|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
OCTOBER 27, 2004
|CONTACT: American Friends Service Committee
Janis D. Shields, Director Media and Public Relations
(215) 241-7060 After Hours: (302) 545-6596
Lighting the Path for Democracy
Election Eve Candlelight Vigils Link U.S. and World Community on the Values We Share
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- October 27 -- Even in this divisive election season, there is more that unites Americans than divides them. Join people across the country for Lighting the Path for Democracy, a national Election Eve Candlelight Vigil from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. local time on November 1 the night before the vote. |
On Election Day, Americans will divide by party to vote and watch returns. Lighting the Path for Democracy will be a nonpartisan opportunity for all Americans to come together with friends and neighbors to show that democracy matters, call for clean elections, and encourage people to vote on November 2.
Lighting the Path for Democracy echoes the Global Candlelight Vigils for Peace held on the eve of the war with Iraq, when millions joined in an unprecedented effort to avert war. The vigils are a nonpartisan effort of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an international social justice organization, and are supported by the National Council of Churches and United for Peace & Justice, a coalition with more than 800 affiliate organizations.
Our nation has been torn apart by the bitterness of the 2000 elections and the war in Iraq, said AFSC General Secretary Mary Ellen McNish. We hope that Lighting the Path for Democracy will remind all Americans of how much we share, how much we desire peace in the world, and how much we all want to strengthen faith in our democracy.
With offices in 43 cities in the United States and 22 countries of the world, AFSC was a primary force in the 2003 candlelight peace vigils. The Service Committee hopes to replicate those feelings of unity and support on the eve of this years election. Participating cities include: Baltimore, MD; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA; Pasadena and San Francisco, CA; Syracuse, NY; and Washington, D.C. Participating communities outside the U.S. include: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Trafalgar Square, London and many others.
We encourage people to organize vigils in their community, said McNish. This is a great opportunity for civic groups, faith communities, and neighborhood associations to inspire others.
Those interested in organizing or attending a vigil should visit www.afsc.org/vigil, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 215-241-7179. The website includes information on sponsoring a vigil and a generic flyer that you can adapt for your community.
Democracy matters, McNish adds. Lets remember the issues that unite us peace, justice, and economic security. Regardless of the election outcome, these compelling issues transcend party lines. This candlelight event underscores a profound faith in the importance of the election process and the importance each vote.