from John Hocevar, Greenpeace


It’s been one year now since the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico – costing eleven people their lives and eventually releasing nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the marine ecosystem.

We have just one week to let the Obama administration know that the new national ocean policy they’re writing must include restrictions on offshore drilling, especially in the Arctic. Sign your name to the letter we’ll be delivering by clicking the take action button below.

http://www.greenpeaceusa.org

The accident was a horrible example of the risks that oil companies like BP are willing to take with our national treasures just to make a profit and that they do it with the backing of our government. And while it will take years to fully understand the impacts the disaster had on the Gulf, one thing is clear: our lack of a comprehensive national ocean policy failed us a year ago.

That can change. Right now, the Obama administration is in the process of developing a new National Ocean Policy. They’re testing the waters to see how engaged the voting public is on this issue by allowing for public comments up until April 27th. I will be writing a letter on behalf of Greenpeace and submitting it as part of the process and I’d love it if you joined me by signing on to the letter yourself.

Your signature will send a message to the Obama administration that the public is still paying attention and that the dead turtles and dolphins still washing up along the Gulf coast one year after the disaster are not an acceptable side effect of our reliance on unsafe offshore drilling.

It’s time we had a national ocean policy that is for the oceans and all who use them – and not just big businesses looking to make a profit. We can’t afford another BP Deepwater disaster.

But you can bet that the oil companies are going to do everything they can to keep doing business as usual. We can’t let them be the only voice heard in this process. Help us get 40,000 signatures before April 27th by signing today.

http://www.greenpeaceusa.org

Together we’ll send a message to the Obama administration that we want a national ocean policy that doesn’t include disasters like the one in the Gulf last year.

For the oceans,

John Hocevar

Greenpeace Oceans Campaign Director

Urgent: Save Troy Davis’ life -Troy Davis is about to be executed — even though he may be innocent.


In 1991, Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a white police officer. Though there’s major evidence that Davis didn’t commit the crime, Georgia is prepared to put him to death. We have a good chance of stopping this — but only if we speak up now.

The fact is, no physical evidence connected Davis to the murder. Seven of the original nine witnesses have recanted, with many saying their testimony was a result of law enforcement pressure. Of the remaining witnesses, one is highly suspect and the other could be the actual culprit in the officer’s murder.

Now, despite these and other facts, the state of Georgia has taken the first steps toward Davis’ execution — and only the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole stands between Davis and the lethal injection chamber.

Georgia may be about to kill an innocent man. That’s not justice. Please ask the Georgia Parole Board to spare Troy Davis’ life, before it’s too late — and it’s critical that you ask others to do the same:

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/807?akid=1952.1174326.CrQTin&t=3

Since Troy Davis’ 1991 conviction, numerous facts have emerged that introduce significant doubt as to his guilt. These facts include:

All but two of the original witnesses against Troy Davis have signed affidavits recanting their earlier testimony. Most claim that their testimony was coerced by police officers.1

Multiple witnesses say that another man — one of the original witnesses against Davis — has claimed to have slain the fallen officer.2

The weapon used in the murder was never found. The only physical evidence connecting Davis to the crime was indirect, circumstantial — and new testimony disputes Davis’s connection to that evidence.3

In light of this evidence, the Supreme Court granted Davis another chance. But instead of an actual new trial before a jury, which would mean the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is on the prosecutor, he got an evidentiary hearing before a single federal judge where Davis’ lawyers had the burden to meet an impossibly high and undefined legal standard.

In light of this, it was sad — but no surprise — when the judge rejected the new evidence and cleared the way for Davis’ execution. However, even he acknowledged lingering doubt, noting that the case against Davis was not “ironclad.”

But “ironclad” is exactly what the evidence should be in order to put someone to death. If the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole doesn’t act to stop Davis’ execution, they’ll run a serious risk of putting an innocent man to death. That is not acceptable.

Please join us, along with our partners at Amnesty International and the NAACP, in asking the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to save Troy Davis’ life by commuting his sentence to life in prison. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same.

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/807?akid=1952.1174326.CrQTin&t=4

Thanks and Peace,

— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team

April 20th, 2011

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU–your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:

http://www.colorofchange.org/donate

References:

1. “Troy Davis – Finality over Fairness,” Amnesty International USA

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/808?akid=1952.1174326.CrQTin&t=7

2. See Reference 1

3. See Reference 1

Properly tax millionair​es and billionair​es …from ColorOfChange.org


In a stirring speech last Wednesday, President Obama reminded us of our common values — that as Americans, we believe in shared sacrifice during tough times, and shared prosperity when times are good.

