Mid Term Election Day, “NO”vember 4th, 2014, Is 60 Days Away. Are You Ready To VOTE?


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Mr MilitantNegro™
Jueseppi B.

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Sarah Silverman’s quick public service announcement

 

Published on Sep 24, 2013

It’s time to register to vote. It’s so easy. It literally takes 60 seconds at http://ourtime.org/vote

Click the link already, will ya?
Also Like us on Facebook :) http://www.facebook.com/ourtimeorg

 

 

Click here to register to vote now: www.ourtime.org/vote

 

National Voter Registration — so go register!

 

REGISTER TO VOTE

Although black voter turnout was strong in 2012–outpacing every other demographic group for the first time in history–turnout tends to be dramatically lower in non-presidential years, and could be made worse by the growing number of state restrictions at the polls. Advancement Project believes that registering voters for the 2014 elections would be necessary to “send a message that we will not move backward and be silenced.”

 

Thirty states currently have laws in place requiring voters to show identification at the polls, (11 require photo ID,) according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and more look to be on the way.

 

Since the Supreme Court in June 2013, struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which required certain states to get approval from the federal government on any changes made to voting laws, strict photo ID requirements in Mississippi and Texas no longer face roadblocks, and will likely be implemented in the near future. Alabama, Arkansas, and Virginia will become photo ID states in 2014. And North Carolina’s newly-signed photo ID requirement will go into effect in 2016.

 

Ohio may be next to join that growing list of photo ID states. Last year, Republican State Rep. John Becker introduced House Bill 269, a measure requiring Ohioans to show photo ID for in-person voting.

 

Becker said the purpose of the bill was to “discourage fraud” and “provide the most basic, common, and reasonable security for voting.” But Democratic State Sen. Nina Turner, who is running to be Ohio secretary of state, said the measure was nothing short of an “assault on the very fabric of our democracy.”

 

“This is un-American, what they are trying to do,” said Turner to MSNBC Tuesday. “As far as I am concerned, it is an all-out attack on people of color, on elderly people, and people who may be economically challenged.”

 

Becker said his bill takes into account people who are at or below the poverty level, and will allow for “free photo IDs for people who can’t afford to purchase one.” But Turner insists the bill will unduly burden the 938,642 Ohio adults that, according to Policy Matters Ohio, lack photo ID.

 

“Voter fraud is almost non-existent,” said Turner. “People don’t just show up on election day, trying to impersonate other people. It is a solution in search of a problem.”

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Vote Riders. Votes Count. Be Counted.

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About VoteRiders

 

Mission

VoteRiders is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. Through resources and media exposure, VoteRiders supports on-the-ground organizations that assist citizens to get their voter ID and inspires local volunteers and communities to sustain such programs and galvanize others to emulate these efforts.

 

 

How We Started

Upon hearing the news of multiple states passing voter ID laws and learning that millions of potential voters may be disenfranchised come November 2012 and beyond, Kathleen Unger decided to take action.  With a wealth of professional and volunteer experience in the non-profit sector under her belt, Ms. Unger decided to start her own non-profit dedicated to ensuring all citizens would be able to exercise their fundamental right to vote.  It was important to Ms. Unger that VoteRiders not duplicate what others are doing in this regard.  Thus, VoteRiders was founded in April 2012.

 

 

Organization Status

VoteRiders was incorporated as a non-profit organization in California on April 6, 2012. Contributions to VoteRiders, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of theInternal Revenue Code, are deductible for computing income and estate taxes.

 

 

VoteRiders Overview

 

Published on Jun 13, 2013

VoteRiders is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote. Through resources and media exposure, VoteRiders supports on-the-ground organizations that assist citizens to get their voter IDs and inspires local volunteers and communities to sustain such programs and galvanize others to emulate these efforts. Find us at http://www.voteriders.com,

 

 

About the Issue

Protecting the right to vote is not a partisan issue. It’s an American issue.  No citizen should be prevented from exercising this basic right.

 

Complicated voter ID laws put state bureaucrats between eligible voters and the ballot box.

 

You must act now to protect your vote and the votes of others.

 

You can help save our American democracy.

 

 

Are you Ready to Vote?

As of August 2013, some form of voter ID law is in effect in 33 states:

 

Alabama Alaska Arizona
Arkansas Colorado Connecticut
Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Indiana
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana
Michigan Mississippi Missouri
Montana New Hampshire North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas
Utah Virginia Washington

 

What’s the Big Deal?

Some people may think it’s easy to get a photo ID.  Doesn’t everybody need one to drive a car, get on a plane, and buy cigarettes and alcohol?  Well, not everyone drives including people with disabilities, older adults – the Greatest Generation! – and low-income individuals.  Not everybody smokes or drinks alcohol.  And many citizens have their reasons why they do not travel on airplanes.

 

Ok, then … just get the ID that you need! Not so fast – obtaining a current, valid, government-issued photo ID in order to vote means at least one trip to the local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles or wherever in each state you get a voter ID). Depending upon where you live, your local DMV can be up to 100 miles away; and the days and hours it’s open can be few.

 

The much bigger difficulty can be trying to get the documents you need to prove who you are and where you live.  To get a voter ID, a state may require a certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal (and, legal documentation of any change of name since then) – all of which costs money and can take a lot of time, plus a social security card plus two acceptable documents showing your name and address.

