troops home resolutions/Oregon news
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(last updated 5/21/07)
JOIN A CAMPAIGN TO
There are many aspects of the efforts to bring the troops who call Oregon
home back from Iraq and Afghanistan.
BRING OREGON'S TROOPS HOME NOW!
On August 3, 2023 fifteen (later joined by another two)
Oregon-based groups sent a letter
to Governor Tina Kotek, asking her not to deploy National Guard troops to
undeclared war zones, calling attention to the then-upcoming anniversaries
of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
On August 19, 2022 a number of Oregon-based groups
sent a letter to the gubernatorial
candidates of the Democratic, Republican, Pacific Green and Libertarian
Parties, the high-profile non-affiliated candidate, and the
Working Families, Constitution, Independent and
Progressive parties, asking them to pledge not to send the guard into
undeclared wars overseas. The deadline for response is September 9,
2022; check back here for more information.
On November 5, 2021, about a week before Armistice Day (Veterans
Day), 11 Oregon-based organizations looking at the US withdrawal from
Afghanistan again sent a letter to
Governor Brown urging her to keep Oregon's Guard home.
On October 5, 2020 14 Oregon-based organizations again wrote to
Governor Brown urging her to bring the troops home. The letter
notes that firefighting helicopters were not available to combat
some of the state's worst wildfires because they were in Afghanistan.
The 2020 letter
was sent just days before the 19th anniversary of the US was in
On November 8, 2019 14 organizations from around Oregon urged
Governor Brown in
a new letter
to connect her refusal to send Guard members to
border to the issue of illegal overseas deployments for war. The letter
was sent just days before the 101st anniversary of Armistice Day.
On November 13, 2018 Peace and Justice Works re-sent the 2017 letter with a
asking the Governor to extend her refusal to send Oregon National
Guard troops to the US-Mexico border to any undeclared war.
On October 5, 2017 17 Oregon-based organizations, a military family and the national
Veterans For Peace sent a letter Governor Kate Brown to
keep the Oregon National Guard from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, in light of new threats
of war under the Trump administration and the need for the Guard at home.
On July 5, 2016 20 organizations and a military family sent a letter to the
gubernatorial candidates of the Democratic, Republican, Independent and
Libertarian Parties, as well as the Pacific Green, Working Families,
Constitution, and Progressive parties, asking them to pledge not to send
the guard into undeclared wars overseas. As of August 1, 2016 five of the
eight parties/candidates replied sypmathetically or in full
On September 11, 2015 7 organizations and individuals (which eventually totalled 11) sent
a letter to Governor Kate Brown to
keep the Oregon National Guard from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.
On April 10, 2014 sixteen peace, veterans, faith and social justice organizations
from Oregon sent a letter to Governor
John Kitzhaber urging him to keep the
Oregon National Guard from its planned deployment of 950
Oregonians to Afghanistan later in 2014. (Note: Following the sending of that letter, two
more signatures-- one from Philip H. Randall of Central Oregon Peace Network in Bend, and one
from Steven Amick of the Progressive Action Community Team in Clackamas County, were added
to the list.)
On January 10, 2013 Peace and Justice Works and 12 other groups sent a letter to Governor John Kitzhaber calling for him to keep the
National Guard in Oregon rather than deploying 1800 Oregonians to Afghanistan in 2014.
In January, 2012: Peace and Justice Works joined with other community groups calling for
the Multnomah County Commission to pass a similar resolution..
In August, 2011 Peace and Justice Works and other organizations started a local effort
to ask City Council to pass a resolution calling on Congress to
"Bring our war $$ home." The original idea grew
from grassroots movements in
culminated in the passage
of a resolution by the US
Conference of Mayors in
Portland's Mayor, Sam Adams, supported. (The resolution was introduced by Eugene, OR Mayor
Kitty Piercy.) Read the sample letter to City Council
or download a
printable .pdf version of the sample letter. City
Council passed the resolution in January, 2012 by a vote of 3-0.
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In May, 2008, Oregon-based community groups began trying to keep the Oregon National Guard from
being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a federal mobilization in summer, 2009.
The effort will include urging resolutions and legislation which the state
of Oregon can use to challenge the federalization of the Guard. The main
issues are that the Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) for
the invasion of Iraq (October, 2002) and the "war on terror" (September
18, 2001) have no provisions to end those conflicts. Furthermore, the Iraq
AUMF refers to the "national security of the United States against the
continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforc[ing] all relevant United
Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq." It also references
the regime of Saddam Hussein being in possession of weapons of mass
destruction, harboring Al Quaida members responsible for the September 11,
2001 attacks, and enforcing UN resolutions against that regime, reasons
which were never or are no longer valid. Click to read a
draft resolution / piece of legislation
. To help out, you can download a petition and send
us the lists you gather 10 names at a time.
