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Read about our 2024 letter to Governor Kotek (8/3/23)

• Portland Says: Bring Our War $$ Home! campaign (2011)

• Campaign to Keep Oregon's National Guard Home
from Iraq and Afghanistan (2008-2009)

Sample troops home resolutions/Oregon news
News from other cities/organizations (last updated 5/21/07)  


There are many aspects of the efforts to bring the troops who call Oregon home back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

On August 3, 2023 fifteen (later joined by another two) Oregon-based groups sent a letter to Governor Tina Kotek, asking her not to deploy National Guard troops to undeclared war zones, calling attention to the then-upcoming anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On August 19, 2022 a number of Oregon-based groups sent a letter to the gubernatorial candidates of the Democratic, Republican, Pacific Green and Libertarian Parties, the high-profile non-affiliated candidate, and the Working Families, Constitution, Independent and Progressive parties, asking them to pledge not to send the guard into undeclared wars overseas. The deadline for response is September 9, 2022; check back here for more information.

On November 5, 2021, about a week before Armistice Day (Veterans Day), 11 Oregon-based organizations looking at the US withdrawal from Afghanistan again sent a letter to Governor Brown urging her to keep Oregon's Guard home.

On October 5, 2020 14 Oregon-based organizations again wrote to Governor Brown urging her to bring the troops home. The letter notes that firefighting helicopters were not available to combat some of the state's worst wildfires because they were in Afghanistan. The 2020 letter was sent just days before the 19th anniversary of the US was in Afghanistan.

On November 8, 2019 14 organizations from around Oregon urged Governor Brown in a new letter to connect her refusal to send Guard members to patrol the border to the issue of illegal overseas deployments for war. The letter was sent just days before the 101st anniversary of Armistice Day.

On November 13, 2018 Peace and Justice Works re-sent the 2017 letter with a new message asking the Governor to extend her refusal to send Oregon National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border to any undeclared war.

On October 5, 2017 17 Oregon-based organizations, a military family and the national Veterans For Peace sent a letter Governor Kate Brown to keep the Oregon National Guard from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, in light of new threats of war under the Trump administration and the need for the Guard at home.

On July 5, 2016 20 organizations and a military family sent a letter to the gubernatorial candidates of the Democratic, Republican, Independent and Libertarian Parties, as well as the Pacific Green, Working Families, Constitution, and Progressive parties, asking them to pledge not to send the guard into undeclared wars overseas. As of August 1, 2016 five of the eight parties/candidates replied sypmathetically or in full support.

On September 11, 2015 7 organizations and individuals (which eventually totalled 11) sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown to keep the Oregon National Guard from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

On April 10, 2014 sixteen peace, veterans, faith and social justice organizations from Oregon sent a letter to Governor John Kitzhaber urging him to keep the Oregon National Guard from its planned deployment of 950 Oregonians to Afghanistan later in 2014. (Note: Following the sending of that letter, two more signatures-- one from Philip H. Randall of Central Oregon Peace Network in Bend, and one from Steven Amick of the Progressive Action Community Team in Clackamas County, were added to the list.)

On January 10, 2013 Peace and Justice Works and 12 other groups sent a letter to Governor John Kitzhaber calling for him to keep the National Guard in Oregon rather than deploying 1800 Oregonians to Afghanistan in 2014.

In January, 2012: Peace and Justice Works joined with other community groups calling for the Multnomah County Commission to pass a similar resolution..
More info

In August, 2011 Peace and Justice Works and other organizations started a local effort to ask City Council to pass a resolution calling on Congress to "Bring our war $$ home." The original idea grew from grassroots movements in Maine and elsewhere, that culminated in the passage of a resolution by the US Conference of Mayors in June, which Portland's Mayor, Sam Adams, supported. (The resolution was introduced by Eugene, OR Mayor Kitty Piercy.) Read the sample letter to City Council or download a printable .pdf version of the sample letter. City Council passed the resolution in January, 2012 by a vote of 3-0.

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In May, 2008, Oregon-based community groups began trying to keep the Oregon National Guard from being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a federal mobilization in summer, 2009.

The effort will include urging resolutions and legislation which the state of Oregon can use to challenge the federalization of the Guard. The main issues are that the Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) for the invasion of Iraq (October, 2002) and the "war on terror" (September 18, 2001) have no provisions to end those conflicts. Furthermore, the Iraq AUMF refers to the "national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforc[ing] all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq." It also references the regime of Saddam Hussein being in possession of weapons of mass destruction, harboring Al Quaida members responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, and enforcing UN resolutions against that regime, reasons which were never or are no longer valid. Click to read a draft resolution / piece of legislation . To help out, you can download a petition and send us the lists you gather 10 names at a time.

