Even though I knew it was going to be a tough election, it’s still disappointing to face the reality of losing some wonderful allies and seeing opponents of our pro-peace agenda headed to Congress. As we work through these feelings of frustration, it is important to remember that you stepped up in the face of difficult odds—and you made a difference.
With your help, one of our staunchest allies, Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Raul Grijalva, appears poised to win in a very tight race with his dangerous right-wing opponent. Senate pro-peace leader Barbara Boxer fended off a difficult challenge, ensuring that we will have an ally who will work to hold the administration accountable to ending the war in Afghanistan.
The pro-peace congressional champions that we endorsed, including Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, Pete Stark, and Keith Ellison, will continue to be outspoken advocates for peace and will work with us to make sure supporters of a smarter, saner foreign policy are heard in this Congress.
I am sorry to say that our challengers Bill Hedrick, Suzan DelBene, Steve Pougnet and Francine Busby were unable to defeat their opponents in tough races. They took on an incredibly difficult task—ousting incumbent Republicans in a wave election in which the GOP would eventually see a gain of more than 50 seats. Our candidates worked hard and did some amazing grassroots organizing that will lay the groundwork for a progressive base in conservative areas, and we are proud to have played a part in their campaigns.
Most importantly, we have our eyes on the issues. We are already thinking creatively about how to find opportunities despite the challenges of the new political landscape. We will use our power—the power you give us through your commitment and action—to push for priorities like an end to the war in Afghanistan, eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons, and a budget that reflects what is important to you and me. We will continue to mobilize and make our voices heard with resolve and commitment to a better vision for how we engage with the world.
Keep an eye on our blog for more detailed analysis of how the new Congress will affect our work on these key issues. Through good times and bad, we have persevered and grown in our sophistication and power, and will continue to grow, thanks to you.
Thank you for all you do for peace.