 

 

Who Do Voter ID Laws Affect?

report released by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School analyzed laws that had passed in 14 states by October of 2011.  The study found that these laws have the potential to disenfranchise more than five million eligible voters in 2012. Since then, 17 new states have some form of voter ID law in effect. Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, which was passed in 2012 and therefore excluded from the Brennan Center study, could ultimately affect an additional 758,939 to 1.5 million eligible Pennsylvania voters, based on reliable surveys and sources.

 

Some laws specify strict current, government-issued photo ID requirements.  Those who do not have a current, valid photo ID – primarily those without a driver’s license – are older Americans, people of color, young adults, people with disabilities and individuals with low incomes.

 

To further understand the issue, a Brennan Center survey conducted in 2006 regarding US citizens and proof of citizenship yielded the following findings:

 

  • As many as 11 percent of voting-age United States citizens – more than 21 million individuals – do not have current unexpired government-issued photo identification.
  • 18 percent of American citizens age 65 and above do not have a current government-issued photo ID.  Using 2005 census estimates, this amounts to more than six million senior citizens.
  • 25 percent of African-American voting-age citizens have no current government-issued photo ID, compared to eight percent of white voting-age citizens.  Using 2000 census figures, there are more than 5.5 million adult African-American citizens without photo identification.
  • As many as 18 percent of citizens aged 18-24 do not have photo ID with current address and name; using 2004 census tallies, almost 4.5 million young adult American citizens are in jeopardy.

 

Further, voter ID laws disproportionately impact women.  Those who have assumed a married name may still have their single-status name on their driver’s license vs. their name on the voter roll.  The above-mentioned Brennan Center survey found that only 48% of voting-age women have easy access to their U.S. birth certificates with their current legal name, “and only 66% of voting-age women with ready access to any proof of citizenship have a document with current legal name.”  The study used census data from 2000 and concluded that the only available proof-of-citizenship documents possessed by as many as 32 million voting-age women do not reflect their current name.

 

We encourage those in voter ID states to double-check and renew their IDs now, before the next Election Day.

 

What VoteRiders is Doing

VoteRiders, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, assists local, statewide and national organizations that help eligible citizens to obtain their voter IDs and underlying documents (birth certificates, Social Security cards, etc.), if necessary.  Read more about what VoteRiders does here.

 

Additional Help Obtaining a Voter ID

If you need help obtaining an ID or have questions, please call the Election Protection Hotline:

 

1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) or call

 

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA  (1-888-839-8682)

 

Nationwide ID

First-time voters, including those who have not voted in a previous federal election or who have never voted in their county of residence in a federal election, must present voter ID.

 

CLICK HERE to see what is required.

 

Requirements for Absentee Ballots

2014 Voter ID Laws | Long Distance Voter – The Absentee Ballot 

 

2014 Voter ID Laws

Introduction to voter ID laws

Voter ID laws have been a hot-topic the past few years. Proponents of voter ID laws argue that these laws prevent voter fraud at the polls (or by mail-in or absentee ballot).  Opponents argue that voter ID laws are a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, and succeed primarily in prevent Americans from casting their votes on election day.  Long Distance Voter is in the latter camp: we feel that voter ID laws are an unnecessary burden on the American voter. This page is our attempt to help you learn what ID you’ll need to provide when you vote.  

 

Here’s a quick summary of where we stand as of April 2014

  • Voters in 30 states will have to show an ID document when they vote in-person at the polls in 2014.
  • Voters in 9 states will have to include a photocopy of their ID when they vote by mail or by absentee ballot in 2014. 
  • Voters in the remaining 19 states (and the District of Columbia) do not need to provide ID documents when voting in person or by absentee ballot.  These voters can verify their identity by signing an affidavit, providing personal identifying information, or by signing a log book or poll log (the signature is then compared to a signature on file).

 

Additional requirements for first-time voters

State voter ID laws apply equally to all voters.  First-time voters, however, may face additional voter ID requirements due to the ironically named Federal “Help America Vote Act” (HAVA) of 2002. HAVA instructs that first-time voters who register by mail must provide some form of ID before voting in a Federal election (a federal election is a presidential or congressional election).  

 

HAVA in a nutshell: you should include your drivers license number on your voter registration form or you should be prepared to provide ID the first time you vote in person or by absentee ballot. You must meet this ID requirements the first time you vote in a federal election in a new state – even if you’ve voted before in another state.  Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • a non-expired photo ID (driver’s license, US passport, student ID, military ID, work ID, tribal ID, etc)
  • a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that shows your name and current address

 

Exceptions to the voter ID requirements

  • Military and overseas voters who are vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) are exempt from ALL voter ID requirements.
  • Elderly and disabled voters are exempt from the HAVA requirments but might not be exempt from state voter ID laws.

 

Where to go if you have questions

Voter ID is a pain in the neck and laws change frequently. We make every effort to keep this data up-to-date, but if you have any questions you should contact your Local Election Official

 

Important: Check Your State Listing Carefully — Each State Has Unique Mail Ballot Deadlines and Requirements.

 

Voting by Absentee Ballot is a particularly viable alternative for people who might have trouble getting to the polls or standing in long lines on Election Day. In some states the Voter ID requirements are less stringent for Absentee Voting than voting in person. Deadlines and requirements vary by state, so please check our Absentee Voting/Voter ID Requirements for more information.

