County Peace Action
Working for Peace and Progressive Values
LCPA ENDS SUCCESSFUL VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE, by Victoria Brandon (Lake County Record-Bee, October 27, 2004)
Lake County Peace Actions's Voter Registration Drive came to a triumphant conclusion shortly after the rolls closed on Oct 18, when sevral dozen participants gathered at the Hidden Valley Lake home of organizer Wanda Harris to tally their final results and celebrate what proved to be a successful effort.
The nonpartisan, all-volunteer group registered a total of 1831 voters, mostly by tabling outside supermarkets. The Clearlake Safeway was the most productive site (283 registrants), closely followed by Bruno's (267); Kmart (156), the Lakeport Safeway (113), and Hardester's in Hidden Valley (109) lagged only a little farther behind. On the final Saturday, Oct. 16, a full-day blitz at nearly every grocery store in the county signed up 278 voters, many of them people who had never previously registered. There was general consensus among the volunteers that practically everyone now recognizes the momentous nature of the Nov. 2 election, and wants to take part in determining the future direction of our country.
Far too many individuals played a vital role in the effort than can be named, but besides Harris special credit is due to Shirley Howland, Janis Paris, Gail Dyne, Sophie Jensen and Jean Mead. Anyone intered in seeing detailed lists of tablers, locations, and results can find them on the Peace Action web site at www.lakelive.org.
from PARTIES REGISTERING VOTERS FOR NOVEMBER, by Natosi Johanna (Lake County Record-Bee, September 3, 2004)
. . . Lake County Peace Action has also given local residents another way to register to vote. They have been setting up tables outside grocery stores in Lakeport and Clearlake since January. They also will have a booth at the Lake County Fair.
Victoria Brandon of Peace Action has been involved in this nonpartisan effort since its beginning. She comments that the numbers of people registering has been "good, 450 since January." Brandon says the registrants "tend to be older. Many are first-time resistrants."
People may either fill out the form there or take it with them. Brandon said she prefers for people to fill out forms there at the table rather than giving them out. She worries that people lose the cards and then forget to get another one.
When manning a table, Brandon is neutral in tone and silent about her own political preferences. However, she does listen to those coming to the table, noting that the "majority who say anything about the issues are opposed to the present administration." . . .
[Natosi misquoted me: I'm not "silent" about politics at all, I merely wait for the registrant to bring the subject up. VB]
LAKE COUNTY PEACE ACTION REGISTERS VOTERS (Lake County Record-Bee, August 28, 2004)
Although the general election is still more than two months away, the Lake County Peace Action Voter Registration campaign has already gone into high gear. The group registered approximately 180 voters before the March 2 primary, and since then has signed up an additional 200-plus, with tabling taking place at all the Farmers Markets and most of the supermarkets in the county, as well as special events such as the Blackberry Festival and County Fair. A couple of dozen supporters have volunteered to help, and more are expected to come forward before the close of registration on October 18.
This non-partisan effort involves no candidate advocacy; no campaign literature, buttons, or signs are displayed, although most tablers are eager to discuss the issues with registrants. "Peace is not partisan," says organizer Shirley Howland, adding (quoting Granny D, the nonagerian who walked across America in support of campaign finance reform), "shame on those who would make it so."
Regional captains are managing the tabling in various venues, but prospective volunteers should call coordinator Wanda Harris at 987-9027, or get in touch with her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Detailed, frequently updated information is also available at the LCPA website Voter Registration page, http://www.lakelive.net/~lcpa/voterreg.htm, or by email from email@example.com.
LAKE COUNTY PEACE ACTION PERFORMS IN LAKEPORT'S LIBRARY PARK (Lake County Record-Bee, July 9, 2004)
LAKEPORT --On Sunday, July 4, while families gathered in Library Park to picnic and barbecue and wait for the evening's fireworks, members of Lake County Peace Action and their friends gathered around the gazebo to listen to the harmonic music of Connie Miller, Bill Barrows and Joan Moss.
