National Resolutions Month — October – is the anniversary month of the start of the Afghan War. It is a timely opportunity to call for moving money from the Pentagon to our communities and making a public stand. This effort was initiated by the Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project and it is supported by the New Priorities Network.
Here is a range of actions you can take, depending on your local reality.
* Try to get a military spending resolution on your local city council agenda during October.
* If implementing the full strategy during October is not realistic for your group, please attend a city council meeting in your area, individually or as a small group. Get on the open microphone / public hearing section of your city council meeting. Typically speakers have 3 minutes to comment on agenda items / propose agenda items for upcoming meetings. Even if you live in a conservative area and your council will not put our resolution on the agenda, this is your opportunity to raise the issue in solidarity with the national resolutions effort. Imagine if even 100 individuals in 100 cities around the country raised issues of military spending during the 11 year anniversary week of the Afghan War. (If your city council does not allow you to speak unless you address an item on the day’s agenda, make the link. For example: “I oppose cutting library hours. Instead, we should redirect our federal tax dollars from unjust, unnecessary wars to programs our city needs. We are asking the city council to put our military spending resolution on the upcoming agenda.”)
* Form a military spending resolutions working group and announce that you’ve formed one. Implement our strategy at your own pace. Connecting the dots between federal military spending and local austerity is an ongoing effort.
* Place an ad / letter to the editor in your local newspaper, using our talking points / graphics. We suggest raising money for ads by arranging to pass a donation bucket around your local peace group or church service.
* Email our resolutions week website to your friends locally and nationwide. Call sympathetic people you know and have a discussion about our campaign. Do Facebook / Twitter posts on the national resolutions week. Read our talking points and make a quick Youtube video (1-3 minutes) reflecting on our talking points and campaign strategy.
Regardless of what action you or your group takes, please inform us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will include actions out of your city on our national website, mass emails, and press releases.
How does a City Council resolution on military spending advance our issues?
- It gives City Council members a chance to discuss how federal budgetary decisions impact local communities.
Questions of interest to local city councils:
- Can we spend $1 trillion (+) on war without cutting essential services on the local level?
- Tell us about “Community Development Block Grants.” Has your city seen cuts? What are the ramifications?
- How much does the Federal Government spend on war and how much on local communities in the US?
- How many local tax dollars have been spent to fund recent wars and an escalating Pentagon budget while local needs go unmet?
- Peace movement victories are rare. With enough participation, our efforts will inspire a more serious discussion of military spending during the crucial phases of the 2012 election and beyond. The June 2012 national resolutions week on corporate personhood helped to inject that issue in campaigns on all levels of government leading into the 2012 election. Now it is our turn to shine a brighter light on the 900 lb gorilla in the room, military spending and the trade-offs imposed at the local level.
Click on these links for:
More about the National Resolutions Week on Military Spending
Major combat in Afghanistan began October 7th, 2001. As we quickly approach the 11 year anniversary, millions of Americans feel (and are) increasingly under-represented around issues of war and military spending. “We the people” recognize the futility in efforts to influence Members of Congress – who enjoy a 17% approval rating - and the President.
We are not being ignored because Members of Congress vote in accordance with their principles and beliefs on war and military spending. “We the people” are ignored because big money hijacks, manipulates, and controls elected representatives at the federal level. Consequently, “we the people” are increasingly silenced and marginalized in our opposition to bloated military spending and trickle-down cuts in our local communities.
The October “National Resolutions Month on Military Spending” is a natural continuation of the Public Citizen-led “Resolutions Week on Corporate Personhood,” a huge success, which engaged local communities across the country around the problem of big money in politics. Building off that success, the New Priorities Network, Vets for Peace, CodePINK, and statewide groups like MN ASAP, are sponsoring a new resolutions week, aimed at the specific problem of military spending and its impact on local communities.
During the first week in October (the 11 year anniversary of the Afghan war), “we the people” are calling on city council members to weigh in on US military spending. As constituents of responsive and accessible city council members, we find truth in the phrase, “all politics is local.”
By taking action at the local level, our resolution on military spending will be introduced, debated, and passed by city councils across the country.
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.
- John F. Kennedy