Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tell 2020 Democratic candidates: End REAL ID

The petition to Democratic presidential candidates reads:
"REAL ID puts a terrifying mark on undocumented people in the United States. Democrats should be working to fix the broken system, not finding new ways to target people without documentation. Pledge to End REAL ID now."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
In less than a year, the federal government will have a new and dangerous tool at its disposal to visibly mark and punish undocumented people.
On Oct. 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security will require everyone who lives in the United States to use a REAL ID driver's license to board domestic flights or enter federal buildings.1 Immigrants and other people who do not have paperwork proving citizenship cannot get a REAL ID. They will have limited mobility and an alternative ID signaling that they could be undocumented.
The REAL ID requirement is not about safety or uniformity. It is about requiring states to flag undocumented people so that law enforcement can easily identify them. But the next president can overturn this rule. Now, more than ever, we must make sure that Democratic 2020 candidates are working to fix our broken systems instead of finding new ways for more people to be targeted by the government.
The REAL ID Act was signed in 2005 without meaningful debate. As with so many other post-9/11 policies, it was fueled by Islamophobia and xenophobia. Since 2005, opposition to REAL ID has grown. A number of states, concerned about privacy and the construction of a DHS national database of drivers, refused to comply, which pushed the deadline back years. Now states are now being forced to comply.
The pushback may have died down, but the stakes are still high. Driver's licenses are essential to our communities. They allow people to legally drive, insure their vehicles, fly, and obtain services and housing, and REAL ID is a green light for discrimination.2
REAL ID is extremely dangerous because of this:
  • Unequal access.
  • Right now, DACA recipients can only obtain temporary REAL IDs. Undocumented immigrants cannot receive a REAL ID at all. And people who don't have their birth certificate or social security card or whose name is different than what is on their documentation will have a hard, if not impossible, time getting a REAL ID.
  • Two-tiered system.
  • If REAL ID replaces standard licenses, we will create a clear class of second-class Americans whose lack of a REAL ID marks them, limits their mobility and makes them suspect. Simply living in the United States will become even harder for those who can't access the REAL ID.
  • Supercharged surveillance.
  • With REAL ID, ICE, Border Patrol and local police would have the ability to pull from DMV databases to create their own records of who doesn't have a REAL ID. That data could be used by employers, landlords and banks to deny people work, housing, bank accounts and other financial services.
We have than a year from the REAL ID deadline, abd 99 million people still don't have one.3 There is a significant chance that millions who are eligible will still be without REAL ID past the October 2020 deadline, which gives us leverage to stop the requirement. We need the 2020 Democratic candidates to pledge to end REAL ID now.
Tell 2020 Democratic candidates: Reject REAL ID now. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Jelani Drew, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Katia Hetter, "Is your ID good enough to travel? It may not be next year," CNN, Oct. 2, 2019.
  2. Alex Davies, "The Real ID Is Nearly Here, and You Can’t Fly Home Without It," Wired, Nov. 18, 2019.
  3. National Conference on State Legislature, "State Legislative Activity in Opposition to the Real ID," January 2014.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: Commit to garment factory safety

Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar
Petition to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos:
Avoid more unnecessary and tragic deaths by transparently disclosing a list of your factories and signing on to the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Additionally, we urge you to require third-party sellers to abide by the same safety conditions.
Rescuers tried for 48 hours to free Rozina Begum from the rubble of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse. They failed. Then, they gave her a saw. They told her she would have to saw her arm off to save her life. "I didn't think about it," Begum said. "It took me hours. I kept passing out. But in the end, I did it."1
6 years after Rana Plaza, a Wall Street Journal investigation found that Amazon is selling clothing from dozens of blacklisted Bangladeshi factories that have been deemed too dangerous.2
With Cyber Monday approaching fast, Amazon’s failure to commit to safety standards literally puts lives in danger. Amazon may have overtaken Walmart as America’s No. 1 clothing seller -- meaning if they agreed to the same safety standards as other brands, Amazon could save lives. 
Tell : No one deserves to lose their life because Amazon doesn’t want to do the right thing. Sign onto the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety before more people die.
Over 1,100 people died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse. After that, major brands like H&M, Fruit of the Loom, and American Eagle Outfitters agreed to commit to factory safety standards like fixing crumbling buildings, fire alarms, and sprinklers.3
But Amazon didn’t sign on. According to a Wall Street Journal investigation, Amazon offers clothing from dozens of Bangladeshi factories that have been blacklisted by other retailers as being too dangerous. 
Some of the clothing was sold directly by Amazon and others from third-party sellers. Amazon doesn’t list much information about the factories they source from and doesn’t require third-party sellers to disclose their list of factories.
Other brands like H&M have committed to the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a legally binding agreement to building and worker safety between worker unions, international monitoring organizations, and apparel corporations. 
The Accord has undoubtedly saved lives -- which is why it’s so important Amazon signs onto it.
Tell Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: Lives are worth more than corporate greed. Sign onto the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety before more lives are lost.
This isn’t the only case of Amazon running its platform in ways that can put customers and workers in danger. Thousands of products listed on Amazon have been deemed unsafe by federal agencies, are deceptively labeled, or even banned by regulators -- including unsafe children’s toys and recalled motorcycle helmets.4
Amazon’s platform is too big to be managed responsibly by a single mega-company that has its hands in everything. The unchecked monopoly power of Amazon has resulted in a platform that allows the sale of garments made under dangerous conditions.
Big tech companies like Amazon are literally putting lives in danger, which is just one of the many reasons Demand Progress members like you have been calling for a breakup of big tech monopolies.
Cyber Monday is coming up soon, which means more pressure on Amazon and its third party sellers to sell products. We must demand Amazon signs onto the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety before Amazon’s failure to act results in more deaths.
Tell Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: Sign onto the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety before more lives are lost.
Sources:
1. The Wall Street Journal, "A Year Later, Rana Plaza Survivors Struggle," April 23rd, 2014.
2. The Wall Street Journal, "Amazon Sells Clothes From Factories Other Retailers Blacklist," October 23rd, 2019.
3. The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, "Accord Signatories," November 20th, 2019.
4. The Wall Street Journal, "Amazon Has Ceded Control of Its Site. The Result: Thousands of Banned, Unsafe or Mislabeled Products," August 23rd, 2019.
MORE INFORMATION
Amazon sells clothes from dangerous blacklisted factories, investigation finds - New York Post


Friday, November 22, 2019

IETA stop pushing Big Polluters schemes at climate talks


Have you heard of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)? I wouldn't be surprised if you hadn't -- it is the industry group that the likes of Chevron, Shell, and other Big Polluters don't want you to know about. And it is working tirelessly to derail meaningful progress on climate change.

In just days, I'll be heading to the U.N. climate talks in Madrid with a team of organizers and allies. There we'll go toe to toe with IETA and other industry groups doing the bidding of Big Polluters. This year's U.N. climate talks is a critical moment when governments will make decisions that will go a long way in determining whether the Paris Agreement helps deliver climate justice or simply continues business as usual.

On the one hand are millions of people like you demanding just solutions to address the climate crisis. On the other are the very corporations and industries that have knowingly fueled this crisis, pushing a misleading and dangerous agenda that pads their profits and worsens the climate crisis.

One of the most prevalent voices doing Big Polluters' dirty work is IETA. It was founded by and exists to advance the interests of Big Polluters like BP, Shell, and Chevron in climate policymaking. And that's exactly what it'll be doing in Madrid. Last year when a Shell executive bragged about how the corporation helped shape the Paris Agreement, they were speaking about their involvement through IETA.1

When we show up in Madrid, we'll challenge this dangerous agenda to advance real solutions to address the climate crisis. But we need to make it crystal clear that Big Polluters and the shills that represent their interests have no place at the climate talks, nor do their dangerous schemes like Carbon markets and emissions trading regimes.

Under Carbon trading, a country or a polluter having more emissions of carbon is able to purchase the right to emit more and the country or entity having fewer emissions sells the right to emit carbon to other countries or entities. The countries or polluting entities emitting more carbon thereby satisfy their carbon emission requirements, 

Tell Congress: Protect military families from deportation

The petition to Congress reads:
"Don't let Trump deport military families. Pass the Military Families Parole in Place Act."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
For decades, thousands of immigrants put their lives on the line to defend the United States and gain citizenship. In fact, nearly 130,000 troops from more than 30 countries have become citizens through military service since 2001.2 But under Trump, immigrant veterans and active duty service members and their families are all under threat.
The Trump regime is planning to gut a program that protects immigrant military families from deportation. Speak out now to demand that Congress pass legislation to fight this attack and keep military families safe.
CREDO is fighting for an America where citizenship is accessible to all and doesn't require immigrants to be extraordinary or put their lives in danger to prove their worth. But at the same time, we know we have to counter the attacks Trump is hurling at our communities now.
Trump's latest attack would gut USCIS' Parole in Place program, which allows undocumented family members of active duty military to stay in the country while they adjust their immigration status. Sen. Duckworth's Military Families Parole in Place Act would safeguard this program by making it law.3
Under the Trump regime, immigrant veterans and active duty service members face huge threats at home.4 During the chaos of Trump's mass raids over the summer, Navy sailor Enoch Orona told NPR that his greatest worry was whether ICE would deport his mother, an undocumented immigrant, during his third tour of duty.5 Passing the Military Families Parole in Place Act would provide much needed relief to soldiers like Orona, and thousands of immigrant military families like his.
Tell Congress: Pass the Military Families Parole in Place Act. Click the link below to sign the petition.
- Nicole Regalado, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Franco Ordonez, "Trump Wants To Withdraw Deportation Protections For Families Of Active Troops," NPR, June, 27, 2019.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Camilo Montoya-Galvez, "Senators move to protect program for immigrant military families that Trump may end," CBS, Nov. 6, 2019.
  4. America's Voice, "Active Duty Service Members, and Their Families, Face Increasing Immigration and Naturalization Obstacles Under Trump Administration," Oct. 28, 2019.
  5. Franco Ordonez, "Facing Deployment While Fearing That Family Members Will Be Deported," NPR, July 12, 2019.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Ask Congress: remove arbitrary time limit on ratification of the Equal Rights Act

The Equal Rights Amendment still hasn't been ratified in ARIZONA! 
Petition to Congress:
"Pass H.J. Res 79 to remove the arbitrary time limit on ratification of the Equal Rights Act."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
The #MeToo movement led to a wave of women exercising their political power. And now we are poised to complete a century of work and push for the final ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Voters recently swept Democrats into control of the Virginia Legislature, a move that could echo across the country. Virginia Democrats have promised to make Virginia the 38th state – out of 38 required – to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and finally guarantee women equal protection under the law.1It's Donald Trump's worst nightmare. The backlash to the Republican war on women and the rise of the #MeToo movement led to a wave of women exercising their political power. And now we are poised to complete a century of work and push for the final ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
The one major obstacle left is an arbitrary and unnecessary deadline that Congress imposed in 1972.2 Rep. Jackie Speier introduced a resolution to repeal the deadline and pave the way for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, and she needs our help.
Why is the Equal Rights Amendment as urgent today as it was when first passed in 1972? Just ask an avowed enemy of equality, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote, "Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t."3
The Equal Rights Amendment would enshrine equality for women in the highest laws of our nation, not in legislation that could be rolled back. It would supercharge everything from pay equity to domestic violence laws and prevent Republicans or corporate allies from challenging laws in court. Ending discrimination in healthcare, pay, education and employment will save and change the lives of women across America, especially marginalized women who are most at risk.4
When the ERA passed Congress in 1972, an arbitrary and unnecessary timeline was imposed -- ratification by three-quarters of states was required by 1979, later extended to 1982. Now, more than 20 years later, 37 states ratified the amendment, and Virginia is about to become the 38th and final necessary state.5
There's nothing in the Constitution that requires deadlines, many amendments went to the states without any deadline at all, and others took decades to be ratified. The 27th Amendment, which prohibits immediate congressional pay raises, was ratified 203 years after its introduction.6 The deadline on the ERA was a dirty trick to block its ratification – and if Congress can impose an arbitrary deadline, Congress has the power to remove one just as easily.
Tell Congress: Repeal the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Nicole Regalado, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Russell Berman, "The Equal Rights Amendment Is an Artifact No More," The Atlantic, Nov. 8, 2019.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Rep. Jackie Speier, "Congresswoman Speier Introduces Resolution to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment," Feb. 1, 2017.
  4. Emily Stewart, "Virginia’s election results are a big deal for the Equal Rights Amendment," Vox, Nov. 6, 2019.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Comments needed: No Keystone XL Pipeline

