Welcome to The Peace Action of San Mateo County Newsletter UPDATE--Winter 2023


January 22 Virtual Meeting

Pulling us Back From the Nuclear Brink

The saber-rattling from Russia about using nuclear weapons in its war with Ukraine has been seen by many as a call for great concern…for many others a call to alarm. Even a “low-level” warhead would cause destruction comparable to or greater than what the U.S. did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. But an additional dreaded possibility – beyond normalizing the potential use of such destructive weaponry – would be of an escalation of nuclear hostilities among the superpowers that possess them. The end result would most likely be the end of life as we know it on this planet.

Dr. Ira Helfand and Jeremy Love, both members of the Back From the Brink Campaign, have done their share of thinking, strategizing and planning for an avoidance of a “Dr. Strangelove” ending to civilization. On the evening of Sunday, January 22 – one day after the 2nd anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), both will be the guest of PASMC for a virtual presentation called “Back from the Brink – a plan to deal with the growing threat of nuclear war.”

The subject matter will of course include that growing danger; the speakers will also delve into Back from the Brink’s Theory of Change, how that theory has helped informed its organizing model, what it looks like on the ground, and how people can get involved in the effort.

The January 22 event will begin at 7 PM on the Zoom platform. To get the link, go to www.sanmateopeaceaction.org or send an email to smpa@sanmateopeaceaction.org

Along with being a member of the Steering Committee of the Back from the Brink campaign, Ira Helfand, MD, is a member of the International Steering Group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, (ICAN), which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. He is also co-Founder and a Past President of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Jeremy Love is the lead organizing consultant with Back From the Brink. In addition to serving on its steering committee, he is also on the Board of Directors of both New Hampshire Peace Action and the Peace Action national organization.

On January 22, don’t miss this presentation about the what, why and how of stopping the insanity of nuclear weapons.


Summary of 10/23 Meeting

Another Cold War

The big picture of our current global situation sometimes seems as big as the globe itself, with a plethora of conflicts on which to focus – and the U.S. at the heart of some of them. That we continue to run up against the same adversarial situations, most notably Russia and China, suggests an inability to learn from the past and to perhaps a bit too much confidence about the present and the future. For our October meeting, Dr. Sharat Lin offered his take – with graphs, maps and pictures – at how the U.S. is dealing with its fellow “superpowers” in such a way as to keep tensions at a critical level. “The New Cold War”, as he entitled his talk, has a different cast of characters and circumstances than in the past, and the stakes are unique to this moment.

Sharat’s view of U.S. media, what he called “selective” coverage as opposed to that of the rest of the world, was part of his take on the Ukraine war and its circumstances. Departing from the “media line” that the conflict began with the Russian invasion, he called for a look at its “root causes”, and for the U.S. to play a bigger part in its end – rather than looking to Putin, though his lamentable strategy and tactics have isolated him politically.

Russia, Sharat said, has felt threatened by an expansion of NATO that could possibly include Ukraine. Such a move would break a promise to Russia by including the eastern European countries of the Warsaw Pact, which was dissolved by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 to end the Soviet Union. The addition of both Ukraine and Georgia to NATO, said Sharat, would remove the military “buffer” between Russia and the rest of Europe. (As has been suggested elsewhere in previous PASMC meetings, Sharat said the U.S. might react similarly to Russia if the latter put a military presence in Mexico or, as previously done, Cuba.)

When Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian then-president of Ukraine, moved to cancel its NATO application, he was met with an early-2014 uprising that began in Maidan Square in Kiev – supported by the U.S., and resulting in his overthrow. Sharat mentioned a far-right faction among those in that movement, though that did not reduce his criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – nor was he inclined to implicate Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy as complicit in that political complication. Sharat also noted an inherent political division in Ukraine between anti-Russian factions in the northwest and pro-Russian factions in the southeast – a byproduct of the Red Army’s conquest of the region.

Sharat addressed the energy issues that have helped complicate the war. The U.S., he said, played politics by supporting Ukraine gas shipments to western Europe through Russian pipelines. This was Nordstream 1, and the followup pipeline, Nordstream 2, was sanctioned and blocked due to the invasion. Both gas lines became a war issue when they were bombed, an incident that affected energy supplies for Europe and the world.

