I continued my tour of western states congressional districts last week with a visit to Bellevue, WA in the 8th congressional district. The 8th congressional district race between incumbent Rep. Dave Reichert (R) and Darcy Burner (D) will be a rematch of the 2006 contest that was decided by only 7,000 votes.
I joined Fred Miller of Peace Action of Washington and Reza Firouzbakht of the National Iranian American Council in a meeting with members of Darcy Burner’s staff. Burner is spearheading the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, a comprehensive plan to shift to a political and diplomatic solution for Iraq and make critical changes to prevent similar foreign policy disasters in the future. We filled them in on developments in nuclear weapons policy, including the Reliable Replacement Warhead and Complex Transformation. We also discussed pursuing constructive diplomacy with Iran and providing benefits for our nation’s veterans.
In addition to building relationships with the Darcy Burner campaign, I had a delicious potluck dinner with local activists from Peace Action and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. It was wonderful and encouraging to hear about the great work going on in the Seattle area to promote a more just foreign policy.
This week brought me to Rancho Cordova, CA, where Dr. Bill Durston (D) is challenging Rep. Dan Lungren (R). Durston is a Vietnam veteran and physician who has been active in the Bay Area with Physicians for Social Responsibility. Rob Schwartz, staff attorney for Tri-Valley CAREs, joined me for a meeting with Dr. Durston to discuss our top priority issues in this election cycle.
The continued focus on foreign policy in the 2008 election is a great opportunity to build these early relationships and make sure candidates are getting good information on critical foreign policy issues. We will continue throughout this year to keep the spotlight on a more just and humane foreign policy. Next stop—Arizona!
Categories: Election 2008