Sunday, June 24, 2012

PASSED! Philadelphia City Council adopts resolution to

redirect military spending to fund our communities

By Jane Dugdale

Op-Ed News

June 22, 2012

The Philadelphia City Council, by a vote of 15-2,

passed June 21 a resolution "calling on the U.S.

Congress to bring all U.S. troops home from

Afghanistan, to take the funds saved by that action and

by significantly cutting the Pentagon budget, and to

use that money to fund education, public and private

sector family-sustaining job creation, special

protections for military sector workers, environmental

and infrastructure restoration, care for veterans and

their families, and human services that our cities and

states so desperately need."

Introduced by Councilmember Maria Quinones-Sanchez on

April 12 with six other co-sponsors , the resolution

was drafted by the Delaware Valley New Priorities

Network, comprised of dozens of labor, neighborhood,

faith, and peace organizations. The resolution details

the human catastrophe in the City of Philadelphia: a

third of its children live in poverty, more than a

third are hungry, more than 300 veterans are homeless

on any given night; schools and health clinics are

closing; teachers, firefighters and police are losing

their jobs.

According to John Braxton, President of the Faculty and

Staff Federation of the Community College of

Philadelphia and representative of the Delaware Valley

New Priorities Network, "This resolution asks you

[members of Philadelphia City Council] to join the

majority of Americans who favor cutting the military

budget and rebuilding America.''

The City Council of Philadelphia is now on record as

having done just that.

The resolution contrasts the $2 billion shortfall of

the City of Philadelphia over the next five years with

the $5 billion spent on wars by Philadelphians since

2001. The resolution notes the doubling of military

spending in the last decade and that the U.S. military

budget could be cut by 80% and still be the largest in

the world.

The Delaware Valley New Priorities Network is

comprised of: American Federation of State County and

Municipal Employees (District Council 47), and retirees

of same; Brandywine Peace Community, Center for the

Celebration of Creation (Chestnut Hill United Church),

Catholic Peace Fellowship , Faculty and Staff

Federation of Community College of Philadelphia,

Coalition of Labor Union Women, East Mt. Airy

Neighbors, Fight for Philly, Journal of the Working

Class Struggle, Living Water United Church of Christ,

Main Line Peace Action, Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church,

Neighborhood Networks, Pennsylvania Progressive

Democrats of America, Philadelphia Granny Peace

Brigade, Philadelphia National Writers Union,

Philadelphia United for Peace and Justice Delaware

Valley Network Education Committee, Philadelphia Area

Black Radical Congress, Physicians for Social

Responsibility, Temple University Graduate Students

Association, US Labor Against the War, Vets for Peace,

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.


Attached photo: Councilmember Maria Quinones-Sanchez,

who successfully introduced the resolution to Redirect

Military Spending to Fund Our Communities, poses

outside Philadelphia City Council Chambers with some of

the members of the Delaware Valley New Priorities

Network, which drafted the resolution, passed by

Philadelphia City Council June 21 by 15-2. From left,

Jane Dugdale, Main Line Peace Action; Councilmember

Quinones-Sanchez; Ben Sears, Philadelphia Federation of

Teachers, retirees; Bob Smith, Brandywine Peace

Community; John Braxton, Faculty and Staff Federation

of Community College of Philadelphia; Ken Heard,

National Writers Union.


Jane Dugdale facilitates Main Line Peace Action, is an

active member of Central Baptist Church in Wayne, PA.

and a retired public school teacher and a returned

Peace Corps Volunteer (Chile 64-'66).


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