The comment to the Department of State reads:
"The Keystone XL pipeline is a disaster for our environment, our climate and our communities. The Department of State's environmental impact statement ignores all previous studies that show that the Keystone XL will cause devastating harm to our planet and that constructing it will violate the rights of Indigenous communities along the pipeline route. The State Department must listen to science and the communities directly affected and reject this dangerous pipeline for good."
Submit a public comment:
Take action now ►
We need your help right now to build massive opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Department of State recently released another bogus environmental study that blatantly disregards the disastrous effects that the Keystone XL pipeline will have on our climate. It also ignores the fact that building it violates the rights of the Indigenous communities who reside along the pipeline route.1 This climate denial propaganda comes on the heels of a State Department rule that would greenlight construction of this dangerous pipeline. We must fight back.
Millions of us have advocated to stop the Keystone XL pipeline for years – we can't give up now. Submit your comment today to help us build a strong public record of opposition to this rule. The more comments we gather, the more power we build to strengthen future court challenges.
This is the final push to stop the Keystone XL project under the Trump administration. Our activism over the years successfully caused major delays in the pipeline's construction. If we can continue to delay the project now, there is a very real chance in 2020 that the next administration could stop this dangerous pipeline for good.
The Keystone XL would carry the dirtiest tar sands oil from Canada, through the United States and then all over the world, hastening the demise of our rapidly warming planet. Like all pipelines, this one will leak, threatening our water, climate and communities.
The comment period for the Department of State new rule closes Nov. 18. Speak out now to register your opposition and help us build momentum to finally put a stop to this huge climate destroying project.
Comments needed by Nov. 18: No Keystone XL pipeline. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Jelani Drew, CREDO Action
Submit a public comment:
Take action now ►
References:
  1. United States Department of State, "Keystone XL Mainline Alternative Route Project" July 2018.
MORE INFORMATION

Keystone Pipeline Leaks 383000 Gallons of Oil in North Dakota - New York Times 

Keystone pipeline restarts in US's North Dakota after major leak

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ask Congress: co-sponsor PAW & FIN Conservation Act of 2019


The Trump administration has just gutted the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—one of America’s bedrock environmental laws—to benefit the fossil fuel industry and developers at the expense of imperiled plants and animals. Please ask Congress today to protect endangered wildlife.

The ESA has been one of the most effective environmental statutes in America, with 99 percent of species listed now on the path towards recovery. Many threatened and endangered species protected by the ESA—such as the grizzly bear, grey wolf, bull trout, Canada lynx, and desert tortoise—are found within America’s National Wilderness Preservation System.

The Trump administration’s ESA rollback comes on the heels of a United Nations report which warned that one million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction world-wide due to over-development, habitat destruction, and climate change, with alarming implications for the natural world and human survival. 

According to our friends at the Endangered Species Coalition, the "Trump Extinction Plan" weakens the Endangered Species Act in three ways:
  1. It removes protections for any new species designated as "threatened." States could even open hunting and trapping seasons on threatened species unless explicitly prevented from doing so.
  2. Under the ESA, listing decisions must be based on science alone. This rule upends that.  It encourages policy-makers to deny protections to wildlife and plants if industry lobbyists perceive a potential economic cost.
  3. It reduces the agencies’ ability to protect habitat, despite habitat loss being the leading cause of extinction.

