FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday November 16, 2020
WASHINGTON — Today, 35 organizations representing millions of people across the United States sent a joint letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi voicing their support for Rep. Joaquin Castro’s (D-TX) candidacy for Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC).
The endorsement letter recognizes that the status quo approach to foreign policy has failed to deliver on its promises of peace, prosperity, and human rights for the United States and the world. Of the candidates, Rep. Castro is best equipped to advance a much-needed, bold new vision for our nation’s role in the world, centered around human rights and human dignity, justice, accountability, cooperation, and diplomacy.
Among other things, the endorsement recognizes Rep. Castro’s leadership on confronting the COVID-19 crisis here and abroad, ensuring the public has a say in U.S. foreign policymaking, protecting the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers, ending endless war, restoring congressional checks and balances, prioritizing diplomacy over militarism, and mobilizing a new generation of foreign policy leaders.
“A deadly pandemic, the rise of right-wing authoritarianism, accelerating mass wealth inequality, and the unprecedented, existential crisis of climate change — not one of these enormous threats to our security can be solved by relying on the same failed militarized approach to U.S. foreign policy.” said Win Without War Advocacy Director Erica Fein. “We need new leadership that is willing to break with the status quo and advance a bold path forward. Rep. Castro is that leader.”
“Rep. Castro’s bid has created overdue discussion of a foreign policy vision centered on diplomacy and the wellbeing of working families at home and abroad,” said Erik Sperling, Executive Director of Just Foreign Policy. “His experience as Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee and his leadership against Trump’s cruel policy towards immigrants and our southern neighbors is needed to repair the damage from this administration. Rep. Castro’s ability to bring together Americans across the generational and ideological spectrum will be an asset to the committee, our country, and the world.”
“It is time for a clean break with the Trump years of reckless military support to brutal monarchies like the destructive dictatorships that rule Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” said Freedom Forward Executive Director Sunjeev Bery. “Rep. Castro has demonstrated a clear willingness to chart a new course when it comes to the question of who the United States gives its military support to, and that’s why he should be America’s next Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
“Peace Action proudly endorses Rep. Joaquin Castro for House Foreign Affairs Chair,” stated Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action’s Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs. “Castro will put diplomacy first, push to retake Congress’s constitutional role in war making and provide oversight on America’s endless wars including hearings with diverse voices.”
“Rep. Joaquin Castro is the right leader to head the committee’s important work of taking stock of the damage caused by Trump’s reckless foreign policy,” said Common Defense Political Director Alexander McCoy. “As veterans, we have total confidence in Rep Castro to oversee the conclusion of the Forever Wars, and ensure that US foreign policy reflects the values of the American people.”
“If this pandemic should have taught us anything, it’s that our safety and wellbeing depends on our ability to work with the rest of the world on our shared global challenges,” said Tobita Chow, Director of Justice Is Global. “As HFAC Chair, Rep. Castro will prioritize cooperation, not competition.”
“Joaquin Castro is offering us a much-needed change from militaristic foreign policy decisions that perpetuate endless cycles of war to ones that prioritizes human needs both at home and abroad,” said CODEPINK National Co-Director Ariel Gold. “Through such things opposing Trump’s weapons sales deal with the UAE stating his desire to listen to Palestinian voices, Castro is already rising to the occasion of being a champion for peace.”
“The Trump administration’s open support for the Israeli far-right’s agenda revealed the underlying failure of American foreign policy in the region,” said Emily Mayer, Political Director for IfNotNow. “For decades, leaders in both parties have refused to take meaningful action to stop Israeli settlement expansion and respect Palestinian human rights — instead sending a blank check to Netanyahu year after year. Our country and our world desperately need a new generation of leaders to move forward a foreign policy that centers human rights and that includes Palestinian voices in the conversation. Joaquin Castro is the best candidate to lead the House Foreign Affairs Committee and ensure that the Democratic Party moves towards fair and balanced foreign policy.”
Read the full letter here.
350.org · Action Corps · American Muslims for Palestine · CODEPINK · Common Defense · Demand Progress Education Fund · Freedom Forward · Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum · Government Information Watch · Historians for Peace and Democracy · IfNotNow · Immigration Hub · Indivisible · Institute for Policy Studies – New Internationalism Project · Just Foreign Policy · Justice Democrats · Justice Is Global · MADRE · MALDEF · MoveOn · Peace Action · Progressive Change Campaign Committee · Project Blueprint · Rethinking Foreign Policy · RootsAction.org · Sunrise Movement · The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) · U.S. Labor Against Racism and War · Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East · US Network for Democracy in Brazil/Washington Brazil Office · Win Without War · Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) · Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) · Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation · Yemeni Alliance Committee
Win Without War is a diverse network of activists and national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in the United States.