in history. This island territory is facing months and months of rebuilding for basic infrastructure. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and must be extended equal aid and support as mainland citizens in the face of catastrophe. Just prior to Maria, the island declared bankruptcy and faces the largest municipal debt crisis in US history since Detroit, but because of its Commonwealth status, unlike Detroit, or other US municipalities, was denied debt absolution. Specifically, Puerto Rico's government owes $74 billion to bondholders, and an additional $50 billion in pension obligations to teachers and almost all other government employees. Since Puerto Rico is not sovereign and cannot restructure with the World Bank/IMF this small island has no chance at correcting the generational economic crisis it is in. Our legislators to reprioritize the needs of this island territory, home to 3.5 million Americans and absolve the debt. This pre-Maria economic situation will complicate rebuilding and needs to be considered as a pre-requisite for effective rebuilding of infrastructure. Otherwise, we are just kicking the can down the road. As in the example of Detroit, having an appointed Board, or manager does not create an opportunity to trim cost or debt, and creates situations like the Flint water crisis. The FEMA cost-sharing requirements currently in place will INCREASE the current debt and economic difficulty that Puerto Rico carries, and is an unreasonable ask for a Commonwealth whose economy and financial present and future is at this point bankrupt. While the White House has approved federal expenditures to help Puerto Rico (HQ-17-125) during this critical emergency, the aid is in the form of cost-sharing. It is a morally and ethically bankrupt Congress that would allow this type of requirement to be issued from the White House. A minimum one year waiver of the Jones Act is necessary as it would enable foreign-flagged vessels to move fuel and aid to Puerto Rico, adding to transport options. A waiver will ensure that all options are available to distribute aid to Puerto Rico and keep supplies moving to people in need. The Jones Act is unduly burdensome and ultimately needs to be eliminated. In addition, many residents are moving from the island for the mainland United States, leaving it with fewer skilled workers to handle the rebuilding and development process. Restructuring debt, and eliminating the PROMESA act and oversight board will allow the Puerto Rican people their right to rebuild with dignity and justice, for the long-haul.
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    Created by Andrea Zayas and Irene Baigorri
  • Tell Santander to Stop their racist lending practices!
    Santander Consumer, the largest and most recognized name in subprime auto lending, is the poster child for predatory practices in the industry. Here’s why—Santander Consumer is actively preying on vulnerable elderly consumers and people of color with wildly high fees and interest rates. Their laundry list of fines, violations, and lawsuits proves it: - They were recently subpoenaed for racist and discriminatory interest rate markups related to auto lending and securitizations by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). - Twenty-eight state attorneys general are also investigating Santander Consumer for predatory and discriminatory practices in auto lending and securitizations. - They recently paid over $40 million in fines and restitution to settle lawsuits over their illegal lending, collection, and repossession practices. Predatory auto loan practices disproportionately affect communities of color, deepening poverty levels, limiting access to credit and perpetuating centuries of inequality. People of color are more often given misleading information and African Americans and Latinos are nearly twice as likely to be sold unnecessary add-on products than white consumers. Predatory loans increase the chance of loan delinquency and auto repossession, which have serious consequences for the financial health of communities of color. Even former Santander workers have said that the they’ve seen “unbelievable” interest rates and business practices that target and prey on communities of color with unaffordable loans with toxic fees. The trend is clear. Santander Consumer lending practices aren’t just bad business, they’re racist and immoral. Join us in demanding Santander stop their racist lending practices and sign our petition.
