The following resolution will be submitted to the Minnesota House of Representatives by state congressman Bill Hilty from the district surrounding Carlton. It came to my attention via Veterans for Peace/Chapter 27.
The resolution's authors, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and Bill Hilty, want as many progressives as possible to submit it to various local organizations for official endorsements. That, they think, might help win it approval in the hostile pro-war, Republican-dominated Minnesota House and Senate.
For non-Minnesotan, of course, this idea could surely be adapted to other states by simply changing the dollar figures.
Resolution Calling for Re-ordering of Priorities:
Whereas Minnesota is faced with a $5.028 billion budget shortfall; and,
Whereas past budget cuts have resulted in painful reductions in essential services and future cuts would further erode the quality of life for and, in fact, endanger the lives of many citizens; and,
Whereas many cities and communities in Minnesota are laying off police, firefighters, teachers and other essential employees; and,
Whereas past budgets have been balanced by cutting social services, under‑investment in essential infrastructure, and other measures that push the crisis onto local governments and the poor; and,
Whereas Minnesota taxpayers even during these times of economic crisis and fiscal austerity are poised to pay the equivalent of the entire state biennial budget, more than $35 billion over the next two years, for their share of the Defense Budget of the Federal government; and,
Whereas Minnesota taxpayers alone have already spent more than $27.5 billion, and will spend $8.4 billion more over the next two years for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and,
Whereas 58 cents of every dollar of federal discretionary spending is devoted to military purposes; and,
Whereas military spending priorities at the national level negatively impact budgets and quality of life at all levels of government and society; and,
Whereas our nation desperately needs to better balance its approach to security to go beyond military defense and include the economic, social, and environmental needs of our communities, state, and nation;
Therefore be it resolved that we, the Legislature of the State of Minnesota call on Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen, McCollum, Ellison, Bachmann, Peterson and Cravaack as well as Congressional leadership and President Barack Obama, to shift federal funding priorities from war and the interests of the few, to meeting the essential needs of us all.
By Jack Nelson-Palmeyer and Bill Hilty
Image credit: Poster for sale at Syracuse Cultural Workers website