Note: Isaac Evans-Frantz, the author, is the director of Action Corps, which organized multiple constituent meetings with Sen. Leahy’s staff in 2020 and 2021, which resulted in Sen. Leahy becoming an original co-sponsor of legislation to help low- and middle-income countries access COVID-19 vaccines and economic support.
Posted May 17, 2020
By ISAAC EVANS-FRANTZ
Explaining the congressman’s role as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs committee, I told the group, “You have more power than you realize to help shape the role of the U.S. in the world.”
I recounted Action Corps NYC’s surprising success in engaging with Mr. Engel on humanitarian matters.
COVID-19 has Touched Everyone’s Lives
By Katie Kelshaw, Action Corps Idaho Organizer
The World Economy Needs a Stimulus: IMF Special Drawing Rights Are Critical to Containing the Pandemic and Boosting the World Economy
The authors wish to thank Andrés Arauz, Ted Truman, Nathan Coplin, Lara Merling, and Isaac Evans-Frantz for their helpful comments; Kevin Cashman and Jake Johnston for research assistance; and Sarah Rawlins and Brett Heinz for editorial assistance.
(Isaac Evans-Frantz is the director of Action Corps.)
Action Corps & Yemeni Alliance Committee Bring Together Hundreds of Organizations for World Says No to War on Yemen Global Day of Action
Justice for All Now: U.S.-Backed Saudi War in Yemen -- In Conversation with Action Corps’ Isaac Evans-Frantz and Allied Activists
Reflections on the Grassroots Movement to Stop the War in Yemen
Isaac Evans-Frantz, Director of Action Corps
‘A Moral and Legal Obligation’: 80+ Groups Urge Biden to End U.S. Complicity in Saudi-Led Assault on Yemen
Action Corps’ Isaac Evans-Frantz highlighted action by lawmakers, pointing out that "through the recently-introduced War Powers Resolution, Congress is once again asserting its will to stop U.S. participation in this unconstitutional war."
The Biden administration, he said, "should stop all participation in the war—including intelligence sharing—and refocus on true U.S. security interests rather than the whims of the famine-causing Saudi dictatorship."
International Coalition of NGOs Calls on the United States to Immediately Halt Proposed Arms Sales to the UAE
Conditions in Yemen before the Arrival of the Coronavirus
By David Oppenheimer, Action Corps Rhode Island Lead Organizer
Through Action Corps meetings with Armed Services Committee aides to Reed and Langevin in January, to delegations of Rhode Islanders from Action Corps, FCNL, Pax Christi, and RIAC with the foreign policy advisors to the Senators and Congressman Langevin, requests were made that our legislators follow up on any available means to help Yemenis get aid. We specifically asked the advisors to Whitehouse and Langevin to step up and make public statements about the situation in Yemen and to follow up on the path already taken by Senator Reed and directly address the need to lift the suspension of USAID.
Sadiq Khan urged to boycott Saudi-hosted G20 mayors summit
Rights coalition calls on mayors to withdraw from U20, which coincides with anniversary of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder
The signatories to the letter include Action Corps.
Mobilizing Muslim Resistance to the Saudi War in Yemen
I had the privilege to interview Jehan Hakim, chair of the Yemeni Alliance Committee and former community advocate for the Asian Law Caucus. I wanted to better understand the inspiration behind the formation of YAC and her thoughts on the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which group members started protesting in 2014 before officially establishing YAC in 2017. The group’s members include over 100 Yemeni-American Muslims, and they’ve forged alliances with progressive and peace groups across the country — including Win Without War, Just Foreign Policy, Action Corps NYC, and Freedom Forward.
Profile of Somia Elrowmeim, Action Corps’ Board Chair
Somia doesn’t shy to speak truth to power, whether at the Women’s March on Washington, protesting Trump’s Muslim Ban, holding city council members accountable to their constituents, defending the rights of domestic violence survivors, or protesting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to New York City for his continued war in Yemen.
