First things first. Mohammad Usafi was an Afghani native who volunteered to serve the U.S. Marines as an Afghan interpreter, and the Taliban hasn't forgotten -- first they tortured and murdered his father in 2009, and then four years later they held his three-year-old brother for ransom, forcing them to make the drop at his father's grave. Afterward, Mr. Usafi and his family fled to Pakistan, and while a friend in the Marines was able to help get Mr. Usafi a visa to the United States after three years via the Special Immigrant Program (with some vital assistance from Sens. McCain and Shaheen), his family remains in hiding in Pakistan, unable to work, go to school, or even leave their residence. Hence Mr. Usafi has started a petition on Change.org which helps you tell the Department of Homeland Security to grant Mr. Usafi's family "humanitarian parole" so they can come to America at least temporarily. DHS instructs us that "temporarily" generally extends for the length of the humanitarian emergency that caused the request, so if we get them here, they could be safe for a while.
Meanwhile, as you know, the Affordable Care Act extends tax credits to help pay for coverage via the federal health insurance exchange, and married couples have to file their tax returns together to get the tax credit. However, the law also allows the IRS to make rules that could help survivors of domestic violence get the tax credits they need without having to file jointly with a partner who's beating the crap out of them, and the IRS is now taking public comments on proposed rules. So the National Women's Law Center helps you tell the IRS that survivors of domestic violence should be able to get a hand up from our government via a tax credit for health insurance. Among other things, the NWLC helps you ask the IRS for a "transition" period that would help folks who are separated but not divorced -- since domestic violence survivors frequently find their spouses less than willing to divorce, for reasons you might imagine -- and permit consideration of exceptional circumstances, since many abusers doggedly refuse to obey a calendar when abusing their loved ones.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell five big banks to stop putting forced arbitration clauses into their customers' contracts, then Public Citizen helps you do that. You may well be asking yourself: self, why should the big banks care what we think? It goes beyond my oft-stated law that there is-so such a thing as bad PR -- as it happens, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (or CFPB) is mulling whether to keep banks from forcing these clauses on good Americans like you and I, and what do you suppose banks will say? That everybody loves forced arbitration? Of course not -- they'll say our customers don't really care about forced arbitration. Go on the record as saying you do care that banksters want to deny you a day in court when they do you wrong, and instead want you to go before an arbitrator they choose and they pay for and they will find it much more difficult to claim their customers "just don't care." Whenever a corporation tries to take your rights from you, you should care.