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    Created by Ban Santander Picture
  • Investigate the Bail Bond Industry in New York
    Dear Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Schneiderman, Each year in New York State, as many as 100,000 people are imprisoned for their inability to afford bail. For some families, the only way to buy a loved one’s release from jail is through the for-profit commercial bail bond industry. The commercial bail bond industry is inherently exploitative, and bail agents take advantage of lax regulations to gouge vulnerable consumers in a moment of crisis, desperate to get a loved one out of jail. They charge a nonrefundable fee of about 10 percent of the bond amount, may require unlimited amounts of collateral, and often impose onerous and invasive check-in requirements as well as illegal fees and conditions. No one should be profiting off the hardship of others, or relying on people in jail for a revenue stream. The commercial bail bond industry is highly profitable, in large part because it is virtually unregulated, leaving unscrupulous bail agents free reign. Bail corporations prey on some of our most vulnerable communities that have the least political power- specifically people of color and those too poor to afford a lawyer. Similar to payday loans, the bail industry extracts millions of dollars a year from the neighborhoods that can least afford it. Bail bondsmen are lobbying elected officials regularly to ensure that bail and mass incarceration remain the status quo. However, we are fighting back and we’re gaining momentum. With an investigation into this industry, the Governor and Attorney General will have the opportunity to expose an industry that is working to hurt their constituents. The bail bond industry has corrupted our constitutional freedoms for the purpose of profit. By investigating the bail bond industry the state of New York can unwind one of the most unjust aspects of the criminal justice system. By signing the petition you will be telling Gov. Cuomo that we will no longer allow the bail bond industry to prey on Black communities without any oversight. Due to how vulnerable of a position people are placed in when being in jail for even a short amount of time the bail bond industry is using this as an opportunity to make huge profits off the backs of poor people. Investigate the bail bond industry today! Thank you, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and VOCAL-NY
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    Created by Kristen Miller
  • Fund Public Transit: People of the City
    Underfunding public transportation forces poor residents to own a car in order to work, shop, or take their children to school. With proper funding and regular routes along main streets the city can benefit Black communities by making it much less expensive to live here. If public transportation is properly funded, then more working citizens in the Black community will have access to quality education for their children and a more stable living condition altogether. We need proper funding for everyone, for the city to operate better at large. Support this petition for a good example of a powerful narrative that highlights an impact on the Black community.
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    Created by Sara Elmessiry
  • Stand with Nissan workers
    Thousands of Nissan auto workers in Canton, Mississippi—80 percent of whom are African-American—have had enough. They endure dangerous working conditions, bullying by management, punishing production demands, and long hours. That’s why Nissan workers will soon vote on whether to unionize, despite underhanded interference from management. The company is already waging an incredibly hostile campaign of intimidation and pressure against union supporters. Nissan has union representation at every one of its 45 manufacturing plants around the world, except for the three plants in the American South. Southern workers should not be denied the rights that all other Nissan workers around the globe can exercise. This campaign of intimidation and pressure from the company must end. Tell Nissan to stop standing in the way of its workers’ right to unionize!
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    Created by Joel Solow
  • Walmart: Hourly Workers Need Paid Family Leave Too
    When I was pregnant in 2014 I was back at Walmart a week after I had my son. My mom called me one night to let me know that my son turned blue and they had to admit him into the hospital right away. I had to fight with my managers to go be with my son without discipline and afterwards I was denied time off when he needed me. That’s because despite having worked at Walmart for three years, the company didn’t even provide me with a single day of paid leave after the birth of my child. At two weeks old, Zyon had to enter the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. For four months I had to leave his side so I could go to my shift at Walmart, after which I would go straight back to the hospital. Each time It was incredibly hard to leave him. I ended up having to quit my job at Walmart because of the time I needed to spend with Zyon at the NICU. The infant mortality rate among African American infants is 2.4 times that of white infants. Paid family leave reduces infant mortality. As the largest employer of African Americans in the country, paid family leave would have a tremendous impact of the lives of African Americans across the country. Walmart defines company culture as its values in action and says that it is “guided by good.” But Walmart’s corporate policies for working moms and dads don’t reflect those values and leaves members of the Walmart retail family flailing in the storm. Public pressure is the only way to force CEO Doug McMillon and other Walmart decision makers at Walmart to improve the policies and working conditions that impact people like me. Bad publicity means less money in its pockets, which is the only thing we know the company cares about. If you sign my petition, you can send a strong message that you're with us in our fight. I had to leave my newborn baby far too soon after he was born to return to my job at Walmart because of the company’s terrible paid family leave policies. I am not the only one. Hourly associates like me get little to no paid leave to take care of ourselves and our families. That’s why my co-workers at I are challenging Walmart to publicly commit that all hourly workers at Walmart get 12 weeks paid family Leave just like executives get. Will you join me and add your name to my petition telling Walmart CEO Doug McMillon to publicly commit to provide all employees with access to quality family leave?
