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New York Feminists for Peace and Barack Obama!

The petition

In the coming elections, it is important to remember that war and peace are as much "women's issues" as are health, the environment, and the achievement of educational and occupational equality. Because we believe that all of these concerns are not only fundamental but closely intertwined, this Tuesday we will be casting our vote for Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, we have watched with shock and sorrow as our country has become mired in war. The resulting tragedy for our own soldiers, their immediate families and for the people of Iraq has been incalculable.

Less obvious, but no less grave has been the impact on our domestic institutions and economy. With a defense budget of half a trillion dollars and expenditures now averaging $12 billion a month for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, resources that might have been used for health care, housing, education, repair of infrastructure, relief of poverty and community development have been drained away.

We urgently need a Presidential candidate, who understands that "pre-emptive" attacks on other countries and the reliance on military force have diminished rather then strengthened our national security. And we urgently need a Presidential candidate whose first priority is to address domestic needs. We do not believe that Senator Hillary Clinton is that candidate

We base our judgment on her seven-year record as the Senator from New York. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, she has carefully identified herself as a supporter of a strong, enlarged and proactive military. In 2002, she voted to authorize the "use of force" against Iraq, while voting against an amendment that would have mandated further diplomacy. In subsequent years, she expressed enthusiastic support for the war effort, objected to fixed timelines for the withdrawal of U.S troops and until last summer voted for the "unconditional funding" of the war.

Under pressure from the Democratic base, Senator Clinton has recently issued numerous statements about bringing the troops home "responsibly" But her actual plan would leave tens of thousands of Americans soldiers in Iraq over a period of many years. Her record of embracing military solutions and the foreign policy advisers she has selected make us doubt that she will end this calamitous war.

Choosing to support Senator Obama was not an easy decision for us because electing a woman President would be a cause for celebration in itself and because we deplore the sexist attacks against Senator Clinton that have circulated in the media. However, we also recognize that the election of Barack Obama would be another historic achievement and that his support for gender equality has been unwavering.

In backing Senator Obama, we are mindful of the inconsistencies in his voting record and the limitations of his own plans for withdrawal. Yet it is noteworthy that at a time when this position was politically unpopular and when he was aiming for national office, Barack Obama opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq and has spoken out against the war ever since. This puts him in a far better position to articulate a clear challenge to a Republican opponent.

We are also moved by the positive tone of the Obama campaign, the tremendous energy it has released across the country, the dramatic engagement of young people and the impetus for change that his candidacy embodies.

We are speaking out now because we cannot afford to elect another President who will continue the aggressive, interventionist policies of the present.


(partial list, still in formation, institutional affiliations are for identification purposes only)

