By Danaka Katovich
As of this week, CODEPINK's dynamic phone banking team has made over 600 calls to important members of Congress calling for Peace in Ukraine. Since last week's announcement that the Biden Administration was sending cluster bombs to Ukraine, our team sprung into action, targeting the Progressive Caucus demanding they not support cluster munitions to prolong the war. There are 100 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the CODEPINK phone banking team managed to call all of them at least twice, and sometimes three times.
In previous weeks, our phone banking team called members of the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees in both the House and the Senate. This is just the third official week, and we expect to hit our 1,000 call mark in just a couple more weeks, perhaps even sooner. Almost every call made has resulted in a real person-to-person conversation between our team members and congressional staffers. We are making the calls for peace heard on a daily basis, and getting a great response.
Each team member is given 5-10 calls to make a week to make on their own time. It's as simple as that! Anyone in the U.S. can join. The experience has been incredibly meaningful to our team. If you don't believe me, here are some testimonials!
"As a proud member of this CODEPINK phone banking team, every call I make to end the war in Ukraine fills me with a profound sense of purpose and hope; the connections I forge with both staffers and other peacemakers, the stories I hear, and the collective determination this team shares fuel my passion to fight for peace, making a real difference one conversation at a time." -Atticus, a high schooler in Florida.
"The staff persons who answer the phone are, on the whole, highly professional and pleasant; it’s a joy to speak with them. And who knows? The aide with whom I am speaking may have coffee with their boss as soon as she or he is finished talking with me about the urgent need for a ceasefire in the war! They could catch my passion for peace. They could weigh in meaningfully during the next staff meeting. They could someday be the Representative or Senator themselves. I’ve been calling on my own legislators constantly in the cause of peace for years but I find the phone-banking with Code Pink to be the most meaningful calling project yet. I am proud to associate myself with CODEPINK's steady peace witness and I find the phone-banking to be not only very well organized but well supported. Also, it’s wonderful to share with others this important work of calling those offices!" -Kathleen Temple (Rockingham County, Virginia)
"In a world where many are silenced or pay a huge price for speaking out against war and for human rights, it is a privilege to be able to call elected representatives on behalf of peace and those who are silenced. I regularly call and email my rep and senator but it has been wonderful to join with others in a coordinated campaign. In the first two weeks, I called a total of 22 representatives, including my own, all Republicans. It took only 30 minutes each week. The staffers were polite and professional and some were intrigued to hear about the issue of Biden sending cluster bombs to Ukraine, which they did not know about. Upon hearing that $4.5 million of Social Security money had been sent to Ukraine, I made an extra call to my rep asking the staff to let me know what they learned about that. It was news to them and it came from a constituent. Add your voice to the growing CODEPINK chorus of calls to congress for peace!" -Mark Taylor (Sturgeon Bay WI)