The day you signed your first petition on Change.org, you became a part of something big. Today we’re celebrating 100 million people all over the world coming to Change.org to start or sign a petition. More than one million petitions have been supported by people like you, and there’s a unique story behind every signature.



We’re so proud of the change you have been a part of, and we’re excited to share this moment with you. Join us in celebrating 100 million people using Change.org: track the impact of the growing Change.org community.

Thanks for joining us on this journey,

The Change.org team

My question? Just how much did the NW make off the US Open ~~ Paying the bill for U.S. Open at Chambers Bay

Since the end of the U.S. Open, people keep asking me if we will get another Open in the future. I am certain that the United States Golf Association would like to come back to Chambers Bay. The answer, however, lies in local governments.

The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay generated millions in tax revenue — some of which should be used to defray Pierce County’s expenses.

The U.S. Open is a huge economic benefit to the state and the Puget Sound area’s business community. It likely generated more than $150 million in economic development. As everyone saw, hotels were filled at holiday rates, restaurants were booked solid, rental cars were all taken and many other businesses profited nicely.

Of course, this generated additional taxes for local governments. Increases in sales-tax, hotel-motel-tax and car-rental-tax revenues created millions of dollars in windfalls for local counties and cities. So why would Pierce County not invite the USGA back? Because Pierce County was almost forced to go it alone.

Pierce County had to take the liability risk for the U.S. Open and had to pay for all the security at the site. That cost the county more than $1 million. Closing the course for months cost the county as well. Only University Place, with a $50,000 payment, Lakewood, with $40,000, and Tacoma, with $290,000, provided help.

The state is considering providing some financial help. Just last week, though, Pierce County announced that it hoped to just “break even” on the tournament.

King County, Seattle and Bellevue, and other nearby counties and cities, benefited from the increased taxes, but offered not one dime to help. In fact, those that sent police and sheriff officers to help then charged Pierce County their overtime rates. So, why would Pierce County take the liability risk again for an event that may cost it money?

What is the solution? It is simple. Like other places in the nation where the U.S. Open is held, local governments need to enter into an interlocal agreement to share the wealth and make sure the host government is also rewarded. A start would be for local governments to waive the overtime fees they want Pierce County to pay for this event.

A solution would be for every city and county in the region to immediately offer to enter into an agreement that provides 30 percent of any windfall taxes to be returned to Chambers Bay, which would help keep it a world-class golf course.

John W. Ladenburg Sr. was Pierce County executive from 2001-2008.

Related video: Bright styles at the U.S. Open

Golf fans at the U.S. Open express their fashion style in bright color and preppy details and offer tips for what others should wear to Chambers Bay. Read more. (Katie G. Cotterill & Lauren Frohne / The Seattle Times) 

So, if your business profited from the Open and would like to see another one, ask your local government official, mayor or executive what they are doing to encourage Pierce County to take the risk again

Gemma Tillack, Rainforest Action Network ~ Maruchan


Rainforest Action Network
Last week we exposed Maruchan—America’s #1 instant noodle
brand—as the ‘worst performing’ laggard in the Snack Food 20 as it had
yet to make any commitments regarding its use of the controversial
ingredient: Conflict Palm Oil.

Last week we exposed Maruchan—America’s #1 instant noodle brand—as the ‘worst performing’ laggard in the Snack Food 20 as it had yet to make any commitments regarding its use of the controversial ingredient: Conflict Palm Oil. 

With your help we turned the heat up on the company and the instant noodle giant has responded by issuing its first palm oil commitment. Thank you!

We can’t let Maruchan off the hook, however. The commitment it issued falls short of what is required. The company is only requiring its suppliers to meet the entirely insufficient RSPO standard by 2020. To make matters worse, this commitment only applies to operations in the US and not products sold worldwide. Maruchan has a massive worldwide reach; this is simply not enough.

Maruchan can and must do better. We have to keep the pressure on, so today activists are calling Maruchan and demanding it step up and be a leader by adopting and rapidly implementing a truly responsible palm oil policy.

Will you make a quick phone call and tell Maruchan to step up?

It’s simple and only takes a few minutes. Click here for regional phone numbers and a few things to say.

When you make a stand, companies have no choice but to listen. Please make a quick phone call now.


Gemma Tillack 
Agribusiness Campaign Director

Rainforest Action Network
425 Bush Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94108

The Everest of excrement is actually Mount Everest

  • Everest
  • Rubbish left at one of Mount Everest’s base camps.
    Image: Mary Plage
    Nepal has a stinky situation on its hands.Human waste left by climbers on Mount Everest has become a major problem, and is even threatening the spread of disease, Ang Tshering, the chief of Nepal’s mountaineering association, said, The Associated Press reports.Everest’s climbing season only lasts a measly two months, but nearly 700 climbers brave the world’s tallest peak and not all of them dispose of their trash, urine and feces properly.

    None of Mount Everest’s four base camps, which are located at 17,380 feet, have proper facilities. The camps have tents, equipment, supplies and even cooks, but no toilets. The waste is collected in a drum in a toilet tent, where it is then carried to a lower altitude and disposed.

    But not all climbers use the camps’ facilities to do their business.

    “Climbers usually dig holes in the snow for their toilet use and leave the human waste there,” Tshering told The Associated Press, adding that waste around the base camps has been accumulating for years.

    Away from the base camp, as climbers head toward the 29,035 foot summit, human waste is also an issue.

    “It is a health hazard and the issue needs to be addressed,” said Dawa Steven Sherpa, who has been at the forefront of Everest cleanup expeditions since 2008. Some climbers carry disposable toilet bags with them to the higher camps that don’t have any facilities, Sherpa said.


    The advance base camp for people climbing Mount Everest sits on the mountain’s north slope at about 21,000 feet.

    Image: Dave Watson/Associated Press

    Last year the Nepalese government imposed new rules, which requires climbers to return to the base camp with 17.6 pounds of waste. The weight is an estimate of the average amount of trash climbers accumulate en route.

    The government does not currently have plans to deal with the human waste issue

    The government does not currently have plans to deal with the human waste issue, however Puspa Raj Katuwal, the head of the government’s Mountaineering Department, said officials will strictly monitor it, adding that climbing teams must submit a $4,000 deposit that they will lose if regulations are broken.

    Human fecal waste and trash isn’t the only thing left on the mountainside. According to an article released in 2012 by Smithsonian Magazine, more than 200 human bodies remain frozen on the mountain. Some of them are even used as landmarks.

    More than 4,000 climbers have braved the mountain since its first expedition in 1953.

In the Library : Our Republican Constitution: Securing the sovereignty of the People

by Randy Barnett

As we celebrate Independence Day, I thought I would post a couple excerpts about the Declaration of Independence from my forthcoming book, Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Sovereignty of the People (which is now available for pre-order on Amazon). This passage of the book appears after the one I posted here.]

Click on the link below for the complete article


Randy Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center, and Director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. His books include: Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty (Princeton, 2d. ed 2014); and The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law (Oxford, 2d. ed. 2014).