All news in Letters to Decision Makers

Discussion
Jun 27, 2016

Better Lives

by: janetbalv

 

Dear President,

 

Hello, my name is Janet Becerra, and I am writing to you because there is a problem in our county and it needs to be solved soon.

 

The problem I am talking about is Immigration. Immigration has been such a huge conflict over the years and I think that it is time to resolve this conflict. Every day, many people are separated from their families all because of deportation. Some people don’t come here to do harm, they come here to do better and make a change in their life. There are many hard working immigrants in the United States. They do it for their family that they have now left behind and they do it for their children so they can have a better life than they did. We all know that they’re not suppose to be here, but as long as they’re not harming anyone, why not let them stay? Why not help them so they can have a better life like the rest of us who live here?

 

My grandfather was an immigrant that would come and work and then would send money to my grandmother so she could buy food and items for her children. That’s the only way that my grandparents were able to provide for their children. Also, my grandma used to make dresses, wash clothes, iron clothes, and sew clothing, that’s how she would make a little bit of money. He never harmed anyone, he was just here to help out his family, like many others. My grandfather, along with many others, earned his money by working very hard out in the fields, where work can get very cruel.

 

My mom was also an immigrant. She always tells me stories of the times that she had to walk out in the desert, when border patrol would arrest them and just of everything that was going around her. My mom attempted to cross 5 times and 4 of those times were fails. When she finally made it she lived in San Diego with some family members. As soon as she got here she also started working to send money to my grandma in Mexico. She used to clean houses and worked in the fields. My mom, grandpa and one of my aunts worked in the peaches, cherries, kiwis, pears, tomato and just about anything that was being harvested and hiring. My mom is another example of immigrants that didn't come to do harm in the US. They came for a better life.

 

Thankfully she now has her Green Card and can be here. Her and my dad stayed here to give their children a better life, and I could never repay them for that. My dad was born here in the US, but was raised in Mexico because that’s where my grandparents were born and lived. I’m glad that they chose to come and stay here so that my siblings and I could have the life they couldn’t have. They had to drop out of school so they could help put food on the table and pay bills. My parents take education very strict, since they didn't have the opportunity to continue, they want us to take advantage of it and become someone important in this crazy world.

 

Yes, there are some immigrants that do come and do harm to this country and I agree, they should be deported back to their country or end up locked up. They’re the ones that should get punished, not the ones that are trying to make a living. I understand why the United States doesn’t want them here. For example, in the article “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again” it said “ The costs for the United States have been extraordinary: U.S. taxpayers have been asked to pick up hundreds of billions in healthcare costs, housing costs, education costs, welfare costs, etc.” But also, who else is going to be doing all the work? I’ve worked in the fields before and not once did I see a white person out there. I would only see Mexicans and a couple Indians, but usually if I saw someone white they would be in the office with the AC on.  

 

Immigrants are a big part of the United States now, Mexican Immigrants alone make up 14% of the U.S. There are a little over 11 million of immigrants in the United States, and trying to deport them all is honestly impossible. Plus, “there would be a dire economic consequence from removing millions of hardworking residents…” as said in the article, 5 Reasons to Grant Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants. Without the Immigrants, it’s predicted that by 2026 there will be a shortage of 20 million workers.

 

Everyone is an immigrant in the United States. The Americans weren’t here first, it was the Native Americans. Plus, Mexicans were once rulers of California until they were overrun by the Americans. I find this so stupid. Just like the say,  “ We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us.” Also, said in the article 5 Reasons to Grant Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants was, “The government doesn’t own the country and political borders are just lines on maps. Treating law-abiding people like criminals simply because they didn’t meet the bureaucratic requirements of migration abrogates their natural right to travel and Americans’ natural right to freely associate and make contracts.”

 

Immigration is a natural right and a natural right is a right inherent to our humanity, and the freedom of movement is such a right. The idea that immigration needs to be “authorized” by the government flies in the face of that freedom. So, like I said at the beginning, Immigrants should have a chance to be here in the United States as long as they're not harming anyone. All they're doing is working hard and providing for their family and trying to have a better life than they did in their county. That’s not a crime. It’s honestly a huge sacrifice.

