Posts tagged with "petition"

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.

Javier Ramos illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Javier Ramos Vigil

Rideshare Driver Killed in Chicago Amid Carjacking Crisis Targeting Uber and Lyft Drivers

Drivers Guild Demands Action from Uber, Lyft, City of Chicago

7pm Tonight: The Independent Drivers Guild will take part in Prayer Vigil Tonight Honoring Javier Ramos – Details Below

The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is mourning the loss of rideshare driver Javier Ramos who was killed in a carjacking early Tuesday morning in Chicago. Ramos is survived by his 9-year-old daughter and a close-knit circle of family and friends. His death comes amid a carjacking crisis in the city in which rideshare drivers have been targeted repeatedly. 

Ramos was killed exactly one week after the IDG held a vigil for other rideshare drivers who were attacked in car jackings earlier this month, one of whom was left paralyzed from the waist down and one who was kidnapped, robbed, and sexually assaulted by her passenger. The vigil was followed by a vehicle procession to Uber and Lyft’s Chicago offices where the Guild posted its safety demands in letters to the companies’ CEOs. 

“Javier Ramos was found lying in the street by police and transported to a hospital as a John Doe. Unable to communicate and robbed of his belongings, he passed. He tried to fight off his attackers. They shot him in his face and head. He was then removed from his car, and the violent criminals proceeded to run him over with it,” said IDG organizer and longtime Chicago rideshare driver Lenny Sanchez.

“Javier Ramos was a father, a brother, and a beloved member of our community. And he did not have to die. Say his name, Dara Khosrowshahi. Say his name, Logan Green. Blood is on your hands and it’s not the last of it. Comply with our driver safety demands now,” demanded Sanchez.

In January, the IDG launched a driver safety campaign, demanding action from Uber and Lyft, and the City of Chicago to protect rideshare drivers. The Guild has called for a City Council hearing on the crisis. Drivers and members of the community who wish to learn more and show their support are urged to go to IDGactnow.org where you can sign a petition to the City Council and sign up for updates on upcoming actions and events.

“If Uber and Lyft won’t protect Chicago’s hardworking drivers, the city needs to act to compel them to. Chicago cannot allow these apps to be used by criminals to hunt down their next victims,” said Brendan Sexton, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “While Uber and Lyft have made rider safety a priority with constant improvements, driver safety has been virtually ignored and this is the result. Rideshare drivers must be licensed, and background checked before they can begin serving our community, but Uber and Lyft do not even require passengers to verify their identity. End the disparity and protect drivers now.”

Earlier this month, the Guild launched a fund to support Chicago rideshare drivers and their families affected by car jackings and assaults.

The Independent Drivers Guild is the largest rideshare driver organization in the nation, organizing for drivers’ rights, fair pay and better working conditions. Together, we’ve won landmark victories that put billions of dollars in drivers’ pockets. The Independent Drivers Guild is a non-profit affiliate of the Machinists Union that advocates for more than 250,000 drivers in NY, IL, NJ, CT and across New England. We are driver-led and driver-powered.

Learn more

Javier Ramos Vigil Information

Friends and family of Javier Ramos will gather for a prayer vigil in his honor Friday, March 26, 2021, at 7 pm in North Park, 10040 Addison Avenue, Franklin Park, Illinois. Invited guests include Congressman Jesus “Chuy” García, Senators Don Harmon, Karina Villa and Ram Villivalam; Representatives Maura Hirschsuer and Kathy Willis; Franklin Park Mayor, Barrett Pedersen; Director of Police, Michael Witz; and Independent Drivers Guild advocate, Lenny Sanchez.

The vigil will honor the life of Javier Ramos who was killed by his passenger during an attempted carjacking earlier this week. Those who knew “Javi” knew that he lived for the joy of his life, his 9-year-old daughter. 

Javier’s death comes as Chicago is seeing an exorbitant increase in city-wide car jackings, some of which have culminated in the deaths of the victims. It is well past the time to address the issue of senseless gun violence. Javi’s death should not be in vain. 

