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CONTACT: Peace Action West
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On War Anniversary, California Democratic Leaders Urge Action From the CA Congressional Delegation
OAKLAND, Calif. - October 6 - Tomorrow, on the 9th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, a letter from more than 160 California State Democratic Party delegates will be delivered to the entire California Democratic congressional delegation. The group, which includes state legislators, county chairs and Executive Board members from around the state, will urge members of the delegation to take action to end the war, which is supported by only 20 percent of Democrats, according to a recent CNN poll.
"California taxpayers have spent $35 billion on the war in Afghanistan," said California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric C. Bauman. "Meanwhile, we are closing parks and libraries and our schools are funded at the nation's lowest levels. The future of California depends on these basic services and we need our leaders in DC to stop the war and re-prioritize how we expend our resources."
"This war is failing," said Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-13), also a signer. "After 9 years, we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars and lost thousands of lives and yet our country is no safer. The war has been counterproductive in every way and California's tax money should go to our ailing education system and critical services, not to send our already exhausted soldiers to continue fighting a war that does more harm than good."
"As an organizer for a public school employee union, I see firsthand the damage being wrought here at home because of misplaced priorities," said Karen Bernal, Chair of the CDP Progressive Caucus. "Voters in this upcoming election want to see that our representatives in DC are fighting to make our lives better, not squandering the tax dollars we need on unnecessary wars."
In November of 2009, the California Democratic Party became the first in the nation to pass a resolution calling for an end to the military presence in Afghanistan. Following nearly a year of worsening conditions in Afghanistan, the letter urges action on the war as a means of helping to bridge the Democrats' enthusiasm gap among voters: "As we prepare now to mobilize voters in a challenging year for Democrats, it is abundantly clear to us that our party must exercise stronger leadership for a policy that puts resources into communities rather than misguided wars.... As party leaders, we pour ourselves into building, mobilizing and energizing the California Democratic Party. In return, we ask our congressional delegation for the visionary leadership we can be proud to support on critical issues of war and peace."
A copy of the letter with signatures is available for download here: http://peaceactionwest.org/downloads/Afghanistan_letter_to_CA_delegation.pdf