Thursday, September 21, 2006

Update: HR 5680

I just talked to Hastert's office. They are deluged and aware-- and frankly a little weary.

I have gotten a few emails demonizing Hastert. Hello?! Exactly what happened to Donald Payne. Am I missing something? Do we Ethiopians “need” an enemy to galvanize?

As I understand it, we just need to ask the Speaker to schedule HR 5680 for a vote. And the strongest reason why it should be voted on is because it is in the best interest of the US—encouraging human rights and democracy are the best ways to combat extremism in a volatile Horn of Africa. Period. I am not sure I understand the two-week “do or die” deadline that is driving a mini-frenzy. Yes, there is recess coming up, but by no means is this bill doomed if it is not on the docket in two weeks.

People have to be methodical and calm. Fighting for democracy is not a “quick result” game where we think if we do X then Y must follow or the entire equation is wrecked. Sometimes you have to go through V to get to Y.

Thank you Aba Doyo from the comments section for the link to The Hill article. It was fascinating. Lobbying congress is a fine art. Alliances have to be nurtured and courted. This is a long-term commitment and not a roll in the hay, so how we treat congressional staffers should reflect our maturity and seriousness.

One thing I have learnt through all this is how insularly most of the Ethiopian-American existence is. We still have an immense problem venturing outside our comfort zone. A small example, how many of us belong to our alumni association? Even Ethiopians who have been lucky enough to have gone to top universities in the States rarely look back once we have degree in hand. Some of the most influential people leading this country went to these schools, and nothing opens up more doors than an alumna bond.

Someone needs to write a book on the art of networking for ETs. Seriously. Like all first generation immigrants, I guess we only venture outside our community only when we need something, and then drop off if we are not successful on the first try. It doesn’t work like that. We have a great opportunity to set a strong foundation. Once you get that going, even if the building falls, the foundation will sustain quick rebuilding. But if we are constantly pouring concrete on sand to set up ephemeral foundations we will be going nowhere fast.

The first step is to know what it takes to lobby the United States government. Know your representatives, vote, join our neighborhood associations and attend city and county meetings. Establishing personal relationships is a powerful tool yet unappreciated in our community.

My mother was very good at this. She used to volunteer PTA meetings at our house—which was a source of much consternation for our father who always became edgy when he had to deal with more than three ferenjie faces at one time… especially in his territory. My grandmother-in-law (such a thing?) still whispers when she sees ferenjies in our living room, and I have friends (you know who you are) who, when we invite them to a party at our house, immediately ask, “Is it an abesha thing or a ferenjie thing?” … ‘coz God forbid if the two shall meet!

To be sure, the Diaspora (the vocal one that Ato Meles’ government feels a need to, um, shut up) has come a long way. There are Ethiopian-American “get out the vote” initiatives happening. People are meeting with their representatives and senators. Even at a very ad hoc level, there is significant movement. Eventually, there will be one big gynormous PAC. But until then, there is an impressive, educated grass roots movement planting strong seeds. To really understand how grass roots movements work, research the history of the Christian Coalition.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you see things), a strong Ethiopian PAC will come only after we are dealt a big blow. What the EPRDF should be more afraid of is this bill not passing because that will be the galvanizing factor. It will mean people who are in this thing for the short term and novelty will give up, which hopefully means more serious people who are not afraid of a few hits will fill the vacuum.

All to say… Hastert is our friend. Our job is to let him know that he is our friend. I have sent his staff a nice thank you letter, and maybe those of you in DC can deliver a basket of sambusa and a couple of bottles of tej to quench his staffs’ throats that are parched from talking to us. Any volunteers?

Speaker Hastert’s fax number is: 202-225-0697. I also like Demamu’s suggestion that we all get 10 non-Ethiopians to join the cause. I’ve gotten 6 and it took less than 2 hours!



  • Those of you who haven’t, join LinkedIn.
  • And don’t dare miss Borat’s movie- mark your calendar. November 3.


