In the wake of a hunger strike now involving 30,000 California prisoners, the ACLU helps you tell the California government to stop forcing prisoners into long-term solitary confinement, as the U.S. Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons recommended seven years ago. California laws on the matter, as you probably know, are a bit fast and loose: state prisons can fling you into solitary for minor infractions like reading certain books and using certain Spanish words. The California prison system, frankly, seems awfully desperate to throw folks in solitary for a minimum of four years just for uttering the word hermano. Didn't we originally conceive of solitary confinement as a way of preventing a prisoner from hurting him or herself or others? As you know, California prisoners have actually asked for very little -- a five-year cap on solitary confinement, a monthly phone call, and restored access to educational materials. And making folks pay for their crimes is a whole lot different than taking out your own rage on the folks who commit crimes.
Meanwhile, Food and Water Watch helps you tell Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to appoint a qualified Department of Environmental Protection Secretary who might actually protect good Pennsylvanians from the ill effects of fracking for natural gas. The office's previous occupant, Michael Krancer, used to be a lawyer for the gas industry (and who better to protect good citizens from gas drillers than they guy who used to argue for the gas drillers?), and he's since returned to his former employment, not that his conduct while DEP Secretary made anyone think he'd ever left -- you may recall that his DEP gave incomplete water contamination reports to good Pennsylvania citizens inquiring about their drinking water. And this was how he treated his bosses, the people of Pennsylvania! Perhaps Mr. Corbett will appoint someone who'll give a damn about drinking water that doesn't light on fire or turn brown or gelatinous, given that his own re-election prospects are, shall we say, dim. But only if we tell him to do it.