Why is it that people so often resonate with anti- messages yet seldom in the same breath will offer viable solutions to the problems of which they so loudly complain? Strangely, H.R. 1673 was barely mentioned in the anti-war hoopla of the past week, nor even by any of the speakers at Pioneer Courthouse Square March 20 to a crowd of at least 5000 proponents of peace. One woman, Patty Annis of eastern Washington State, carried a large banner about this DoP bill and says that few people she meets, even among anti-war progressives and Democrats, seem to know of its existence or, if they heard of it, have not read it nor realize its import.|
"The solution to making war is obviously peacemaking", says Annis, "and the Department of Peace bill is far more than just an idea; it is a piece of legislation sitting in a democratic congress just waiting for citizen input and lobbying to make it a reality". A former Portlander, Ms Annis has decided to embark on a 7-month mission to educate the general public throughout the country and garner more support for H.R. 1673. The bill has 50 co-signers in congress so far but needs much more support to become law.
Ms Annis will kickoff her cross-country venture in Bend, Oregon April 2. There she will spend 9 days at Safeway Store on Hwy 20 (next to Costco) selling raffle tickets on two quilts she named "Quilts For Peace" while speaking about and handing out literature on H.R. 1673. Her car for this trip across I-80, to end June 10 in Washington DC, is named the "Peacemobile" and will carry appropriate signage for recognition.
Annis, a low-income middle-aged divorced mom of three is a longtime advocate for social justice causes and a seasoned political campaigner. She was a volunteer news editor and reporter for "street roots" until moving to eastern Washington nearly two years ago where a son is about to graduate from WSU. Annis was also a paralegal and legislative aide in previous years. She is now a part-time (startup) consultant and buyer/seller of rare and vintage quilts, textiles and fabrics. She is also a Kucinich for President volunteer.
Annis says she is starting out with little support for this undertaking but has deep faith in God and believes that support and sponsorship will grow as she moves eastward and publicity grows. The most difficult aspect now, she says, is that she has no contact ability away from home. An email address for inquiries, sponsorship and donations has been set up: email@example.com. She needs a cell phone and a toll free number, a website, and a nonprofit 501(c)(3)fiscal sponsor, with PayPal, so that monetary and other kinds of donations can be made. For the third quilt, Annis asks that someone (a teacher? a quilt guild or group?) organize a group of school children from an elementary and/or high school in a depressed area (disadvantaged), to make enough 10" quilt blocks depiciting the theme "Peace through Caring and Sharing" to make a large (queensize)quilt, and assistance from experienced quilters to complete them into the quilt by mid-August. That quilt will be on display in a prominent place (to be selected) in Washington DC until H.R. 1673 has gone through the congressional process and become a law.
Annis requests gas vouchers and modest basic travel expenses. Accommodations are being provided by Kucinich volunteers and other friends and supporters in each state along her route. The route will be published on the web site as soon as it is complete. The route is: from Bend Oregon to Pocatello Idaho, to Jackson Wyoming, cross through Laramie and Cheyenne, drop south to Denver, back north to H80, through North Plattte and Davenport, Iowa after Nebraska, Illinois, to South Bend Indiana, up to Lansing Michigan, down through Detroit to Pittsburgh, then Morgantown West Virginia, ending in Washington DC. with a media event. Proceeds from the raffle tickets, says Annis, will be donated to a private nonprofit that directly aids the poor and the homeless. Donations through the web site will be used solely to lobby for passage of H.R. 1673. The drawing for the other two quilts will be held October 11, 2004. For more information about H.R. 1673, see www.dopc.us and www.dopcampaign.org, and www.kucinich.us.