 

CLICK HERE to view Voter ID requirements for Absentee Ballots.

 

2014 voter ID law overview

State by state details of 2014 voter ID laws

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

 

Resources and Off-site Links

Information on federal requirements for first-time voter identification comes directly from the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).

 

The bulk of our in-person voter ID information comes from the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is a fantastic resource.

 

We contacted the Secretaries of State and/or Local Election Officials directly to gather the absentee voter ID information.

 

We make every effort to keep this information up-to-date, but voter identification laws change frequently. Please contact your Local Election Officia

 

VoteRiders Voter ID Clinics

VoteRiders is launching Voter ID Clinics in voter ID states. click here to learn more.

 

 

Help Getting Voter ID

Need to find out if your state has a voter ID law?  As of August 2013, the following 33 states have some form of voter ID law in effect. Click on your state below to find out what the requirements are and if you have the right ID:

 

Alabama Alaska Arizona
Arkansas Colorado Connecticut
Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Indiana
Kentucky Kansas Louisiana
Michigan Mississippi Missouri
Montana New Hampshire North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas
Utah Virginia Washington

 

Contact VoteRiders

For all inquiries please fill in the fields provided and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible. Thank you!

 

Contact VoteRiders

 

VoteRiders has partnered with Video the Vote to document Citizen Stories – videos about citizen voters’ compelling experiences with getting voter ID. If you have a story to tell or know someone who does, please Contact Us and we will try to connect you with a VtV volunteer in your area.

 

Every person who shares helps us reach three more voters.

Sharing this page is the easiest thing you can do to directly increase voter turnout this year

 

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Barack Speaks On Immigration Reform. Joey B. Tackles Infrastructure. The White House Honors “Champions of Change.”


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Remarks by the President at Law Enforcement Briefing on Immigration

 

Published on May 13, 2014

During a law enforcement briefing, the President delivers remarks on fixing our broken immigration system, May 13, 2014.

 

Room 350
Eisenhower Executive Office Building

12:01 P.M. EDT

 

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THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Have a seat.  Have a seat.  Well, it’s wonderful to see all of you.  Some of you I’ve had the chance to get to know working on law enforcement issues and criminal justice issues.  But I cannot thank you enough for participating today on an issue that I think is important to our economic future, to our cultural future, to our standing in the world and to our safety and security, and that’s the issue of immigration.

 

I’m here with some of the leaders of America’s law enforcement agencies who recognize that fixing a broken immigration system isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also the right thing to do for safety and security in communities all across America.

 

The immigration system that we have right now makes it harder, not easier, for law enforcement agencies to do their jobs.  It makes it harder for law enforcement to know when dangerous people cross our borders.  It makes it harder for business owners who play by the rules to compete when they’re undercut by those who would exploit workers in a shadow economy. And it makes it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs when large segments of the community are afraid to report crimes or serve as witnesses because they fear the consequences for themselves or their families.

 

This system is not fair.  It’s not fair to workers; it’s not fair to businesses who are trying to do the right thing; it’s not fair to law enforcement agencies that are already stretched thin.

 

Now, the good news is the Senate has already passed a bill with a wide, bipartisan majority that would go a long way towards fixing a broken system.  It would strengthen our borders even further.  And I’m sure Jeh has talked to you about the work that’s been done over the last five years — we have put unprecedented resources at the borders, and you’ve seen the results.  We have fewer folks coming in than ever before.  And the personnel that is arrayed along our borders is well beyond anything that we saw five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago. So we take border enforcement seriously.

 

But what this reform package would also do is create a firm but fair pathway to earned citizenship for those who live in the shadows — and as a consequence, would give law enforcement a better idea of who’s in the country.  It would also help build trust between local communities and law enforcement and immigrant communities.  It would undermine criminal enterprises that prey on undocumented immigrants.  And it would allow law enforcement to focus on its primary mission, which is keeping our communities safe.

 

And these are some of the reasons why a broad, bipartisan coalition — including law enforcement agencies like the ones who are represented today — is pushing Congress to go ahead and get the job done, get us over the finish line and do it this year.

 

I hope all of you keep it up because it’s making a difference.  A number of Republicans are realizing that blocking immigration reform is not an option, and that’s the good news.  And most Americans, the majority of Americans, know this is the right thing to do.  Public opinion is on our side on this.  Unfortunately, we’ve got a handful of House Republicans right now who are blocking going ahead and letting legislation get to the floor.

 

To their credit, I think Speaker Boehner and some of the other leaders there do believe that immigration reform is the right thing, but they’ve got to have a political space that allows them to go ahead and get it through their caucus and get it done.  I’ve said to them, if they’ve got ideas I’m happy to talk to them.  We’re not hell-bent on making sure that every letter of what’s in the Senate bill is exactly what ultimately lands on my desk for signature, but there are some core principles that we’ve got to get done.  We’ve got to have stronger border security.  We’ve got to make sure that we are dealing with companies that are not doing the right thing by workers.  We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got an improved legal immigration system, because a lot of folks are getting pushed into the illegal system because the waits are so long through the legal process.  And we’ve got to make sure that there’s a way for people to earn some pathway to citizenship.

