Posts tagged with "change.org"

ILLUSTRATION BY NICOLE SALAZAR FOR USE BY 360 MAGAZINE

Fentanyl Petition

Families Against Fentanyl announced it had surpassed 25,000 signers of its petition asking the United States government to declare illicit fentanyl a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD). They join a who’s who of bipartisan leaders who are calling for the WMD designation.

The milestone was achieved in the aftermath of CDC data released in 2021 projecting that more than 100,000 people died of drug-related causes in the previous calendar year, and following data unearthed by Families Against Fentanyl in December that found illicit fentanyl to be the #1 cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45—data that have been independently verified.  The announcement also comes on the heels of three Connecticut middle school students being hospitalized for fentanyl overdose after being exposed at their school. One of those students, a 13-year-old, has died.

Even more alarming: fentanyl’s extreme potency gives it the dark potential to be used by terrorists in a chemical attack on American citizens. Declaring illicit fentanyl a WMD would trigger an all-of-government response to this national threat, activating new resources and manpower to tackle this unprecedented danger.

“Fentanyl deaths doubled in just two years and it’s now the number one cause of death of Americans 18-45. Bold action is needed to reverse this trend,” Families Against Fentanyl founder James Rauh stated. “With more than 25,000 people adding their names to our petition, it’s now crystal clear: Americans are fed up with the status quo. They also see the potential a WMD designation would have to stop this poison from flooding our country and killing our loved ones. Declaring illicit fentanyl a WMD is the innovative answer to this crisis—it would allow us to root out the international manufacturers and traffickers of this poison before it reaches our streets. It would cut the smuggling of illicit fentanyl into the United States, enhance penalties for the cartels trafficking in this poison, and provide new protections to the American people from this threat.

“Almost all illicit fentanyl is manufactured outside of the United States. Designating illegal fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction will empower the U.S. to shift from a policy of mass incarceration of Americans to an all-of-government approach to cut off the supply chain at its source, effectively stopping the flow of this poison into our country. Meanwhile, we can provide compassionate care to those struggling with addiction by investing in harm reduction, expanding access to affordable rehabilitation programs, mental health counseling, and holistic care options.”

The Families Against Fentanyl petition will ultimately be presented to the Biden Administration and the U.S. Congress.

About Families Against Fentanyl

Families Against Fentanyl was founded in 2019 by Akron, Ohio resident James Rauh and his wife Valorie following the untimely death of their son Tom from fentanyl poisoning.

Breaking News illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 magazine

Free Tameka Drummer

Free Tameka Drummer, who is serving a life sentence for a marijuana charge due to unjust habitual offender laws in Mississippi.

In 2008, Tameka Drummer was sentenced to life in prison in Mississippi for possessing 2 ounces of marijuana. She was pulled over for a routine traffic stop for an expired license plate when officers searched her car and found a small amount of pot – the same amount which can now be bought legally in many states. She has been in prison for the last 12 years for this offense and will be for the rest of her life unless citizens continue to put pressure on the Mississippi government to do away with unjust “habitual offender” laws like the one that has imprisoned Drummer.

The habitual offender statute allows for extended imprisonment for previous offenders, usually far beyond the typical maximum sentence for a crime. This allows for lesser offenses, like Drummer’s small amount of pot, to result in life sentences. These laws disproportionately affect Black men and women and participate in the toxic cycle of mass incarceration in America. Drummer was counted as a habitual offender due to two previous marijuana possession convictions, as well as being convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1992 and aggravated assault in 1998.

While people put pressure on Gov. Tate Reeves to pardon Drummer or do away with habitual offender laws, something he says he has no intention of doing, more people are coming to understand how unjust these laws are. Mississippi’s habitual offender laws are some of the harshest, and the state holds the title of the third-highest imprisonment rate in the US. A report by FWD.us says “Mississippi’s habitual offender laws are causing “extreme” prison sentences that are disproportionately affecting African American men and are costing the state millions of dollars for decades of incarceration.”

Drummer, as well as many others, deserves a chance at justice. Help her achieve it by signing this petition to put pressure on Gov. Reeves and state officials to do away with unjust habitual offender laws and release minor offenders like Drummer.