These changes are clearly designed to ram through pipeline, road, logging, drilling, and fracking projects at the expense of threatened and endangered wildlife!

Over our 30-year history, Wilderness Watch has relied on the ESA to help protect threatened and endangered species that use Wilderness for part or all of their range. One current example is our lawsuit to stop the killing of grizzly bears at bait stations used by some hunters to lure black bears on national forest lands in Idaho and Wyoming, an unethical practice that is unbelievably still allowed within designated Wilderness in Idaho.

Please take action to defend and strengthen the Endangered Species Act by urging your members of Congress to co-sponsor and support the PAW and FIN Conservation Act of 2019 (H.R. 4348 and S. 2491).

- Wilderness Watch 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Tell the House: Stop pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2694)

The petition to the House of Representatives reads:
"Stop pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2694)."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Even though it's illegal for employers to discriminate against pregnant workers, they still do it all the time.The current laws make it difficult for workers to identify and prove pregnancy discrimination. That's why many employers, from law firms and tech companies to fast-food chains and retailers, continue to get away with mistreating and even firing pregnant employees.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would change that by strengthening protections for pregnant workers. House Democrats re-introduced this bill a few months ago, but with several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates publicly backing the bill now, there is renewed energy to push it forward.2 Add your name to help keep the momentum going.
Being fired after an employer finds out you're pregnant is most common in lower-wage jobs. In fact, workers named employers in the retail, accommodation, food service and administrative services industries in the majority of pregnancy discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.3
And that's not all. Low-wage pregnant workers also face dangerous health risks. One-fifth of pregnant workers hold low-wage jobs that require long periods of standing and continuous repetitive motion, which can trigger health consequences in pregnancy.4 Despite this, many employers, like Walmart, still refuse to give adequate accommodations such as a lighter workload or schedule adjustments to pregnant workers.5 That needs to stop now.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would provide clearer guidance to employers and strengthen protections for workers. It would:6
  • Clarify that employers must make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers and workers who just gave birth.
  • Require that employers work with employees to determine appropriate reasonable accommodations, similar to requirements set in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Protect pregnant workers from retaliation, coercion, intimidation, threats or interference by employers if they request or use an accommodation.
  • Provide protections for both pregnant job applicants and employees.
Twenty-seven states have already passed similar legislation with support from both Democrats and Republicans. It's past time for Congress to follow their lead.
Tell Congress: Pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Nicole Regalado, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Bryce Covert, "The American Workplace Still Won’t Accommodate Pregnant Workers," The Nation, Aug. 12, 2019.
  2. Anna North, "Elizabeth Warren says she lost her job when she got pregnant. Thousands of women every year say the same." Vox, Oct. 9, 2019.
  3. Covert, "The American Workplace Still Won’t Accommodate Pregnant Workers."
  4. Ibid.
  5. Vanessa Romo, Federal Commission Sues Walmart For Alleged Discrimination Against Pregnant Employees," NPR, Sept. 21, 2018.
  6. Nation Partnership for Women & Families, "The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act," May 2019.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tell the House: Pass the Climate Displaced Persons Act

