July 10, 2014

You’ll Never Believe What I Heard

I heard one of the most hair-raising statements in my years of involvement with the Iranian-American community during a meeting with a Congressional staffer in the San Francisco Bay Area a few weeks ago.

The Congressional aide and I were having what felt like a substantive and positive discussion about the implications of securing a nuclear deal with Iran. She was strikingly informed about the history of US-Iran relations and clear about the need to avoid war.

Join our national campaign to secure a comprehensive deal on July 20: /sealthedeal

As we reached a lull in conversation, she told me that our talk was “refreshing” compared to those she has had with other Iranian Americans. Curious, I asked about those conversations, and her response shocked me: 

“Have you heard of the Mujahedin e-Khalq? We hear from their constituents on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis. Until my conversation with you today, they were the only Iranian Americans to contact us. I wish we were hearing from your folks as often. What you’re saying actually makes a lot of sense, and I think the Congressman would agree.”

I immediately thought of one of the mantras I heard while working on the 2008 Presidential election, which remains etched in my mind: When you stop pushing for your side of any political fight, that means your opposition is working twice as hard as you, and that’s how they’ll win.

This reminder is more applicable than ever to the pro-peace, pro-diplomacy majority of Iranian Americans. As we sit on the brink of a diplomatic resolution between the US and Iran, we are faced with the greatest opportunity in a generation: to fundamentally transform the future of our nations’ relationship, secure peace, and finally be able to effectively directly impact issues such as human rights.

In a moment as critical as this, we cannot passively stand by as our pro-war opponents secure an anti-peace, anti-diplomacy agenda with our members of Congress.

Effective, high-impact civic engagement isn’t rocket science. The toolkit required for results-oriented, successful grassroots civic action includes grit, passion, smarts, strategic thinking, organized people, and organized money.

The pro-peace, pro-diplomacy majority of our community has all the pieces of that puzzle, and then some. It’s time to step up and work together to make history.

That’s exactly why NIAC launched its #SealTheDeal campaign last month. Through this effort, we have built local grassroots teams in 20 key Congressional districts nationwide. Spearheaded by 30 bright, hard-working, and tough District Team Captains, our inspiring volunteer teams have already led strategy sessions in communities across the nation, educating Iranian Americans on the implications of a diplomatic deal and inviting additional community members to join.

Now, in these final days before July 20, these grassroots teams are leading in-district constituent meetings with their Senators and Representatives’ offices. These conversations aim to convince key Members of Congress to stand up publicly on the right side of history, and express support of a nuclear deal.

We are the majority. We cannot allow ourselves to be outvoiced by our opponents, and the stakes are simply too high not to put our strongest foot forward. Let’s work twice as hard as them and #SealTheDeal. Join us by signing up here

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