Friday, December 9, 2016

Successes to Report This Week!

We are pleased to let you know that the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act has now been passed by the House and Senate and is on its way to the President’s desk for signature. This is an important bill for ensuring artists get their tickets in the hands of fans, not scalpers. The new law gives the Federal Trade Commission and states new ways of penalizing bots that often get the best tickets, raising prices and keeping tickets away from fans. You can read more about the issue here.
Since its introduction, The Recording Academy has supported this pro-artist legislation and our members have lobbied Congress for its passage, most recently at GRAMMYs in My District. 

We are very grateful to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for their commitment to this issue. We also wish to thank the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus Co-Chairs, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Both were instrumental in clearing House passage last night.

Finally, we thank you, the Recording Academy members. Your participation proves time and again that your advocacy can and does make a difference.

Praise Organization for Helping Shut Down Last Fur Farm
Posted by Target: Chihiro Okada, Representative of Animal Rights Center Japan

Goal: Thank organization for all its hard work in helping shut down the last fur farm in Japan.

During the peak of the industry, there were around 4,000 fur farms in Japan. Now, thanks largely in part to the Animal Rights Center Japan (ARCJ), the last fur farm in all of Japan has shut its doors for good. Now, the 2,500 minks that were held on this farm will no longer be tortured and killed for their coats.

Animals held on fur farms face horrifying obstacles every day. They typically live in small, dirty cages where they have limited access to food and water. Their short lives are filled with misery and pain, and end with a crude killing.

Sign this petition and thank the ARCJ for all its hard work in shutting the doors of the last fur farm in Japan indefinitely.
Under the leadership of Dr. Sylvia Earle, 2016 has been a banner year for ocean conservation and Hope Spots. Mission Blue inspired half a billion people this year to better understand and care about the big blue. We completed expeditions to Hope Spots around the planet and collaborated with policy makers, scientists and youth at events across the globe such as the IUCN World Conservation Congress, COP22, the International Coral Reef Symposium, the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and EarthDayTX as well as many others. Dr. Earle personally visited dozens of countries to spread a message of hope. Thanks to these efforts and those of so many other passionate individuals, the world is changing. Here are some highlights from 2016.

  • Mission Blue received 400+ Hope Spot nominations from 75 countries  
  • Ross Sea Hope Spot became Largest Marine Protected Area on Earth  
  • Ascension Island Hope Spot was protected by the United Kingdom  
  • President of Colombia commited to expanding Malpelo Hope Spot  
  • President Obama protected 582,578 square miles near Hawaii  

 Dr. Sylvia Earle has grand plans for Mission Blue in 2017. We're is expanding Hope Spot Expeditions to reach even more communities across the world, to empower and inspire more ocean protection. We are increasing support of existing Hope Spots through robust communication across digital channels that reach millions of people daily.  We are expanding the Hope Spot nomination process and investing in better mapping technology to unite communities, scientists and ocean lovers across the planet. Here are a few highlights.

  • We will create more Hope Spots around the globe
  • We're going to Costa Rica to advocate for High Seas governance
  • We're doubling down on documenting Shark Finning in Mexico
  • Dr. Earle will advocate for the ocean at the UN on World Oceans Day
  • We'll produce stunning photos, videos & stories to support Hope Spots
  • We have 180+ partners and will continue to expand the network

Coal Being Phased Out in Alberta.
Target: Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta

Goal: Congratulate Alberta, Canada, on taking steps to phase out coal-powered energy and usher in renewables.

The Canadian province of Alberta, northern neighbor of Montana, is rich in oil and natural gas, and until recently tended to lean conservative in its politics – some have called it the Texas of Canada. But Canadian Texas has proven it’s ahead of the U.S. in terms of climate action. The Alberta government recently brokered a deal with three major coal power producers to shut down their plants, as part of the government’s progressive climate change agenda. This is the latest in a series of progressive energy changes made by the new government.

Last year, Albertans voted the New Democratic Party (NDP), the most left-leaning of Canada’s major political parties, into power. The NDP now governs Alberta for the first time in Canadian history, under the leadership of Rachel Notley – and with a higher percentage of women officials than any other government in Canada.

Shifting public opinion in Alberta, which has ushered in this new government and its clean energy policies, is in part due to growing awareness of issues affecting our planet, and the urgency of reckoning with these issues. Online petition campaigns, like these two published on ForceChange, can have an important hand in this.

The deal comes at no small cost to the government, which will pay over $1 billion Canadian to the coal producers over the next 14 years, in compensation for shutting down their plants early. Still, it’s money well spent if it means Canada will take its place as a world leader on combatting climate change. Environment Minister Shannon Phillips commented: “We have chosen to incentivize new investment in clean energy and improve Albertans’ health by eliminating dangerous air pollution.” 

Sign our petition to thank the government of Alberta for taking this monumental step.