In addition to her work as an advocate and educator with the Arab American Association, Somia serves as the chair of the board of Action Corps which is fighting for humanitarian issues around the world.
Rep. Khanna Recognized for Leadership to Stop War in Yemen, Announces Letter to Biden Administration
Sunday, February 21, 2021, the grassroots humanitarian advocacy organization Action Corps recognized Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) for his leadership in ending U.S. participation in the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen that has resulted in what the U.N. has called the largest humanitarian crisis.
Rep. Khanna announced that he and Rep. DeFazio are issuing a letter that clarifies President Biden’s statement on ending participation in Saudi offenses in Yemen, “to make sure we clarify that should mean any bombing of Yemen. We have to clarify that language,” he said. Rep. Khanna further stated the U.S. must play “a constructive role to help the reconstruction, because we caused a great suffering. We need to be a part of the solution.”
Isaac Evans-Frantz, Action Corps director, said the organization is calling on representatives to join Mr. Khanna on that letter. Somia Elrowmeim, chair of the board of Action Corps, delivered the statement recognizing Mr. Khanna. She highlighted a U.N. donor summit on March 1, 2021, by which time, she said, the U.S. should commit to restoring and expanding desperately humanitarian assistance to Yemen. This assistance was suspended by Sec. Pompeo, and restoration of assistance would likely set an example for other donor countries.
This month Mr. Khanna has called for ending all arms sales to Riyadh and not "fulfilling any outstanding weapons contracts.” He has called for a “a commitment from Biden to use all of his leverage to end the Saudi-led de factor blockade of Yemen,” and pressed the administration “for additional humanitarian aid in all parts of Yemen.” Under the Trump administration, during the COVID pandemic, humanitarian assistance to Yemen was suspended and has not been restored.
“Action Corps is pleased to recognize Rep. Ro Khanna for his leadership for an end to U.S. backing of the war on Yemen,” Isaac Evans-Frantz, director of Action Corps, said. “For years the Congressman has stood with our U.S. grassroots movement in solidarity the people of Yemen, and he continues to fight for an end to this catastrophe.”
This was evidenced last month, when Mr. Khanna spoke during a global online rally, as part of a day of action called World Says No to War on Yemen, organized by Action Corps, the Bay-Area-based Yemeni Alliance Committee, and others. Action Corps circulated the statement calling for the day of action, which was signed by 385 organizations from 28 countries, making this the largest anti-war coordination since 2003.
“The Yemeni Alliance Committee, based here in Rep. Khanna’s district, is inspired by our Congressman’s continued leadership to hold Biden to his promise to end U.S. participation in the war in Yemen,” Jehan Hakim, the chair of the alliance, said. “Action Corps has been a solid ally in this struggle, and we are proud to sponsor their annual community celebration. We look forward to working together with Rep. Khanna and fellow activists around the country for a complete and permanent end to arms sales and military support for Saudi Arabia while it continues to wage war against our home country.”
Action Corps also recognized Mr. Khanna’s support for legislation to unblock a global stimulus from international financial institutions. Supporters believe this initiative could help save millions of lives in the face of global economic fallout. Mr. Khanna’s staff has said he plans to co-sponsor new legislation for a global stimulus.
“Our work is about saving lives, and ‘no’ is not really an acceptable answer. Our enemies are not one another. Our enemies are the three C’s of Climate change, Conflict, and COVID. Around the world people are starving,” Action Corps director Isaac Evans-Frantz stated.
Action Corps has trained organizers in 10 states that lobby, organize on the ground, and run public education campaigns in support of people affected by humanitarian crises. The organization played a key role in successful advocacy for the historic Yemen War Powers Resolution Mr. Khanna led in the House in past years that was ultimately sent to President Trump’s desk.
“We have nothing to lose but our chance,” Somia Elrowmeim, Yemeni-American and chair of the board of Action Corps, stated. “We are the light and we are the voice for those people who cannot speak.”