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The Power of a Petition

Posted: 04/21/11 03:16 PM ET

This year, Congo is having an election.

An election you say? So what, elections happen all the time.

Not in Congo they don't.

This election, happening this year, will be the first time in history the people of Congo will get to vote in two consecutive elections. The first was 2006. The second is this November.

Here's what's important: It's not the first election that matters to a country emerging from war -- it's the second. The United States didn't become a democracy when George Washington was elected. It was when George Washington peacefully gave power to John Adams. That's the moment that matters. That transfer of power is the moment that determines the trajectory of a nation.

This is not current events y'all. This is not the nightly news, where: "Man this thing happened and that thing happened and did you hear about this? Oh my goodness how crazy, so sad, tear," before you laugh and back on your phone.

This is history. This is the path of a people. 68 million people to be exact.

Look, a couple years ago we didn't care either. I was just backpacking, trying to find my own path, when we stumbled into a military encampment beating former child-soldiers and treating them like enemies of the state.

Each of the five boys had been recruited by rebels. Forced to kill. And then had escaped.

They ran to the national army for refuge and were beaten for their crimes.

That was the first day we realized if you want to help children you have to reform the government.

Falling Whistles has joined together with eight other organizations in a single, united petition. This petition calls on President Obama and Secretary Clinton to appoint a Special Envoy to Congo and the Great Lakes.

We launched the petition on a Monday, got 10,000 signatures, and by Friday 35 Congressmen had sent a Letter to both the President and the Secretary.

Today we start on the Senate.

The thing is -- it's already Law. And you want to know who wrote the Bill asking for a Special Envoy? Senator Obama and Senator Clinton.

When Obama was a freshman Senator he tried to pass 156 pieces of legislation. A single bill passed. In it he called on the United States to appoint a Special Envoy to Congo and the Great Lakes Region.

This is not the day for compassion. This is not the day for your donation. This is the day for action. Your action.

Sign the petition. And get your family and ten friends to join you. I mean, when was the last time you called your mom? Here's your excuse.

Now, I'm not a big fan of experts. They tend to be know-it-alls with little practical understanding. But in this case, every single expert we've spoken with has agreed with every single organization focused on Congo. We need a Special Envoy.

Let's take a serious step toward peace in our world's deadliest war. President Obama and Secretary Clinton, please, appoint a Special Envoy to Congo and the Great Lakes Region.

 

Follow Sean Carasso on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@seancarasso