 

 

 

Discussion
Jun 7, 2016

Advocating and Supporting PTSD

They need support, and we have the power to help

PTSD is the war disorder that goes far beyond the battlefield. PTSD, or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, etc. Most survivors of these kinds of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD. We need to advocate and bring more awareness to people with this disorder to create a better future for everyone.

One reason that we should support and advocate these people who have suffered traumatic experiences is because there are too many people suffering this fate. The US Department of Veteran Affairs states that ‘About eight million adults have PTSD during a given year’ and that ‘This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.’ This makes me feel disappointed in our society. We as a community should prevent that from happening to anyone, and instead, so many people are are suffering traumatic experiences, and eight million is only a part of that. Eight million that have gone through so much that they can’t forget it to the point that they cannot live their normal lives ever again.

People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person’s daily life. These are major statistics that can ultimately impact and condemn our society into the deep, dark, abyss that will all be caused by us.

So far, I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to protest against supporting people with PTSD, but I also couldn’t anyone who supported them as a whole, other than tips to help a family member, or seeking a psychiatrist. It’s good that we aren’t opposing the fact that we should advocate these people who have suffered so much that they don’t deserve, but the fact that we aren’t doing anything to show it isn’t enough.

We as a community should make a change, whether it be by creating a facility for those who have suffered PTSD, talking to them and listening to their problems, or just even bringing awareness. It may not matter to you, but it could change someone’s life. We are able to make this change, so why not start now?

Discussion
May 26, 2016

Racial Profiling in Law Enforcement

by: jbooth
End Racial Profiling Feeder March, 2013 by DC Protests

 

Dear Next President,

Racial profiling amongst police officers is bad because stopping someone solely based on the color of their skin is wrong. This topic impacts my life in many ways because I am a young half-African American and half-caucasian male who has seen racial profiling first-hand. I wrote a research paper on racial profiling during my senior year. I am strongly against racial profiling and this was my bias. Throughout working on my paper I had to look at both sides of the argument.

I started off researching the pros of racial profiling.  I needed to find reasons on why people thought racial profiling was “good.” In doing this I came across a form of policing that was heavily used in the state of New York City. It was called the Terry Stop or the stop-question-and frisk method. This is a method where people are stopped for being suspected of committing a crime, with a large percentage of them being African American, Latino, and other minority races. Some people feel this is a good thing because they think it has decreased the number of murders and other crimes, drastically. I believe this is a false assumption.

In an article for the Huffington Post Evan Defilippis states that, “Nobody really knows how effective stop-and-frisk policies are. It is essentially impossible to parse out the specific contributory effect of stop-and-frisk on crime rates, relative to other police procedures going on at the same time such as computational analysis of crime patterns, hot spot policing and community engagement with citizens.” When police officers use the stop-question-and frisk method this is also a violation of individual's Fourth Amendment rights.

Bernard Vaughan, a writer for Reuters, wrote an article about U.S. District Judge Sheindlin where she said, “Officers often frisk young minority men for weapons or searched their pockets for contraband before letting them go, in a violation of the constitution's Fourth Amendment that protects against unreasonable search and seizures.” Scheindlin continued by calling it “indirect racial profiling, because it targeted racially defined groups, resulting in the disproportionate and discriminatory stopping of tens of thousands of blacks and Hispanic.” I once thought racial profiling was just a tool that law enforcement officers used to help catch criminals and solve crime but now I am coming to the understanding that it is much more than that. It is something that is racially persecuting individuals just because of their color of their skin.

A 2014 NAACP study shows that approximately 72% of all routine traffic stops on an interstate in the Northeast occur with African  American drivers. Even though only about 17% of African Americans make up the driving population. Instead of people profiling others based on their ethnicity like people of Arabic descent, African American, and Hispanics, we should try to focus on other policing policies we already have intact and try and make them better. Fifty-eight percent of Americans want to have harder security checks, so if we as a whole come together and improve our tactics then Americans will feel safe.

If police departments put in these new policies to cut down on crime so that racial profiling isn’t one of the factors then both sides will be happy. The police will be able to do their job effectively and won’t get criticized for it and the the people on the other side won’t have to feel that they are being discriminated against.