 

And keep in mind, some of these statistics you may have already heard — it’s estimated that over 80 percent of the folks who are here on an undocumented basis have been here 10 years or longer.  These are folks who are woven into the fabrics of our communities.  Their kids are going to school with our kids.  Most of them are not making trouble; most of them are not causing crimes.  And yet, we put them in this tenuous position and it creates a situation in which your personnel, who have got to go after gang-bangers and need to be going after violent criminals and deal with the whole range of challenges, and who have to cooperate with DHS around our counterterrorism activities — you’ve got to spend time dealing with somebody who is not causing any other trouble other than the fact that they were trying to make a living for their families.  That’s just not a good use of our resources.  It’s not smart.  It doesn’t make sense.

 

So I know I’m preaching to the choir here.  You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t agree with us that this is time for us to go ahead and get moving.  But I just want all of you to know your voices, particularly over the next couple of months, are going to be critical.  I think people have come to expect that I’m in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.  I think that people anticipate that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is going to be in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.  I think people understand that there are a lot of agricultural enterprises that know how important their immigrant workers are to them.  But it’s more important in some ways to get over the hump when they hear from unexpected voices.

 

I think the evangelical Christian community has shown itself to be foursquare behind immigration reform, and that’s a powerful voice.  I think portions of the business community that people may not anticipate know that this is the key to our economic future.  It would lower our deficits; it would grow our economy; it would bring in some of the most skilled people around the world.  We want them to continue to come here.  That’s part of our competitive advantage relative to the rest of the world.  Our population is not aging the way some other populations are because it’s constantly replenished with folks who are go-getters.  And hearing from law enforcement is important and I think it lends this overall effort great credibility.

 

So I just want to say thank you to all of you.  But we’ve got this narrow window.  The closer we get to the midterm elections the harder it is to get things done around here.  Now, I know it’s hard to believe that things could get harder — (laughter) — that this place could get a little more dysfunctional.  But it’s just very hard right before an election. So we’ve got maybe a window of two, three months to get the ball rolling in the House of Representatives.  And your voices are going to be absolutely critical to that effort.

 

So I just want to say thank you to all of you.  And while I’m here, I want to thank you for a wide range of issues that we’ve had a chance to cooperate with you on.  Whether it’s dealing with counterterrorism issues and the preparations that ensure that if and when an event happens that we’re prepared, and more importantly, that we’re able to prevent such activities from taking place in the first place, or dealing with natural disasters where our first responders are always right there on the scene, day in and day out your teams, your personnel are doing heroic work on behalf of America.  And we’re very, very grateful for that.

 

So thank you, everybody.  Let’s make this happen.  (Applause.)

 

END
12:10 P.M. EDT

 

 

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Investing in American Ports Infrastructure

 

Vice President Biden will visit the CityArchRiver project in the afternoon to discuss the economy and showcase the progress of the site. The project is set to redesign the grounds and enhance the experience ahead of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Gateway Arch.

 

Senator Richard Durbin and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will also attend the event at the at the Arch grounds. The vice president will also attend an event at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at 5 p.m. in Alton, Ill. Vice President Biden will also attend an event at a private residence at 6:15 p.m. prior to heading back to Washington D.C.

 

 

Published on May 13, 2014

In order to more efficiently accommodate massive post-panamax ships, the United States needed to widen and deepen many of its channels and harbors. TIGER grants have channeled federal transportation funding directly to 38 port projects in 22 states designed to increase efficiency and grow the economy. President Obama has proposed new investments in transportation infrastructure to jump-start job creation & build a 21st century American economy. Learn more at:   http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy

 

 

 

"We have to rebuild the infrastructure in this country." – VP outside the Gateway Arch in St. Louis #RebuildAmerica

“We have to rebuild the infrastructure in this country.” – VP outside the Gateway Arch in St. Louis #RebuildAmerica

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“Infrastructure is the back upon which this great nation has been built.” –VP discussing the need to #RebuildAmerica

“Infrastructure is the back upon which this great nation has been built.” –VP discussing the need to #RebuildAmerica

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, from left, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., take a tour of the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, from left, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., take a tour of the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

 

From The Associated Press:

 

Vice President Biden touts St. Louis Arch renovation project

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden made a rain-shortened appearance beneath the Gateway Arch Tuesday to tout the economic benefits of a massive renovation project at the iconic tourist attraction.

The Democratic vice president was introduced by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and accompanied by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who was scheduled to later join Biden at a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser at the home of a lawyer in Alton, Illinois, just across the Mississippi River.

The Midwest trip came as the White House presses Congress to replenish the Federal Highway Trust Fund for road and bridge repairs. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has said the fund could run out of money by August unless Congress acts. Obama is scheduled to speak Wednesday in front of the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York, while his vice president heads to Cleveland to promote a federally funded transit center project.

The $410 million Arch renovation project includes construction of a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 70 to connect downtown St. Louis with the National Park Service site. Project funding is expected to come from $250 million private donations, government grants and a portion of a local sales tax increase.

“Infrastructure is the back upon which this great nation has been built,” Biden told an audience of several dozen local politicians, civic and business leaders. “We have to rebuild the infrastructure in this country. We’ve stalled.”