Groups working on this effort include Peace and Justice Works Iraq
Affinity Group, Women's International League for Peace and
Freedom-Portland, War Resisters League-Portland, Center for Intercultural
Organizing, Community Alliance of Lane County, Portland Peaceful Response
Coalition, Code Pink Portland, Women in Black, Metanoia Peace
Community, Oregon Action, Portland Jobs with Justice, PCUN, five Veterans for Peace groups
(two in Portland, plus Corvallis, Bandon and Grants Pass), and Military
Families Speak Out-Oregon. Click here for a full list of
supporting organizations and community leaders (47 as of 10/3/08).
Efforts in 2008-09 will include signature gathering, letter writing, educating elected officials
on the local, state and national level on the issue, public visibility, and more. This effort is based on
work done in Vermont, New Jersey, and elsewhere as a national campaign. Details are on the Oregon Guard Home campaign page.
In the summer of 2007, we helped gather signatures for a letter from local
elected representatives calling for the troops to come home; it was signed
by 61 elected officials in 27 Oregon counties including
Multnomah County Commissioners Maria Rojo De
Steffey and Jeff Cogen, State Representative Chip Shields, and Portland City
Commissioner Randy Leonard.
We also spread
the word of a congressional letter by Rep. Lynn Woolsey that pledged only to
allocate more money to bring the troops home from Iraq; that letter was
signed by Reps. Blumenauer and DeFazio and a total of at least 89 members of
the U.S. House.
From December 2006 to May 2007, the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity
collaborated with the American Friends Service Committee, Military
Families Speak Out-Oregon, and Rural Organizing Project among others to
work for a statewide resolution in
Oregon calling for the troops to come home. Click here for a list of all the
cosponsors/endorsers of the community's proposed statewide resolution.
In mid-February, 2007 Oregon State House
Joint Memorial 9 (draft) was published, urging the President not
more troops to Iraq and calling for a withdrawal to begin "as soon as
A number of state legislators, including four who endorsed
the Portland City Council
resolution, sponsored or signed onto this Memorial (Reps. Chip
Shields, Mitch Greenlick and Diane Rosenbaum, and Sen. Avel Gordly). 21
other legislators' names were also attached to the Memorial.
The Oregon House passed the statewide
on Tuesday, March 20, 2007.
Rather than take up HJM 9, the Senate Rules Committee
voted to put
Senate Memorial 1 (SM1) up for a vote. The Oregon Senate passed SM1 by a vote of
19-11 on May 1, 2007. SM 1
asks Congress to "exercise
its appropriate constitutional authority to oppose the
administration's escalation of United States forces in Iraq, and
to move the United States toward a phased redeployment of United
States forces out of Iraq with a responsible transition to Iraqi
control of Iraq's security and of the personnel and resources
necessary to achieve stability in Iraq."
The House vote followed hearing in the Elections, Ethics and
Rules committee held on
March 5 including the rousing and moving testimony of dozens of Oregonians in support of
the troops home. The amended
resolution passed by the House made slight
modifications, including moving the deadline to begin withdrawal from
August 1, 2006 to "the first quarter of Fiscal year 2008" (which means
between October 1 and December 31).
On November 30, 2006, on a 5-0 vote, Portland's City Council passed a resolution calling for the troops to come home in order to
fund human needs. This victory was a result of work done by Peace and Justice Works' Iraq
Affinity Group and the American Friends Service Committee, among others.
The City resolution was sponsored by Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard, whose vote
against a similar resolution prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq led him to speak about how he felt he
had been lied to by the administration, and felt this was a way to make right the mistake of
supporting the war in the past.
on the Council effort included Military Families Speak Out-Oregon, Environmental
Justice Action Group, Sisters of the Road, Oregon Action, Portland Area
Rethinking Schools, and Portland Schools Alliance. (The full list of endorsers/cosponsors includes 50 groups and
individuals.) Other information, can be found at the
AFSC Portland website. This effort is focused on the cost of war in
human terms and in the amount of resources that could be kept at home for
education, health care, jobs, housing and the environment. We also have posted the original proposed resolution for other communities to
look at as a model and to compare to the final version.
With Portland's vote and the Oregon legislature's chambers both passing resolutions, at least
cities/towns/counties/legislative districts and state legislatures had passed resolutions
calling for the troops to come
home and/or condemning the use of funds for war that could be spent
In October, 2006, the Oregonian reported that "After once saying he supported
Bush's decision to invade Iraq,
Gov. Ted Kulongoski now says the war 'is just spinning out of control' and
the United States should set a strict timetable for getting out. In some of his strongest anti-war
statements yet, Kulongoski told The
Oregonian's editorial board that, like most of the American public, he
believes the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq 'is making things
worse. I don't think this is good for America.'"