Sharat cited a “war of attrition” in the eight years leading up to Russia’s invasion, with estimates of 15,000 casualties from firearms and mines. He mentioned India Today and Al-Jazeera as examples of alternatives to one-sided U.S. coverage – offering stories of atrocities on both sides of the war, Russian food distribution in Mariupol, and Ukrainians fleeing with Russian troops, as opposed to being “kidnapped”. In saying “some of that may be true”, he showed how the fog of war can create different versions of events.

Sharat showed a map of the world indicating how countries voted on a UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia for the invasion. Three-quarters of the world voted in favor, but there were abstentions among several countries, including China, India, some of Central Asia, some of Africa and some of Latin America. He chalked those votes up to a feeling that Russia’s “legitimate security concerns” were being somewhat ignored. While asserting that a war was a poor choice of actions, Sharat felt some provocation had taken place – and felt that both the U.S. and Russia have resisted real attempts at negotiations or a ceasefire. He called for all sides to focus on the root causes of the war, in order to bring it to an end.

Sharat next turned to U.S. relations with China, and a situation that is more (for now) economic and technological than military. He noted China catching up in space launches as well as smartphone technology – in which it is gaining on the U.S. in market share, which has resulted in U.S. measures in 2020 against Chinese companies like Huawei. The trade deficit, Sharat added, also favors China – with the resulting trade war initiated by Donald Trump’s tariffs and China’s counter-tariffs. The latter were fewer, said Sharat, because China’s imports were fewer.

China’s policies, he said, have yielded mixed results: Its poverty program has helped 30 million of its citizens, and it has made advances in high-speed rail, solar and wind turbines and electric vehicles. But its shortcomings include more coal production and its COVID policies, which have met with much resistance. Sharat also addressed China’s reputation for a poor human rights record, which, while he sees it worsening, he feels has also been exaggerated in terms of its treatment of the Muslim Uyghur population (adding that some Uyghurs also fought with ISIS in Syria) as well as the oppressive image of its police force. It is such images that the U.S. invokes to advance a “Cold War” with China.

Sharat talked about sanctions, often considered a passive weapon of war. He noted three main sanctions “regimes”: The U.S., the UN (through the Security Council) and the European Union – and displayed a graphic of extensive overlap of sanctions among all three. The adding of sanctions of both Russia and China by the U.S. and the EU, he said, is an example of that overlap – and includes an already sizeable list of U.S.-sanctioned smaller countries.

Focusing on the U.S. role, Sharat said sanctions work because of the size of our economy compared to small countries such as Cuba, Iran and North Korea, among many others. The U.S. dollar, he added, comprises a very large share of global foreign exchange transactions, thus other countries’ currencies are limited in their ability to conduct such transactions. He cautioned, however, that “(sanctions) won’t work very well with China”, with that country’s larger economy; the result could be an economic hit should we ramp them up beyond the “selective” measures we currently impose.

The story of such results has yet to fully play out in the context of what Sharat calls “the new cold war”. But he generally puts the blame at the feet of the U.S., with an agenda to a fair degree about “control and manipulation”. Mentioning the China-based Shanghai Cooperation Association (which includes, he said, about half the world’s population and could increase), he noted it was not yet a military alliance, but could become one that counters the U.S. if we continue to push our policies. Sharat’s concern is that the world’s nations are being pushed to a point of taking different sides, with a “genuine military threat to world peace”, rather than “having a global alliance where we are all together.” The U.S. shares a responsibility, he concluded, for helping to eliminate the causes of wars.

Ron Zucker

Membership Report

Peace Action of San Mateo County welcomes back these renewing members:

Tara Bass, Minnette Berger, Marianna Lefever 


Summary of November 20 Virtual Meeting

Local Boy Makes Good Trouble

Longtime Veterans For Peace activist Gerry Condon grew up in San Mateo, but his activity in resisting war have taken him around the world – with his latest stop (at the time of his talk to PASMC) in the southern U.S. aboard The Golden Rule. This is a 34-foot sailboat bringing a message of the danger of nuclear weapons on its journeys. On November 20 Gerry spoke of his life as a war resister, an aid to other resisters, and a support person for The Golden Rule.

Gerry’s world was uprooted as a college student in the mid-1960s, with the Vietnam War in full swing and his application for Conscientious Objector status lost in military paperwork. As a U.S.-stationed medic in the Green Berets and hearing stories of atrocities from returning veterans, he began speaking out against a war of which he “(couldn’t) be a part of…”. He was kicked out of his Special Forces unit, ticketed for Vietnam, refused to go and dodged an impending 10-year prison sentence by escaping to Canada. Gerry’s next stop was Sweden, where he joined a “huge antiwar movement”, including the American Deserters Community.

