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PASSED! Philadelphia City Council adopts resolution to redirect military spending to fund our communities
By Jane Dugdale (about the author)
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 QuiÃones-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.
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.
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