The petition to the House of Representatives reads:
"The climate crisis is exasperating an already severe global humanitarian crisis. The United States is more than equipped to help resettle climate-displaced people. Pass the Climate Displaced Persons Act now."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
By 2050, there could be more than 200 million climate-displaced people worldwide.1,2
Super storms, floods, hurricanes and droughts are already forcing people all over the world to leave their homes in search of a safer place to live. Many are seeking refuge in the United States, but the Trump administration is turning a majority away.By 2050, there could be more than 200 million climate-displaced people worldwide.1,2
Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Nydia Velázquez introduced legislation that would allow climate refugees to safely enter the United States and re-settle here.3 This legislation is the first of its kind, offering a humanitarian solution to a growing global crisis. Speak out now to help us build a groundswell of support for this important bill.
In the powerful words of Rep. Velázquez, the Climate Displaced Persons Act will "not only reaffirm our nation's long standing role as a home to those fleeing conflict and disasters, but it will also update [that role] to reflect changes to our world brought on by a changing climate."4 It would:
  • Allow 50,000 climate-displaced people to resettle in the United States at the beginning of the next fiscal year.
  • Direct the secretary of state to create a federal position in charge of developing a "global climate resilience strategy."
  • Direct the president to track and maintain data on climate related displacement.
As we continue to fight for laws that will ultimately make our communities cleaner and more sustainable, the reality is that we also need laws that address the human cost of climate disasters head on. Women, children, people of color and indigenous communities bear the brunt of climate catastrophes. Showing Congress that there is massive support for the Climate Displaced Persons Act would help build momentum for humanitarian solutions that put the health, safety and well-being of people first.
The United States is more than equipped to help resettle climate-displaced people. But Trump and his climate-denying administration are using hate and fear to shut down our borders and attack immigrants and refugees. As climate change continues to threaten the livelihoods of communities around the world, it's more important than ever that we push for laws that address this crisis directly. Will you add your support for The Climate Displaced Persons Act now?
Tell the House: Make the United States a leader in fighting climate change and its consequences. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Jelani Drew, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Baher Kamal, "Climate Migrants Might Reach One Billion by 2050," Inter Press Service, Aug. 1, 2017.
  2. Scott A. Kulp and Benjamin H. Strauss, "New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding," Nature Communications, Oct. 29, 2019.
  3. Jessica Corbett, "'We Have to Get This Right': Historic Bill in US House Would Create Specific Protections for Climate Refugees," Common Dreams, Oct. 24, 2019.
  4. Rep. Velázquez, "Velázquez Introduces Historic Bill to Protect Environmental Migrants," Oct. 23, 2019.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Stop the privatization of America's national parks

Imagine the possibilities...
The petition to the Department of the Interior reads:
"Don't allow America's national treasures to be destroyed by corporate greed. Stop all plans to privatize our national parks."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Here's a frightening idea: Grand Canyon, sponsored by Coca Cola. Yosemite, brought to you by McDonalds. Acadia, a subsidiary of Aramark.
Under a scheme hatched by former disgraced Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, that could be the eventual fate of America's national parks.
Reporters recently uncovered shady plans between the Interior Department and national park profiteers, the RV and hospitality industries, and enemies of public lands to privatize national park campgrounds, allow commercialized food trucks and other services at parks, limit benefits for seniors and increase prices.1
This plan would be a massive giveaway to corporate interests and Trump donors who stand to profit from national park privatization. We must speak out now to stop it.
According to the recently discovered memo, the Trump administration’s “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee recommends privatizing national park campgrounds, which are currently managed by the National Park Service, instituting blackout dates and restrictions on senior benefits, increasing fees, expanding infrastructure that could harm wildlife habitat, and allowing mobile food trucks and camp stores on national park grounds.2
These measures will not only limit access for seniors and low income people to these pristine public lands - selling out our national parks to private interests will also line the pockets of Trump donors. Jerry Jacobs Jr., the billionaire chairman of Delaware North, a massive food service and concessionaire with deep interests in America's national parks, sits on the “Made in America” committee, donated at least $167,700 to Trump and stands to make massive profits if the Interior Department follows through with this scheme.
Privatizing America's national parks is another example in a long line of actions by the Trump administration to hand over public lands to private interests and donors, whether it's the fossil fuel industry, mining companies or corporate food and lodging. According to Western Values Project Deputy Director Jayson O’Neill, "Privatizing America’s public campgrounds and jacking up national park fees to appease big-business concessionaires and powerful corporate campaign donors is just the latest egregious attempt to rip public lands out of public hands."3
Activism to protect our national parks from Trump donors and corporate interests works. Thanks in part to more than 143,000 CREDO members who signed our petition, the names of historic locations at Yosemite National Park will be restored to their well-known names, a big victory over billionaire Jacobs, who brought a frivolous lawsuit against the NPS.4
We must speak out loud and clear that our beloved national parks are America's public lands, not a private, money-making playground for billionaire Trump donors. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Heidi Hess, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Frederick Reimers, "A New Plan to Make Camping in National Parks Worse," Outside, Oct. 21, 2019.
  2. Alexander Nazaryan, "Trump advisory council recommends expanding private business in national parks," Yahoo News, Oct. 11, 2019.
  3. Yetta Stein, "Plans to Privatize National Parks Outlined in Trump Admin Memo, Would Enrich Donors & Special Interests," Western Values Project, Oct. 11, 2019.
  4. Josh Nelson, "Victory: Yosemite keeps historic names," CREDO Mobile, Sept. 9 2019.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Tell Congress: Pass H.R. 4813 Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act