When the war ended and an initiative for amnesty for Vietnam war resisters brought him back to the U.S. in 1975, Gerry joined a 50-city speaking tour spearheaded by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He noted that while his court martial sentence was dropped, his life mission became clear. “I’ve been a prisoner of the peace movement ever since,” he said.

His work continued alongside other veterans concerned about the U.S. aggressively influencing politics in Central America. In the 1980s Gerry’s projects included helping organize delegations to Nicaragua, where the



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Sandinista government was threatened by the Reagan administration’s support for the Contra rebels. His time on the VFP board has included heading the Golden Rule Committee. His wife, Helen Jaccard, is the boat’s project manager.

Gerry gave a visual presentation about The Golden Rule, “…sailing for a nuclear free world and a peaceful, sustainable future, we like to say.” He recounted how in 1958 four Quaker activists – including a naval commander who had resigned his commission over the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, bought the boat and sailed for the Marshall Islands to interfere with the nuclear testing there. Such tests between 1946 and 1958, said Gerry, have been marked by birth defects, cancer and an inability to cultivate local seafood and agriculture. The boat’s voyage was an early example of emerging nonviolent direct action and lobbying in opposition to nuclear weapons and their effects.

The Atomic Energy Commission countered the voyage with “The Golden Rule Rule”, which made it illegal for any boat to sail to the Marshall Islands – which the AEC had already declared “off limits”. The boat’s first attempt to approach the area was foiled by bad weather; its second and third attempts were met with arrests by the Coast Guard, and eventual imprisonment in Honolulu. There a local protest resulted in the crew’s release and departure.

Soon after, the boat went to new ownership and was lost track of. But when members found out it had sunk and then brought to shore in Humboldt Bay in 2010, VFP got it back, restored it and by 2015 it was sailing again – first to that year’s VFP convention in San Diego, then up and down the west coast with presentations about nuclear war. Its stops included a Trident submarine base in Bangor, WA, as well as various Fleet Week events meant to glorify the military. In 2019, with the idea of going back to the Marshall Islands and then Japan, the Golden Rule stopped in Hawaii about the time the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and there it stayed for nearly two years. Gerry lauded that time as useful in learning about the impact of U.S. bases on Hawaii’s environment. “We made a lot of wonderful friends” there, he said.

After sailing back to California, the boat’s committee moved forward on a plan to sail all of the U.S. navigable waters to continue bringing “a message of peace and disarmament” – including the importance of the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). With fundraising and logistical support from VFP chapters all around, The Golden Rule was transported to Hudson, WI, from where it sailed to Minneapolis to being its voyage over “The Great Loop” – down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, up the Atlantic Coast, through the Hudson River to the Great Lakes and eventually back to the Mississippi. (With a projected stop in Washington, DC in May, Gerry noted the crew will invite members of Congress and international diplomats on board.)

He recalled an early stop on this current trip in Dubuque, IA, the home of a Marshallese community that had migrated when the islands became difficult to inhabit. The reception and ceremonies, he said, brought good publicity to both the voyage and the Marshallese’s story.

At the time of our November meeting, the boat was getting ready to take an alternative route from the lower Mississippi, which Gerry noted climate change has rendered (at present) not navigable. After it arrives in Key West, FL, the crew has decided in early January to make a “side trip” to Cuba – to bring attention to its destruction from Hurricane Ian, commemorate the Cuban Missile Crisis and criticize the U.S. blockade.

Gerry concluded with words about other VFP activity, including its Nuclear Abolition Working Group, which came out with its own “Nuclear Posture Review” while waiting for the official version from the Biden administration. The VFP document calls for the U.S. to move toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, sign the TPNW, adopt a no-first-use policy and remove sole authority to launch a nuclear strike (those last two provisions, he said, are in the Biden NPR). VFP is also part of the Peace in Ukraine Coalition, joining the call for a ceasefire and negotiations, and echoing the wide concern of a possible nuclear escalation. It is an appropriate hope that the U.S. can lead the way toward disarmament.

Ron Zucker

Log on to www.veteransforpeace.org   


Commentary on December 18 Video Screening

Medea speaks for her new book and for peace

In December we featured a film which was a shortened adaptation of Medea Benjamin’s new book (also short at 180 pages) called “War in Ukraine – Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict”. In the book, Medea and co-author Nicolas J.S. Davies give us a short history of U.S. interference in the region from about 2014 onward.