Cousin and spokesperson for the family, Ms. Illinois International 2021, Hortencia Ramos said “This could have been anyone’s brother, anyone’s son, anyone’s father, anyone’s cousin,” The vigil is open to all who want to share their love and support of Javier and his family. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange in support of a future without gun violence.

Uber/Lyft Drivers Demand Action from Rideshare Companies After Recent Driver Killings

Drivers Guild to Hold Rally, Caravan To Protect Drivers’ Lives

Drivers and supporters can learn more at IDGActNow.org

Rideshare drivers are being assaulted in targeted attacks at an alarming rate and just last week two drivers were killed by their passengers. The Independent Drivers Guild is demanding that Uber and Lyft take immediate action to protect driver safety, starting with verifying customer identities. On Friday, the Guild will hold a rally at the O’Hare airport TNP waiting lot before caravanning to the Uber and Lyft hubs where rideshare drivers, including carjacking victims, will hold a press conference with community activist Ja’Mal Green, city leaders and the family of Javier Ramos, the driver who was killed by his passenger in Chicago last week.

The Guild will also hold rallies in New York and Connecticut in memory of Javier Ramos and Mohammad Anwar and in solidarity with rideshare drivers nationwide facing violence on the job.

FRIDAY 4/2 RALLY, CARAVAN, AND PRESS CONFERENCE

10AM rally at O’Hare Uber/ Lyft Waiting Lot (ORD TNP lot)

11:30AM Caravan to Uber and Lyft Chicago Hubs

12:00PM Press conference at Uber Hub: We stand up for ourselves and demand action now!
Uber Greenlight Hub on North Avenue

1401 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

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?

consumer reports, 360 MAGAZINE

CONSUMER REPORTS AIRLINE URGE

Consumer Reports Urges Major Airlines To Let Kids Sit With Their Parents Without Extra Fees

More Than 120,000 Sign Petition To American, Delta And United Airlines; CR To Testify At Congressional Hearing On Tuesday On The Passenger Experience 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In letters sent today to American, Delta, and United Airlines, Consumer Reports called on the companies to ensure children are seated with their families on planes at no additional cost.  More than 120,000 people have signed Consumer Reports’ petition to the airlines in support of this effort since it was launched just over one week ago. 

“Families face a constant battle to ensure they are seated together, even when they choose seats far in advance,” said Anna Laitin, director of financial policy at Consumer Reports.  “The airlines should put safety first and seat children with their families without charging them extra for it.”

Consumer Reports delivered its letters to the three airlines in advance of a hearing by the House Aviation Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 3, at 10am EST, examining the experiences of airline passengers and what can be done to improve it.  William J. McGee, Aviation Adviser for Consumer Reports, will testify at the hearing about a number of issues, including the need to ensure the safety of children travelling with their parents. 

In 2016, Congress directed the Department of Transportation to “review, and if appropriate, establish a policy” to ensure airlines allow families with children 13 and under to sit together without paying additional fees. After two years of inaction by the DOT, Consumer Reports filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out the status of this inquiry.  One year later, the DOT finally forwarded 136 consumer complaints to CR, while indicating that it was unnecessary to take action “based on the low number of complaints.”

Consumer Reports analyzed those complaints and discovered that some involved children as young as one or two years old who were assigned seats apart from their parents.  Other children seated separately were autistic, suffered seizures, or were susceptible to life-threatening nut allergies.  CR began publicizing the issue last fall and set up a portal to the DOT’s complaint system, generating more than 600 submissions in just two months – well over four times as many as the agency received in the previous two and a half years.

Parents who submitted complaints shared how they bought tickets and chose seats together, but the airline reassigned their seats before the flight.  They were forced to pay for an upgrade, or beg gate agents, flight attendants, and other passengers to switch seats with them.  Other families buy low-cost Basic Economy tickets only to find that this fare didn’t just deny them the opportunity to pick their own seats, it put the parents in seats far from their children.  Some families are told gate agents can fix the problem, but only if they are willing to pay an extra fee.