Kamala Harris illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Win With Black Women

Back in 2016, while campaigning for the office of President of the United States, Donald Trump asked black voters, “What do you have to lose?”

He asked in reference to generations of oppression, violence and inequality, saying, “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. 58% of your youth is unemployed.”

The obvious implication is that things couldn’t possibly get worse for black voters, and Trump thought he had a chance to be the solution to the problem.

Well, in Sept. 2020, it seems that President Trump has his answer, and it comes in the form of a letter penned by Win With Black Women and co-signed by over 1,000 black female leaders.

The letter opens with a direct response to the question posed by Trump.

“Our answer, evidenced by increasingly poor economic outcomes, high racial tensions and hate incidents, the coronavirus, and an overall lack of dignity and respect in the White House, is a lot. And for Black women in particular, it’s too much,” the letter said.

It went on to discuss “sycophantic rhetoric” at the RNC that would lead watchers to believe that black life in America is in a healthier place now than it was prior to Trump’s election. Furthermore, the letter said that rhetoric insisted that anyone challenging that notion was brainwashed.

To refute the points set forth at the RNC, the letter cited the State of Black America, saying black households bring in 41% less than white households, and 60% of the black population lives below the poverty line. The letter also said that black unemployment is double the percentage of white unemployment.

The letter covered the cause of the recent protests throughout the country, saying, “Our lives are in constant threat under your Administration. If you are Black in America, you are three times more likely to be shot by the police,” going on to name Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake as evidence that justice has gone unserved.

It also mentioned that black people are dying disproportionally from COVID-19 while black women, specifically, “lag behind in life expectancy, and maternal and infant mortality.”

Win With Black Women finished by saying that they will fight against attacks on Kamala Harris and proposed a call to action.

“We call on voters, no matter their background, to join us in setting the record straight and to reject your distracting antics, lies and attacks. We call on you and the GOP to focus on the crises afflicting the American people and not to insult every American with petty diversions, outright lies, and by sweeping problems under the rug.  We call on voters to stand in solidarity with Black women and reject your derogatory sexist, racist rhetoric aimed at undermining our credibility, our character, and our achievements,” the letter said.

Before closing the letter, Win With Black Women said they “vow to continue to uplift the issues most important to our families and our communities, keep our eyes and ears open, and to work to restore what is true, just, and decent to this election and to this monumental time in history.”

Win With Black Women has published the letter on Change.org, asking signees of the petition to stand with them in unity. To sign the letter and to see a complete list of co-signing leaders, you can click right here.

Community illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Alt-Right Billboard Petition

The internet has given everyone a voice, and Change.org has become one of the most popular platforms for using that voice.

One of the site’s petitions that seems to be picking up steam, almost reaching 100,000 signatures, is a petition to remove a billboard advertising WhitePrideRadio.com and AltRightTV.com.

According to the post on Change.org, Harrison Sign Co., a sign company based out of Harrison, Arkansas, has posted several racist billboards over the past few years.

“The billboards have done tremendous damage to our community by giving the impression that our citizens support their messages and don’t object to their presence,” the post said.

The post also said that the community has worked to remove previous billboards found to be equally offensive, but this one still stands.

Commenters and residents have also taken to Change.org to express their discontent with the billboard.

One commenter by the name of Amber Harris said, “This sign is an embarrassment to our community and a stain on our town. Our community deserves better. Our minorities deserve better.”

Another commenter, John Henderson, said, “This does not represent the view of the people of Harrison. It is bad for the reputation and economy of the town.”

The petition has a goal of 150,000 signatures. If you’d like to help by adding your signature, you can click right here.

Tonight, the George Floyd Foundation will launch “A Monumental Change: The George Floyd Hologram Memorial Project.”

George Floyd Foundation

Tonight, the George Floyd Foundation will launch “A Monumental Change: The George Floyd Hologram Memorial Project.” The foundation is working with the family of George Floyd and Change.org to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement. The project starts in Richmond, Virginia — the former capital of the Confederacy. Richmond is also where the movement saw a recent major victory with the removal of the monument to Jefferson Davis.  As part of the project, a three-dimensional hologram of George Floyd will sit in its place. Watch this video to see a preview of the hologram and be inspired by its message then retweet to share with your friends.