Still unknown is the extent of the effect of the influence of Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland on the actual events, but it was not for the want of trying. She was caught on phone recordings specifying who was and was not acceptable to her and the Obama administration during the Maidan upheavals of that time. The stoking and approval of the various extreme nationalist movements were certain to end with rigid right-wing forces working their will on the outcome.

So here we are some years later and Putin loses patience with what he perceives as a threat on his border and endangering his only naval outlet to the Black Sea. The one clear reality is that Putin totally misjudged the situation and blundered into a briar patch from which no easy escape is possible without severe embarrassment. Unfortunately that is generally the cause of unending conflict. We all hope that cool heads prevail and some sort of ending that will naturally be unpalatable but tolerable to all sides can be cobbled together before much longer.

You can get “War in Ukraine…” by logging on to www.codepink.org and clicking “CODEPINK STORE”.

Mike Caggiano



Where Is the Debate Over This

Bloated, Immoral Pentagon Budget?

Why we’re not even debating the largest defense budget in history

By Robert Reich, December 19, 2022

Congress (gave) final approval to a national military budget for the fiscal year that is expected to reach about $858 billion – or $45 billion more than President Biden had requested and 8 percent more than last year.

This is its highest level of military spending (adjusted for inflation) since the peaks in the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars between 2008 and 2011. It’s the second-highest military spending since World War II. It’s more than the budgets for the next 10 largest cabinet agencies combined. It’s larger than the military spending of the next 10 largest military powers in the world combined. Expect it to be even more. Congress is considering an extra $21.7 billion for the Pentagon to resupply materials used in Ukraine.

Don’t fall for the myth that this humongous sum is going to our troops. What’s spiking is spending on weapons (including a 55 percent jump in Army funding for new missiles and a 47 percent jump for the Navy's weapons purchases).

All told, more than half of this giant spending budget is going to for-profit companies (such as Lockheed, Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, BAE, and Northrop Grumman) whose stock prices are surging. The profits are going into executive pay, shareholder dividends, and stock buybacks. This is the military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned of – on steroids.

And yet, there's almost no debate. Why?

Most Americans aren’t aware of what’s happening. And many of those who do know aren’t tracking the humongous size of this relative to previous military spending. And no one is hearing any arguments on the other side.

Yes, of course, America has to worry about Putin, China, Iran, and North Korea. But before deciding to spend so much, we might at least expect some, er, discussion.

How on Earth are we supposed to believe we “can't afford” paid family leave, an expanded child tax credit, Medicare for all, or universal pre-K when our politicians are willing to spend $858 billion on the military without batting an eye? Worse yet: No one knows where all this the money is going.

The Pentagon just failed its annual audit for the fifth year in a row. “I would not say that we flunked,” said DoD Comptroller Mike McCord, although his office did admit that the Pentagon only managed to account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. The U.S. military is the only U.S. government agency to have never passed a comprehensive audit.

Cost overruns are legion. The Pentagon’s failed F-35 program has exceeded its original budget by $165 billion to date. It's projected to cost more than $1.7 trillion. “Guns versus butter” is the old story. Now it’s extraordinary bloat versus unnecessary misery for American families struggling with a cost-of-living crisis exacerbated by inflation.

A recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found that most American workers have become poorer over the past year because their real wages haven't kept up with inflation. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

So back to my question: Why no real debate?

Because support for military spending is bipartisan. No lawmaker wants to be portrayed as weak on national defense. Democrats have been jumping onto the military spending bandwagon as fast as Republicans.

Bipartisanship is not always good. In fact, it's a problem when, as now, the lack of political conflict means no news. Absent political conflict, there's no story. Without a story, there’s no debate or discussion in the media. Absent any debate in the media, most Americans have no idea what’s happening.

We’re sleepwalking through history.


From the Twitterverse


This defense budget is $87 billion more than in 2021. With that kind of money we could:

✅ Cut child poverty with the expanded Child Tax Credit

✅ Make housing more affordable by expanding vouchers

✅ Uplift working families with the Earned Income Tax Credit

6:15 PM · Dec 14, 2022

Occupation in Palestine

“Occupation, curfew, settlements, closed military zone, administrative detention, siege, preventive strike, terrorist infrastructure, transfer. Their WAR destroys language. Speaks genocide with the words of a quiet technician.

