Dear Leaping RealEyes
Dear Leaping RealEyes
It’s a new year, with new chances for moving America toward its true values — openness, compassion, and equal protection and opportunity for all. TrueMajority members accomplished a lot during the last year to make those ideals a reality, and you should be proud. We’ve got some ideas for doing even more in 2006, and even more important, we want to hear what projects YOU would like to take on. There’s more on that below, but first take a look at what TrueMajority members did in 2005 on Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, energy and oil issues, opposing torture, and a bunch of other good things:
Correcting our path in Iraq is the biggest challenge facing our country — to stop the damage to our military families, our budget-starved national infrastructure, and our leadership position in the world. TrueMajority members stepped up again and again during 2005 to push for a better solution:
- Members participated in the September rally against the Iraq war in Washington, D.C. — either by traveling to the capital or by using TrueMajority’s new "photo petition" service to show their support from outside D.C.
- TrueMajority members went directly to their representatives’ offices to lobby for a resolution to withdraw troops from Iraq.
- Working with Democracy for America and MoveOn.org, TrueMajority members helped coordinate and attend candlelight vigils in support of Cindy Sheehan and to honor the 1,000th and 2,000th U.S. military deaths in Iraq.
- You donated more than $100,000 in support of Cindy Sheehan and Gold Star Families for Peace to follow the president around the country with protests by military families.
- Members sent more than 100,000 messages to Congress in support of H. J. RES. 55, the "Homeward Bound Act," which would require a schedule for bringing the troops home.
- You joined with Working Assets in the "Leave My Child Alone" campaign to fight against military recruitment on school grounds.
After a year of this kind of sustained action, public opinion has caught up with the peace movement. When TrueMajority members called for a withdrawal plan earlier in 2005, some people called it a radical position, but by the end of the year, congressional representatives such as John Murtha and Nancy Pelosi were publicly calling for the same thing. There is much more to be done until all the troops are home, but we’re gaining ground.
This law threatens many of the fundamental liberties that define America, and even lawmakers who voted for it in the post-9/11 rush are reconsidering. Throughout the year, TrueMajority members opposed the extension of the PATRIOT Act, and in December it paid off. You worked with Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to raise support in Congress for cutting some of the most dangerous provisions of the act, you sent hundreds of thousands of messages to Congress in support of civil liberties, and you kept the pressure on right through last month’s showdown, when the Senate refused the Bush administration’s push to make the Patriot Act permanent.
There’s still more to do this year to restore the protection of our freedoms and liberties, but this was a huge first step.
December was also the month when the Senate, after being deluged with messages from TrueMajority members and others, refused to allow oil rigs into one of our last wild places, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Besides calling and writing to Congress, you warned oil companies they wouldn’t get your business if they continued to push for arctic drilling, and many of you joined the Exxpose Exxon campaign to pressure the worst offender. We even found an oil company we could support — the Venezuelan oil company Citgo — which supports development for the poor instead of high living for corporate chiefs, and made low-priced heating oil available for America’s poor when U.S. oil companies balked. That’s the sort of corporate responsibility we need more of in 2006.
It was shameful to see our leaders arguing in favor of Americans torturing their prisoners in 2005, but your response was something to be proud of. More than once, you flooded Congress with demands that our country disavow this type of abuse. Alberto Gonzales, who wrote memos supporting prisoner abuse, was made attorney general over the objections of TrueMajority members, but in December, Congress listened to your messages and voted for Sen. John McCain’s amendment banning torture, despite a full-court press by the administration to block it. It’s one step toward matching our actions in the world with our nation’s high ideals.
There were other successes too. You joined with a broad coalition of progressives to stop the private takeover of Social Security — TrueMajority members donated money for ads, followed the president to events where he was trying to sell his takeover plan, and, as always, wrote to Congress. It worked. The administration had highlighted that issue as a cornerstone of its plans for 2005, and it was stopped dead.
One of TrueMajority’s long-standing issues is ending the insanity of nuclear weapons, and there was some success with this in 2005. After pressure from members like you, Congress stopped funding the development of a nuclear "bunker buster" — a new atomic bomb that military officials had actually talked about using.
Members insisted that Rep. Tom DeLay be removed from his leadership post after he was indicted on charges of money laundering and fraud. He was. TrueMajority members in Connecticut, Colorado, and Maryland continued working for honest elections and verifiable, paper ballots. The Connecticut election reform proposal, including a major revamping of how campaigns in the state are financed, became law.
Looking forward to 2006, we already know some of the challenges TrueMajority members want to take on. After the indictment of Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff "Scooter" Libby, you demanded a full investigation into the conspiracy behind the war in Iraq. The special prosecutor’s probe continues, and we’ll keep you updated. As 2005 ended, we learned that the administration has been spying on Americans, and a congressional inquiry is planned.
In the next week, we’ll send you an invitation to join in an online discussion about what other issues you want to tackle in 2006. We created TrueMajority to help people like you, who care about getting our country back on track, stay on top of what our leaders are up to and find ways to get involved when it counts. Let us know how we’re doing and how we can do that job better.
We are all the TrueMajority.
With thanks for all that you do,
Matt, Darcy, Dusty, Duane, Chris, Jason, Ian, Little Ben, Vicky, and Ben
P.S. If you like what TrueMajority members participated in and accomplished in 2005, please forward this widely and ask your friends and family to join. By growing TrueMajority, we can help make 2006 an even bigger success. You can also use the link below to spread the word.
Thanks for all your comments and input...