|28 Jan 2003 @ 10:07, by spiritseek|
Posted from MoveOn.org
And then there are the Congressional meetings.
We had high hopes for the meetings that occurred yesterday in
Congressional districts across the country. After all, 9,000 folks had
signed up to participate, and we had an incredible team of over 800 local
volunteers and 12 tireless volunteer regional coordinators who were working
to set everything up. But, after a week of continual surprises, our
expectations yesterday were once again exceeded.
One comment sums up the experience of many:
"It was fantastic! Probably the best meeting I've ever been at - ever. 18
regular people who came together as strangers, were in agreement with one
another, speaking eloquently, passionately, respectfully and from the
heart." The member went on to say, "As a former Congressional staff person,
I know this was truly impactful and meaningful."
The impact was pretty clear. Yesterday alone, over 30 members of Congress
signed onto a Dear Colleague letter to the President, asking him to let the
inspectors do their jobs and abide by the UN process. It's pretty
remarkable -- Congress is taking up our petition. And more signers keep
coming in. In one of our most exciting moments, a pro-war-resolution
Representative took a look at the letter, listened to our members, and then
signed on the spot. Now that's democracy in action!
The Dear Colleague letter is just the beginning. One Representative from
Maryland is taking our petition to the floor of the House of
Representatives. Another offered us space in his offices to do more
anti-war organizing. One enthusiastic Representative is even going to join
From Maine to Florida to Arkansas to Washington State, from Grand Rapids,
MI to Huntington, AL, diverse, articulate groups of MoveOn members got
together to talk to the offices of their Senators and Representatives.
Local newspapers, TV and radio stations covered the events, from the Denver
Post to Pacifica Radio.
The meetings themselves were simply incredible. But you don't need to
take our word for it. Here are a few short samples from the hundreds of
reports that have been pouring in:
"The voices of several veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars, of a VA
doctor, a pediatrician, other doctors, nurses, retirees, teachers,
grandparents, a law student, one after another, built a strong case for
encouraging Kolbe to urge Bush to give stronger support for the Inspections
Process. It was a bit uncanny. Not practiced, nor planned, but one by one,
each person integrated his/her contributions into what had been said
before. This was a very intelligent, well-informed, professionally-diverse,
group of people, speaking in one voice for winning the peace, without war."
--Martha Warner, Congressman Kolbe meeting, AZ
"I was so proud to be associated with the group that showed up to
Congressman Tancredo's office! They were an eclectic group of housewives
with children, high-powered businessmen, grandmas, artists, executives,
PhD's -- and each spoke with such grace and eloquence. It was just
--Carol Grant, Congressman Tancredo meeting, CO
"An interesting and exciting outcome of the event is that the Congressman
agreed to lead a rally on Feb. 17th of many different coalitions. His
feeling is that it's up to the public to voice their opposition--that's the
only thing that will make legislators oppose the President. I/we will be
working with him to make this next event a success."
--Sheryl Barajas, Congressman Davis meeting, IL
"I was glad I made the drive, it was quite an honor to join with these
good folks. A varied group--three women, four guys...a retired Quaker
(though Quakers never retire thank god), a Methodist minister & active lay
person, a retired fighter pilot who is a Republican, a social scientist, a
person who had lived in Kuwait and an anthraxed postal worker. We were
together for just an hour but it was a good gathering to share & express
--Mike DeGregory, Congressman Smith, NJ
"This was my first time ever taking any initiative in political action,
and although it was a little scary, I'm really glad I did it, as I received
nothing but positive feedback and support from everyone. People really
wanted to come out and do this."
--Rachel Smith, Congressman Neal meeting, MA
"Rep. Cummings pledged to sign the Dear Colleague letter and also said he
would speak about the MoveOn statement and visit on the house floor. He
also said he would read comments from the summary of our petition. "
--Kimberly Nolan, Congressman Cummings meeting, MD
"[Congressman Holt] quoted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's address at
Riverside Church: We are building a political myth and shoring it up with
new violence. (Dr. King's reference to Vietnam still rings true today.)"