Groups working on this effort include Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-Portland, War Resisters League-Portland, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Community Alliance of Lane County, Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, Code Pink Portland, Women in Black, Metanoia Peace Community, Oregon Action, Portland Jobs with Justice, PCUN, five Veterans for Peace groups (two in Portland, plus Corvallis, Bandon and Grants Pass), and Military Families Speak Out-Oregon. Click here for a full list of supporting organizations and community leaders (47 as of 10/3/08).

Efforts in 2008-09 will include signature gathering, letter writing, educating elected officials on the local, state and national level on the issue, public visibility, and more. This effort is based on work done in Vermont, New Jersey, and elsewhere as a national campaign. Details are on the Oregon Guard Home campaign page.

In the summer of 2007, we helped gather signatures for a letter from local elected representatives calling for the troops to come home; it was signed by 61 elected officials in 27 Oregon counties including Multnomah County Commissioners Maria Rojo De Steffey and Jeff Cogen, State Representative Chip Shields, and Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard.

We also spread the word of a congressional letter by Rep. Lynn Woolsey that pledged only to allocate more money to bring the troops home from Iraq; that letter was signed by Reps. Blumenauer and DeFazio and a total of at least 89 members of the U.S. House.

From December 2006 to May 2007, the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group collaborated with the American Friends Service Committee, Military Families Speak Out-Oregon, and Rural Organizing Project among others to work for a statewide resolution in Oregon calling for the troops to come home. Click here for a list of all the cosponsors/endorsers of the community's proposed statewide resolution.

In mid-February, 2007 Oregon State House Joint Memorial 9 (draft) was published, urging the President not to send more troops to Iraq and calling for a withdrawal to begin "as soon as possible." A number of state legislators, including four who endorsed the Portland City Council resolution, sponsored or signed onto this Memorial (Reps. Chip Shields, Mitch Greenlick and Diane Rosenbaum, and Sen. Avel Gordly). 21 other legislators' names were also attached to the Memorial.

The Oregon House passed the statewide resolution (HJM 9) 33- 25 on Tuesday, March 20, 2007. Rather than take up HJM 9, the Senate Rules Committee voted to put Senate Memorial 1 (SM1) up for a vote. The Oregon Senate passed SM1 by a vote of 19-11 on May 1, 2007. SM 1 asks Congress to "exercise its appropriate constitutional authority to oppose the administration's escalation of United States forces in Iraq, and to move the United States toward a phased redeployment of United States forces out of Iraq with a responsible transition to Iraqi control of Iraq's security and of the personnel and resources necessary to achieve stability in Iraq."

The House vote followed hearing in the Elections, Ethics and Rules committee held on March 5 including the rousing and moving testimony of dozens of Oregonians in support of bringing the troops home. The amended resolution passed by the House made slight modifications, including moving the deadline to begin withdrawal from August 1, 2006 to "the first quarter of Fiscal year 2008" (which means between October 1 and December 31).

On November 30, 2006, on a 5-0 vote, Portland's City Council passed a resolution calling for the troops to come home in order to fund human needs. This victory was a result of work done by Peace and Justice Works' Iraq Affinity Group and the American Friends Service Committee, among others.

The City resolution was sponsored by Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard, whose vote against a similar resolution prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq led him to speak about how he felt he had been lied to by the administration, and felt this was a way to make right the mistake of supporting the war in the past.

Groups working on the Council effort included Military Families Speak Out-Oregon, Environmental Justice Action Group, Sisters of the Road, Oregon Action, Portland Area Rethinking Schools, and Portland Schools Alliance. (The full list of endorsers/cosponsors includes 50 groups and individuals.) Other information, can be found at the AFSC Portland website. This effort is focused on the cost of war in human terms and in the amount of resources that could be kept at home for education, health care, jobs, housing and the environment. We also have posted the original proposed resolution for other communities to look at as a model and to compare to the final version.

With Portland's vote and the Oregon legislature's chambers both passing resolutions, at least 170 cities/towns/counties/legislative districts and state legislatures had passed resolutions calling for the troops to come home and/or condemning the use of funds for war that could be spent locally.

In October, 2006, the Oregonian reported that "After once saying he supported President Bush's decision to invade Iraq, Gov. Ted Kulongoski now says the war 'is just spinning out of control' and the United States should set a strict timetable for getting out. In some of his strongest anti-war statements yet, Kulongoski told The Oregonian's editorial board that, like most of the American public, he believes the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq 'is making things worse. I don't think this is good for America.'"

