Thursday, December 15, 2005

Takin' it to Congress/NJ's Saxton Gets Tag Teamed!!

Yesterday NJ Congressman Jim Saxton got an earful. Make that two earsful. When I arrived at Mr. Saxton's district office in Mount Holly for a noontime petition-drive yesterday it was shockingly cold. I heard the phrase "February weather" mentioned more than once. Also shocking was the sight of the Grinch (!) in a Santa suit no less, right there on Saxton's front doorstep! Turns out the petition-drive, organized by citizen activists and MOVEON was not the only progressive-minded outfit with a sensible message for our Congressman. The Grinch was actually representing NJ Citizen Action, a statewide watchdog organization committed to economic, social, racial and political justice. And who better than the Grinch who stole Christmas to highlight how Congress' recent budget cuts stole vital social programs from the neediest? As organizer Michael Olender remarked at the rally, "The last thing we should be doing this holiday season is jeopardizing help for the most vulnerable people in our State!!" Amen to that.

My coalition of citizen activists and MoveOn members took our message (complete with a petition signed by almost 1,ooo voters from Saxton's 3rd district constituency ) to the Congressman first. In a nutshell, our message was this: to encourage the government to begin persuing a sensible exit stragety from Iraq.

It's unfortunate that the Bush Administration's repeated gaffs have left us with very few good options in the Mid East. With today's parlaiment elections in Iraq marking an important milestone (hopefully) the time has come for our legislators to turn their attention towards a viable exit stragety. This was our message and we delivered it perfectly. In fact, there was a reporter on the scene who recorded the entire at Saxton's office. When I heard the playback, i almost felt sorry for the staffers who fielded our passionate greivances. We went through 'em (and their specious "stay the course" argument) like a hot knife through butter. Ours was an easy argument to make, really. We support our troops by fighting to bring them home. And in one piece. Most Americans agree with us, it's not just the 9oo+ folks on out petition. While we were inside, the NJ CitizenAction gang held court downstairs, holding up placards with our message to "Bring 'EM HOME!" We retuned the favor when they went inside aftewards , keeping their message visible. (see photo {that' s me!!} above)

All in all it went very well. The anti-war message is gathering momentum across the country. And that our sensible message was well-complimented by that of our bothers and sisters at at NJCA was a huge bonus!! It leaves me feeling somewhat encouraged. And that's important for me, since I'm in it for the long haul.
p.s. thanks to my friend Peter Lien for the snappy photo

1 comment:

Howard Scott Pearlman said...

Jim Saxton signed the Contract With America, in 1994, limiting Congressional Terms to 12 years of service.

Mr Saxton your 12 years are up and you should resign at the end of this term and not persue another.

Howard Scott Pearlman

Pearlman For Congress