Credo Action Meeting with Representative Bill Pascrell’s office

24 06 2011

On Thursday June 16th Madelyn Hoffman, Ron DeStefano, Sandy Shevak, Susan Krcmar and I went to Representative Pascrell’s office for a Meeting on Exiting Afghanistan organized by Credo. The objective of the meeting was to urge Rep. Pascrell to Co-sponsor Barbara Lee’s “Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act” (H.R. 780). Despite early optimism left over from the outcomes of our meetings with staff in Senator Lautenberg and Senator Menendez’s offices, the meeting ended up being a let down.

We met with Assad R. Akhter, the Deputy Chief of Staff in Representative Bill Pascrell’s office. What we heard from him was that Representative Pascrell believes that progress is being made in Afghanistan because 2 million Afghan children are being educated, and that he trusts President Obama and his advisors to make the best decision. We also had to hold tight to our patience as Mr. Akhter paid more attention to his blackberry than to us, and left the room to take a 5 minute phone call in the middle of the meeting.

We are in the midst of the economic crisis, cuts to various community programs, and the continuation of wars that most Americans do not want. Despite this, Representative Pascrell has chosen not to support HR780. In my opinion, since Rep. Pascrell has been able to ignore the changing opinions on these issues and the needs of his constituents, it is not surprising that the five of us were not able to change his aide’s mind. Nevertheless, it was disappointing that we were not taken more seriously. But we have seen that with enough pressure from their constituents, politicians can, and do change their minds. Please help us to urge our Representatives to co-sponsor HR 780 and an expedited withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

If you live in District 8 please call Representative Pascrell. Representative Pascrell’s phone number in Washington, D.C. is 202-225-5751. His local phone number in Paterson is 973-523-5152.

If you live in District 9 please call Representative Rothman. You can reach Representative Rothman at 201-646-0808 in Hackensack or 202-225-5061 in Washington, D.C.

The following New Jersey Representatives are already co-sponsors of HR 780:

Representative Donald Payne (D-10)

Representative Rush Holt (D-12)

If your representative is not on this list, please call them and urge them to do so.

Representative Scott Garrett (R-5)                  Local phone number: (201)-444-5454

Representative Leonard Lance (R-7)               Local phone number: (908) 518-7733

Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11)   Local phone number: (973) 984-0711

Representative Albio Sires (D-13)                   Local phone number: (201)-222-2828

Thank you!


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