This Tax Day, we’ve seen those values flipped on their head. While America’s millionaires and billionaires pay the lowest tax rate in 80 years,1 Congress is slashing critical services like food stamps, family planning and foreclosure assistance that keep poor and working folks afloat. It’s immoral and un-American.

We’re with President Obama: it’s past time that we ask the richest Americans to start contributing their fair share. Rep. Jan Schakowsky‘s Fairness in Taxation Act would do exactly that, helping to balance the budget and stop deep cuts by raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires.

There’s real momentum behind this idea — 81% of Americans support increasing taxes on the wealthy.2 Opposing this idea should be a liability for politicians of any party — but Congress needs to hear from us. It starts with you, right now. Please sign our petition asking your Congressional representatives to co-sponsor the Fairness in Taxation Act:

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/809?akid=1955.1174326.thD39r&t=2

Many in Congress compare the federal budget to a family’s budget. They argue that because the federal government is in so much debt, the nation is broke. And just like broke families need to make hard choices, the government does as well, so they advocate cutting programs that support poor and working folks, along with children, the elderly, and those who need special medical care.

But this is one of several ways their argument falls apart. When times get tough, families don’t abandon the grandparents and the kids because we can’t afford them — we try to bring in more income. A key problem in Washington is that politicians lack the will to tax millionaires and billionaires to bring in more revenue, so they throw grandma, grandpa, and the kids out on the street and under the bus.

The Fairness in Taxation Act attempts to address this by asking those who make $1 million in a year to pay a 45% income tax while billionaires would pay taxes at a 49% rate.3 That’s a big change over the current system, where millionaires and billionaires pay a maximum of 35% and last year paid an average of only 17% of their income in taxes.4 Rates this low haven’t been seen since the 1930s.

Schakowsky’s bill is projected to raise more than $75 billion in new revenues — more than enough to stave off unnecessary cuts to important programs while also helping to reduce the deficit.5 Please urge Congress to support this bold plan:

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/809?akid=1955.1174326.thD39r&t=2

As our friends at CREDO Action have noted, “Over the years, Republican lawmakers have very successfully promoted the morally bankrupt and economically baseless dogma of ‘tax cuts for the rich, massive spending cuts for everyone else.'” It’s critical that we offer a drastically different economic vision.

That’s because the national budget is more than a roadmap to spending; it’s a statement of values and priorities. Properly taxing millionaires and billionaires would send a clear message that in America, we value feeding the poor and taking care of the sick and elderly. It’s about making sure that everyone has ample opportunity to be successful. As President Obama said, this is fundamentally patriotic.

This is why every member of Congress needs to answer a simple question: will you oppose fair tax rates for the wealthy, or will you stand with everyday Americans who are struggling in this tough economy?

This is more than just a moment to pass a critical piece of legislation — it’s an opportunity to reclaim the nation’s economic narrative. Many have been fooled by the right into thinking that America is broke — but the nation isn’t broke so long as we can raise revenues. Asking the very wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share is a key part of the conversation that’s been ignored for too long under the GOP‘s “starve the government” philosophy.

Please join us in asking Congress to support Rep. Schakowsky’s tax on millionaires and billionaires, and ask your friends and family to do the same:

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/809?akid=1955.1174326.thD39r&t=4

Thanks and Peace,

— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team

April 19th, 2011

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU–your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:

http://www.colorofchange.org/donate

References:

1. “Income tax in the United States,” Wikipedia

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/810?akid=1955.1174326.thD39r&t=7

2. “Sanders introduces millionaire surtax to slash deficit,” Raw Story, 3-11-2011

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/811?akid=1955.1174326.thD39r&t=9

3. “Schakowsky Introduces Bill to Tax Millionaires and Billionaires,” Press Release, 3-16-2011

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/812?akid=1955.1174326.thD39r&t=11

4. “Super rich see federal taxes drop dramatically,” Associated Press, 4-17-2011

http://act.colorofchange.org/go/813?akid=1955.1174326.thD39r&t=13

5. See reference 3