As I stated earlier, I have seen the negative impact of racial profiling first hand. In addition, I am striving to earn a degree in Criminal Justice and later become a US Marshall. Because of my research on this topic, I have a better understanding of the importance this topic has not only on society but also in my career choice. I ask for your support in adopting policies and social regulations that would help put the practice of racial profiling to rest for good.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this important societal issue.

Sincerely,

Jackson, Grade 12

Columbus, Montana


 

 

Discussion
Apr 25, 2016

Interviewing Experts on Neurology

Contacting experts for an interview via email, letter, or person is an excellent way to provide more support or even rebuttal to one's research. For my class's research papers in my class AP Language and Composition, my teacher requested that we contact at least two experts in the field of our topic. Because I was researching "brain death and the measures taken to sustain life in brain dead patients," I contacted two neurology professors.

The questions I asked were the same for both:
1) Should there be a balance between science and faith, specifically in declaring patients brain dead? If so, how do you believe is one way it could be achieved?
2) If there is one aspect you could change about the standards or policies in diagnosing brain death currently, what would it be and why?

The first professor I contacted was a professor in neurology and neurosurgery at Yale Medical School and is known for helping establish important 2010 guidelines in determining brain death for the American Academy of Neurology.
His responses were:
1) "Faith in a divine being doesn't really enter the equation for me at all as a physician when it comes to brain death. It's a purely medical diagnosis."
2) "As for the standards, I was an author on the AAN Guidelines in 2010, and I think they're a great improvement on the guidelines from 1995. We tried to make it as clear as possible, so that the diagnosis could be made every single time with absolute certainty. I guess my hope would be that it (the standard created by the 2010 guidelines) would be adopted universally, at least in this country."

The second professor I contacted was a professor in neurology and medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine in Dartmouth and is known for having served 28 years on the AAN Ethics, Law, & Humanities Committee as a chairman.
His responses were:
1) "In my opinion, the definition and determination of brain death should remain independent from religious faith and beliefs. That way, the same concepts and medical procedures can be applied equally to both religious believers and non-believers. Everyone dies. Death definition and determination should be based on biological concepts. The validity of brain death is based on a bio-philosophical concept: the cessation of function of the organism as a whole.
Incidentally, Roman Catholicism accepts brain death, as enunciated by Pope John Paul II in August 2000 in his address to transplant surgeons in Rome. I was part of the Vatican study process in the 1990s, making several trips to the Vatican under auspices of the Pontifical Academy of Life, to advocate the acceptance of brain death, leading to the Pope's announcement. In 2006, I traveled to the Vatican to participate in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences conference advocating brain death called "The Signs of Death" which is also available on the Vatican website. These trips and discussions were very interesting."
2) "Physicians need to make the determinations of brain death more rigorous, to prevent false-positive diagnoses, that occur from time to time because of physician carelessness. I advocate for relying on the "confirmatory tests" showing the absence of all blood flow to the brain."

This helps my research paper as I have professional insight on the matter of brain death, and it significantly guides my argument on my stance of whether drastic life-sustaining measures should be implemented on brain dead patients. I thank the professors for taking time to respond to my emails and be interviewed. They were also kind enough to give advice to me for my future academic endeavors! This was a positive experience overall and I learned much from it.

Discussion
Apr 13, 2016

The Peace Corps and Other Volunteer Agencies

Pope Francis as a symbol of peace

Through my researching of the efficacy of the Peace Corps in the modern day, I turned to Gale Resources and was able to find a story about the Let Girls Learn campaign in Ghana, which happens to benefit from the organization. The Peace Corps happens to work closely with IBM- International Business Machines- which was the twelfth group since 2010 to provide assistance to Ghana as part of its Corporate Service Corps that provides problem-solving support from its top employees to educational institutions, small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and governmental agencies in emerging markets
For many aspects of this project, IBM collaborated with Peace Corps volunteers to support Peace Corps' Let Girls Learn program in Ghana. Launched by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2015, Let Girls Learn is a U.S. government effort that aims to address the range of challenges preventing 62 million adolescent girls from attending and completing school, as well as from realizing their full potential as adults. The Peace Corps is very active in the endeavor, as they are
working with their communities on projects in agriculture, education, and health and during their service in Ghana, they learn to speak local languages. For example; Dagaare, Dagbani, Ghanaian Sign Language, Gurune, Likpakpaln, Mampuli, and Twi.