Below is a letter sent by Peace and Justice Works to
Governor Kulongoski asking him to bring Oregon's troops home
in November, 2004. The Oregonian reported on December 17, 2004 that the
risk of an Oregon National Guard member being killed in Iraq is about
three times higher than for people from other states. The numbers in the
article also show that Oregon's Guard members represent over six percent
of Americans killed, though Oregon makes up only about one percent of the
Peace and Justice Works' Iraq Affinity Group, in conjunction with Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom, Northwest Veterans for Peace, Portland Peaceful Response Coalition,
Women in Black, Veterans for Peace
Chapter 72 and Military
Families Speak Out of Oregon, launched a campaign to bring the troops
home, beginning with a write-in campaign to Governor Kulongoski starting
January 20, 2005. Please feel free to use our letter as a basis for
writing, or print out a postcard to
photocopy on card stock and mail in.
Also focusing on Gov. Kulongoski, Oregonians Against the War have a sample resolution
for organizations to endorse.
On March 12, 2007, the Eugene City Council passed a resolution calling for
the U.S. Government to immediately commence a withdrawal
of United States military personnel from Iraq, and for Congress to only
approve further funds to carry out a safe, rapid and orderly withdrawal
and Iraqi reconstruction efforts.
A Corvallis City Council resolution
was passed on February 21, 2006 calling for an "orderly, rapid, and
comprehensive withdrawal of United States military personnel from Iraq."
This was the result of work by the Benton
County Democrats pushing a Benton
County draft resolution calling for local bodies to support troop
withdrawal (based on House Joint Resolution 55, which sets a timeline for
troops to begin coming home by October 1, 2006, rather than immediately).
To see sample resolutions proposed by
Oregon's chapters of
Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families for Peace, as well
as the resolution passed
by the Multnomah County Democratic Central Committee and the resolution by
Oregon's AFL-CIO, click here.
Nation-wide, several cities including
Philadelphia and Chicago have called for the troops to come home, along
with the national
AFL-CIO, which prompted Oregon's AFL-CIO
When writing your own letter, you may wish to include a sentence noting
that "Although the President is claiming the right to direct National
Guard troops in Iraq under the 'emergency situation' created after 9/11,
it has been proven that Iraq had nothing to do with the incidents with
those hijacked planes, and therefore the troops can not be legally kept in
Iraq with that justification."
Below our letter is the generic reply we received from
the Governor (both on November 30, 2004 and January 12, 2005).
Please contact the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you,
your group, or your community is working on to bring Oregon's Troops Home
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Peace and Justice Works
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065 (Office)
Governor Ted Kulongoski
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047
November 26, 2004
We are writing today to ask you to withdraw Oregon's military support for the United States' action
in Iraq. This action is not a lawful or just war. Oregon has given more than its fair share in human
life and in money spent in military increases as we have seen our economy devastated.
According to the Oregon Blue Book, "By virtue of office, the governor is the peacetime
commander-in-chief of the militia and may issue lawful regulations for its governance." This means
that absent a formal declaration of war, the President cannot call up the National Guard, or the
reserves, without your compliance.
We appreciated your statement several months ago challenging those legislators who voted to give
the President the power to launch the attack on Iraq to attend the funerals of Oregon's sons and
daughters along with you.
We hope that you will consider withdrawing support for this military action as one means to end
your obligation to attend those funerals.
We are just as concerned about the people of Iraq, and are particularly worried that Oregonians
were likely part of the recent siege on Fallujah. Imagine the City of Salem cut off from all
humanitarian supplies, electricity and water, bombarded for months, then attacked by foreign troops,
its churches destroyed and civilians killed along with suspected criminals--who for their part are not
being arrested, but killed.
Governor Kulongoski, this state voted to reinstate all of its congressional delegates who voted
against the President's power to attack Iraq. We urge you to protect us from further possible human
rights violations and future attacks on this country. We were proud when Oregonians stood up for
human rights in June and refused to allow abuse of Iraqi prisoners to go on. We have the chance to
expand that record and refuse to send any more troops to Iraq.
Dan Handelman, board of directors Yvonne
Simmons, board of directors
on behalf of the members of Peace and Justice Works
Office of the Governor
Salem, OR 97310
November 30, 2004 (postmarked)
Theodore R. Kulongoski
Thank you for sharing your opinion and comments. I appreciate hearing from
Oregonians who are concerned about their communities and state. I believe
citizen input is vital to a strong and healthy society and I urge your
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