In response to Biden’s visit, the Missouri Republican Party issued a statement calling for White House and Democratic congressional support of the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Vice President Joe Biden, center, speaks as St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, left, and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell listen during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Vice President Joe Biden, center, speaks as St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, left, and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell listen during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., left, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., listen as Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., left, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., listen as Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Vice President Joe Biden, left, listens as Susan Trautman, Executive Director of The Great Rivers Greenway, gives a tour of the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Vice President Joe Biden, left, listens as Susan Trautman, Executive Director of The Great Rivers Greenway, gives a tour of the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, center, speaks as Vice President Joe Biden, right, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay listen during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, center, speaks as Vice President Joe Biden, right, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay listen during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, left, speaks as Vice President Joe Biden listens during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, left, speaks as Vice President Joe Biden listens during a visit to the CityArchRiver project at the Gateway Arch on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

 

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White House Honors “Champions of Change” for Transportation

 

Published on May 13, 2014

The White House honors local leaders as “Champions of Change” for their leadership to ensure that transportation facilities, services, and jobs help individuals and their communities connect to 21st century opportunities. These individuals are leading the charge across the country building connectivity, strengthening transportation career pathways, and making connections between transportation and economic growth. May 13, 2014.

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Tomorrow, the White House will honor eleven local heroes who are “Champions of Change” for their exemplary leadership to ensure that transportation facilities, services, and jobs help individuals and their communities connect to 21st century opportunities. These individuals are leading the charge across the country building connectivity, strengthening transportation career pathways, and making connections between transportation and economic growth.

 

Across the Federal government, the Administration has been dedicated to providing “ladders of opportunity” for all Americans, by investing in connecting communities to centers of employment, education, and services, and is calling for greater emphasis on those initiatives supporting this outcome.  Recent research has found that social mobility varies by geography, and poor transportation access is a factor preventing lower income Americans from gaining higher income levels than their parents. Transportation plays a critical role in connecting Americans and communities to economic opportunity through connectivity, job creation, and economic growth. Recognizing social mobility as a defining trait of America’s promise, access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation is critical.

 

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event is closed to press but will be live streamed on the White House website. To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live at 10:00 am EST on May 13, 2014.  To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

 

 

Josh Baker, General Manager, Radford Transit, New River Valley Community Services
Blacksburg, VA

Josh is the leader of a major investment in the development of a brand new Public Transit system in the City of Radford, Virginia. He pioneered the concept and worked with community leaders, local university administration, state officials and the Federal Transit Administration to garner support for a much needed community service.  Josh dedicated his work and time over the course of three years to help make the new service a reality. It’s the first time in over 30 years there has been any transit available to the City of Radford, and it was badly needed. Radford Transit has grown rapidly providing over 325,000 passenger trips annually, even providing transfer connections throughout the entire region. Now residents can move effortlessly and reach their destinations within and between the communities of Radford, Pulaski County, Montgomery County and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg.

 

 

Dr. Evelyn Blumenberg, Professor and Chair of Urban Planning, UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs
Los Angeles, CA

Professor Evelyn Blumenberg’s research examines the effects of urban structure—the spatial location of residents, employment, and services—on economic outcomes for low-wage workers, and on the role of planning and policy in shaping the spatial structure of cities.  Evelyn has investigated the travel behavior of special population groups including low-income adults, immigrants, and youth; the effects of the economy on the travel behavior and transportation assets in low-income communities; and the relationship between residential location, automobile ownership, and employment outcomes among the poor.  Evelyn is recommended for Ladders of Opportunity because her current research examines (1) travel behavior of low-income adults; (2) the transportation expenditure burden; and (3) the relationship between transportation and the economic outcomes of low-income families.

 

 

Dan Burden, Director of Innovation and Inspiration, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
Port Townsend, WA

Dan Burden is the Director of Innovation and Inspiration for the nonprofit Walkable and Livable Communities Institute. For more than 35 years he has worked to inspire leaders in 3500 cities on ways to design cities for people first; still accommodating the auto. His work helps define the future of transportation; and is now celebrated with thousands of new innovations giving full support to walking, bicycling, transit, and living in place; driving less, enjoying life more.  Dan has proven his ability to energize leaders of towns and cities to help them frame and focus on their assets, get beyond their barriers, raise the bar in design of place. He has an ability to help them focus on their values and become believers in their future, achieving their hopes and dreams, and once momentum is gained, expand to the rebuilding of their entire community.

 

 

Anthony Chiarello, President and CEO, TOTE
Princeton, NJ

Anthony has led TOTE to build the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered container ships in the world; TOTE is the first maritime company in the U.S. to convert its entire fleet to natural gas. As a result of his vision and leadership, natural gas suppliers are now creating distribution networks in major U.S. ports, making gas available to all transportation modes in those markets. Natural gas powered ships will achieve emissions reductions far below even the world’s most stringent regulatory standards. These emissions reductions will have long-lasting and far-reaching positive effects on the health and safety of citizens along the U.S. coastline, particularly in Washington, Alaska, Florida, and Puerto Rico where TOTE ships are part of the critical domestic supply chain. As the adoption of natural gas fuel spreads, air emissions will be lowered along the coastline as part of the North American Emissions Control Area, and additional environmental benefits will accrue in ports, on roads, and rail lines.

 

 

Greer Gillis, Area Manager of Parsons Brinckerhoff
Washington, DC

Greer Gillis is the Washington, D.C. Area Manager of Parsons Brinckerhoff, where she oversees transportation services staff in managing various infrastructure, planning, and design projects as well as leading client relations management, business development, and financial oversight for activities in the metropolitan Washington DC area.     She is the Vice President of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Washington, DC chapter and serves as National Chair of its “Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation” Awards Committee.  She is also a past President of the Women’s Transportation Seminar International’s Washington, D.C. Chapter. Throughout her career, she has served as a role model and advocate for building a diverse transportation workforce.