Janet Abu-Lughod, Graduate Faculty, New School, emerita
Lila Abu-Lughod, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Columbia University
Rev. Patricia Ackerman, environmentalist
Meena Alexander, Poet, Hunter College, CUNY
Frances Anderson, Progressive Democrats of America
Laura Anker, American Studies, SUNY/Old Westbury
Electa Arenal, writer, translator
Ilana Attee, clinical psychologist
Caron Atlas, arts & culture consultant
Eleanor J. Bader, teacher and writer
Eva-Lee Baird, peace activist
Ellen Baker, high school teacher
Valerie Barr, Union College
Rosalyn Baxandall, State University of New York/Old Westbury
Nan Bauer-Maglin, City University of New York, emerita
Seyla Benhabib, Yale University
Carolyn Patti Blum, human rights lawyer
Cynthia Bogard, Hofstra University
Aranzazu Borrachero, Queensborough Community College
Marsha Borenstein, Major Owens Communications Services Center
Rosalind Boyd
Cynthia Brown, writer
Pamela Allen Brown, University of Connecticut/Stamford
Kim Bryan, registered nurse
Alice Bucker
Mary Ann Bunten, retired housewife
Candace C. Carponter, lawyer
Veronica Casano, retired social worker
Kathleen Chalfant, actor
May Chan, UNITE HERE, Vice President
Ellen P. Chapnick, Dean for Social Justice Initiatives, Columbia Law School
Kathy Cicerani
Erin Clermont, writer/editor, Veteran Feminists of America
Lorraine Cohen, LaGuardia Community College
Sandra Coliver, human rights lawyer
Louise Fischer Cozzi, Jewelry Designer
Judy D'Angio, Executive Secretary
Sally Davidson, Mother of Iraq Veteran, Military Families Speak Out
Dana-Ain Davis, Queens College
Rev. Holly Haile Davis
Thulani Davis, writer
Ann Decker, Art Director
Victoria de Grazia, Columbia University
Diane Dreyfus, environmental activist
Erika Duncan, writer
Sue Donnelly, peace activist
Sandra Dunn, translator, educator
Gina Eichenbaum-Pikser, student nurse-midwife
Zillah Eisenstein, Ithaca College
Carolyn Eisenberg, Hofstra University
Kate Ellis, Rutgers University
Julie Elson, state worker retired
Kathy Engel, poet
Sally Fisher, HIV / VAW Activist
Michelle Fine, Graduate Center at City University of New York
Louisa Flood, lawyer
Nanette Funk, Brooklyn College
Lin Goodwin, professor
Katherine Gallagher, human rights attorney
Judi Gardner, middle school home & careers teacher
Reena Geevarghese, peace activist
Celia Gerard, artist and teacher
Joan P. Gibbs, Esq. National Conference of Black Lawyers
Stephanie Gilmore, Trinity College
Linda Gnat-Mullin, Energetic Empowerment
Tami Gold, Hunter College
Stephanie Golden, free-lance author
Nancy Goldner, psychotherapist, Returning Veterans Response Network
Linda Gordon, New York University
Vera Graaf, filmmaker
Farah Jasmine Griffin, professor and writer
A Lin Goodwin, professor
Carol Gruber, William Paterson University, emerita
Lynne Haney, New York University
Sheila Hanks
Saidiya Hartman, Columbia University
Melinda Hass, psychoanalyst
Barbara Hawkins, Teachers College, Columbia University
Lena Hayes, teacher and youth advocate
Jane Hirschmann, community organizer
Katherine Hite, Vassar College
Carol Horwitz, lawyer
Rebecca Horwitz, teacher
Martha Howell, Columbia University
Carol Huston, peace activist
Margo Jefferson, writer
Randi Johnson, writer
Sally Jones, peace activist
Daphne Joslin, William Paterson University of New Jersey
Anneliese Z. Kamran, graduate student, Graduate Center/CUNY
Sherry Kan, NY Metro Area Join Board, UNITE HERE
Donna Kelsh, Educator
Alice Kessler Harris, Columbia University
Mona Khalidi, Columbia University
Cheryl Klein, book editor
Laura Kogel, LCSW, psychotherapist, faculty, The Women's Therapy Centre Institute
Lucy Koteen
Tamar Kraft-Stolar, criminal justice advocate
Nancy Kricorian, writer
Susan Kricorian, artist & educator
Jane Kurinsky, LMSW, peace Activist
Anna Lappé, author/activist
Tanya Laurer, artist
Diane Green Lent, photographer
Gail Lerner, peace activist
Gloria Levitas, formerly Queens College/CUNY
Andrea Libresco, Hofstra University
Sandy Livingston, writer
Barbara Machtinger, Bloomfield College
Holly Maguigan, New York University School of Law
Karen Malpede, writer
Emily Martin, professor, anthropology, New York University
Vicki McFadden, mother of Iraq vet and peace activist.
Elizabeth A. McGee, social sector consultant
Oseye Mchawi, Center for Law and Social Justice, Yoruba Society of
Brooklyn, Inc.
D. H. Melhem, poet
Margaret Melkonian, Hague Appeal for Peace
Ellen Meyers, educator
Eliza Migdal, teacher/writer
Maria E. Montoya, New York University
Esther Moroze, peace activist
Leith Mullings, Graduate Center/ CUNY
Cheryl Mwaria, Hofstra University
Paula Nesoff, LaGuardia Community College
Judy O'Brien, educator
Susan O'Malley, Kingsborough Community College
Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome, Political Science/Women's Studies, Brooklyn College
Lynn Otty, peace activist
Patricia Paley, school social worker
Gail Pellett, filmmaker
Patricia Paley, school social worker
Rosalind Petchesky, Hunter College & the Graduate Center, CUNY
Jamie Peters
Linda Penn, psychologist
Dr. Charlotte Phillips, pediatrician
Katha Pollitt, writer
Alexandra Ponce de Leon, Media Research Analyst, Universal McCann NY
Dr. Linda Prine, reproductive rights activist
Amy Quinn-Suplina, community peace & justice activist
Rachel Pecker
Marcuse Pfeifer, retired art dealer
Frances Fox Piven, Graduate Center/CUNY
Elizabeth Pochoda, Writer
Alice Radosh, research psychologist, retired
Janet Randall, Northeastern University
Rayna Rapp, anthropologist, New York University
Marci Reaven, historian
Judith Reppy, Cornell University
Nina Reznick, lawyer
Jennifer Romanello, Grand Central Publishing
Nancy Romer, Brooklyn College
Constancia Dinky Romilly, registered nurse, retired
Esther Rowland, Barnard College Emeritus
Sandra St. Victor, artist
Susan Sarandon, actor
Martha Saxton, Amherst College
Donna Schaper
Ellen Schrecker, Yeshiva University
Adrianne Shropshire, activist
Lucy Sikes, retired graphic designer
Alice Slater, lawyer & peace activist
Marjorie Siegel, Teachers College, Columbia University
Betty Smith, International Publishers
Judith Stacey, New York University
Gretchen Stromberg, senior citizen
Dr. Joan Sturgis, physician
Meredith Tax, writer
Tinka Topping, educator
Melissa Van, peace activist
Andrea A. Vasquez, American Social History Project, The Graduate Center/CUNY
Lise Vogel, Rider University, emerita
Ha My Vu, teacher
Kerry Washington, actor
Sandy Weinbaum, non-profit administrator
Barbara Weinstein, New York University
Cora Weiss, U.N. Representative, International Peace Bureau
Michele Westervelt, school aide & military mom
Joan Wile, author
Maggie Williams, William Patterson University
Bethany Yarrow, singer
Rosalie Yelen, peace activist
Susan Yohn, Hofstra University
Marilyn Young, New York University


Original Post
Feminist Leaders Oppose Hillary, Endorse Obama

Jon Wiener

Posted February 3, 2008 | 07:40 PM (EST)

More than 100 New York feminist leaders released a joint statement Sunday afternoon criticizing Hillary Clinton and supporting Obama for president - evidence that Clinton's support among women activists has declined significantly in the days before the super-Tuesday primary.

Clinton's support for the war in Iraq was the leading reason she lost the support of the group, which calls itself "New York Feminists for Peace and Barack Obama!" "We urgently need a presidential candidate whose first priority is to address domestic needs," the group added.

Those endorsing Obama include longtime peace activist Cora Weiss; Katha Pollitt, columnist for The Nation; Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times writer Margo Jefferson; award-winning women's rights historians Alice Kessler Harris and Linda Gordon; Barbara Weinstein, president of the American Historical Association, and Ellen P. Chapnick, Dean for Social Justice Initiatives at Columbia Law School. Susan Sarandon and Francis Fox Piven signed on Monday.

"Choosing to support Senator Obama was not an easy decision for us," the group stated, "because electing a woman president would be a cause for celebration in itself." They "deplored" the "sexist attacks against Senator Clinton that have circulated in the media." But, they stated, they nevertheless supported Obama because his election "would be another historic achievement" and because "his support for gender equality has been unwavering."

The group based their opposition to Clinton on "her seven-year record as senator." Despite her recent pledges to remove troops from Iraq, the group stated, Clinton's "record of embracing military solutions and the foreign policy advisers she has selected make us doubt that she will end this calamitous war."

The group supported Obama not only for his positions on the war and gender equality, but also because of "the dramatic engagement of young people" with his campaign.

This group joins other prominent feminist leaders who have turned against Hillary and endorsed Obama, including Kate Michelman, president for 20 years of NARAL Pro-Choice America, the country's leading reproductive rights group, and Ellen Bravo, former director of 9to5, the National Association of Working Women.

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