Long story short: tell our Department of Health and Human Services to allow generic manufacturing of an overly-expensive cancer drug, tell our EPA to get the lead out of our drinking water, tell Facebook to stop allowing illegal endangered wildlife sales, tell our government to keep copper miners out of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, and tell our Department of Homeland Security to reunite families separated at the border. Use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs to communicate your will.
Social Security Works helps you tell HHS Secretary Becerra to permit generic manufacturing of Xtandi, which its manufacturer currently sells for $400 a pill -- in America, at least! In other nations (including Japan, where Xtandi's manufacturer, Astellas Pharma, has its headquarters), it "only" charges about one-fifth of that, and I put "only" in quotation marks because that's still $80 a pill; allowing a generic of Xtandi would likely cut that price to $3. And our HHS can do that, using the "march-in" rights granted by the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act; most of us would say that our government should take control of a drug if the corporation that manufactures it is charging us an arm and a leg for it. I think we would say that even if Mitch McConnell calls it "socialism" or "communism." So let's do it.
Penn PIRG helps you tell our Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) to get the lead out of our drinking water. Just so happens our EPA is mulling this very thing, and for good reason -- basically any exposure to lead also exposes you to brain damage (and the developmental problems that come with it), and the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended a standard of less than one part lead per billion. Yes, that infrastructure bill provides a lot of funding for removing lead pipes, but you would hate for that money to get wasted in the wrong places just because some Congressperson or other had an outsized influence on the matter; if our EPA can contribute solid research telling us where the most lead pipes are, for example, that would help forestall such a tragedy. Wasted money here will be wasted life.
Avaaz helps you tell Facebook to ban sales of illegal endangered wildlife species on its platform. Or, as they put it, "make the illegal wildlife trade extinct" -- which spells MIWTE, so we won't think of putting that on a red hat, but still, it's a worthwhile goal for a civilized people. As we speak, only 7,000 cheetas exist in the wild, but unsavory types have sold over 4,000 more on Facebook! Don't succumb to the temptation to feel sorry for Facebook -- just like most evil people, their whole M.O. is to stoke drama, and if they can get attention for promising to make it better just like every wife-beater does when they're cornered, all the better. Still, the Big Stick of Bad PR can save lives here -- if we but wield it against Facebook. Saying most people oppose animal abuse wouldn't be a reach.
Both Environmental Action and MoveOn help you tell our Bureau of Land Management to protect the famous Boundary Waters Wilderness from copper mining. Copper's an intensely useful mineral -- if our hospital tabletops were still made of copper, we might have had a much easier time with this pandemic! -- but if you get a finite amount of a useful material by permanently damaging an otherwise renewable resource, then you're doing resource management wrong. And the Boundary Waters Wilderness -- so named because it straddles the border between Ontario and Minnesota -- contains over a thousand lakes and over a thousand miles of rivers and streams, and covering as it does around 1,700 square miles (an area bigger than Rhode Island), when pollution gets in one area, it's going to get to the others. We'd want to prevent that.
Finally, the ACLU helps you tell our Department of Homeland Security to reunite families separated at the border. You can amend the ACLU's comment tool as you see fit, but certainly we should demand that the Biden Administration reunify separated families and give them the due process they deserve -- which includes counseling for their suffering and accountability for those who caused it. Family separation was Trump Administration policy, but it's now the Biden Administration's problem to fix, and they ain't going as fast as justice demands. Luckily they're asking the American people to fix it for them, and I'm sure a few rage-heads will write comments I'd prefer not to contemplate, but I suspect the vast majority of Americans don't want families separated no matter where they're from. We were all from somewhere else once, after all.