Every day, Peace Action West and our supporters pressure Congress to support smart foreign policies like eliminating the threat from nuclear weapons and solving conflicts through diplomacy. Every two years, we get the opportunity to not just change the policies, but change the people who make them. Peace Action West supporters have helped oust people who are getting in the way of positive foreign policy change and elect leaders who are taking action to make our vision a reality. I am proud to introduce you to the first candidates we are throwing our support behind for 2010. These aren’t the kind of politicians who are simply “less bad” than the alternative, people you hold your nose and vote for—they are bold, intelligent, leaders who are willing to go to bat for progressive values.
Marcy Winograd is running a grassroots primary campaign against hawkish Democrat Jane Harman in California’s 36th district. Jane Harman has faced anger from Democrats for her cheerleading for the war in Iraq and defending Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, including urging the New York Times not to publish a story revealing the controversial program shortly before the 2004 presidential election. Jane Harman was out of step with Peace Action West supporters in her voting record last year on such votes as supporting funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with few restrictions and harsh, counterproductive sanctions on Iran.
I first met Marcy Winograd last year in Los Angeles when she and I were on the bill together at a speaking event. Winograd gave a speech about the need to move away from Bush era nuclear doctrine and work for the elimination of nuclear weapons. The passion and knowledge she displayed about nuclear weapons is a rarity amongst congressional candidates (and members of Congress). Marcy Winograd’s priorities are clear: her campaign slogan is “Jobs, not wars.” In response to new of our endorsement, Winograd said,
“I am honored to have the support of an organization working to promote diplomacy and the rule of law, rather than perpetual war and occupation. Historically, Peace Action has been at the forefront of the peace movement, working hard to stop nuclear proliferation and embrace global nuclear disarmament.”
In 2006, Winograd jumped into the primary race with just 3 months to run and took 38% of the vote. Her campaign will need our help this year to turn out the vote and send a message that voters want real progressive leadership in Congress.
California 44th district candidate Bill Hedrick took almost 49% of the vote in his race against incumbent Ken Calvert in 2008. Hedrick has spent 35 years as a teacher and served on the local school board for 22 years. He understands the strain that war places on American families, with a son and daughter-in-law currently serving their third deployments in Iraq and another son and daughter-in-law who have served in that war zone. On his website, he says of the war in Afghanistan, “We must develop a clear strategy for bringing our young men and women home, while continuing to support Afghanistan and its people through diplomatic and humanitarian support. We need to set a clear exit strategy, benchmarks, and timeline for drawdown of troops so we can take care of our own, and allow Afghanistan to do the same.” Hedrick is proud to have Peace Action West’s endorsement:
“As a father of five, I look forward to promoting policies that will build a safer, peaceful future for our children and grandchildren. I believe the safety of our nation is best secured by genuine steps taken to ensure the dignity of all peoples, to promote justice in resolving conflicts, to advance the cause of non-proliferation, and to press forward for mutual nuclear disarmament.
President Eisenhower said, ‘I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments.’ I am grateful for the confidence shown by Peace Action West and Peace Action in our campaign for Congress, and I look forward to waging a people-powered campaign to promote not only peace, but justice.”
Bill Hedrick is a proud progressive who is not afraid to stand up and say that war isn’t working, and in Congress he will fight to make sure our tax dollars are spent on policies that make us safer and improve access to jobs, healthcare and education.
You can contribute to Winograd and Hedrick here. Stay tuned for more information about how you can help these stellar candidates win this year.
Paid for by the Peace Action West Voter Fund.