Petition Tag - defined

1. Open letter on the Equal Opportunities Commission Bill

Dear friends,

We are writing to draw your attention to the Equal Opportunities Commission, Bill to be introduced by the Government, shortly. An important recommendation of the Sachar Committee Report (Report on Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India), 2006 was the setting up of an Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) in India. The Ministry of Minority Affairs set up a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Menon to examine and determine the structure of an Equal Opportunity Commission. The Committee submitted its report in 2008, which proposed a draft Equal Opportunity Commission Bill (EOC Bill). The Government also set up an expert committee headed by Dr. Kundu to recommend an appropriate diversity index in living, education and work spaces.

We have drafted an open letter to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, highlighting some of the key concerns with the draft bill and demanding a wider public debate before it is introduced in Parliament. Once, endorsed, we will mail copies of the letter to the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Prime Minister. We also hope to publish the text of the Open letter in atleast two national newspapers.

Do forward it to other organisations and individuals who would wish to sign the petition.

In Solidarity,

Centre for Study of Social Exclusion,
National Law School of India, Bangalore

2. Support Megan Williams..This was a hate crime

Authorities decided Wednesday not to pursue hate crime charges in the kidnapping and weeklong torture of a black woman, instead going after the suspects, who are white, on state charges that carry stiffer penalties.

While federal civil rights or state hate crime charges remain an option, a state kidnapping count that carries a sentence of up to life in prison will provide the best chance for successful prosecution, officials said.

Six people face charges, including kidnapping, sexual assault and lying to police in the torture of Megan Williams, 20, at a remote hillside home in Big Creek.

State hate crime charges, which carry a sentence of 10 years, could come later, prosecutor Brian Abraham said. State sexual assault charges carry a penalty up to 35 years in prison.

The woman's captors forced her to eat rat droppings, choked her with a cable cord and stabbed her in the leg while calling her a racial slur, according to criminal complaints. They also poured hot water over her, made her drink from a toilet, and beat and sexually assaulted her during a span of about a week, the documents say.

All six remained in custody Wednesday in lieu of $100,000 cash bail each. Bobby Brewster is scheduled to appear before a Logan County Circuit Court judge on Monday to be arraigned on the kidnapping charge, according to court records. A date for his mother's appearance on the kidnapping charge has not yet been set.

Hate crimes --occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, usually defined by race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation.

How is this not defined as a hate crime? If this type of behavior is being ignored in 2007, Imagine what can happen in the future if this is not handled properly now.

3. Coal Harbour Petition for Off Leash Dog Park

We are petitioning the City of Vancouver and the Parks Board for an off-leash park in Harbour Green Park (Coal Harbour). In the past three years, more than 15 residential towers have been constructed and occupied in this downtown core. Most of these buildings allow for dogs.

The official charter of the parks board was to have an off-leash area for every community within six blocks of their residence. The nearest one to Coal Harbour is more than seven plus blocks away and currently under review to revoke the off-leash privilege.

However, there has been no city planning or look into shared spaces for an official dog park in Coal Harbour with off leash areas.

We are petitioning for an all-year round, full time off-leash dog area in Harbour Green Park. We would like the area clearly marked as an "Off Leash Dog Park." We do not want the park near any children's park/play areas.

We would like the park area to be clearly signed and defined as a dog-friendly area. The space needs to be adequate to throw balls for the dogs, have a game of chase/tug.

The area currently has many garbage cans for waste and is central to all the new buildings that have been recently occupied. It is a fabulous dog area as it is not surrounded by streets/cars and traffic. It is located on the sea wall. For more than eight months out of the year, the park is empty - only used by die-hard dog owners who are out rain or shine.

Shared space and use of our parks is one of the most beautiful things about Vancouver. We appreciate that some people have fears of dogs (large or small) or worry about their children (or their toys) when dogs are around and by creating a separate and clearly marked space we can ally those concerns.

In many areas across the country, cities like Calgary and Toronto have defined processes and successful off-leash park areas for their dog population. Further, examples in California through to Philadelphia, PA demonstrate that when a group of concerned and responsible dog owners work for a leash free area, additional benefits result for both community and dog owners:
-increased adherence to dog licensing
-increased improvement in picking up after dogs
-increased sense of community, where people meet their neighbours
-happy dogs who have 'free' time to run and play

"...The daily dog walk gives people a chance to exercise, to be out in nature, to meet with others and to create a community. Dog walkers find friends at off-leash parks; they also monitor each other and spread the word about courtesy, clean-up and control. A strong argument in favour of creating off-leash spaces is that availability of legal off-leash areas cuts down on illegal off-leash use, making dog-averse people more comfortable in public spaces because there is less chance of encountering off-leash dogs in unauthorized places." www.caldog.org

General Rules We Propose for the Off-Leash Space:
-Dog feces must be cleaned up
-Dogs must be leashed to and from the off-leash area
-Dogs need to be under voice or hand-signal control
-Dogs showing signs of aggression must be leashed or, removed from the park
-People should carry a leash at all times
-Dogs must be licensed
-Dogs should not interfere with wildlife
-Holes dug by dogs must be filled
-Barking must be monitored and kept to a minimum
-Female dogs in heat are prohibited
-Young children must be closely supervised and accompanied by an adult
-Owners will assume responsibility for their dogs and their actions.

This petition is not only for a dog park but also a commitment of the dog owners to create a clean, safe and fun environment within the determined space.

Please help us create a dedicated space that allows our dogs to have a place to run and enjoy their beautiful city.

If you would like to be more directly involved in our efforts, you can email jw0205@hotmail.com. We can update you on our next steps and see how you may be able to help out!

4. Abolish mandatory defined contribution enrollment

This petition is directed at any person who after hearing the petition's goals and objectives, wishes to support our cause. This petition aims to stop the mandatory 7.5 percent gross deduction from a Georgia (hourly rate state employee) and change it over to a voluntary plan.

5. Bullet Trespass Law

In April, 2001, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors failed to enact proposed legislation that would have made it illegal to shoot across the property of another without first obtaining their permission.

This enhancement would have better defined the current reckless endangerment statute, which by law enforcement's own admission is a subjective and qualitative charge that is poorly defined and difficult to enforce. Thinking people, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, agree that defining reckless endangerment to include "bullet trespass" is simply common sense firearm safety that should not be left to chance. When a bullet is fired through private property without permission, it is a violation of our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.