Protesters in Richmond need your help. That’s why Aaron Brown started a petition to protect their rights as the movement for Black lives goes on. As he says in his petition, “We need your support to help us pressure lawmakers to stop criminalizing youth who are standing up in defense of our community.” Will you add your voice for Richmond protesters?

McDonald’s accepts petition

Food activist and New York Times bestselling author Kathy Freston, who has led a national campaign for McDonald’s to add a plant-based burger to its menu, threw a massive party outside of McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago this afternoon, bringing 220,000 signatures from her Change.org petition calling for a vegan burger directly to McDonald’s. The petition delivery was accompanied by a carnival-like atmosphere, including Impossible Whopper taste tests, a Vegan Hamburglar, a balloon installation and more.

“We celebrated outside McDonald’s today to send the exact message that McDonald’s CEO said he wanted to hear: that customers were interested in a plant-based burger,” said Freston, who has been pushing McDonald’s for a plant-based burger for years. “Fast-food companies are adding plant-based options seemingly every week. How much more demand does McDonald’s need to hear before they listen to customers?”

Representatives from McDonald’s accepted petition starter Kathy Freston’s petition delivery today, but their Vice President of Global Communications, Michael Gonda, made this statement in response to the event: “As a customer obsessed, modern and progressive burger company, we’re committed to offering a variety of menu choices. That often starts by listening to customers to understand changing trends and evolving tastes—so any and all feedback is appreciated.”

“If feedback is what McDonald’s wants, feedback is what McDonald’s is going to continue to get,” said Tegan Gregory, Senior Campaigner at Change.org, the online petition platform where more than 220,000 people have signed a petition for McDonald’s to add a plant-based burger. “This petition is one of the largest food petitions in Change.org history, and even though McDonald’s refused to meet with activists today, they’re not going to be able to ignore the continuing demand for meat alternatives. Burger King, White Castle, Del Taco, Tim Horton’s and more are listening to customer demand, which is leaving everyone asking why McDonald’s is behind the curve.”

A recent study by GlobalData found that 70 percent of global consumers are lowering their meat intake or avoiding it altogether. Barclays predicts the market for meat substitutes could soar to US $140 billion over the next decade.

Legalise Medical Cannabis symposium

Held at Portcullis House, Westminster at 7pm on Wednesday 27th June, the symposium took place ahead of the 2nd reading of the debate on the proposed bill of legalisation of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes) in the House of Commons scheduled for July 6th.

In light of Sajid Javid’s intervention last week, granting permission for two mothers to legally use cannabis to treat their children in the UK and launching a review into medical uses of cannabis, the symposium of experts deliberated the benefits of cannabis-based medicine and called for change in the legal status of the drug for medicinal use in the UK.

The symposium consisted of five individuals invested in changing this law: Damian Jr Gong Marley, Professor Green, Norman Lamb MP, Dr Frank D’Ambrosio and Change.org activist Kate Rothwell.

Damian Jr Gong Marley, the legendary Grammy award winning reggae artist, and youngest son of Bob Marley is an advocate of the medical benefits of cannabis. In 2016 Damian partnered with Ocean Grown Extracts to buy a former prison in California, the Claremont Custody Centre, to turn it into a farm producing cannabis oils, extracts and other products for medicinal use.The music video for Damian’s recently released single Medication, which features his brother Stephen Marley, was shot in the former prison and stars former inmates and includes testimonials from people who’ve been helped by the plant including as US Marine Crops Sergeant Sean Major who uses cannabis for brain trauma and PTSD.

Damian Jr Gong, Marley spoke on the growing scientific evidence for the benefits of cannabis: It’s been a big part of my culture from ever since. A big part of Jamaican culture, reggae music and my faith as a Rasta. Itߣs a big part of my culture. Even before proof of the medical benefits of the plant, we were always endorsing the plant. We use it as a spiritual sacrament and recreationally. We have a saying in Jamaica that: The herb is the healing of the nation. With it becoming legal in various places, there’s now slowly more research that proves there is evidence of that.

Representing the political establishment Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk and chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee, called on Theresa May to legalise cannabis, particularly in the wake of recent news stories about how children like Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, who suffer from seizures, could benefit from using cannabis-based medicine.

Norman Lamb MP spoke on the significance of recent cases, the importance of medicinal legalisation and the potential for full legalisation: I’ve always said that you have to get medicinal use legalised first, and I think last week was a very significant moment because it was the first time a government has reacted by saying: We’re reviewing it. That’s not nearly enough, and we need to keep pushing them constantly to go the whole way, but that was a big breakthrough for this government to do that, and it was because children’s lives were seen to be at risk. They thought: There’s political embarrassment here. If we can get medicinal use legalised, just as has happened now in the majority of US states, then you can have a rational debate about full legalisation, which I strongly support.

UK Rapper, documentary maker and activist Professor Green (AKA Stephen Manderson) brought his passion and insight to the panel following his critically acclaimed BBC documentary on the subject, Is It Time to Legalise Weed?

Professor Green&#a0;spoke on British attitudes to cannabis: I think it’s a generational thing, to be honest, and I donߣt think we have a very liberal attitude to much. What happens with that is you have a lack of education because things aren’t spoken about. We’re less liberal when it comes to many things when you compare us to other parts of the world, and what we get from that is many more problems. It doesn’t help anything, all it does it cause more problems. If somethingߣs underground, it’s not spoken about. It’s all the scaremongering in the media. How many times do you see cannabis psychosis in the newspapers?

Dr Frank D’Ambrosio delivered his expertise to the debate. As one of the USA’s leading voices for medicinal cannabis policy reform his knowledge of how successful medical marijuana has been in the US proved invaluable.

Dr Frank spoke on California’s experience with legalisation: California is doing just fine. I don’t think anybody needs to worry about California. We’ve had medical cannabis legalised since 1996, we passed the Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 15, Senate Bill 420. So for 20 years we’ve had patients getting access to medicine. Although the underground market still existed, people were using the dispensaries and they were able to get their medicine. Two years ago we voted for legalisation for the recreational end. Recreational only means intent. Just because youߣre intending to use the cannabis to achieve the psychoactive effect of the THC, doesn’t mean you’re not still getting the benefits. Even though it’s called recreational, you’re still getting the medical benefits.

Kate Rothwell, who started this petition via Change.org provided both a personal story and more systemic ask, calling for legalisation for medical use in the UK, and for it to be available on the NHS. Inspired by the experience of her 11-year-old cousin, Oliver, who has severe epilepsy that is alleviated by cannabis oil, she highlighted the predicament faced by many parents where doctors are forced to withdraw medical help on the NHS if patients are using cannabis oil. Leaving families having to choose between medical care or an increase in seizures.

Kate Rothwell spoke on her cousin Oliver and the family situation which inspired her to start her petition: About 18 months ago, my aunt and uncle spoke to the hospital who said: You can try cannabis oil. We’re not allowed to prescribe that because obviously it’s not legal as a medication here. They bought it online and were delivering it at home, a couple of drops, and the symptoms dropped massively. He was having 20 seizures a day and that dropped down to just a handful, which was completely lifechanging for him and for our whole family, really. About a month ago, the doctors turned around and said: We’re really sorry, we thought it was going to become legal sooner than this and our hands are completely tied. You’re going to have to stop giving him the medication. They had to, because the NHS couldnߣt give them any other medication if he was still on cannabis oil. He came off it, and within 48 hours he had a drop seizure and knocked out his teeth. He’s been having really severe seizures ever since. It’s absolutely devastating, and none of us really knew what to do.

The symposium can be viewed in full on NME.com Friday 29th June 2018.

Aaliyah × MAC Makeup Kit

In honor of the late singer Aaliyah, fans had been petitioning MAC on change.org to release a makeup line for her. The petition gained over 26,000 signatures in the process and helped fans make their wishes into a reality. The only downside is as soon as the collection was put out on MAC’s website at 11 a.m. ET on June 20, the $250 set was sold out within an hour. The pyramid-shaped set is inspired by Aaliyah’s own makeup kit and comes with a bandana similar to the one she wore, as well as a poster of her. The eyeshadow palette is combined of different colors which include neutrals, purples, and metallics while the lipsticks include neutrals, reds, and black. There are 12 products in total that MAC Cosmetics has commemorated in her name and they have all been approved by Aaliyah’s brother Rashad Haughton prior to the official release.