Other participants were Mike Heintz and the Lake County Peace Choir led by Barbara Christwitz. It was an informal musical gathering with some spectators joining in with guitars and a harmonica.
LCPA also had a voters' registration table available and were offering a last chance to sign petitions to promote peace, universal health care and other bipartisan issues to the Democratic Platform Committee meeting in Miami next weekend. Petitions will still be available online until July 18.
For more information you may phone Shirley Howland at 995-3447.
MILLER AND BARROWS AND LAKE COUNTY PEACE CHOIR WILL PERFORM ON JULY 4TH (Lake County Record-Bee, June 26, 2004)
LAKEPORT -- Visitors to the annual Fourth of July celebration at Library park will have the pleasure of hearing an informal concert on the gazebo stage from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 4.
The featured performers, Connie Miller and Bill Barrows, are familiar to many Lake County residents, who have enjoyed hearing both of them sing to the accompaniment of Barrows' guitar in venues ranging from nursing homes to the recent "Voices for Peace" concert on Memorial Day weekend in Kelseyville.
Their music is sometimes inspiring, sometimes hilarious; sometimes traditional, sometimes original -- and always in tune.
Barbara Christwitz and the Lake County Peace Choir will also perform and songbooks will be available for anyone who wants to join in. For more information visit www.lakelive.net/~lcpa or call 994-1931.
"VOICES OF PEACE" CONCERT HELD AT GALILEE (Lake County Record-Bee, June 10, 2004)
by Janis Paris
KELSEYVILLE -- When Connie Miller and Bill Barrows set out to produce a Memorial Day peace concert, they were intent that the focus be on a world visualizing peace -- not on protest or further anger. It turns out that musicians took this as a welcome challenge, and over 30 entertainers pooled their talents to make the recent "Voices of Peace" concert, held at Galilee Lutheran Church, a rousing success.
The program included several church choirs, Galilee Lutheran and United Methodist, in addition to many area performers, Joan Moss, Mark Loebs, Mae Nahmias, and the "pop" acapella group Ear Reverence. The audience particularly enjoyed joining in with the "sing-alongs" offered by the Hamiltons and the Lake County Peace Choir.
Favored by good weather, the concert was held in the lovely meditation garden of the Galilee Luteran Church. Hosted by Pastor Lynn Freele and Joan Worster, the concert was dedicated to American soldiers lost in service to this country and to the remembrance of a valued member of our community, the late Nancy Rystad.
CROWD GATHERS FOR LAKEPORT PEACE RALLY (Lake County Record-Bee, June 2, 2004)
by Victoria Brandon
LAKEPORT -- A sizeable crowd of Lake County progressives -- estimates ranged from 50 to 75 people -- gathered on the Museum lawn in Lakeport this Memorial Day to express their sadness at the ongoing death and destruction in Iraq, and to demand the safe return of American military forces. Representatives of the Democratic and Green Parties, Kucinich and Kerry Campaigns, and Sierra Club participated in the rally, which was organized by Lake County Peace Action.
Participants marched through the Lakeport business district shortly after 11:00 a.m., carrying placards ranging from a six-foot banner "Stop the War" to a diminutive "Pray for Peace." A spirited program of patriotic, protest, and meditative vocal music followed (coordinated by Paul Frindt, Janis Paris, and Barbara Christwitz); to conclude, everyone formed a peace circle and shared their hopes for a world of peace and justice for all. Tablers registered voters throughout the event, and collected signatures supporting various progressive planks in the Democratic Party platform: "Kerry will revitalize America just like JFK did," said tabler Shirley Howland, "but we've got to let him know the kind of country we want it to be."
Very fittingly, a current of grief rippled through this day of remembrance. One somber banner listed the names of the American military personnel who have lost their lives in Iraq these past 439 days -- 814 strong and rising -- and another assembled their faces into a mosaic portrait of George W. Bush. And a single black-veiled mourner stood in silent vigil throughout the two hour rally. Her sorrow was shared by all.
