This is our statement, as concerned people of the United States, that love will overcome hate and peace will overcome war, but it must be pursued with as much diligence and political strategy with which military intervention is pursued today.
Sign this petition to your Representatives, and we will deliver it in-person to our Representatives and Senators in late February in-district meetings, and call on them to take the following actions:
I call on my Representatives to take immediate action to:
Support Community Funding, Not War Funding: Reject attempts to use fear-mongering and hate-speech towards Islam and the Middle East to rob the limited funding of essential public programs to pay for a bloated defense budget and endless wars. The defense budget is 54% of U.S. discretionary funding, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost us $6 trillion by 2050, and the U.S. outspends the next seven highest defense budgets combined. We cannot continue to pay for wars by bankrupting programs that provide for the most marginalized Americans.
Support Peaceful Interventions to Combat Terrorism and Prevent War: Diplomacy needs strong allies in Congress and the Senate, and diplomatic milestones like the Iran Nuclear Deal and the opening of US-Cuba relations must be protected. And, peaceful efforts to demobilize terrorists and to combat radicalization at home must be celebrated, and successful examples from around the world must be learned from. For example: Aarhus, Denmark used school and career counseling to combat radicalization of marginalized youth, and the Colombian government partnered with a communications agency to peacefully demobilize thousands of FARC rebels.
Peace is a Policy that Must be Pursued: Peace is possible, but it must be pursued with as much strategy and diligence as military responses receive now. Congress should seek renewed debate for the Authorization of the Use of Military Force to take back control over declaring or opposing war, and should invest in international development and diplomacy programs which address the root causes of conflict, climate change and instability.
I call on my Representatives to take immediate action to:
Advocate for Refugee Resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi Families: Refugees are not terrorists: it takes 18-24 months to enter the U.S. as a refugee and the vetting process includes background checks by the FBI and Departments of State, Homeland Security and Defense. 65 million people are displaced worldwide in the largest humanitarian disaster since World War II. The vast majority of displaced persons are from Syria and Iraq, and were displaced by conflict - and half of today's refugees are children. The level of hate towards refugees is unprecedented and based on fear politics, not fact. After the Vietnam War, the U.S. resettled nearly 700,000 Vietnamese refugees. The current crisis calls on us to not only meet, but exceed that standard.
Stand Against Islamophobia and Hate Speech: The Trump-administration will likely blur the lines between the War on Terror and a War on Islam, according to the New York Times editorial board. Islam is the world's second largest religion - we cannot demonize all Muslims because of the violence of an insignificant minority. Yet, Mike Pompeo, Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon are all anti-Islam. I call on my Representatives to stand against Islamophobia by: opposing the over-policing of Muslim communities, rejecting fear-mongering and hate speech that vilifies all Muslims or suggests that Muslim allies must report (and therefore, must know of) planned terrorism. That isn't a responsibility of the Muslim community: it's a responsibility of all of us, to work for communities that keep us all safe, regardless of our religion.
Get Weapons of War Off of Our Streets: Military weapons do not belong on our streets. These weapons threaten our safety instead of ensuring it, which is the opposite of what police forces should do. President-elect Trump is expected to lift Executive Order 13688, which was developed to ensure oversight for the acquisition of military gear by police forces, and to overturn the federal ban on racial profiling by law enforcement. This is a dangerous combination of tactics that would endanger refugee, immigrant and minority communities across our country. I call on my Representatives to oppose these actions and create legislation to empower community policing alternatives, and reduce the number of military-grade weapons on our streets.
Educate the Trump Administration on the Dangers of Nuclear Weapons: When Trump talks casually about the use or modernization of our nuclear weapons, it is the shared responsibility of the public and of U.S. politicians to hold him accountable to remember the devastation of the past use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to remind the Administration that nuclear weapons cannot be used to address terrorism or climate change, the two most significant threats to our national security.
Oppose Plans to Modernize the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Delivery Systems: Plans to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal would cost U.S. taxpayers $1 trillion over 30 years, and is expected to make our nukes smaller, with an adjustable impact. However, the smallest size impact is still equivalent to "Little Boy", the bomb that devastated Hiroshima and cost the lives of about 100,000 people immediately, with tens of thousands more having suffered and died from the impact of radiation in the years since. We must oppose plans to modernize the nuclear weapons arsenal, because any attempt to update the system, keeps these weapons in play during conflict.
Support UN Efforts to Negotiate a Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty: In March 2017, the UN will launch negotiations on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. A powerful statement for the security of our world, and the success of these talks, would be statements from Members of Congress supporting the abolition of nuclear weapons. We call on our Representatives to support UN efforts to abolish nuclear arms.
Oppose Any and All Legislation/Speech that Suggests the U.S. Could or Should Use Nuclear Weapons: After the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 129,000-200,000 immediately died. The overwhelming majority were not military personnel: they were civilians. No country should have the destructive potential to kill so many.. It is unequivocally wrong, and the U.S. must take the lead to recognize the unparalleled loss caused by nuclear weapons, and to pledge to never use nuclear weapons. Members of Congress must oppose the use of nuclear weapons in the strongest terms, support diplomatic efforts to reduce nuclear stockpiles and prevent nuclear proliferation, and call on the U.S. to adopt the No First-Use policy, pledging to never be the first to use nuclear weapons in war.