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    Created by Jasmine Dixon
  • Accused of Stealing from Walmart? Pay $500 or Go to Jail!
    Walmart is the largest employer in the nation, with over 1.5 million U.S. employees. In Minnesota alone, there are 69 Walmart locations. In fiscal year 2016, Walmart made $14.7 billion in profits, yet still relies on taxpayer-funded law enforcement in their stores. In 2016, Twin Cities-area Walmart stores made 4,958 calls for police service at a cost of more than $3 million to local taxpayers .Walmart’s solution to offsetting this cost to taxpayers is to hire private precharge companies like Corrective Education Company (CEC) to implement Walmart’s “Restorative Justice” program for suspected shoplifters. This program is currently in one third of all Walmart U.S. stores. CEC's program allows for a private security guard to identify a suspected shoplifter, lead them to a back room, collect their information, take their fingerprints and mugshot, and run their personal information through a private database to determine if they are eligible for their program. Eligibility for CEC's program is based on several factors, including whether the suspected shoplifter is a first time or repeat offender. CEC’s program is presented as a choice to enroll in and costs $400 if paid in full ($500 if in payments). The suspected shoplifter must sign an admission of guilt, which can be turned over to the police at any time by the retailer if the person does not complete the program or pay the fee in full. There are additional penalty charges for late payments and failure to pay can result in CEC turning information over to debt collection. Some retailers that contract with CEC are given a percentage of CEC’s fee, typically $40 per case, but there have been claims that retailers can make up to $100 per case. Criticism of this program is extensive, including claims that this program violates constitutional due process, utilizes coercion and extortion tactics, and employs racial profiling to identify suspected shoplifters. There is also concern over CEC’s private database that maintains all personal information for each suspected shoplifter “indefinitely.” In November 2015, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued CEC for extortion, unfair business practices, false imprisonment, and more. The case is set to go to trial in October 2017.
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    Created by Bilal R Picture
  • Gov. Dayton: Protect Local Control, Veto Preemption!
    HF 600 / SF 580, taken directly from the playbook of corporate lobbyists, would greatly harm our democracy by preventing local governments from addressing the issues facing their communities. Cities need to be able to pass laws that meet their communities' diverse needs -- and only local government can address many of these needs. This bill is a blatant attempt to limit the power of workers of color, who have been organizing for and winning real gains in our cities to close our worst-in-the-nation racial disparities. And it has real consequences. It would roll back sick time protections for over 150,000 workers, making those workers once again have to choose between a paycheck and caring for their health and family. Communities have diverse needs that only local government can respond to. It's wrong for corporate interests to have final say when it's local families and communities that will suffer the consequences. Local governments know their communities best and must be able to make decisions for their communities. We call on Governor Dayton to veto the "local preemption" bill to protect our democracy and our families.
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    Created by Rod Adams
  • Tell Nissan Its Time to Decide- Stop Advertising in Breitbart
    As Brietbart News has emerged from the sewer of hatred to become the home of White Nationalism, many national companies have taken steps to pull their advertising dollars. Not so with Nissan. They've taken the rather mercenary position that put their advertising dollars where they think they can make the most money, period. Nissan needs to decide what side of history they will stand on. I'm not surprised. As the bi-vocational pastor of a small church here in Jackson, MS over the last 12 years., I've watched Nissan engage in abusive, exploitative, and militantly anti-Union labor practices in their Canton, Mississippi facility. At the same time Nissan tries to burnish their image by sprinkling charitable contributions around the community. The disconnect between Nissan's public image and actual corporate behavior was so great for me that I decided to get involved by joining the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan. Now I'm asking you to get involved too. Tell Nissan to stop using their advertising dollars where hate is being promoted. Tell Nissan to stop the threats and let workers have a fair union election. Join me in adding your name to this petition. Nissan has chosen to take a page out of the playbook of Mississippi and intimidate workers against voting for a union. The U.S. is the only place in the world where Nissan operates non-union. So we pastors here say: "Why not Mississippi?" We call upon people of good will everywhere to say to Nissan stop advertising in Brietbart, but more than that: stop threatening your workers civil and human rights to organize a union here in Mississippi. Tell Nissan to stand on the side of democracy and decency- Sign the petition now. Tell Nissan to respect civil rights. Tell Nissan to stop advertising with Breitbart and tell Nissan to stop threatening their workers in MS! For additional Information please see: https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/02/21/breitbart-under-bannon-breitbarts-comment-section-reflects-alt-right-anti-semitic-language https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/30/kellogg-citing-values-joins-growing-list-of-companies-that-pledged-to-stop-advertising-in-breitbart-news/?utm_term=.a5c056a54597 http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2016/12/01/brands-pull-ads-breitbart-nissan-stays-put/94732782/ https://www.facingsouth.org/2013/10/nissan-is-violating-international-labor-standards-.html
