Sunday, May 29, 2005

What we have done so far

What we have done so far is to contact all of the 47 groups that are members (as is our group--Delaware County Wage Peace & Justice) of the national group, United for Peace & Justice, plus about a half dozen other groups that held events on the second anniversary of the war, Mar. 19th. We have heard back from approximately 7 groups so far that are interested, including Shalom Center, Brandywine Peace Community, Lancaster Co. Green Party, Kutztown Area Democratic Club, Erie County Green Party, a student (?) from Lycoming / Clinton Counties, and Pocono Progressives.

We have also talked with Joe Gainza of VT American Friends Service Committee, who is leading a Working Group on this issue as part of United for Peace & Justice. We hope to be part of that Working Group and to be in on their conference calls so we can be apprised of what is happening around the country. If some of you would also like to be part of that Working Group, you should contact Joe or UFPJ.

We have also got contacts with people in Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Vets Against the War, Vets for Peace, and Gold Star Families for Peace. We just met Al and Dante Zappala, family of Sherwood Baker, a National Guardsman from Philadelphia who was killed in Iraq, and they are knowledgeable about who is working on bringing the Guard home. They, of course, have taken a leading role in speaking out against the war.

Our idea is to start by approaching three local town councils (most likely Lansdowne, Swarthmore, and Media) with resolutions calling for bringing home the PA N.G. We plan to look at the resolutions that the folks in VT used with their town meetings, and consider whether they suit our thinking for PA. Once we are clearer about what we want our resolution to say, and have worked with lawyers to get appropriate language, we will talk with individual town council members in all 3 towns, so as to be as confident of passage as possible before it is introduced for their consideration as a body.

The VT resolution (open to modification for particular situations) calls for (1) the state legislature to establish a commission to examine how the N.G. deployments are affecting state readiness; (2) the state's Congressional delegation to work to restore a proper federal and state balance over Guard units; and (3) the President and Congress to take steps to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. We will consider whether those are the types of goals we are after or not. Those are pretty gradualist. There are many possible ways to address this issue. Resolutions could simply request the Governor to ask for the state's guard troops to come home. It looks as if the VT resolution was worded to allow as many people as possible to be able to support it. We think it is appropriate to point out in a resolution that the Guard is needed for state readiness for floods, forest fires, and other emergencies.

In addition, we would like to initiate a statewide postcard campaign, probably aimed at the state legislature, to be circulated in as many districts as possible, saying something like, "Here is what is happening in other states, (including VT, WA, or OR, and possibly others). What are you going to do to bring PA's N.G. home?" We would urge each group working on this campaign to talk to the legislators in their area to see which ones are supportive and which need citizen pressure on this issue. If other groups like the postcard idea, a uniform version could be e-mailed to groups to print up and address to their own legislators.

The more of us working on this, the better our chances for a successful outcome. To us it is clear that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is a major cause of violence. Perhaps hearing from constituents that we want our troops home safe will be the pressure our representatives need to act. Legally, the President does currently seem to have the power to send our Guard overseas, but political pressure can shift things even when our Governor doesn't have the legal authority to insist we need them at home.


At 2:17 AM, Heather MacLean said...

Hi! First, This blog came up very easily from a google search, which is great. I had heard that Penn. had started a campaign, so I went looking for information. I am working with the San Francisco Bay Area Code Pink ( to bring resolutions in front of CA city councils to call for bringing home the CA NG. San Francisco has already passed a resolution to bring home the CA NG. Our goal is to have 30 cities pass similiar resolutions.
Ideally, the army would have a concrete plan for getting all of our troops out - but Bush has already voiced opposition to creating an exit strategy. In the meantime, we can work to bring home one segment of the troops - the National Gaurd. The NG currently comprises 40% of the troops and has a casualty rate 35% higher than other troops. I have been heartened to know that I am working as part of a larger movement.

At 10:41 PM, mortgage said...

home equity loans mortgage rates home loans home equity line of credit car insurance cash advance credit cards debt consolidation dental plans health insurance home equity line of credit home equity loan home equity loans debt consolidation home finance home loan life insurance mortgage mortgage mortgage brokers mortgage companies mortgage lenders mortgage loans mortgage loan mortgage refinance mortgage refinance mortgage refinancing mortgages mortgage cash advance payday loans realtors refinance web hosting Alabama mortgage Alaska mortgage Arizona mortgage California mortgage Colorado mortgage Connecticut mortgage Mortgage Delaware mortgage Florida mortgage Georgia mortgagerefinance refinance Hawaii mortgage Idaho mortgage Illinois mortgage Indiana mortgage Iowa mortgage Kansas mortgage Kentucky mortgage Louisiana mortgage Maine mortgage Maryland mortgage Massachusetts mortgage Michigan mortgage Minnesota mortgage Mississippi mortgage Missouri mortgage Montana mortgage Nebraska mortgage Nevada mortgage New Hampshire mortgage New Jersey mortgage New Mexico mortgage New York mortgage North Carolina mortgage North Dakota mortgage Ohio mortgage Oklahoma mortgagemortgage rates Oregon mortgage Pennsylvania mortgage Rhode Island mortgage South Carolina mortgage South Dakota mortgage Tennessee mortgage Texas mortgage Utah mortgage Vermont mortgage Virginia mortgage Washington mortgage West Virginia mortgage Wisconsin mortgage Wyoming mortgage online casinos online poker cheap domain names domain names


Post a Comment

<< Home