Thursday, November 13, 2008

Give President-elect Obama Your Two Cents

You can go straight to the source and tell the President-elect what would be best for the country by filling out the Share Your Vision form over at Or you can pool your voice with other folks who share the same goals, like True Majority, People for the American Way,, the Organic Consumers Association, Code Pink, and/or Greenpeace.

Frustratingly, I can't find a petition asking President-elect Obama to work towards non-profit, single-payer health care. I checked Healthcare-Now, The Campaign for America's Future, Health Care for All-California, and Nine-Nine-Oh-Nine. Any suggestions?

True Majority has a little app where you vote for your top priorities for the Obama administration and then it generates a (kinda lame) little email for you to send to Obama listing your priorities.

People for the American Way has a petition asking President-elect Obama to restore the constitution. More specifically it states:

I urge you to uphold your commitments to restore constitutional rights and the rule of law. The Bush administration has run roughshod over Americans' civil liberties and its intelligence policies must be reversed, not continued.

The change you were elected to bring must include adherence to our core constitutional values: NO MORE torture... NO MORE domestic spying that violates Americans' rights... NO MORE excessive government secrecy... NO MORE gross violations of due process and habeas corpus. isn't doing a petition. But you can sign their "super-sized card." Because what, mommies don't do petitions? Mine did. Anyway, their big card says:
We were delighted to hear you raise issues of concern to women and families during the campaign. We share your view that it is critically important to address issues like expanding early learning/childcare opportunities, passing fair pay legislation, securing paid sick days for all workers, and providing healthcare coverage for all children. We look forward to working with you and the Congress to enact these family-friendly policies.

In the coming months, as you and the Congress address our nation's economic future, we urge you to keep these issues at the top of your priority list. We will continue to educate leaders about the way these issues impact real families and real moms, us.

We are behind you all of the way as you work for family economic security.

As you know, a majority of the bankruptcies filed due to the mortgage crisis involve families with children. A full three-quarters of mothers are now in the labor force and many are struggling to cover the rising costs of childcare, healthcare, groceries, and other necessities. Policies such as fair pay, paid sick days, healthcare coverage, and childcare/early education will support our families and help our economy get back on track.

Thank you for speaking powerfully about valuing women and families. We look forward to working with you to bring greater economic security to all.

The Organic Consumers Association has a petition to ask President-elect Obama to

1. Plant a working “Organic Victory Garden” on the South Lawn of the White House, to symbolize your commitment to locally-based, solar-based organic agriculture, with surplus food going to local food shelves.

2. Hire a well-known organic chef, such as Nora Pouillon or Alice Waters, to prepare healthy organic meals for the White House and staff, including vegetables and herbs from the White House Organic Victory Garden.

3. Increase food stamp benefits so low-income Americans can afford high quality organic foods. One way to do this would be to double the value of food stamp debit cards for fresh food purchased from farmers markets.

4. Restore consumers’ right to know by publicly supporting mandatory labeling of Genetically Engineered foods, with regulations similar to those now in place in Europe, Japan, and other nations.

5. Expand incentives for small and mid-sized organic farms and for farmers and ranchers who wish to make the transition to organic. The organic sector currently represents at least three percent of our current food purchases, therefore it deserves at least three percent of USDA program funds and incentives.

6. Appoint Michael Pollan, or another well-known advocate for organic agriculture and the relocalization of our food and farming system, as the new Secretary of Agriculture.

7. Provide funds and incentives for urban food access programs that connect organic farms with urban retail stores, providing fresh produce and vegetables for America’s inner-cities.

8. Redirect the existing multi-billion dollar crop subsidy system away from commodities and biofuels and instead towards energy-efficient, greenhouse gas sequestering organic crops, especially fruits and vegetables.

9. Strictly regulate factory farms, Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), to sharply reduce or eliminate their damage to the environment and public health.

10. Fast-track the Employee Free Choice Act to assure that farm labor and other workers are guaranteed the right to form a union at their place of employment.

Code Pink has a slightly out of date petition (it still refers to Obama as Senator instead of President-elect) stating:
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about possibility that the Bush administration might be considering a military strike on Iran, that it might give a green light to such an attack by Israel, or that it might engage in other acts of war, such as imposing a blockade against Iran.

We welcomed your stand against the war on Iraq in 2002. And we were encouraged by your early campaign statements emphasizing diplomacy over military action against Iran. Today, you have an opportunity to forestall a repeat of the tragic Iraq war. We hope you will use that opportunity.

We agree with the conclusion of Muhammed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that "A military strike ... would be worse than anything possible. It would turn the region into a fireball..." A military attack, he said, "will mean that Iran, if it is not already making nuclear weapons, will launch a crash course to build nuclear weapons with the blessing of all Iranians, even those in the West." (Reuters, June 20, 2008.)

We don't know, of course, whether an attack on Iran is in fact being considered, or if there are serious plans to initiate other acts of war, such as a blockade of the country. But we call on you to issue a public statement warning of the grave dangers that any of these actions would entail, and pointing out how inappropriate and undemocratic it would be for the Bush administration to undertake them, or encourage Israel to do so, in its closing months in office.

An attack on Iran would violate the UN Charter's prohibition against the use or threat of force and the Congress's authority to declare war. Moreover, the public right to decide should not be foreclosed by last-minute actions of the Bush administration, which will set U.S. policy in stone now.

We were heartened by your earlier comments suggesting that an Obama administration would act on the understanding that genuine security requires a willingness to talk without preconditions (something Iran has offered several times to no avail), and that threats and military action are counterproductive. We hope you will follow through on these commitments once in office, but also that you will speak out now against any acts of war by the Bush administration.

Greenpeace is asking for something much more immediate and specific in its petition to President-elect Obama.
Congratulations, President-elect Obama, on your election to the White House. You’ve run an inspired campaign and gotten millions of Americans involved in their government again.

Along the way, you’ve committed to being a leader in the fight to stop global warming. Thank you. Your plan to build a new American economy based on renewable energy and to put a limit on global warming pollution could not come at a more important time. You have my support and the support of millions of Americans who understand the threat that global warming poses.

Over the last 8 years, the US has lost much of its respect in the world—not only as a result of the disastrous war in Iraq, but also because of our refusal to take action on global warming. Today more than ever, the world needs a leader in the fight to save the climate. And you can signal a new day of American leadership by personally attending the UN climate talks in Poland this December. Let the world know that the US is committed to doing what science says: cut global warming 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

With your election, Greenpeace and the American people are looking forward to a new era. We must end the days when fossil fuel companies are allowed to buy and sell our government, and begin an age when serious threats like global warming are acted on quickly and responsibly.

Sign a few petitions. Be the change that you seek in the world.

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