Petition to Congress:
"Pass H.R. 4813, the Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act."`
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Mark Zuckerberg's recent testimony on Capitol Hill was a disaster. Lawmakers grilled Zuckerberg over the company's repeated privacy violations, the despicable content on its platform and its policy of allowing outright falsehoods in political ads.1
In addition to all that's already horrible, lawmakers also wanted to talk about an emerging Facebook disaster – its Libra project. Libra, like Bitcoin, is a cryptocurrency, but one under Facebook's control. In typically Zuckerbook fashion, he insisted last week that Libra should not be regulated like a bank or by the Securities and Exchange Commission.2
Zuckerberg wants Facebook to control a global currency with no oversight and no questions asked, even though his company repeatedly mishandles our private information. That's unacceptable, and Rep. Chuy García just introduced legislation that would put a stop to it.
Facebook is currently under investigation by 47 state attorneys general and regulators in multiple nations. It recently paid a record-breaking $5 billion fine for privacy violations that allowed a right-wing firm to help sway the 2016 election. It lied to advertisers about video metrics, lied to Congress in testimony and lied about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook has created a safe haven for white nationalism, right-wing hatred, racism, misogyny, ethnic supremacism and fake news that fosters violence worldwide. And now Zuckerberg is saying: Trust us.3,4
As Rep. García put it, "Given Facebook’s track record of evading criminal liability, abusing private data, and manipulating markets with their monopolistic power, regulators should be considering how to break up Facebook, not greenlighting a new, dangerous project like Libra."5 Libra would:6
  • Centralize corporate control by giving Facebook more power, undermining sovereign states and giving the corporate interests behind the project the ability to distort global currencies or undermine governments at will.
  • Promote tax dodging and money laundering by making it easier for people to hide their money in a new network with global reach.
  • Erode freedom with no clear limits on Facebook's ability to use data from Libra purchases, bake racist discrimination into its algorithms, change the rules in the future or demand that employees take payment in currency it controls.
  • Put consumers at risk with none of the guarantees, oversight and protections found in traditional banking.
Libra is already under pressure, with a handful of major partners dropping out even before Zuckerberg's testimony. But at a time when Big Tech is increasingly looking for ways to expand its monopolistic power and use vast reams of data to move into finance, we need a more thoughtful response. Rep. García's legislation, the Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act, would prohibit Facebook and other big tech companies from preying on us with digital currencies – and we need to make sure every member of Congress knows it has our support.
Click the link below to tell Congress: Keep Big Tech out of banking:
- Heidi Hess, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. John Constine, "Lowlights from Zuckerberg’s Libra testimony in Congress," TechCrunch, Oct. 23, 2019.
  2. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, "Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García Introduces Bill to Keep Big Tech Companies Out of Financial Sector," Oct. 23, 2019.
  3. Cecilia Kang, Mike Isaac and Nathaniel Popper, "Facebook’s Zuckerberg, Accused of Lying, Withstands a Washington ‘Beating,’" The New York Times, Oct. 23, 2019.
  4. Tony Romm, "Facebook will have to pay a record-breaking fine for violating users’ privacy. But the FTC wanted more." The Washington Post, July 22, 2019.
  5. Rep. García, "Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García Introduces Bill to Keep Big Tech Companies Out of Financial Sector."
  6. Public Citizen et. al., "Open Letter Calling for Libra Moratorium," July 2, 2019.