PEACE CONCERT TO BE HELD SATURDAY, MAY 29 (Lake County Record-Bee, May 20, 2004)
KELSEYVILLE -- This Memorial Day weekend, a concert will be presented by many outstanding local musicians on the beautiful outdoor stage at Galilee Lutheran Church at 8860 Soda Bay Road, just South of Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa.
The event will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 29.
According to Bill Barrows, publicist for the event, "Holding a Peace Concert on Memorial Day weekend seems an especially fitting way to support our young men and women in uniform and to honor their courage and sacrifices. At the same time it is our goal to create a field of peace, through music, in hopes that peaceful means will be used to achieve true stability in Iraq and the world so our troops can return home safely!"
A wide variety of music will be presented, both meditative and uplifting, during the two-hour concert. Among those planning to contribute their talents will be: Ear Reverence, Joan Moss, Paul and Deanna Krohn, Mark Lobes & Bob & Laisne Hamilton, Paul Frindt, Janis Paris, and Roberto Lozano, Barbara Christwitz, Connie Miller and Bill Barrows, Mae Namias and her Gospel Choir, Eva Johnson and the Galilee Lutheran Choir, and the Lake County Peace Choir.
Admission is free. Refreshments will be available and the Labyrinth in the Peace Garden will be open for individual meditation.
50 TURN OUT FOR PEACE RALLY (Lake County Record-Bee, April 14, 2004)
by Victoria Brandon
On Saturday, April 10 at least fifty local residents, including representatives from the Democratic Party, the Dennis Kucinich campaign, and Amnesty International, (as well as several dogs and chickens) participated in Lake County Peace Action's two hour "emergency" anti-war rally on Main Street in Lakeport. Placards ranged from "Bring Home Our Troops" to "Pro-America -- Anti-War" to "It Takes Heros to Work for Peace". At the rally's conclusion everyone present joined hands in a peace circle, and sang "We Shall Gather At the River," "This Land is Your Land," and "America the Beautiful".
Many participants voiced their concern at the escalating cycle of violence in Iraq; while greatly saddened by the casualties among American service men and women, they believe that these injuries and deaths are beginning to turn the tide of public opinion against the war. Several also affirmed their agreement with the sentiments expressed by counter-demonstrators across the street, especially "The War Isn't Over Till the Last Soldier Comes Home": "We all think that," said peace activist Barbara Christwitz.
Comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam were made repreatedly, including strong support for Senator Ted Kennedy's recent statement, "Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam, and this country needs a new President."
"EMERGENCY" PEACE RALLY IS SATURDAY (Lake County Record-Bee, April 9, 2004; Clear Lake Observer, April 10, 2004)
Supporters of Lake County Peace Action will meet in an ad-hoc anti-war protest rally in front of the Museum on Main Street in Lakeport, this Saturday, April 10, at 12 noon.
The American military response to the recent Iraq uprising (in which the U.S. is fighting Shia resistors as well as Sunnis, while Iraqis openly refer to our "occupation" of their country) is leading to spiralling military and civilian deaths.
Several national peace groups have called for Emergency Anti-War Protests this weekend -- the first time since the beginning of the Iraq invasion that an "emergency" event has been called, according to Victoria Brandon of the Lake County Peace Action group.
Historians who have long made parallels between this conflict and Vietnam think this might be the tipping point in American opinion, similar to that reached in the late 1960s. In the opinion of many, mainstream media has been supporting White House strategy and downplaying anti-war sentiment for the past year.
RAISING VOICES FOR PEACE (Clear Lake Observer, March 24, 2004)
Local activists were among millions taking part in a "global day of action" on Saturday, demanding a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
A "Rally 'Round the Lake" mobilized members of Lake County Peace Action to the "four corners" of Clear Lake. Beginning at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of Ray's Foods in Clearlake, attendees visited the communities of Lucerne, Lakeport and Kelseyville in turn.