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    Created by Pastor Horace McMillon Picture
  • End Cash Bail In Philly
    We must end cash bail if we want to significantly decrease Philadelphia's overreliance on incarceration. Every day, there are thousands of people held in Philadelphia's jails solely because they cannot afford to pay for their release. Over 75% of people in Philadelphia's county jails are being held pretrial, often for many months, denying their fundamental right of the presumption of "innocent until proven guilty". Removing this barrier of cash bail allows a person to pursue their own legal defense while minimizing potential collateral consequences of their arrest. As bail reform sweeps the country, we want to see our city step up and put an end to the human rights violation of cash bail. The Department of Justice has already announced that our nation's current money bail system is unconstitutional, and our neighbors are leading the way for us -- New Jersey recently passed comprehensive bail reform policies, and Washington DC ended their use of cash bail years ago. Other cities have successfully changed their pre-trial detention process without an adverse impact on public safety, while at the same time protecting the rights of the accused and providing accountability to ensure appearance in court. Cash bail only serves as a tool of oppression against the poor and against Black and Brown people who are disproportionately impacted, and perpetuates the machine of mass incarceration. We believe nobody should have to pay for their freedom, and we urge Philadelphia City Council, Mayor Kenney and the District Attorney's Office to take action now to put an end to cash bail.
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    Created by No215Jail Coalition
  • Free The Children of Kiarre Harris
    In November of 2016, Kiarre Harris, an African-American single mother, chose to homeschool her children and remove them from a failing school in Buffalo, New York. Ms. Harris properly withdrew her children from the public school and fully complied with NYS regulations regarding homeschooling. The Buffalo Public Schools District notified Child Protective Services that the children were not attending school. Without the knowledge or notice to Ms. Harris, Child Protective Services secured a removal order from a Family Court Judge---based on educational neglect. When police first notified Ms. Harris of the removal order (which they did not provide a copy of), Ms. Harris refused to turn her children over to the police. She was arrested for obstruction. Two days later, on January 18, 2017 the children of Ms. Harris were taken away from her and placed into foster care. An ongoing Family Court has now been triggered and Ms. Harris has been granted only limited supervised visitation of her two children. This entire incident began with Ms. Harris' decision to homeschool her children and the Buffalo School District calling Child Protective Services with baseless allegations of educational neglect. Jailing a mother who has complied with the law; taking her children away, and subjecting the family to ongoing legal proceedings can not be allowed to happen. This sends a chilling message to parents who choose to fight for the betterment of their children's education. We need to make it clear: the policies and practices of the Erie County unit of Child Protective Services are racially discriminatory and adversely impact parents of poor and minority children. Kiarre Harris should be admired for doing all in her power to make sure her children have the best education possible. #KiarraHarris #HandsOffHarrisChildren
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    Created by Ken Nixon
  • Fighting for Our Lives: Say NO to Replace and Repeal of the Afforable Care Act
    President Trump and Congress, including Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey have stated clearly that their first target is our access to healthcare. For the past seven years, Republicans have attempted to erase the progress we made to provide healthcare to everyone. The Affordable Care Act has lowered the rate of the uninsured, shrinking the gap in access to healthcare coverage between Black and white Americans. Republicans intend to repeal the ACA without replacing it with an adequate replacement. Republicans also to undermine all Medicaid and Medicare programs by replacing them with vouchers that would simply be a coupon in an unregulated market. The result of these plans to strip healthcare access will be chaos in our healthcare system, rising rates, with poorer coverage, and healthcare being put out of reach for millions of working class, poor, and Black families - all so they can give the richest Americans a big tax cut.
    1,889 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Salewa Ogunmefun