Thursday, May 17, 2007

Nebraska - Get Organized to End the Iraq War

by Kyle Michaelis
A new age in political organizing has begun with the rise of online activism. The Internet has given people of like-mind the ability to work together like never before across any geographic expanse. This has proven especially effective for purposes of fundraising and sharing resources. Yet, it seems well understood that online influence and success does not necessarily equate with real people power in the physical world. Hence, the work of our contributor below.

As stated numerous times in the past, my own feelings on the Iraq War are quite mixed...precisely because it is such a mess, for which the United States is largely responsible. Our contributor writes about the goal of "responsibly ending this war." Of course, that's an idea everyone is going to support, but the trouble is everyone might have very different ideas of what exactly that entails.

But, enough from me. Take it away, John...and best of luck in your campaign.
Americans Against Escalation in Iraq

I am John Jensen, the new Nebraska field director for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI). Americans Against Escalation in Iraq is a major, multi-million dollar national campaign to oppose the President's proposal to escalate the war in Iraq by sending more than 20,000 additional troops into a violent civil war. National Coalition partners include: SEIU, Political Action, Center for American Progress, USAction, Win Without War, Vote Vets, Campaign for America's Future, and USSA.

I am looking to build relationships with local coalition partners, activists and opinion leaders to support the goals of the national campaign. I also want to develop and maintain communication with coalition partners and create a feedback structure.

Although I live in Omaha, these events are not limited to Omaha as this is a statewide effort.
Seek to split off our Republican Congressmen’s support of the Presidents failed policies in Iraq while continuing to keep Senators Hagel and Nelson support for responsibly ending this war

We have a choice between ending this war and endless war. We choose to stop the escalation and to end the war in Iraq.

The House and Senate will continue working after the veto on a supplemental piece of legislation. It is unclear, given the lack of knowledge on the content front, if we will be supportive of the next piece of supplemental legislation or the legislation following. The initial vote provided an historic moment — the first vote to end the war — and we would hope that Congress has the courage not to backtrack.

As we continue toward future votes, supplemental and defense appropriations, we will seek out events and opportunities to organize.

All of our events and activities within a state will be directly tied to House and Senate targets.
• Rallies
• Press Conferences
• Bird-dogging
• Breakfast meetings with reporters to pitch feature stories
• Host roundtable events
• Debates
• Small town halls
• Op-eds
• Letters to the editor
I Need Speakers – Three to four per event; taking points will be provided.
Looking for:
o Mom’s
o Vets (especially those who served in Iraq)
o Community leaders
o Religious leaders
o Students
o Teachers
o Political office holders (current or former)
o Rural Nebraska leaders
o First Responders

I will provide:
• Press releases
• Podium, Loudspeakers, television and DVD player as needed
• Talking points

Possible Activities:
• “America Speaks” Events Nebraska.
• Faith Leaders Speak Out On the War
• First Responders Speak Out On the War
o First Firefighters, Policemen, Emergency workers, National Guardsmen, FEMA workers… This will also be an opportunity to speak about the Nebraska National Guard sad readiness report.
• Teachers Speak Out On the War
• Rural America Speaks Out On the War
• Memorial Day Press Event
• State Press Conferences Rolling Out Paid Media with our Partners
• Bird-dog Bush/McCain Travel (If they ever come to Nebraska!)

1. Pre-Appearance Press Conference or Press Conference Call
2. During Appearance Counter Rally
3. Post-Appearance Response
If you are interested in helping as a speaker, as a sign holder or any other way, please send me an e-mail with following information:
• Name
• Job/Position
• Group (Only if you represent a group)
• Phone
• E-mail
• General times and days available. (I will always ask you about your willingness to speak or help at specific events.)
Thank you!

John Jensen

402-312-4180 (cell)

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