Senate Democrats

America Speaks Out on the War in Iraq

Stabenow, Kennedy kick-off efforts to make the voices of everyday Americans heard by the President and Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) today held the first in a series of events to highlight how each and every American, from every walk of life, is impacted by the Iraq war and the failed policies of the Bush Administration.  The events, themed “America Speaks Out on the War in Iraq,” will highlight Americans from across the country who are concerned about and affected by this war, but whose voices are often lost in the debate.  The Senators were joined by teachers, farmers, faith leaders and veterans from across the country including Donn Teske, a Kansas farmer, Anna Burger, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU and Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the Methodist Church.

“Unlike the President, we go home and face our constituents,” said Stabenow.  “We talk to them at church, in line at the grocery store, and at countless events and meetings across our states.  They elected us to be their voice, and they are telling us to change course in Iraq and bring our troops home safely and responsibly.  It is time for the President to listen to the American people.” 

“For the sake of troops, and our security and safety here at home we can’t allow this war to drag on long after the American people have declared it to be a mistake,” Senator Kennedy said.  “One of the major problems we have at home is that we don’t have the personnel and resources to respond to a natural disaster or state emergency. That became apparent this weekend in Kansas, as tornado cleanup will be delayed because much of their equipment is with their National Guard units in Iraq. And it also plagues my own state of Massachusetts and every state across the country.  I hear from police chiefs in places like Hingham, Brockton, and Worcester that emergency services are understaffed.  We cannot continue to stretch our resources so thin – we need these dedicated men and women at home.”

Anna Burger, Secretary Treasurer of SEIU stated, “The working families of America are making the sacrifice in this war, at the same time they are bearing the brunt of declining wages and rising healthcare costs, all for a policy which makes no one safer.”

Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the Methodist Church added, “Increasingly, people of faith are deeply, morally disturbed by the war in Iraq, and eager to see it come to an end.”

While many citizens have family members and friends serving overseas or are veterans themselves, countless others are touched by the war everyday.  Americans from all walks of life are deeply concerned with the current direction of the war, including clergy, business owners, first responders, working families, and teachers, among others.  These citizens will come to Washington over the coming weeks to share their personal stories and demonstrate how large and diverse the coalition is that is demanding a change in direction in Iraq.

In conjunction with these events, Senate Democrats also launched a Web site today where Americans from every corner of the country can add their voices to the national conversation on the war and how it affects them, their families, their co-workers, and their communities.  The web site can be accessed at: http//:democrats.senate.gov/americaspeaks/

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