Beyond the anxiety and frustration this causes for families, seating children away from their parents also creates a safety risk for all passengers during an emergency.  Furthermore, a 2018 FBI report found that inflight sexual assaults are on the rise, with investigations into assaults on children as young as eight.  

Over the past week, all three airlines have maintained that they have policies to ensure children are seated with their parents.   However, the complaints submitted recently to the DOT make it clear that this problem persists and that these policies are not always followed.  Too often, the onus is put on the parents to ensure that they are seated with their children, rather than the airlines who control the seat map and know the ages of all of the people travelling on the plane. 

“The airlines can fix this problem without government intervention,” said Anna Laitin, director of financial policy for Consumer Reports.   “Ensuring that children are always seated with their parents regardless of the ticket purchased would improve safety and security for all travelers while easing the minds of families.”

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Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.

Treatment of Afghan Interpreters

Approximately one month, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, highlighted the plight of Afghan Interpreter, Mohammed Nabi, and how he was sleeping rough on the streets of Athens. Nabi’s case was initially documented and he was assisted by Jess Webster, who works with refugees in Greece.

Having heard of the case, the petition by the Director of Faith Matters, has now reached over 116,000 signatories within 5 weeks. It is now being backed by the Sun on Sunday and has also been highlighted by the Daily Mail and the Metro. Yet, the Government have made no headway in addressing this issue. There is therefore a groundswell of public opinion backing Nabi’s case, yet the politicians refuse to even acknowledge this case.

Mohammed Nabi worked for ISAF and British forces in Afghanistan between 2008-2011. He has received numerous commendations for his work with British Forces such as from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was instrumental in interpreting Taliban commands in real time when in the field with British soldiers and thereby he was key to tracking Taliban troop movements and attack points against British soldiers.

Speaking to Mughal in Athens he said that:
“My role was to work with commanding officers and I was the bridge between Afghan forces and British commanding officers. When officers from the British army went to speak to village elders, I was with them. There was an unwritten command that Taliban leaders gave to their forces to kill Afghan Interpreters first so that British and ISAF forces would be blind in the field. I was at risk of suicide bombers in such situations in villages as they tried to target British commanding officers and their interpreters”.

Nabi left working with the British armed forces after 1 year, (in 2009), because of threats from senior Afghan commanders made against his family and against him. He rejoined ISAF and British forces within 3 months of leaving since his skills were suited to armed forces work and he could not find other work and served again as an Afghan interpreter until 2011.

In 2016, an attempted kidnap against him failed and ‘night knocks’ against his front door raised threat levels against him and he fled on foot through Iran and into Turkey where he lounged for 18 months with no assistance from aid agencies who were assisting families. They were therefore not focused on assisting young single men.

Repeated attempts to highlight his case and the threat to his four children and wife failed in Turkey and he was left destitute and penniless, where he took up shepherding for basic subsistence. Each month though, saw the Taliban makes gains and come closer to his village and Nabi said that the policy of the Taliban to the children of people who assisted ISAF forces was to call them ‘sons of snakes, who were snakes themselves’. In other words, the children of Afghan interpreters were at serious of attack.

In 2016, to highlight his case he left Turkey and ended up being arrested in Greece and jailed. He was eventually released and claimed asylum though ended up penniless sleeping on a park bench in Athens where the Director of Faith Matters met up with him.

Speaking about the plight of Afghan Interpreters and in particular Nabi’s case, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who developed the petition and who worked with the Sun on Sunday to highlight his case, said:

“Nabi has been denied entry into the UK and given no assistance when he approached UK Government agencies. How can this be right when he saw Afghan colleagues die in battle and Nabi was there saving British lives by interpreting Taliban commands whilst rounds went over his head. The only possessions he has are the plastic-coated commendations from officers because of his work in the field. It is disgusting the way that this man has been treated.

