Congressional Progressive Caucus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 31, 2007
CONTACT: Congressional Progressive Caucus
Bill Goold, Cong. Progressive Caucus 202-226-4055
Joia Nuri, Institute for Policy Studies, 240-603-7905
Chris Shields, Cong. Woolsey, 202-225-5161
Nathan Britton, Cong. Lee, 202-225-2661
300 States, Cities and Towns
Oppose Iraq Occupation and Costs to Their Cities and Communities:
State, Mayoral, and Other Local Elected Officials to Present Withdrawal Resolutions to Congress
**Press Conference: Rayburn House Office Bldg, Room 2226: 2 pm**
**Testimony of Local Elected Officials: 2:30 pm**
WASHINGTON - JULY 31 - Elected officials from states, cities, and towns across America are coming to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, July 31st to present their resolutions against the Iraq war to the White House and Congress and demand faster action in ending the war.
At 2 pm, in Rayburn, Room 2226, Reps Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, and Maxine Waters and other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Out of Iraq Caucus will hold a news conference and hear informal testimony from local and state elected officials about the local costs of the on-going Iraq occupation.
Since President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003, 300 states, cities and towns have passed resolutions or voted on referenda to bring the troops home. They include many states and large and small cities ranging from Chicago to Maplewood, New Jersey. In addition to the resolutions, cities and towns in four states (WI, IL, VT, and MA) have passed referenda on ballots opposing the Iraq war and occupation.
A cross-section of state, municipal, and local elected officials from 20 of these states, cities and towns will also hold a press conference at the National Press Club at 12 pm on July 31st, then march to the White House to deliver their resolutions, offer testimony to Members of Congress, and visit Senators from their home states.
Joe Moore, the veteran Chicago Alderman who led the campaign for the Chicago resolution will lead the delegation to Washington. "Democracy in America works best at the local level, where representatives are closest to the needs of the people; in cities and towns across this country the American people are telling their representatives to end this war and rebuild schools, roads, and hospitals in our cities," said Moore.
Karen Dolan, who coordinates Cities for Peace at the Institute for Policy Studies, the organization that has helped cities and towns coordinate these resolution efforts, adds: "These resolutions and referenda express the will of average citizens from all walks of life in America to stand up to the Bush Administration's war policies, since they see the harm done both to their cities and to the country as a whole."
KEY FACTS about the resolutions and referenda:
1. The roughly 250 cities and towns that have passed resolutions and referenda against the war are in 20 states across the country. For a list, go to: www.citiesforpeace.org
2. In 4 states, referenda opposing the war have been passed on ballots in dozens of towns and cities: Massachusetts, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
3. The biggest cities passing resolutions are Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle. At the other end of the population spectrum, there are a number of tiny towns that have passed resolutions, particularly in rural Vermont and Wisconsin.
4. Since the war began, 17 states have either passed a House and/or Senate Resolution or have sent letters to Congress signed by large numbers of the state legislature. These include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
5. While the resolutions, letters and referenda all have language particular to their community or state, there are common threads to most of them. Most condemn the lost lives and misspent billions of dollars that have gone into this war. Most bemoan the "opportunity costs" to their own communities, i.e. how the money could have been better spent at home for crucial social and economic needs. Many condemn what they see as lies and misleading statements that led the United States into the war. Many condemn the no-bid corporate contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq. Many decry the loss of their own National Guard and Reservists and the resources to fight national disasters at home. A number oppose what they see as violations of international law in the prosecution of the war. Many object to the tremendous loss of innocent Iraqi lives and the environmental and societal degradation of Iraq caused by this war. Many call either for a timetable for withdrawal or immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
Agenda for July 31st:
12 pm: Press conf at National Press Club, First Amendment Room
1 pm: March to the White House to present resolutions
2 pm: press conference and testimony to members of Congress
3:30 pm: Senate visits