House members are being criticized for leaving Washington, D.C., without a federal budget vote to campaign in their districts before the November election. Some Orange County Congress people, like their brethren around the country, can escape the scorn by sharing a brown bag lunch at their district offices this afternoon with the progressive counterparts to conservative teabaggers.
Of course, there will still be a lot of scorn to go around.
With or without Members of Congress, brown bag lunch vigils have been planned at 99 local offices around the country, including those of Reps. Gary Miller (R-Brea), Ed Royce (R-Orange), Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove), John Campbell (R-Newport Beach) and Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach).
Brown bag vigils have been organized the past nine months by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), the Michigan-based group whose national director is former Orange County activist and parochial school teacherTim Carpenter
. The rallying cry of the anti-war, single-payer healthcare advocates is "Healthcare Not Warfare."
Jobs With Justice (JWJ) has partnered with PDA for this week's campaign, which demands a complete and immediate end to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, passage of the Local Jobs for America Act, and hands off Medicare and Social Security.
"Activist groups in the United States are forming a broader movement to shift our resources from endless war to endless opportunity and prosperity here at home," Carpenter says in a PDA announcement.
"Not only are we stronger in greater numbers, but we've collectively and finally figured out that putting all of our money into the military is hollowing our economy out from the inside. We have to choose jobs or wars, housing or wars, schools or wars. It's not a difficult choice, and most people are with us on this, but we have to convince our government."
Here is the scoop on the Orange County vigils:
Office of Rep. Ed Royce*
1110 E. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92866
More info: Ed Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(*According to PDA, "we will show our displeasure with Cong. Ed Royce. Cong. Ed Royce continually votes against Veterans, has voted for deregulation, and has voted to continue the wars. He is on the finance committee and has received the most contributions from financial institutions including Countrywide, Wells Fargo, AIG, and others. He has more than 2 million dollars in his campaign war chest for his re-election. Democrat Christina Avalos is running against him and needs our support.")
Office of Rep. Gary Miller**
1800 E. Lambert Road
Brea, CA 92821
More info: Carol Lind at email@example.com.
(**PDA: "Come and show Congressman Miller that there are some progressives who live in his district! Let's call for our taxes to be spent on Healthcare NOT Warfare, books not bombs, Windmills NOT Weapons. Bring your lunch and signs to spend the noon hour. Feel free to bring along letters and literature you would like to share with Cong. Miller's office staff. We will gather in the parking lot of Congressman Miller's office building.")
Office of Rep. Loretta Sanchez***
12397 Lewis St, Suite 101
Garden Grove, CA 92840
More info: Carl Weibel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(***PDA: "Join us as we keep vigil in front of Rep. Loretta Sanchez's office to stop the escalation and funding for war.")
Office of Rep. John Campbell****
610 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
More info: Bill Honigman at DrBill@pdamerica.org.
(****PDA: "48th District PDA members and allies are determined to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will meet on the steps at the corner of Newport Center Dr and Santa Rosa Dr, near the entrance to District office building for CA48 Rep. John Campbell, R-Newport Beach.")
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Office of Rep. Laura Richardson*****
100 W. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
More info: Naida Tushnet at email@example.com.
(*****PDA: "Meet in front of Rep. Richardson's Long Beach office. We plan to hand deliver a letter thanking her for supporting the Kucinich resolution and distribute a copy to passersby. Bring a sack lunch. We will have some signs that will say 'Brown Bagging for Peace,' but you can bring your own sign. Network with other advocates for ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and demanding that our representative vote against the funding of the war. Congress has the power to stop this war and the public needs to be reminded of this fact. Sponsored by Long Beach Area Peace Network and Military Families Speak.")
More vigil locations around the country: http://tinyurl.com/2957a3a
More information: http://tinyurl.com/ycc7v3k