Anonymous kebero-dm-dm said...

wi wenqiye,

you have no idea how much this post was needed! as someone on groud zero, there is a lot of misunderstanding about how to petition guv'ment. too much "belew!" and over reaction. but people really want to do the right thing, so with the right leadership things will/can get done.

rega malet memar alebign. maybe inde hewan and her group can take on the task of delivering the snq to hastert?

really, this was a splendid splendid post!!!

5:01 PM, September 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I also like Demamu’s suggestion that we all get 10 non-Ethiopians to join the cause. I’ve gotten 6 and it took less than 2 hours!

This is the best advice. It just didn't occur to me until I read it here on you blog. I just cann't wait to ask some of my coworkers to join tomorrow.

PS: this is my first time posting on your blog but I have been reading your blog for the past one year. You are just the best!

7:44 PM, September 21, 2006  
Blogger cheche said...

Wonq's idea of involving non-Ethiopians (I hope she means native Americans) is really cool.
The senators and congresswomen/men will be more sensitive to them I guess.
May be it is also a good idea for the Ethio-Americans council to approach other civic organisations, both from the left and the right, and organise some thing, a petition, or a march, a vigil or you name it.

Cheers etiye wonq and all

3:27 AM, September 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Woyane cadres might involved in demonizing Hastert!

4:48 AM, September 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s not too late . . . after all. Well done and kudos to your crack team. Sorry, if I had sounded like an alarmist in my previous post about the Geo-Economic/Political battle implications for the Horn of Africa. Bill HR 5680 is about to make history in the annals of the Ethiopian Diaspora on the 22 September 2006.

10:14 AM, September 22, 2006  
Anonymous Aba Doyo said...

Everything u said about not to antagonise potential friends, participating in alumni neighborhood associations, PTAs etc. are right on the money. Actually i see the need for a teach-in type of workshops wherever Ethiopians live in large number about the Dos and Don'ts of contacting elected representatives as well as the larger issue grassroot advocacy. We can learn from other ethnic groups which were mentioned in 'The Hill' article who have gone through same challenges.
As to why the urgency of the matter, i asked the same question to someone who is working closely with the taskforce and what i understood from the answer can be summarised to the following. Any bill which was introduced in the 109th session of the House had to be pass or fail by members of the same session. After the November election, to be precise in January when Congress opens again, it would be the 110th session. May be if the bill have reached certain stage short of full vote, they would take it again. I have to inquire more & learn if it is true that whether the new session of the House would not take bill proposed in previous session. That is why i say we have a lot to learn.
As the article on the Hill implies, it is David Vs Goliath (unpaid amateur 'lobbyist' and novice activists versus powerful and well compensated hired gun). But as you said, even if we are defeated, I hope it would be a gavanising factor for our community and bad omen for TPLF & stooges.

11:40 AM, September 22, 2006  
Anonymous demamu said...

Bill HR 5680 is about to make history in the annals of the Ethiopian Diaspora on the 22 September 2006.

What does this mean?

12:32 PM, September 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't know for certain that
it is our side that is aggravating Hastert. woyane thugs have played that shit with Payne before. Easy. before you slam the "vocal diaspora"

You are right on the money about ethios getting of their black asses and getting involved at the local level.


12:43 PM, September 22, 2006  
Anonymous zeleka said...

some good hints:

on ethiomedia. i, too, was a little disturbed by the 'demonizing' factor. it just does not have to get that contentious. i wish i lived in DC, I would have volunteered to put together a "sinq" for Hastert's staff. The people I talked to were very, very nice. When I faxed them I also used the argument that the opposition uses as their trump card: that the Meles regime is a war on terror ally. a TRUE war of terror ally would NOT try to block a bill that promotes democracy and human rights.

Bertu wegenoch, especially the Ethiopians in his district.


12:48 PM, September 22, 2006  
Anonymous David said...

Great commentary! The same can be said about the utter failure of the majority of the ET population in North America to transform its own psyche into one which embraces democracy. In fact, this is the Achilles Heel of the opposition movement. Time and again, when giants of the struggle advance the democratic process through personal sacrifices of death, torture and incarceration, the movement gets hijacked by loud-mouthed intolerant bigots. Are we not tired of the herd mentality? Or of settings which squash any divergent thought? Isn’t that our very complaint about the current government in Ethiopia? Until ETs of the current generation living in North America immerse themselves into the culture in which they live which, at least on the outset, aspires to be tolerant, pluralistic and democratic, they will continue to be dangerous detriments to democratization in Ethiopia – a movement for which many are still paying dearly.

