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Standing on the podium last week with fellow progressive Democrats running for U.S. Congress, introducing our plan to end the war in Iraq, was both exciting and solemn; inspiring because we have a plan that offers hope both at home and abroad, but solemn because of the massive toll that includes the 4,000 U.S. troops that have been killed, the thousands upon thousands who have been injured, and the nearly one million Iraqis who are dead or displaced.

I returned from my trip to Iraq with observations very different than the portrayal of events in the mainstream media. Since then, I have made ending the war the centerpiece of my campaign for US Congress.

Not content to wait for our elected Democrats in Washington to take action, seven of us running for Congress are taking on the mantle of leadership early and have released a responsible plan to end the Iraq war. I am proud to be part of puttinig forward a comprehensive plan to end  the war in Iraq and win the peace. Since the release of the Responsible Plan, the momentum has been building and now over 30 candidaes for federal office including two Senate candidates have signed on.

We announced the plan at the Take Back America Conference last week in Washington DC. Take Back America is

With a real sense that progressive ideology is on the ascendancy, close to 2,000 progressive leaders and grassroots activists prepared to implement strategies designed to bring about a dramatic, long-term change in the political landscape.

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What an amazing conference. Seeing and talking to young, diverse progressive from across the country was incredibly invigorating. There was a "blogger’s alley" with dozens of progressive new media leaders typing away, and representatives from most of the national organizations doing important work across the country on fairness and social justice issues.  People of all colors, sizes, and ages came together around our common agenda of moving our country forward.

Passing through, I saw a number of friends from Colorado and across the country and it was great to catch up with them. I look forward to being a liaison in Congress between the budding progressive infrastructure being built nationally and our elected members of Congress.

It’s critical that we elect leaders who are ready to assume the mantle of leadership and hit the ground running. Over thirty candidates for federal office have now signed onto our plan to end the Iraq War, and those of us who sign on from our class will have a clear mandate when we’re elected and sworn into office.

Our Responsible Plan also addresses critical issues that we need to tackle in the aftermath of the Iraq war: The refugee crisis of the millions of displaced Iraqis, the use of mercenaries in combat operations, and the erosion of our constitutional protections.

It will likely fall upon our new Congress to end the war and fix the many problems that result from our misguided imperialistic adventures. I am ready and look forward to the challenge.

Our plan will:
1.End U.S. Military Action in Iraq
2.Use U.S. diplomatic power
3.Address humanitarian concerns including the refugee crisis
3.Restore our Constitution and civil liberties
4.Restore our military and end the use of mercenaries in combat operations
5.Restore independence to the media
6.Create a new, U.S.-centered energy policy

You can join our broad-based effort by signing onto the plan at:
The Responsible Plan

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Chellie Pingree's great photographer was nice enough to email some pictures over

Jared Polis
www.polisforcongress.com
Candidate for US Congress, Colorado-02

I also want to plug two of my favorite fellow Congressional candidates this cycle (help them out if you can!):
Darcy Burner who helped organize and spearhead the creation of the plan is running for Congress in Washington State

and

Chellie Pingree the former Executive Director of Common Cause running for Congress in Maine (we need more good government people in Congress!)

Originally posted to Jared Polis on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:00 PM PDT.

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