I'm so honored that PDA asked me to co-chair the Healthcare Not Warfare (HNW) Campaign alongside Congressman John Conyers and Norman Solomon. Together, we pushed the Democratic Party to endorse guaranteed healthcare, as opposed to "coverage" in its 2008 National Party Platform. We still have far to go until every American has guaranteed access to high quality healthcare. Still, for me, this confirms the value of working inside the party whenever progress is possible.
Peace, the equally urgent half of our HNW Campaign, is our topic today. War is an atrocity. The cost of weapons and warfare makes investments in human needs impossible. We reject these backwards priorities, and demand peace for its own sake. PDA has been waging peace since our founding. Help Us Promote Peace and Human Rights By Supporting Media Benjamin's Book Tour. Money tight? Then volunteer to help host Medea at an event near you, (no promises, but we'll do our best.) You can also sign up to volunteer with Mike "Phone Guy" Fox to make easy but important calls from your own home, and contact PDA Field Director Judy Hess to help build chapters in your state or locality.
Peace doesn't just happen. It's far more than just the absence of war. To resolve disputes without violence, human beings must work to increase understanding, communications, and empathy. We must dismantle the military-industrial complex. We must speak out against war and inhumanity.
PDA joins with our allies Code Pink Women for Peace among many others demanding an immediate end to the horrendous violence perpetrated by Saudi-backed factions against civilians in Yemen. Help us get the word out about this crisis! Please donate generously right now to help us sponsor Medea Benjamin's book tour.
This week, Progressive Democrats of America activists dropped Educate Congress letters seeking support for SJ Res. 39 to halt the latest proposed arms sale to Saudi Arabia, championed by Senators including Chris Murphy, (D-CT).; Rand Paul, (R-KY); Al Franken, (D-MN); and Mike Lee, (R-UT). We fell short when the Senate voted to table this bipartisan effort to halt the $1.15 billion weapons sale. So we shifted focus to the House and asked you to urge your Representative to cosponsor Rep. Ted Lieu's companion House Joint Resolution. If you haven't called yet, please do so.
PDA-endorsed Rep. Lieu needs your help now! Call your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard: (202)-224-3121. Use their automated system to connect with your Representative's office. During office hours, ask to speak with the staffer who works on foreign relations issues and urge your Representative to cosponsor Rep. Ted Lieu's House Joint Resolution to halt the Saudi arms deal because of:
- Ongoing atrocities including attacks on civilians in Yemen as documented by neutral human rights advocates
- The likelihood of the continuing violence causing regional instability and empowering ISIS and Al Queda
During the weekend and at other times the key staffer is unavailable, leave a voicemail. If you don't know who your representative is, don't worry. When you dial in, the robovoice walks you through punching in your ZIP code to reach your congressperson. (Thank you to PDAer Joanne Gruber for this update).
As part of our ongoing work for peace, PDA is sponsoring book events with our founding Advisory Board member and Code Pink cofounder, Medea Benjamin. Last Thursday, Medea brought her book tour to The David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia. We sponsored events with Medea in Florida last month, and PDA will host her in Arizona in October. Please donate generously to help us sponsor Medea's tour, and volunteer to help host Medea at an event near you, (no promises, but we'll do our best.)
Money tight? Then volunteer with Mike "Phone Guy" Fox to make easy but important calls from your own home, or contact PDA Field Director Judy Hess to help build chapters in your area. No time to volunteer? Then invest in progress with a generous donation right now. Signing up to make an automatic monthly donation would help most, but we gratefully welcome any donation.
Donna Smith for Judy, Mike F, Mike H, Janis, Deb, Dan, Teva, and Kim, your PDA National Team
P.S. We're here to help you make progress in your state and locality! If you need any help organizing a new PDA chapter or energizing your existing chapter, please contact PDA Field Coordinator Judy Hess. Start organizing now to make a real difference where you live! We're here to help!
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