The nation’s economic crisis is deep. We need jobs to pull us out of the crisis, and we need social programs to meet working people’s needs.
As state and local officials clamor for relief, political leaders across the spectrum are coming to recognize that there is a place where it can be found. The Pentagon’s budget has doubled since 1998 to a staggering $725 billion – not counting indirect military spending by other agencies. This is more than all other discretionary spending combined and far more than is needed to defend people in the United States
New Priorities is an initiative to fund urgently needed jobs and restore vital public services by substantially cutting military spending. Cross-constituency coalitions around the country are already seeking to “move the money” from military to local programs. Many are led by the people hardest hit in communities of color and low-income communities. With both Washington and the grassroots in motion, this is a moment when we can start moving real money from the Pentagon to our communities.
The New Priorities network was launched on October 3, 2010, a day after the historic One Nation Working Together rally in Washington, DC. See the below video about the October 3 meeting or read an article about the initial meeting.
How can we move our money from the Pentagon to our communities, fund the jobs and services we need? On October 3 2010, some 26 peace, racial and economic justice organizations came together and founded a network to support the long-term organizing it will take. This video features short statements about challenges we’ll face: breaking down the silos between movements, building power at the grassroots, organizing for the long term, focusing on what matters to our neighbors, connecting the economic pain of today with the ‘justice economy’ that’s possible. Speakers are: Michael Eisenscher and Michael Zweig, USLAW; Phyllis Bennis, IPS; Alan Charney, US Action; Steve WIlliams, POWER and GGJ; Aaron Hughes, IVAW; Judith Le Blanc, Peace Action; Lisa Savage, Code Pink and Bring Our War $ Home; Joanie Parker, 1199SEIU and the Boston Coalition to Fund Our Coalition – Cut Military Spending 25%; Michael Leon Guerrero, Grassroots Global Justice.