Discussion
Mar 31, 2016

digestive

by: dwingo

I just read a Wikipedia article: Digestion

Digestion. (2015, August 27). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:41, March 4, 2016 from https://via.hypothes.is/https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digestion

i researched this article be cause my cuesent is can’t digest sauterne food After she swallow food, it travels down a muscular tube to the stomach. There, it is mashed into a mixture like soup. The mixture passes into the small intestine, where tiny bits of food pass into the bloodstream. The food that is still left goes into the large intestine. Finally, waste products leave the body. Digestion usually takes about 18 hours. Food stays in the stomach for about three hours.When she eat, her body has to “digest” the food so she can get the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in food. she digest our food in the “gastrointestinal system”. Digestion occurs in three main ways. she chew her food, and her teeth break down the food into smaller pieces. Also, the liquid in our mouths (saliva) causes a chemical reaction that starts to digest the food.A split is a disposable landform found off coast

www.biology-questions-and-answers.com
Digestion is the breakdown of large insoluble food molecules into small water-soluble food molecules so that they can be absorbed into the watery blood plasma. In certain organisms, these smaller substances are absorbed through the small intestine into the blood stream.

Discussion
Mar 21, 2016

Waste of Resources: Wildlife Conservation

GEER Foundation World Globe Symbol

http://leanmanufacturingtools.org/136/waste-of-resources-causes-symptoms...
Minimal overview of leaving on appliances and allowing them to idle whilst wasting electricity will cost a small fortune when it comes time to pay the electricity bill, and also is an immense waste of electricity for the population

http://www.conservationtechnology.com
This site goes over conservation as a whole for the earth's resource capacity: this company creates items that will better the environmental standings and protect homes or other buildings from weather damage and will conserve water and other natural resources

http://www.wcs.org (subscribed: check Gmail for more info)
A nonprofit organization that promotes the many ways to preserve wildlife and fight against all illegal trafficking of endangered/non endangered animals {Our goal is to conserve the world's largest wild places in 15 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the planet's biodiversity.}

Discussion
Mar 15, 2016

Is education boring for a reason?

What is the first thing you think of when someone says the word "school"? People usually say stress, grades, brain numb, maybe even stupid or boring, but consider the reason why students may say that, although they are told many times that education is a privilege. Does this mean that our schooling system in the United States may be too loose on pressuring our students into academic achievement?

When school is considered as a stressful and difficult moment in student life, do you think that parents, teachers and school associates are surprised? In the belief that a good education would lead to a better society of workers, many of them are frustrated and worried that their children are struggling and hating on school. So maybe yes, they are surprised. This makes me think that Our education system is not engaging, fun, free and interesting enough.

Perhaps changes would do a great deal to the society of schooling, and it would make it more fun and engaging for students. With modern technology, schools can set up personal learning devices, preferably ones that are in good quality, such as iPads and good quality tablets. Lesson plans can consist of more movies and films, more experiments and hands on art projects. Teachers could be told to become more humorous and engaging with students, and tutors can be hired around the school to help with individuals who are struggling. Make this world a better place by drawing more interest into students when they are struggling and tired, stretch boundaries and bend the rules to help the American people pave a way for success.

Discussion
Feb 8, 2016

What I need from my school

by: avega101

“What I need from my school”

What I need from my school is a computer lab. All the computer s from the “computer lab” are either very old and slow or do not work. This interferes with my education because there are times that there are not not enough computers for the students to complete the work assigned and so we have to do the work at home, but not all the students have computer access at home and using the computer at the public library is a hassle.
I also need a school library that will have books of my interest and resources that will help me in my research project because the library that we have is not really able for us students to actually use to do our work.
I need career preparatory classes that will prepare will skills that I need for the work field because that would give students a headstart on what career they would like to pursue after graduating high school.
I need healthy and tasteful lunch that I will like so that I can physically be able to perform in class, most of the meals served at my school are reheated, and I don’t really eat lunch because it sometimes tastes bad. Because of that, I skip lunch and remain hungry for the rest of the day.

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