 

 

Marilyn Golden, Senior Policy Analyst, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Berkeley, CA

For over 25 years, Marilyn Golden has led national system-change efforts that broaden the rights of people with disabilities to transportation. Marilyn has played a key role in federal policy development in the interconnected areas of transportation and architectural barriers. She has been a strong advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) throughout all the stages of its proposal, passage, and implementation, as well as a forceful watchdog through its many stages of regulatory interpretation and the regular challenges to its strong mandates. Her advocacy has been focused on a broad range of transportation issues—including fixed route buses, all forms of passenger rail systems, ADA complementary paratransit, privately-funded over-the-road buses, taxis, airport shuttles, as well as air travel. As a national transportation advocate, she has led the struggle for many of the policy victories during and since the ADA to provide better public transportation for people with disabilities.  Marilyn served on the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board from 1996-2005 as a very strong and effective advocate for the interests of people with disabilities.

 

 

Daphne Izer, Founder, Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT)
Lisbon, ME

Daphne Izer founded the nonprofit safety organization Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) after losing her son Jeff in a fatigue related truck crash that killed three other teenagers and seriously injured a fourth. Daphne has worked tirelessly to advance truck safety in order to help prevent other families from suffering a similar, devastating loss. PATT has focused its efforts on reducing truck driver fatigue, seeking a requirement for the use of technology to accurately record truck driver hours behind the wheel and reduce falsification of driving logs, and to promoting safe trucking. Recently, PATT took another step toward realizing its goal of requiring electronic logging devices (ELDs) in commercial trucks when the FMCSA released the NPRM for the ELD rule. This May, as PATT marks its twentieth anniversary, Daphne is recognized for her instrumental work in bringing attention to the urgent need for change in truck safety policy and programs, with a focus on reducing truck driver fatigue.

 

 

Flavio Leo, Deputy Director, Aviation Planning and Strategy, Massachusetts Port Authority
Newton, MA

Flavio has played a key role applying innovative transportation technology to enhance airport safety, security and equitable access at MassPort Airport in Boston.   This includes the implementation of aircraft related noise mitigation strategies for the surrounding urban communities and the greater Boston region , leading to an enhanced quality of life.   Through his leadership, transparency and enhanced public participation, he has established a relationship with over 30 diverse communities, which have had a long history of engagement with Massport and the FAA.   He has been the leader and “face of Massport” on an innovative program to address airport noise and other safety and technology improvements, which can be applied nationwide.  Flavio was selected for his leadership and coordination for the implementation of a set of noise reduction strategies created with extensive community participation and implemented that will reduce aircraft noise impacts to the greater Boston area including to nearby disadvantaged communities.

 

 

Susan Park Rani, President, Rani Engineering
Minneapolis, MN

Susan Park Rani is an inspiration and a role model for women, minorities, immigrants, and virtually anyone with a desire to pursue the American Dream and start their own business. As a leader in the transportation field, she has demonstrated that opportunities in this industry are widespread and growing—and open to all who wish to acquire the necessary skills and participate.  Rani, born in South Korea, moved with her family to the United States as a child, speaking no English. She ultimately obtained a degree in civil engineering, and in 1993, at the age of 34, founded one of the first woman-and-minority-owned engineering firms in Minnesota where she grew up, with just two employees.  Over the years, the company has been involved in a number of high-profile transportation projects, and today, Rani Engineering employs 50 people, the company grosses over $5 million a year, and anticipates doubling in size within the next five years. In 2012, Rani Engineering was named the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Contractor of the Year by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

 

 

Big John Smith, Transportation Director, Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes, Joint Business Council
Fort Washakie, WY

For the past 25 years, “Big John Smith” has served as the Transportation Director for the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes’ Joint Business Council on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming.  Big John is also the Rocky Mountain Regional Representative on the Tribal Transportation Committee, and the Executive Director of the Intertribal Transportation Association. Big John has succeeded in improving the reservation’s transportation infrastructure (highways and bridges), has led the effort to dramatically cut alcohol-involved crashes and fatalities on the Wind River Reservation.  He has worked with tribal leaders to toughen tribal laws to enhance seat belt compliance, and has led the effort to use positive messaging to educate drivers of all ages about the dangers of drinking and driving.  His love for the people of Wind River has been instrumental in building relationships with tribal, local, county, state and federal partners to save lives.

 

 

Wanda Vazquez, Regional Traffic Safety Liaison, Rincon Family Services
Chicago, IL

Wanda Vazquez has been an active mentor and trainer for Hispanic advocates in the Chicago area helping them become certified child passenger safety technicians. As a motivational instructor, she teaches students how to correctly install car seats and help families understand the importance of safe transportation for their children. Once the training is completed, the students become nationally certified and are able to staff car seat inspection stations or participate in community events. Statistics show that Hispanic children are at a greater risk than non-Hispanic children for injuries and death in traffic crashes because their restraint use is low. Often times this is because their parents are from home countries where car seat use is not the norm. By training Hispanic advocates on how to correctly install car seats and the value of occupant protection, they can in turn go into the Hispanic community where they are welcomed and are able to teach families the importance of keeping their children and themselves safety secured whenever they travel. Ms. Vazquez also served as the Diversity Representative on the National Child Passenger Safety Board and was instrumental in translating materials into Spanish and ensuring that the concerns of the Hispanic community were heard. Wanda is a recommended Champion for her active role as a mentor and trainer for Hispanic advocates in the Chicago.

