Keep the Guard in Oregon Updates and Action Alert

Thursday, March 19th

The vast majority of the 3000 Oregon Guard soldiers who will head to Iraq later this year will be leaving for annual training in California in late March/early April, then shipping out to Georgia for final reparations–unless the Governor takes action to keep them home. Even if they do get deployed, passing the Guard Home legislation will help prevent future call-ups that are not properly authorized.

The Campaign to Keep Oregon’s Guard in Oregon continues to move forward; with an excellent hearing held in the House Rules committee last Wednesday (audio at, a well-covered rally and march on Sunday, and legislative visits to nearly every member of the legislature on Monday.

In order to get the measures (HB 2556, HR 4 and SR 1), through the process, we want to be sure to have firm pledges from 31 members of the house and 16 members of the Senate to vote for the bill and resolutions. We don’t have an exact count right now, but these numbers are not terribly out of reach now that Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point, HD 4) is supporting the proposed revised version of HB 2556 (known as 2556-1, below).

We know many of you called and wrote your representatives last month, but it is time to contact them again! We need them to make a firm commitment to the Guard Home legislation.

The legislators who are co-sponsoring the Oregon bill and resolutions are: Representatives Jules Kopel-Bailey, Michael Dembrow, Chris Edwards, Mitch Greenlick, Jim Thompson, Carolyn Tomei and Chip Shields. The Senators are: Laurie Monnes-Anderson, Rod Monroe, Bill Morrisette, Diane Rosenbaum, Vicki Walker and Martha Schrader. Public statements of support have also come from Reps. Dennis Richardson (for HB 2556-1) and Sara Gelser, and support has been indicated wholly or as a "maybe" from numerous other legislators.

If your legislator is on this list, thank them; if not, please urge them to vote for HB 2556 and HR 4/SR 1. To find your legislator’s info, go to .

Here is a quick guide of what to say:

I am calling/writing the Representative/Senator to ask for your firm commitment to vote in favor of the Guard Home legislation, HB 2556 and HR 4 (or SR 1 for a Senator).

The bill’s intention, clearly laid out in the revised version co-authored by Rep. Shields and Rep. Richardson, is merely to restate existing law that the Governor should not release the Guard into federal service without Congressional authorization.

This bill in no way questions the service of the men and women of our National Guard, and in many ways supports their service to our state, ensuring that they
will only be called up by the federal government by legal means.

The companion resolution, HR 4, asserts that the authorizations for the conflict in Iraq has expired, and the authorization for the "war on terror" is too broad, allowing for a perpetual call-up of the Guard.

The House Rules committee held a Public Hearing on March 11 (audio available at

As House Rules Chair Roblan is seeking to be sure there are 31 votes for either or both of these measures before holding a work session, we are hoping we can
count on your vote at least on HB 2556-1 (text appended below) to ensure the Guard is only used under a lawful order.

Will you, Rep./Sen _______, pledge to vote for HB 2556 and/or HR 4 or SR 1?

Thank you again for your time.

(your name)

Text of HB 2556-1

      SECTION 1.

      (1) As used in sections 1 to 3 of this 2009 Act, "organized militia" means the Oregon Army National Guard and the Oregon Air National Guard.

      (2) The organized militia is limited to service on behalf of the State of Oregon unless the organized militia is called into federal service pursuant to a valid Congressional enactment consistent with the Constitution of the United States of America.


Here are the people to call. Don’t forget the toll free number to get through to any of these offices–1-800-332-2313:

Speaker of the House, Representative Dave Hunt (House District 40/Gladstone): 503-986-1200

Chair of the House Rules Committee: Representative Arnie Roblan (House District 9/Coos Bay): 503-986-1409

Vice-Chair House Rules Committee: Representative Vicki Berger (HD20-Salem): 503-986-1420

Representative Tobias Read (HD27-Beaverton): 503-986-1427

Representative Mary Nolan (HD36-Portland): 503-986-1900

Representative Bill Garrard (HD56-Klamath Falls): 503-986-1456

Representative Bob Jenson (HD58-Pendleton): 503-986-1458

Representative Sara Gelser (HD16-Corvallis): 503-986-1416

Here are other points you can make

**In January at the Capitol, a campaign of 56 organizations delivered the names of over 7000 people from across the state who want legislation to keep our Guard home.

**22 states plus Washington DC are now participating in the nationwide effort to keep the Guard home.

**Voting for House Joint Memorial (HJM) 5 is not an acceptable substitute to passing the bill and resolutions calling on the Governor to keep the Guard in Oregon. While it is not harmful for the Legislature to "send a message to Congress," the Governor must take a stand against the misuse of the National Guard.

Thank you so much and let’s keep the pressure on to Keep Oregon’s Guard in Oregon.

–Dan Handelman
for the Campaign to Keep Oregon’s Guard in Oregon.

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