Champions for Peace, Running for Congress:

Representative Clarke (NY-9), Representative Nadler (NY-13), Representative Paul Tonko (NY-20), Zephyr Teachout (NY-19) and Derickson Lawrence (NY-16) have been endorsed by Peace Action New York State.


Peace Action New York State is endorsing several candidates for Congress who are champions for a common sense foreign policy that prioritizes diplomacy and peace-driven solutions to today’s most entrenched conflicts. We know that bombing will not create peace, and we will elect leaders who share our vision of a world without war. Here are our 2016 endorsements for Congress:

Representative Paul Tonko (D – NY20)
Representative Tonko signed the recent bipartisan Dear Colleague letter in Congress, asking President Obama to postpone the 1.15 billion dollar sale of U.S. arms to Saudi Arabia because of their ongoing war crimes in Yemen, committed with U.S. weapons. He was one of only two New York Representatives to sign this letter – the other was Representative Nadler. Along with Peace Action, according to his voting record, Representative Tonko supports the Iran Deal, Syrian and Iraqi refugee resettlement in the United States, and Congressional debate on a new AUMF.

Representative Yvette Clarke (D- NY9)
Rep. Yvette Clarke has been the representative for New York’s 9th congressional district since 2013. From 2007 to 2012, she was the representative for New York’s 11th congressional district. She has a history of using her role in Congress to push peace-related agendas. She was among the large group of Members of Congress to send a letter to President Obama asking him to allow Congress to debate on alternatives to sending ground troops to Syria. She also joined Rep. Jim Himes to call for multilateral international negotiations to end the Syrian Civil War as an alternative to US military intervention.

She has been vocal against legislation and initiatives to restrict Syrian and Iraqi resettlement in the US, calling it a “violation of these refugees’ basic rights”. She would advocate for the refugee resettlement above 10,000 persons. Rep. Clarke supports taking practical steps towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, believing in a nuclear-free world. Because of this stance, she would not support the proposal for the $1T nuclear weapons modernization budget or the Long Range Stand Off missile. Rep. Clarke was a supporter of the Iran JCPOA. She believes that the government needs to consider alternatives to US military involvement when it comes to looking for solutions to end terrorism in the Middle East, as “The Iraq war cost the US billions of dollars and, most importantly, has not solved the issue, but worsened it.” Rep. Clarke co-sponsored the Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act, which “allocated funds only for purposes of providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY10)
Rep. Jerry Nadler has been the representative for New York’s 10th congressional district since 2013. He has previously represented New York’s 8th (1993-2013) and 17th congressional districts (1992-1993). Rep. Nadler has faced a lot of backlash from his district’s largely Jewish population for ultimately endorsing the Iran Nuclear Deal, a decision he believes was “our best chance for averting a nuclear-armed Iran”. He faced similar backlash in 2002, as New York’s only Jewish member of Congress to vote against authorizing war in Iraq.

Derickson Lawrence (I – NY16)
Derickson Lawrence is running for the 16th Congressional District of New York, challenging incumbent Representative Engel. He reached out to PANYS to better understand the Syria crisis, after seeing one of our action alerts, and consistently turns to us for policy and messaging advice on foreign policy issues. Many of his views align with PANYS. He opposes a no-fly zone in Syria and supports the current diplomatic efforts to end the Civil War in Syria, along with alternatives to US military intervention. He supports taking practical steps towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, and therefore does not support the current proposal for the $1T nuclear weapons modernization budget. He supports the Iran JCPOA and would support an international ban on autonomous weapons.

Zephyr Teachout (D-NY19)
Zephyr Teachout is running for the 19th Congressional District of New York. She has been endorsed by Bernie Sanders. She opposed the war in Iraq and disagreed with President Obama on the intervention in Libya. Her campaign page indicates that she would work as “a voice of restraint against reckless wars in the Middle East and around the world” and would advocate “for international alliances to prevent dictators from obtaining nuclear weapons, and working in coalition to prevent the root causes of radicalization and terror that have given rise to ISIS and al-Qaeda”. She also opposes the TPP.