 

 

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5/13/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on May 13, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

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Vice President Joseph Robinette “Joey B” Biden, Jr., Speaks On The Budget And Economic Policy


By Jueseppi B.

joeybone

 

Remarks on the Budget and Economic Policy

 

 

 

From The Washington Post:

 

 (Opinions and comments from me, Jueseppi B, appear in bold italics in parentheses)

 

Biden hits Republican budget plan, launching election-year attack on GOP policies

 

By 

 

Vice President Biden delivered a blistering critique Monday of the House Republican budget plan, kicking off a midterm campaign effort aimed at winning votes by highlighting what Democrats say would be the catastrophic effects of the conservative vision shaped by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Biden said the GOP plan, passed this month, would devastate the middle class and eviscerate programs that help the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. The remarks launched what aides described as a months-long effort to attack Republicans on economic policy, in an attempt to reprise a successful 2012 campaign strategy.

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden said at George Washington University. “What they clearly value, this new Republican Party, is more tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class . . . because they genuinely believe in their hearts that that’s the way in which you build a 21st-century economy.”

 

Biden’s argument comes as Democrats search for a political message that can gain traction ahead of the November elections. While portraying Republicans as out of touch was enormously successful two years ago, Democrats this year face a far more challenging electoral terrain.

 

“The vice president is lashing out because he has no answer for the question Americans are asking: Where are the jobs?” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), in response to Biden’s remarks Monday. “This administration has overseen the worst economic recovery in our history and has a budget that never balances, ever — and hysterical attacks from Joe Biden won’t change that.”

 

(One thing is clear, The TeaPartyMorons have no job plans, ideas or legislation for jobs either, and thats a fact, Jack.)

 

Biden argued that the Republicans’ budget is inconsistent with the values they espouse.

 

“They say they value education for our children. They say they agree with us that the best-educated country will seize the day in the 21st century,” the vice president said. “But yet they cut domestic spending by 15 percent below our budget. They won’t say exactly where they’re going to do it, but here’s what across-the-board cuts would be — and that’s what they’ve done in the past.”

 

Biden’s critique echoes that of the left-leaning Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, which has argued that neither the Ryan nor the Obama budget would adequately fund domestic programs. An analysis by the group this month found that the Ryan budget, compared with Obama’s budget, would pour $1 trillion less into domestic programs by embracing the deep spending cuts known as sequestration and then cutting programs by an additional $800 billion over the next 10 years.

 

The group has also argued that nearly 70 percent of the Ryan budget’s overall cuts would come from programs that serve people with low or moderate incomes.

 

Ryan has taken strong exception to the liberal critiques, saying his budget projects $43 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, compared with the $48 trillion the federal government is expected to spend without new legislation. “Nearly $43 trillion is enough,” his office said recently.

 

(Ryan is a dumbass idiot.)

 

The topic of Biden’s speech suggested that he may play something of a “bad cop” to Obama’s “good cop” as the midterm strategy unfolds. White House officials have said that the strongest role Obama can play this summer and fall is to draw contrasts between GOP and Democratic thinking on the economy.

The president has been doing that primarily by noting his own proposals — to raise the minimum wage, for instance, or to promote pay equity for men and women. While he has criticized Republicans, he has mainly focused on what Democrats bring the to the table.

Biden’s sharp focus on the House Republican plan suggests that he will be hitting the GOP harder in hopes of revving up the Democratic base and painting the GOP budget in the darkest light possible.

“House Republicans have a plan to balance the budget and create jobs,” Ryan spokesman William Allison said. “But the administration doesn’t have much to brag about. Now all they’ve got left are baseless attacks and stale rhetoric.”

 

(Here’s a news flash for all the lying foolish TeaPartyMorons, if your group had a plan to “balance the budget and create jobs,” you would have done it years ago. Your party is full of turtle feces)

 

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Some House Republicans Press For Vote On Unemployment Extension


 

By Jueseppi B.

The Democratic-led U.S. Senate agreed by a voice vote to begin debate on a bipartisan bill to renew expired jobless benefits for 2.2 million Americans.

The Democratic-led U.S. Senate agreed by a voice vote to begin debate on a bipartisan bill to renew expired jobless benefits for 2.2 million Americans.

 

The action cleared a second Republican procedural roadblock in as many weeks and moved the bill toward anticipated Senate passage later this week.

 

But the White House-backed measure is expected to die when it reaches the Republican-led House of Representatives.

 

House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, has called the bill “unworkable,” citing concerns by state administrators.

 

BUT there my be some hope.

 

From 

 

Some House Republicans Press for Vote on Unemployment Extension

 

 

The bipartisan five-month unemployment insurance extension pending in the Senate appears to be driving a wedge between segments of the House Republican Conference.

 

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and other House leaders portrayed the extension as unworkable after a three-month break in such benefits, and they are arguing for GOP alternatives to spur growth and job creation. But Rep. Peter T. King of New York said Thursday he and Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo of New Jersey had sent a letter urging Boehner and his team to move the Senate proposal (HR 3979) or an alternative.

 

“We want it extended,” King said. “We respectfully request that the House immediately consider this bill or a similar measure to restore unemployment benefits to struggling Americans,” the letter said.

