As the midterm election approached, polls showed Iraq as the number one issue on voters’ minds and the number one issue they expect the new Congress to quickly address.

“Despite all the attempts to spin Tuesday’s election results as something else,” John Nichols wrote in The Online Beat, “the single most important message to take away from the voting is this: The American people cast their ballots against the Bush administration’s approach to the war in Iraq.”

In response, national peace groups have launched a “Mandate for Peace” campaign to immediately follow the election. Organized by United for Peace and Justice, Iraq Veterans Against War, True Majority, Progressive Democrats of America, Peace Action, Goldstar Families for Peace, Network of Spiritual Progressives, CODEPINK, Iraqi Voices for Peace, Global Exchange, Pax Christi USA and others, the coalition intends to ramp up grassroots pressure on the new Congress to enact a speedy end to the occupation of Iraq.

The Mandate reads in part: “We urge you to represent the will of the peace-loving people of the United States by immediately passing legislation requiring the prompt removal of all US troops from Iraq and discontinuing funding for military purposes in Iraq except the safe withdrawal of all US forces.”

Check out the group’s new website, sign and circulate the petition, click here to tell your rep you expect him/her to work for peace, and see how else you can help hold Congress responsible to the majority of Americans who are saying the Iraq war needs to end.