Attendee Victoria Brandon characterized the gatherings as a "big success" on various levels. "We established the peace presence in four towns and along the highways connecting them," she reported, adding that the group made contact with at least one dozen new supporters as a result of this event.
The local gatherings coincided with coordinated demonstrations across the United States and in more than 45 countries. The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) reported turn-out to major regional demonstrations at 100,000 in New York City, 50,000 in San Francisco, 20,000 in Los Angeles and 10,000 in Chicago.
For information about Lake County Peace Action and upcoming events, visit www.lakelive.net/~lcpa/. More information about the "global day of action" can be found on the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition's Web site, www.internationalanswer.org.
'RALLY 'ROUND THE LAKE' IS SATURDAY (Lake County Record-Bee, March 19, 2004)
Lake County Peace Action to mark anniversary of U.S. invasion of Iraq
LAKE COUNTY -- On Saturday, March 20, millions of people around the globe and hundreds of thousands of people in cities across American will gather for the Global Day of Action, to protest and commemorate the U.S. invasion of Iraq exactly one year ago.
In Lake County, the "Rally 'Round the Lake," will be held. The group will meet in Clearlake in the morning and then take the rally with its signs and songs around the lake, stopping at the four locations. Everyone is welcome.
The group will first meet at 10 a.m. at Ray's Market in Clearlake. At each location, the group will spend half an hour, and then depart at the half-hour for the next location. The group will take lakeshore and Olympic to Highway 20 and regroup at the parking lot of Sentry in Lucerne at 11 a.m.; then on to Library Park in Lakeport to meet at noon; and then to the final rally in Kelseyville Park at 1 p.m. (near the Fire Hall, exit from 29 at the Oak Street stoplight).
Organizers will have songbooks to distribute and participants are welcome to bring their favorite signs or decorate their car, or simply come share views with others.The rally is sponsored by Lake County Peace Action, the group responsible for parades last March in Lakeport and the 4th of July in Clearlake.
VOTER REGISTRATION MEETS DEADLINE (Clear Lake Observer, February 21, 2004)
by Cynthia Parkhill
The Lake County Registrar of Voters received an influx of voter registration forms this week, in light of the Feb. 17 deadline for voting March 2.
"We received approximately 200 registration forms through the U.S. mail, either on Feb. 17 or postmarked Feb. 17," said Deputy Registrar Maria Valadez. "It was very busy." On Friday, registrar staff were busy inputing data in order to obtain a count of the number of voters registered.
More than 150 new or lapsed voters were registered in time for the March 2 Spring Primaries, through several weeks of effort by members of Lake County Peace Action.
For six weekends leading up to this week's deadline, tables were set up at various locations around Clear Lake. These included Safeway in Clearlake, Hardester's in Middletown, Bruno's in Lakeport and Sentry in Nice. As many as 19 or 20 volunteers spent time registering voters.
"Shirley Howland organized the tablers, provided the blank forms and most of the signs and handouts," reported volunteer Victoria Brandon. "Janis Paris made the rest. [Shirley] delivered completed forms to Lakeport, filled in at the tables whenever necessary, and generally ran herself ragged."
Brandon added, "Most of us enjoyed doing this; practically everybody we met was both agreeable and grateful, though there were a couple of hostile encounters, provoked not by voter registration but by our identity as a peace group. One guy told me most vehemently, "We'll have peace when we've killed all of our enemies, and not before!" then stalked off with the final remark, "You even look like one of those radicals!"
"From my perspective," said Brandon, "the best part of all was getting the chance to register some ex-felons who had supposed that their voting rights were lost for good, whereas in fact once out of prison and through with parole their privileges are restored automatically; all they need do is register just like anybody else."
The March 2 Spring Primaries take place in polling locations around Lake County. The election includes Presidential primaries, state propositions, the offices of District 1, District 4 and District 5 Supervisors and a parcel tax for Clearlake Oaks.