7:23 PM, September 22, 2006  
Anonymous Inde Hewan said...

Kebero (1st commentator):

EACA is about to finalise putting together a set of toolkits, one of which is on how to conduct a meeting with your congressperson. We will send it to the Ethiopian websites onces completed. While it may be framed in terms of meeting "your" congress member, clearly the tips can just as well apply to how to set up, conduct, and later follow up on a meeting wtih anyone in Congress, including Hastert.

Whenever one is distressed about about Ethiopians taking the "wrong actions" in pro-democracy activism -- eg. maligning a US politician with whose moves we're not happy -- I think the first question to ask is: What can we do to help our community take the "right actions" instead? Sometimes it is as simple as giving our community the right tools, some guidance, some tips. Hence the toolkit on meeting congress. We will put it out in the next few days.

7:54 AM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger sokari said...

The 1st Carnival of African Women is taking place at (the details are on the site)

I hope you will be able to participate if not this time at some later date. Meanwhile we would appreciate you linking to our blog aggregator which is on the site and which lists all the blogs (we know of) by African women.

Many thanks
Sokari, Mshairi, AfroFeminista and Mama's Junkyard

11:31 AM, September 26, 2006  
Blogger marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

Economics Dissertation

3:58 AM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger Dissertation Writing service said...

This kind of information is very limited on internet. Nice to find the post related to my searching criteria. Your updated and informative post will be appreciated by blog loving people.

Dissertation writing services

6:52 AM, June 12, 2010  
Anonymous business logo designs said...

Your artistic explanation really impressed me man! It’s a great way of sharing the useful information.

logo design | business logo designs | company logo design | corporate logo designs

2:25 AM, July 24, 2010  
Blogger KATIE DOYLE said...

i like this post.
Academic writing

11:57 PM, January 30, 2011  
Anonymous Affordable Logo Design said...

Thank you for sharing this information. The information was very helpful and saved a lot of my time.

3:17 AM, November 03, 2011  
Anonymous Dissertation Help said...

The Coalition believes the Rally on the Hill today has served to smash the caricature of Ethiopians as a group of “do nothings, all-talk-and-no-action types incapable of uniting to accomplish anything.” You have proven that Ethiopians, regardless of our ethnic affiliation, socioeconomic status or station in life in the Diaspora, are able to come together on the Hill of the Law Givers and exercise our constitutional rights to petition for redress of our grievances.

Best custom dissertation providers

Best dissertation providers

Best custom dissertation writing services

Dissertation writing assistance

UK’s Best dissertation providers

UK dissertation providers

Top UK dissertation providers

Custom UK dissertation writing

9:27 PM, November 23, 2011  
Anonymous bed dissertations for sale said...

The Baby Boom Generation will particularly impact this TOW trend. The Baby Boomers
are the largest and possibly most affluent generation in American history. The leading
edge of the Boomers is now entering retirement. As they retire, age and pass away,
they will create tremendous TOW opportunities for those communities where they have
affinity. It is important to note that Boomers often have more than one community
affinity. As a very mobile generation, they have multiple “hometowns” where there
may be passion for giveback.
Figure 1.5 - A Scenario


dissertation writers uk

dissertation writers uk

Dissertation Writers


Dissertation Topics

Dissertation Topics

Marketing Dissertation Topics

6:24 AM, November 27, 2011  
Anonymous How to write a dissertation proposal said...

It was certainly interesting for me to read the article. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.


dissertation writer

essay writer

how to write a proposal


writing papers

writing help

dissertation help

5:44 AM, November 29, 2011  
Anonymous Mphil Dissertations said...