 

The Senate voted, 61-35, to invoke cloture on the measure Thursday, clearing the way for passage Monday, leaving House Republicans to decide on how to deal with it.

 

Five Republicans besides King and LoBiondo signed the letter asking Boehner to bring something to the floor: Joe Heck of Nevada; Jon Runyan and Christopher H. Smith, both of New Jersey; and Chris Gibson and Michael G. Grimm, both of New York.

 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers of Washington, head of the Republican Conference, said party leaders had not decided how to handle the measure and would discuss it next week. “There will be a conversation. We’re waiting to see what the Senate actually passes,” she said.

 

For some Republicans, the Senate measure presents an enticing vehicle for a flock of stalled proposals to cut taxes, curb regulations and undo mandates under the health care overhaul (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). If leadership decides to attach such provisions, they will have to weigh how far they believe they can go in pushing Democrats into a corner to accept the package before they invite criticism that they are obstructing the bill.

 

Rep. Steve Southerland II of Florida, a member of the leadership team, said the idea of adding GOP proposals had strong appeal. “I am always for doing things that get good policy done for us,” he said.

 

But he added that many conservatives favored allowing expiration of broader unemployment benefit that were created in 2008 in response to the financial crisis. “You have to overcome that argument. We need to do the right thing: allow the economy to create jobs,” Southerland said.

 

Democrats made clear Thursday they would press for quick House floor action on the Senate package, without changes. Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said he had no plans to open talks with House Republicans to tweak the package.

 

“I want them to pass this,” he said. “They can do whatever they want. … Find out what they do, then I’ll react to it.”

 

Some Republicans have urged leaders to use the bill for action on a House-passed proposal (HR 803) by Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., to meld job training programs. The Foxx bill faces strong opposition from Senate Democrats including Labor, Health, Education and Pensions ChairmanTom Harkin of Iowa, who has advanced a separate job training plan (S 1356).

 

Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, a leader of the centrist Tuesday Group of Republicans, said he was urging party leaders to combine the Senate measure with at least one of a trio GOP priorities. They include medical device tax repeal, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and an increase (HR 2575) in the work-week trigger for the employer mandate to cover full-time employees under the health care overhaul. “I offered three suggestions. If I got one, I’d be happy,” Dent said.

 

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said she doubted any of them would be acceptable as add-ons to the measure.

 

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the Democrats’ point person on jobless aid, said any negotiations likely will be handled in the House. Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina said Democrats were not planning to open talks on any changes, for now, and instead would press House leaders to allow a floor vote on the Senate package.

 

Thank you .

 

 

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Staples You Suck: Printed Copy Of Petition To Be Delivered To Staples Corporate Today!


 

By Jueseppi B.

download

 

 

Printed copy of Petition to be Delivered to Staples Corporate Today!

 

By Sue Whistleblower

 

This is it! The day where all our hard work pays off! A 10 lb box of printed signatures was sent to Staples Corporate Headquarters and is scheduled to be delivered today!

 

If Staples doesn’t respond within a week, I would like to schedule a Call-In to the Office of the President on Monday February 3rd.

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Thanks again for your continued support!
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The following letter was included with the petition signatures:
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Sue Whistleblower
1660 Soldiers Field Road
Brighton, MA 02135
January 18, 2014
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Ron Sargent
Chief Executive Officer
Staples
500 Staples Drive
Framingham, MA 01702
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Dear Ron Sargent:
I am a part-time employee of your company, Staples. I have served Staples faithfully for many years, and have earned your company far more income than you have paid me over that time. On January 4th, 2014, a policy was enacted at your retail stores that limited part-time employees to 25 hours a week. I have worked over 25 hours a week for the entirety of my employment at your company, as have a vast majority of your part-time staff. I inquired about the reason of the policy up the chain of command, and was not given a straight answer at every level.
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It is for this reason, that we the part-time employees of Staples, hereby petition your company for the following actions:
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1. Amend your policy to at least 35 hours a week for part-time employees or abolish said policy.
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2. If there are reasons this cannot be done, Staples is to make an honest and truthful public statement as to why.
You are probably wondering under what authority we as employees have the right to demand such changes from the CEO of a company. As Customer Service Representatives, it is not only our duty to represent the company to the customer, it is also our duty to represent the customer to the company. Enclosed is a printed copy of over 200,000 signatures of people who disagree with your current actions and demand you change your policy. Most of them are your customers and have pledged not to shop at your stores until you take corrective action.
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We know that thousands of other companies have been enacting similar policies for one reason, the Affordable Health Care Act. We also know that the medical insurance you currently offer through Aetna does not meet the minimum standards of the law. The ACA states that any employee working over 30 hours a week is entitled to health insurance, or the company faces steep fines. We understand that paying those fines would be an unacceptable cost to your corporation. However, we encourage Staples to be more open as to why this company is enacting such changes. If complying with the law would cost Staples hundreds of millions of dollars, then speak out!
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If you truly need to enact such policies to avoid hefty fees, and to give you time to research ways to comply with the law that meet the needs of both the company and its employees, then please make this known in a public statement!
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We also hereby inform you that we will use all lawful means to petition your company until we receive an answer, and that this letter will be distributed to all petition signers.
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Sincerely,
Sue Whistleblower
Petition Executor
Enclosed: 201,751 petition signatures from Change.org
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