Written by Julie Mastrine
August has been an absolutely amazing month for Care2 petitions! Our members have been working around the clock to advocate on behalf of important causes, from fighting police militarization to standing up for an autistic boy to supporting local businesses. Care2 petitions have landed in major media outlets, further propelling the efforts to spread the word. Read on to discover the top Care2 petitions featured in the news this month.
1. 29,000 Stand Up for Mike Brown, Fight Police Militarization
On August 9, an 18-year-old, unarmed teen named Mike Brown was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Afterward, the town erupted in protest of racialized police brutality. But police horrified the nation when they responded to the scene decked out in gear more suited for a SWAT team than a local police force. Police responded to unrest in the most horrific way — they repeatedly aimed automatic rifles at citizens, opened fire with rubber bullets on unarmed crowds, dispersed tear gas, and detained protestors and members of the media, day after day after day.
The violent police response to peaceful protestors and journalists caused Americans to finally turn their attention to the rampant problem of police militarization in the U.S. It all started back in 1990, when a section of the National Defense Authorization Act allowed the Department of Defense to transfer excess military equipment to local police. It’s called the 1033 Program.
Since then, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns, nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines, thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment, and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft, the New York Times reports.
Americans have had enough of the violence. A Care2 petition asking the Department of Defense to immediately dissolve the 1033 Program spread quickly among citizens and the press, including:
Please add your name to stand with Mike Brown and fight police militarization here.
2. Nearly 40,000 Fight to Save Autistic Boy‘s Therapy Chickens
Sherri Frushon was shocked when she learned officials in her town of Brownsburg, Ind., were threatening her with a $2,500 fine — all because her son Anthony was keeping therapy chickens at home to cope with his autism.
“Anthony cannot control his autism or the heart full of love for his chickens,” Sherri says. “Since raising his chickens, my son has become more social by speaking to people about them. His chickens have also helped with life skills by encouraging him to take loving care of his birds, like feeding, bathing, and spending time with his chickens daily.”
The Brownsburg Zoning Committee told Sherri she had just 10 days to get rid of her son’s therapy chickens, which help Anthony with symptoms of autism including anxiety, OCD, ADHD, lack of appetite, and sleeplessness. When Sherri attempted to comply with the threat by sending the chickens to a farm, Anthony began to regress.
“Anthony could not handle being separated from his birds and did not sleep. He reverted to having horrible anxiety,”ť she says. “I had to bring the birds back home where my son could see and spend time with them daily.”
After Sherri started her Care2 petition, it quickly went viral. The Indianapolis Star picked up the story, and it was featured in more than 110 outlets nationwide. Check out a few of them below:
Although the whirlwind media pressure certainly got the Zoning Committee’s attention, it has refused to budge on the issue. Sherri is now facing eviction because of the chickens. You can help by adding your name to Sherri and Anthony’s petition here.
3. Nearly 10,000 Protest a Giant Water Slide During LA‘s Dire Drought
Los Angeles resident Karina Soto was none too pleased when she learned of Slide the City’s plans to construct a giant water slide in downtown LA. California has been facing the worst drought since records began 100 years ago.
“It is extremely irresponsible for any city in California to allow an event like one featuring a giant water slide to take place for the sake of money and fun while the state as a whole has been suffering from this drought,” Karina wrote.
Karina and others hoped the company would skip a state facing such a dire water situation. The Care2 petition calls on the company to cancel the event, or for city officials to deny a permit. Karina’s petition made quite a splash in local and national press:
These are just a few media outlets that featured Karina’s Care2 petition. If you want to stand up for responsible water use, sign here!
4. More than 19,000 Petition to Save Denver‘s Last Drive-In Theater
In most of the U.S., drive-in theaters are a relic. There used to be more than 4,000 drive-ins in the country, but today, there are less than 360.
That’s why Susan Kochevar, owner of 88 Drive-In in Commerce City, Colo., knew she had to save her theater when it was threatened with closure. 88 Drive-In is the last drive-in in the Denver metro area, and it’s beloved by locals.
On July 14, Commerce City Chief of Police Troy Smith sent a letter to Susan demanding she take responsibility for a traffic “dilemma”ť he believes to be caused by her theater. Susan has owned and operated the drive-in with her family for the past 40 years. She said traffic has never been an issue in the past, and city demands could close her theater for good.
Susan delivered thousands of Care2 petitions signatures to city officials, and with help from Care2, she got plenty of press — including local TV spots:
You can support the drive-in by signing Susan’s petition here!
All of these stories are a great testament to the power of online petitions created on Care2. Is there an issue or cause you care about? Create a petition today, and show the world what you would like to be changed.