Yes! You can make a difference!
After three decades of quiet residence in the United States, Ethiopian-Americans are now becoming civically engaged and politically active. They have finally come of age in America and have started to use their constitutional rights to help themselves and their people in Ethiopia.
Do you believe Ethiopians are entitled to a freely elected democratic government, deserve to live under a fair system of laws, and equality for all Ethiopians under the law?
Do you believe Ethiopia can do better than become an international basket case?
Do you think Ethiopians have a right to free speech, a free and independent press and equal justice for all Ethiopian under the law?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you are one in spirit and action with the hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian-Americans who have decided to stand up for Ethiopia.

dissertation assistance

essay editing

thesis proofreading

writing proposals

essay writing

essay writers

writing services

essay service

10:38 PM, November 29, 2011  
Anonymous Dissertation Help India said...

The highly-politicised groups of Ethiopian writers living in the USA published a flurry of posts over the past week to persuade Congress to pass House Resolution 5680 - the �Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act of 2006.

Dissertation Help

Dissertation Topics

Dissertation writers from india

uk dissertations

spss dissertation help

dissertation india

dissertation samples

dissertation help india</

2:23 AM, December 17, 2011  
Anonymous Human Resource Dissertation Help said...

Spotted PTA-Nazi housewife who dresses her daughters like Future Republican Security Moms looking at me with her trademark “Oh, you are one of those mothers who work?” glare dripping from her fluttering eyelashes. Time to pretend to check the Blackberry. Don’t let me find her parked on the street.

Human Resource

Dissertation Help

Human Resource Dissertation


Human Resource Dissertation


HR dissertations

Human Resource Thesis


dissertation india

dissertation samples

dissertation help


2:00 AM, December 22, 2011  
Anonymous Online Marketing Dissertation said...

Ethiopian diaspora supporters of the bill, which was proposed by New Jersey representative Chris Smith, recently claimed that the legislation had stalled in Congress after the Ethiopian government hired a lobbying company to argue their case.

Online Dissertation Help

Online Dissertation Topics

Online Dissertation writers

Online Marketing dissertations

Online Thesis help

dissertation india

india dissertations

dissertation help india

3:49 AM, December 23, 2011  
Anonymous ecommerce dissertation help said...

The highly-politicised groups of Ethiopian writers living in the USA published a flurry of posts over the past week to persuade Congress to pass House Resolution 5680 - the ‘Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act of 2006′ (see the full list of H.R. 5680 posts on Technorati).


dissertation help

Information Technology


IT Dissertation

internet security


ecommerce Thesis






dissertation help


5:18 AM, December 24, 2011  
Anonymous ecommerce thesis help said...

Weichegud ET Politics! was among a number of campaigners who went one further by pubishing the Speaker�s email address and encouraging people to write to him themselves. In the posts The Ethiopian Diaspora comes of age and Update: HR 5680 she said that the campaign was a key moment for the USA�s growing Ethiopian community:


dissertation help


Technology Dissertation



internet security


ecommerce Thesis






dissertation help


3:23 AM, December 25, 2011  
Anonymous Food Logo said...

Thanks for the informative writing. Would mind updating some good tips about it. I still wait your next place. ;)
Food Logo

7:03 AM, February 07, 2012  
Blogger Katie Doyle said...

Hey! Keep it up your work. Your blog and post are very informative. Very clear easy to understand text I am enjoying your post. Please take a look at my dissertation services in uk site and advise me further improvement.

9:18 AM, February 23, 2012  
Blogger Dissertation Help said...

Your blog has helped me a lot in completing my online degree course. I would recommend your blog to everyone who wants to get help in their academic studies. Thanks a lot

Logo design companies

6:51 AM, March 12, 2012  
Blogger Judith Walton said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:42 AM, March 26, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might like to try the following link. It provides guidance, with worked examples, on understanding what the examiner seeks and writing in an academic manner. If in doubt can always ask tutors whether it's advice applies in your discipline and institution.

10:57 PM, March 30, 2012  
Blogger Judith Walton said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:26 AM, April 09, 2012  
Anonymous Education Logo Design said...

I found so many interesting in your blog especially its discussion. keep up the good work.

6:43 AM, April 17, 2012  
Anonymous business logo design said...

Great blog post. It’s useful information.

4:13 AM, October 26, 2012  

Post a Comment

<< Home