-- Mara Isaacs, Congressman Holt meeting, NJ
"[Congresswoman] Stephanie Tubbs Jones made a last- minute decision to
meet with us personally, and proceeded to sit and speak for an hour. . .
She was very pleased to receive a copy of the petition with names and
address . . . and VERY excited to hear that ours was one of many
coordinated events nationwide."
--John Sinclair, Congresswoman Jones meeting, OH
"[Rep. Bartlett's aide Mr.] Otis was clearly impressed by the number of
signatories from the Congressman's District, and promised that he would see
the petition and the "Dear Colleague letter." He also commented "You have
represented your cause very well." "
--Gladys Cojocari, Congressman Bartlett meeting, MD
We hope to have a full report on the media coverage for the last week and
these lobbying visits up on our website soon. We'll let you know when it's
As you can see, we are a force to be reckoned with. So what are our next
Over the next few weeks, we'll be offering you all sorts of ways to
continue to engage on this issue. One way to plug in is coming up pretty
soon. Win Without War, the coalition of mainstream civic organizations
against the war that we helped to found, is calling for a day of local
action on January 29th. Members of the coalition include American Friends
Service Commitee, Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, Conference of
Major Superiors of Men, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, Leadership Conference
of Women Religious, NAACP, National Council of Churches, National
Organization for Women, NETWORK, New England Health Care Employees Union
(part of SEIU), Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sierra Club,
Sojourners, Tikkun Community, TrueMajority, United Methodist Church
General Board of Church & Society, Us Foundation, Veterans for Common
Sense, Women's Action for New Directions, and Working Assets. Look for
events organized by some of these groups in your community on the 29th. You
may find local events listed at [link] .
The national meetings project and our work for the last week was made
possible by the exceedingly hard work of hundreds of volunteers and scores
of local and national organizations. We deeply appreciate the assistance
that we have received -- we couldn't have pulled this off without help.
Very special thanks goes to the tireless team of volunteer regional
coordinators, who worked around the clock to make the meetings happen. They
are: Caitlin Fitzgerald, Judy Froman, Diane Jones, June Muller, Jennifer
Oatfield, Jesse Rhodes, Henry Snow, and Hedy Trevino.
Thanks also to:
Sarah Allen, Ira Arlook, Parker Blackman, Sarah Buecher, David Cortright,
Lynn Erskine, Philip Fryers, David Fenton, Trevor Fitzgibbon, Patrick Kane,
Elinore Klein, Kalee Kreider, Dwight Langham, Pacy Markman, Brendan
McCarthy, Segundo Mercado-Llorens, Christy Meiring, Alistair Millar, Nathan
Naylor, Lindsay Reinhardt, Dora Rose, Noah T. Winer, and Bill Zimmerman.
It's usually our practice to credit by name the local leaders whose
incredibly hard work made this all possible. But in this case, the list of
leaders would double the length of this email. All the folks who helped put
together local meetings and press conferences have our gratitude and
appreciation -- they're heroes and true patriots.
We also appreciate support for the meetings project from the following
organizations: Friends Committee on National Legislation, the American
Friends Service Committee, the National Council of Churches, TrueMajority,
Peace Action, and Women's Action for New Directions.
The last thank you goes to every one of MoveOn's members. It is an honor
and an incredible privilege to work with such an amazing group of people --
a group that is changing the face of this country and turning the tide
against a war. The Washington Post poll released today showed support for
the war plummeting. That's because of our work.
The stakes are high, folks. This war is a menace to our country and our
world. But the last week has shown that an enormous group of Americans are
going to do everything in their power to ensure that a peaceful resolution
is reached. So we really mean this: Thank you.
--Carrie, Eli, Joan, Peter, Randall, Wes, and Zack
The MoveOn Team
January 22, 2002
The beginning of this letter is posted in my weblog.This shows that there is a rising awareness of peace not war that is circling the globe.
Keep the faith,Spiritseek