Occupation means that you cannot trust the OPEN SKY, or any open street near to the gates of a sniper’s tower. It means that you cannot trust the future or have faith that the past will always be there.

Occupation means you live out your live under military rule, and the constant threat of death, a quick death from a sniper’s bullet or a rocket attack from an M16.

A crushing, suffocating death, a slow bleeding death in an ambulance stopped for hours at a checkpoint. A dark death, at a torture table in an Israeli prison: just a random arbitrary death.

A cold calculated death: from a curable disease. A thousand small deaths while you watch your family dying around you.

Occupation means that every day you die, and the world watches in silence. As if your death was nothing, as if you were a stone falling in the earth, water falling over water.

And if you face all of this death and indifference and keep your humanity, and your love and your dignity and YOU refuse to surrender to their terror, then you know something of the courage that is Palestine.”

Suheir Hammad – Jordan-born American poet, author, actress, performer, and activist


“How, then, does one become an activist?

The easy answer would be to say that we do not become activists; we simply forget that we are. We are all born with compassion, generosity, and love for others inside us. We are all moved by injustice and discrimination. We are all, inside, concerned human beings. We all want to give more than to receive. We all want to live in a world where solidarity and companionship are more important values than individualism and selfishness. We all want to share beautiful things; experience joy, laughter, love; and experiment, together.”

Noam Chomsky, On Palestine


Time for a Wealth Tax

What do you think about the Billionaire space race? While the nation and many individuals barely make the rent and food, these guys spend and spend on their own personal space junkets.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is floating a “wealth Tax” for those who usually pay less than we do each year.

The pandemic made billionaires like Jeff Bezos richer than ever – their wealth grew exponentially! But billionaires still pay a lower tax rate than working class Americans. It’s so unfair, and it’s why we need a wealth tax ASAP.

According to Sen. Sanders, a wealth tax would:

  • Bolster Social Security
  • Expand Medicare
  • Fund public education

If the ultra-rich paid their fair share, there’d be no limit to what could be done for working families.

Sounds like a plan to me!

Mike Caggiano

Action Alert

Keep Talking About Nuclear Weapons Reduction

Thanks to the Arms Control Association for the basis of this alert.

For five decades (since the beginning of the first cold war), U.S. and Russian leaders have understood very well that verifiable cuts in their respective nuclear arsenals are in their national security interests, as well as those of the global community. But as 2023 begins, talks on nuclear arms control matters remain on hold as Vladimir Putin’s illegal and disastrous war on Ukraine rages on.

The last remaining treaty regulating the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals, New START, is set to expire in February 2026. Unless Washington and Moscow begin serious negotiations on a new nuclear arms control framework, Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals will at that point be left unconstrained for the first time since 1972. The dangers of an all-out nuclear arms race with Russia (and China) will grow that much more.

On August 1, President Biden announced that he was “ready to expeditiously negotiate a new arms control framework to replace New START when it expires in 2026. But negotiation requires a willing partner operating in good faith.” At that time, Putin said, “Russia is open to dialogue on ensuring strategic stability…and improving the situation in arms control.” But a week later Russia announced that it would not allow the resumption of U.S. inspections in Russia under New START due to the impact of U.S. travel and visa restrictions on Russian inspections. The U.S. has said talks on a follow-on agreement cannot begin until New START inspections resume.

The two sides had agreed to meet Nov. 28 to resolve the issues, but at the 11th hour, Russia announced it would not attend, claiming that it is “impossible to discuss strategic stability” against the background of the situation in Ukraine. Facing criticism, Russian officials later claimed that Russia had not “canceled” but “postponed” the New START meeting until sometime in 2023, and that Russia is interested in negotiating a new nuclear arms control agreement before 2026, but Washington must take the first step.

When talks resume, the two sides will need to pursue practical solutions to resolve the substantive issues on the bilateral nuclear arms control agenda. At a minimum, the two presidents could issue unilateral reciprocal commitments to respect the central limits of New START until such time as new agreements are concluded.

Russia's war on Ukraine notwithstanding, it will be important to keep pressure on Washington and Moscow to start serious negotiations on a new arms control framework to supersede New START. For us, this will include building Congressional support for maintaining commonsense nuclear arms control limits with Russia – as well as engaging in risk reduction talks with China. We will also want to raise public awareness of what is at stake and collaborate with other organizations to amplify a call for real disarmament results.