Below is a letter sent by Peace and Justice Works to Governor Kulongoski asking him to bring Oregon's troops home in November, 2004. The Oregonian reported on December 17, 2004 that the risk of an Oregon National Guard member being killed in Iraq is about three times higher than for people from other states. The numbers in the article also show that Oregon's Guard members represent over six percent of Americans killed, though Oregon makes up only about one percent of the U.S. population.

Peace and Justice Works' Iraq Affinity Group, in conjunction with Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Northwest Veterans for Peace, Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, Women in Black, Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 and Military Families Speak Out of Oregon, launched a campaign to bring the troops home, beginning with a write-in campaign to Governor Kulongoski starting January 20, 2005. Please feel free to use our letter as a basis for writing, or print out a postcard to photocopy on card stock and mail in.

Also focusing on Gov. Kulongoski, Oregonians Against the War have a sample resolution for organizations to endorse.

On March 12, 2007, the Eugene City Council passed a resolution calling for the U.S. Government to immediately commence a withdrawal of United States military personnel from Iraq, and for Congress to only approve further funds to carry out a safe, rapid and orderly withdrawal and Iraqi reconstruction efforts.

A Corvallis City Council resolution was passed on February 21, 2006 calling for an "orderly, rapid, and comprehensive withdrawal of United States military personnel from Iraq." This was the result of work by the Benton County Democrats pushing a Benton County draft resolution calling for local bodies to support troop withdrawal (based on House Joint Resolution 55, which sets a timeline for troops to begin coming home by October 1, 2006, rather than immediately).

To see sample resolutions proposed by Oregon's chapters of Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families for Peace, as well as the resolution passed by the Multnomah County Democratic Central Committee and the resolution by Oregon's AFL-CIO, click here.

Nation-wide, several cities including Philadelphia and Chicago have called for the troops to come home, along with the national AFL-CIO, which prompted Oregon's AFL-CIO resolution.

When writing your own letter, you may wish to include a sentence noting that "Although the President is claiming the right to direct National Guard troops in Iraq under the 'emergency situation' created after 9/11, it has been proven that Iraq had nothing to do with the incidents with those hijacked planes, and therefore the troops can not be legally kept in Iraq with that justification."

Below our letter is the generic reply we received from the Governor (both on November 30, 2004 and January 12, 2005).

Please contact the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group at to let us know what you, your group, or your community is working on to bring Oregon's Troops Home Now!

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Peace and Justice Works
  PO Box 42456
  Portland, OR 97242
  (503) 236-3065 (Office)

Governor Ted Kulongoski
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047

November 26, 2004

Governor Kulongoski

We are writing today to ask you to withdraw Oregon's military support for the United States' action in Iraq. This action is not a lawful or just war. Oregon has given more than its fair share in human life and in money spent in military increases as we have seen our economy devastated.

According to the Oregon Blue Book, "By virtue of office, the governor is the peacetime commander-in-chief of the militia and may issue lawful regulations for its governance." This means that absent a formal declaration of war, the President cannot call up the National Guard, or the reserves, without your compliance.

We appreciated your statement several months ago challenging those legislators who voted to give the President the power to launch the attack on Iraq to attend the funerals of Oregon's sons and daughters along with you.

We hope that you will consider withdrawing support for this military action as one means to end your obligation to attend those funerals.

We are just as concerned about the people of Iraq, and are particularly worried that Oregonians were likely part of the recent siege on Fallujah. Imagine the City of Salem cut off from all humanitarian supplies, electricity and water, bombarded for months, then attacked by foreign troops, its churches destroyed and civilians killed along with suspected criminals--who for their part are not being arrested, but killed.

Governor Kulongoski, this state voted to reinstate all of its congressional delegates who voted against the President's power to attack Iraq. We urge you to protect us from further possible human rights violations and future attacks on this country. We were proud when Oregonians stood up for human rights in June and refused to allow abuse of Iraqi prisoners to go on. We have the chance to expand that record and refuse to send any more troops to Iraq.

Thank you,

Dan Handelman, board of directors         Yvonne Simmons, board of directors
on behalf of the members of Peace and Justice Works

Office of the Governor
State Capitol
Salem, OR 97310

November 30, 2004 (postmarked)

Theodore R. Kulongoski

Thank you for sharing your opinion and comments. I appreciate hearing from Oregonians who are concerned about their communities and state. I believe citizen input is vital to a strong and healthy society and I urge your continued involvement.

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Sample resolutions/Oregon news
News from other cities/organizations

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On This Page
Current/past efforts (8/20/22)
2008 campaign and prior efforts
2004 letter to Governor Kulongoski

Peace and Justice Works
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065

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Page posted January 19, 2005, updated most recently January 9, 2024