H.R. 4879/S. 2776, the TEST for Lead Act, would require public schools to test their water -- water used for drinking, washing, or food prep -- for lead contamination; schools built before 1996 would have to test for lead at least twice a year, while schools built after that would have to test for lead once. You will not be surprised to learn that the home base for both House and Senate sponsors of the TEST for Lead Act (Rep. Payne and Sen. Booker, both Democrats of New Jersey) is the city of Newark, where some 30 K-12 schools have been cited by both city and state officials as contaminated sites, most if not all of them containing high levels of lead. This, when any level of lead causes brain damage which kids aren't just going to be able to shake off. Hence Jamani Montague has created a petition at DIY Roots Action which helps you tell your Congressfolk to support the TEST for Lead Act, and thus protect children's health. Lead contamination in water has been in the news for months on end, thanks to the ongoing (and entirely avoidable!) ordeal in Flint, MI, but our leaders have done nothing about it; passing the TEST for Lead Act would, at least, improve upon that sorry record.
Meanwhile, the European Union has lately signaled its opposition to a global ban on ivory trading, despite the fact that elephants are in danger of disappearing from Africa within a quarter-century, at the rate they're being killed for their tusks. That rate, by the way, is "about every 15 minutes," or almost 100 per day -- so no wonder Tanzania and Mozambique, for example, have lost more than half of their elephants just since 2009. World leaders will go to the Convention on International Trade in International Species (or CITES) conference in Johannesburg this fall to discuss what, exactly, should be done. A better question might be: what, exactly, does ivory do? Does it power the world's electric grid? Does it feed the world's hungry? And even if it did those things, we would still, as a civilization, be obligated to manage such resources in a way that doesn't lead to an animal's extinction, certainly out of self-interest if nothing else. But killing all the world's elephants for trinkets, whether trinkets of religious significance or not, is unconscionable. Hence Avaaz helps you tell world leaders to help the plight of elephants worldwide by giving them the most vigorous legal protections available to them, including a ban on the global trade of ivory.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell big ag corporations to treat their poultry processing workers with significantly more respect and dignity, then Add Up still helps you do that. Previous action alerts have helped you tell the Department of Labor to enforce fair labor standards for workers at these corporations, but it's time to go to the corporations themselves, and let them know that the Big Stick of Bad PR can be inflicted upon them. These corporations deny workers breaks to the point that workers have told Oxfam that they drink less water (never a good idea when you're doing hard work!) and even worn diapers to work so they don't lose their jobs. Should anyone be wearing adult diapers to work, if they don't actually need them? And if we don't stamp this meanness out right quick, any of us could very well find ourselves denied bathroom breaks at our jobs. It's not like working in a poultry processing plant is easy, you know -- workers denied breaks will sooner or later become very frustrated workers, and they may even take out their frustrations on the animals they're working on, which is another thing we don't tolerate as a civilized society.