“The treatment of Afghan interpreters is a national disgrace and what the petition and the support from national newspapers shows is that the public care, whilst politicians have shown little courage in addressing this matter. I believe that anyone who has served more than a year in Afghanistan supporting our armed forces and who can show that their lives are in danger because of their work, must be let in. We relied on them to keep our armed forces safe, and now they need our help. This national disgrace must end and I will keep speaking out”.

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.

California Citizens in Support of New Petition

CALA is a nonpartisan grassroots movement of concerned citizens and businesses who are fighting against lawsuit abuse in California. CALA serves as a watchdog to challenge abuses within our civil justice system, and engages the public and the media to deliver the message that lawsuit abuse is alive and well in California – and that all Californians are paying the price. CALA members and supporters represent a broad and diverse cross section of Californians. They own small retail stores and hotels, manufacturing firms, real estate brokerages, trucking companies, and more. However, the bulk of CALA’s supporters are several thousand consumers concerned about the impacts of lawsuit abuse.

As set forth more fully below, the citizens of California face significant risks as a result of the decision of the Sixth District Court of Appeal (the “Decision”), including potential health risks from wholesale abatement of even intact lead-based paint, and a reduction in property values of all pre-1981 properties. In addition, California’s businesses and economy will suffer from the reductions in tax revenue. For these reasons, CALA urges this Court to review the Decision.

The court’s abatement plan creates unnecessary risks to the public.There is no pressing public safety issue that warrants judicial usurping of a successful legislative program. In fact, the enforcement of local building regulations and the State’s current program to minimize lead exposure have drastically reduced the number of children with elevated blood lead levels. The court’s unprecedented abatement plan, which orders the abatement of even intact lead paint, puts the health of California’s children at risk. The court’s plan would actually expose children to more lead dust, not less, as studies by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) show. The vast majority of states around the country – and HUD- favor keeping lead paint covered rather than removing it. Currently, HUD will not pay to abate windows with intact lead paint.

 The Decision will lower property values. The Decision, which labels more than 3 million homes in ten jurisdictions as public nuisances, will cause property values across California to plummet. Property owners are required to disclose the existence of a nuisance when selling a property. In addition, the trial court requires that any properties that do not participate in the abatement plan, “should be deferred for actionable lead hazard control until the property owner vacates or sells the property.” Homeowners may not be able to take out a second loan or home equity line of credit. Sellers may be forced to lower the sale price if the home appraises lower than a buyer’s offer. This phenomenon will not be restricted to the 10 jurisdictions. Under existing law, pre-1978 properties in California are presumed to contain lead-based paint. (17 Cal. Code Regs. 35043.) The trial court expanded that presumption to pre-1981 homes and held that lead-based paint — even in an intact condition on certain friction surfaces – poses an imminent risk of harm and is a nuisance. Although this ruling applies only to the 10 jurisdictions, it has placed the legal status of intact lead paint throughout the State in question, and buyers across the State will be wary of purchasing pre-1981 properties.

California’s economy will suffer from the lost property tax revenue. California lost property tax revenue from depressed home values will undoubtedly cause critical public services to be cut. The Decision is likely to impair local governments’ ability to provide education, public safety, and other services residents demand and need. K-12 spending per pupil in California is tied to the Proposition 98 funding guarantee, and

would fall dramatically should The Decision be upheld. This would force school districts in the state to cut programs such as music, physical education, and art, reduce class offerings, and lay off staff. These cuts are likely to disproportionately affect lower-income communities just when the average blood lead levels of minorities and the poor are coming in line with the average blood lead levels of the general population.

The Decision rewards slumlords at the expense of responsible property owners.

The Decision places property owners with 10 or more housing code violations at the front of the line to get their properties inspected and abated. This will create a situation in which law-abiding citizens who have maintained their properties will have to endure crashes in property values and wait in line while the bad actors get rewarded for willfully failing to maintain their properties.

For the reasons set forth above, CALA urges this Court to review the case in order to restore order and predictability for California’s property owners and tenants, and to put law making on the critical issues of housing and public health back in the hands of the legislature.