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National > Ending wars, creating jobs, top mayors' agenda
June 14 2011
The Baltimore City Council unanimously approved the draft USCM resolution May 16 calling on President Obama and Congress to end the decade-long wars and "redirect military spending to domestic priorities." Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake promptly signed the measure and is expected to urge the mayors to approve it during a scheduled plenary USCM debate Monday, June 20.
The resolution states, "The severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to reexamine our national spending priorities."
The American people "are collectively paying approximately $126 billion dollars to wage war in
Baltimore City Councilmember James B. Kraft introduced the resolution at the request of a broad movement of peace and justice organizations including the Fund Our Communities Coalition, the Maryland NAACP, Casa de Maryland, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994, Code Pink and United For Peace and Justice.
Kraft told the Baltimore Gazette that
The peace and justice movement in the Mid-Atlantic region has scheduled a teach-in at
The coalition will also stage a "March for Jobs" Saturday, June 18, starting at 11
The Fund Our Communities Coalition call for the teach-in says, "While it's cuts and more cuts for schools, parks, housing, healthcare and the poor, Marylanders contribute more than $2,000 per person, per year, in federal taxes to the Pentagon. It's time to fund our communities! Bring the war dollars home."
The meeting agenda of the nonpartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors reflects the deep economic and social crisis in the nation's cities and towns. "Job creation, transportation, homeland security, immigration and energy efficiency top this year's agenda," declares a USCM press statement. It says, "On the final day of the meeting, the mayors will debate and vote on resolutions including one to speed up the end of the Afghanistan war and redirect war dollars to key domestic needs."
The mayors' group released a 176-city survey during a May 3 news conference at the National Press Club in
The report decried investments such as the millions spent on the "bridge to nowhere" in
The report charged, "In the United States, metropolitan areas account for 86 percent of employment, 90 percent of wage income, and over the next 20 years, 94 percent of the nation's economic growth. But they are burdened with the nation's worst traffic jams, its oldest roads and bridges, and transit systems at capacity. Simply put, these areas are receiving significantly less in federal transportation investments than would reflect their role and importance to the nation's economy."
The mayors' report focuses on measure like the BUILD Act sponsored by Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Tex., and by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. It would appropriate $10 billion in federal funds to leverage more than $100 billion in private sector funds for a National Infrastructure Bank. States the survey, "75 percent of mayors say a national infrastructure bank or expanded availability of federal financing tools such as Transportation Infrastructure and Innovation Act or Build America Bonds would accelerate or increase the number of transportation projects that could be implemented."
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs