Once again, it is time to celebrate several recent advocacy victories by nonprofit groups that are known for their skillful use of online campaign techniques -- which is something we write about often on Frogloop. In each case, online petitions played a major role, and
Care2 also was privileged to have mobilized some of its millions of "do gooder" members to help these nonprofits win their wide-ranging struggles.
1. Europe Bans Products Made from Seal Fur (HSUS and IFAW)
Working tenaciously and steadily, the Humane Society of the United States, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and other animal welfare groups have dealt a major blow to Canada's barbaric annual commercial harp seal hunt, which in most years kills hundreds of thousands of baby seals. The recent victory came in the form of a vote by the European Union to ban seal products, starting next year. HSUS reports that the mere threat of the EU ban was enough to drive down the price of seal fur so much that fewer than 60,000 seals have been killed so far this year, out of a quota of 280,000 seals. This is an
86 percent decline since 2006. Care2 is proud that over the past four years, Care2 activists have generated more than 700,000 petition signatures for IFAW and HSUS campaigns to end the seal hunt forever.
This year, almost 90,000 Care2 members have participated in this ongoing campaign to support historic legislation in Canada's Senate that would end the hunt:
2. House Passes Anti-Hate Crime Bill (HRC)
After years of tireless campaigning by our friends at Human Rights Campaign, the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 249 to 175 passed the "Matthew Shepard Act," which was named in memory of a young man who was brutally slain only because he was gay. With Matthew Shepard's own mother watching in the House chamber, lawmakers approved the bill and sent it to the Senate for further action. President Obama came out in support of the bill, albeit belatedly, and will sign it after the Senate approves it. Care2 is proud to have played a role in this campaign. Last year more than 10,000 Care2 activists signed a petition in support of this legislation, which passed both houses of Congress only to be vetoed by President Bush. And this year more than 8,000 members emailed their representatives through ThePetitionSite to urge passage of the bill.
3. Proposal to Curb Credit Card Abuse Is Approved (Consumers Union)
The House also last week passed a bill to curb abuse by credit card companies, in part by banning sudden and arbitrary price increases in interest rates and late fees. This progress is mostly the result of relentless grassroots campaigning by our colleagues at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. We are proud that more than 18,000 Care2 activists joined with Consumers Union in its crusade to require credit card companies to stop unfair lending practices and provide more help to consumers in managing credit.
4. Citizens in Small Town Say No to Gambling (Local Heroes!)
Citizen activists in the small town of DeBary, Florida have tentatively won a zoning battle to block the opening of a gambling casino in their town. After citizens started a petition on Care2's PetitionSite and gathered more than 250 local residents' signatures, they were given an opportunity to meet with their local City Council and make their case against the plan by an out-of-state gambling operator to open the proposed casino. Council members ultimately agreed with the protesters and voted down the zoning proposal. Way to exercise your First Amendment rights, and take advantage of online technology in doing so!
Congratulations to all of the professional nonprofit campaigners who had a hand in achieving these victories. Keep up the good work!