Dear friend,

The Democratic Party is struggling to rediscover its soul. Leading Congressional Democrats still support the war; still support corporate-run health care, still support trade without protections for workers' rights, human rights or the environment. Predictably, the corporate media which fueled our march to folly in Iraq still sides with the corporate wing of our party.

Some in our party suggest that since the President and Republicans are sinking in the polls, Democrats should remain quiet. They forget the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. that "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Issuing tepid statements that "we can do better" hardly inspires those who worry each day about their children and spouses. American families facing a harsh struggle to survive deserve action - not silence. Wages are down and savings the lowest since the Great Depression while job insecurity, education and health care costs are soaring. Social Security and pensions are at risk.

Please recognize that without your help and support I could never pursue my efforts to again make the Democratic Party the party of working Americans. The Party which looks out upon the world for friends, not enemies.

Four years ago I was told my efforts to organize 125 House Democrats to vote against the war was political suicide. When you read Prayer for America (February 17, 2002, and the Analysis of President's Bush's Case for War, (October 2, 2002) you will recall how difficult (yet necessary) it is to speak truth to power. Remember how the administration guaranteed us that "there was no doubt" but that WMDs were poised to strike us? Their loyal followers called me a liar - and worse - on "Meet the Press" and other national media for daring to challenge the Administration's "evidence" on WMDs and Saddam's then-alleged links to 9-11 and Al Qaeda.

Today, however, being right is little solace in the face of mounting casualties. Little solace knowing that the average American family will spend perhaps $25,000 just on the Iraq War - a war which makes all us less safe. Inexplicably, the media which remained silent in the face of massive government propaganda now lashes out at those of us who did speak out at the time. Yet those complicit in selling this war to the American people remain loyal to their lies and continue their propaganda.

President Andrew Jackson was right when he said that one person with courage makes a majority. These are trying times which require each of of us to find the courage to demand that America not only stop an illegal occupation and a policy of preemptive war, but chart a new course in the world based on cooperation not confrontation, on hope, not fear. Each of us must speak out about the crimes done in our name. Torture is not an American value and the thought that the President would sign a statement reserving the right to continue to torture brings shame - and danger - to all of us.

Being a Democrat can no longer entail a laundry list of slightly less harmful policies than our opponents. The vision of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy as enunciated in the Book of Matthew must be returned to Congress. As you know, " Fear Ends, Hope Begins " was the theme of my campaign for the Democratic nomination for President in 2004. I continue to call not just for new policies, but a renewed vision of a politics of trust and compassion based on our most basic values of caring for one another.

Who ever imagined that we would live in an America where the "merciful" would be called soft on crime? Where those who "mourn" would be called whiners and where the "meek" would be told that arrogance is a virtue? Who ever imagined that the sacred role of "peacemaker" as described by Matthew in the Beatitudes would be recast as a traitor? The inversion of truth and the perversion of our basic values must be challenged.

The path for our renewal based on these sacred values is clear. Living Wages, Advocacy of Universal Health Care, a new WPA jobs program funded from military waste, Universal Pre-Kindergarten, tuition-free college, protection of Social Security and all pensions, the green energy of wind, solar, hydrogen, peaceful exploration of space, participation in the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty, and the International Criminal Court are part of a vision of the America that can be, if we are willing to take a stand.

My call for a Department of Peace and Nonviolence has been attacked in a way that ironically proves its necessity.

This past term in the House of Representatives I have acted upon a vision of a nation which cares about all people, about truth and justice, in hundreds of speeches on the floor of the House about Iraq, health care, trade, education, the global climate and America's role in the world. You may recall I was successful in organizing a bipartisan coalition towards ending the war in Iraq ( HJ Res 55). I helped open up investigations of the missing $9 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds, and pushed for inquiries into pre-war intelligence, and the public relations machine behind the war.

I also brought a resolution of Inquiry which resulted in a rare committee discussion about documentation of global climate change and the need for the United States to immediately begin implementing new energy policies to protect the global environment.

Day in and day out I have continued to do the work. Day in and day out, whether in the spotlight or not, I have persisted in walking the path of peace, of social and economic justice. Fortunately, I know I do not walk alone. I ask for your continued presence in my daily efforts. As we prepare for the May 2nd Primary Election in Ohio, I once again request your financial support . With your active participation I can continue my efforts in the House, not only to encourage Democrats to take a stand but to offer real alternatives to the prevailing thirst for empire and plutocracy.

Thank you for your encouragement and support,