Action: Contact President Biden to insist he make every effort to resume the dialogue with Russia on disarmament. Also contact Rep. Kevin Mullin or Anna Eshoo, or whomever represents you – as well as Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla – and ask for their support for Biden’s call for negotiations to further reduce deadly U.S. and Russian arsenals. 

Pardon a Whistleblower

In mid-2021, former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst Daniel Hale was sentenced to 45 months in prison under the Espionage Act, for divulging classified documents about the military’s secretive and highly controversial drone assassination program. Serving as an analyst between 2009 and 2013, He was involved in identifying, tracking, and targeting “high-value” terrorism suspects in 2012 in Afghanistan while working with the DOD’s Joint Special Operations Task Force.

In exposing the drone program, Hale gave the public access to critical information regarding a taxpayer-funded, internationally targeted killings program. The documents he provided, which were in a report by The Intercept entitled “The Drone Papers,” showed that during a five-month period in Afghanistan, nearly 90% of people killed by the drone program were not the intended targets.

Hale explained his belief to the presiding judge “that to stop the cycle of violence, (he) ought to sacrifice (his) own life and not that of another person.” The bigger issue here isn’t Hale’s decision to come forward, but the actual program itself (which government and military officials have continuously downplayed and lied about.) Clearly he felt more allegiance to humanity than he did to waging war. As for the government’s case, while prosecutors claimed Hale’s actions put “national security” at risk, no evidence emerged that what Hale revealed had resulted in any direct harm.

Hale is serving his sentence in a “communication management unit” (CMU) at the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. CMUs have been condemned by human rights experts for severely restricting inmates’ communications with their families and the outside world and have earned the nickname “Little Guantanamo.” Without intervention from the Biden administration, he will remain in prison until July of 2024.

Action: Contact President Biden and tell him to pardon whistleblower Daniel Hale. Suggest that Americans have a fundamental right to know about gross and immoral misuse of power within our government, especially at the expense of innocent lives.

Restore the Right to Asylum

Common sense and basic humanity suggest migrants should be welcomed with dignity and have their human rights respected. But with the help of the previous administration, some in Congress and the Supreme Court, the U.S. is failing its obligation to do that. For the past two years, we have turned away hundreds of thousands of migrants at the Mexico border under Title 42. This anti-immigrant policy has returned many people back to dangerous conditions, and forced others to take treacherous routes – facing extreme heat, violence, and even death – or remain in substandard makeshift camps.

Title 42 expired in December, the high court temporarily stopped the Biden administration from ending it, and several states are pushing to extend this cruel policy no matter the final legal decision. According to the American Friends Service Committee, the Biden administration is considering other new measures to bar migrants from seeking asylum – as well as further militarize our southern border.

Action: Contact Rep. Mullin or Eshoo, as well as Sens. Feinstein and Padilla, to support any efforts in 2023 to restore the right to asylum, and welcome migrants with the dignity and compassion everyone deserves. That could include legislation to extend Title 42, but Congress should also support federal funding for local organizations assisting those arriving at the border – in order to meet their immediate needs, secure transport to any final destinations in the U.S., and guide them through the asylum process. Suggest that people fleeing dangerous situations in their home countries need to be welcomed with dignity, rather than turned away or treated inhumanely.


Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Senator Dianne Feinstein                                  

One Post St., Ste 2450                      San Francisco, CA 94104   

(202) 224-3841                                     fax: (202) 228-3954        

(415) 393-0707                                     fax (415)393-0710


Senator Alex Padilla                                        

333 Bush Street, Ste. 3225        San Francisco, CA 94104
(202) 224-3553                                fax: (202) 224-2200

(415) 981-9369                               fax: (202) 224-0454


Representative Kevin Mullin 

1528 S. Camino Real, Ste. 307   San Mateo, CA  94402

(202) 225-3531                


Representative Anna Eshoo                                                                             

698 Emerson Street                   Palo Alto, CA 94301    

(202) 225-8104                            (650) 323-2984                                   


President Joe Biden

The White House 

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW,  Washington, DC   20500                (202)456-1111:                         


Find out who your Representative is: www.house.gov

If you are not in California, identify your senators here: www.senate.gov

The Update is published quarterly by Peace Action of San Mateo County. We welcome all submissions and letters, and reserve the right to exclude or edit for content and other considerations. The views expressed within are not necessarily those of the members of Peace Action of San Mateo County or Peace Action.

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that...people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war... Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. That's our problem.”
Howard Zinn, “Failure to Quit”