Abolitionists passed local resolutions against U.S. policies on slavery. The anti-apartheid movement did the same, as did the nuclear freeze movement, the movement against the PATRIOT Act, the movement in favor of the Kyoto Protocol (which includes at least 740 cities), etc. Our democratic republic has a rich tradition of municipal action on national and international issues.
Karen Dolan of Cities for Peace writes: "A prime example of how direct citizen participation through municipal governments has affected both U.S. and world policy is the example of the local divestment campaigns opposing both Apartheid in South Africa and, effectively, the Reagan foreign policy of "constructive engagement" with South Africa. As internal and global pressure was destabilizing the Apartheid government of South Africa, the municipal divestment campaigns in the United States ramped up pressure and helped to push to victory the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. This extraordinary accomplishment was achieved despite a Reagan veto and while the Senate was in Republican hands. The pressure felt by national lawmakers from the 14 U.S. states and close to 100 U.S. cities that had divested from South Africa made the critical difference. Within three weeks of the veto override, IBM and General Motors also announced they were withdrawing from South Africa."
Here is the proposed resolution:
Fund Human and Environmental Needs, Not Militarism
Whereas Mayor Mike Signer has declared Charlottesville a capital of resistance to the administration of President Donald Trump. [i]
Whereas President Trump has proposed to move $54 billion from human and environmental spending at home and abroad to military spending [ii], bringing military spending to well over 60% of federal discretionary spending [iii],
Whereas part of helping alleviate the refugee crisis should be ending, not escalating, wars that create refugees [iv],
Whereas President Trump himself admits that the enormous military spending of the past 16 years has been disastrous and made us less safe, not safer [v],
Whereas fractions of the proposed military budget could provide free, top-quality education from pre-school through college [vi], end hunger and starvation on earth [vii], convert the U.S. to clean energy [viii], provide clean drinking water everywhere it's needed on the planet [ix], build fast trains between all major U.S. cities [x], and double non-military U.S. foreign aid rather than cutting it [xi],
Whereas even 121 retired U.S. generals have written a letter opposing cutting foreign aid [xii],
Whereas a December 2014 Gallup poll of 65 nations found that the United States was far and away the country considered the largest threat to peace in the world [xiii],
Whereas a United States responsible for providing clean drinking water, schools, medicine, and solar panels to others would be more secure and face far less hostility around the world,
Whereas our environmental and human needs are desperate and urgent,
Whereas the military is itself the greatest consumer of petroleum we have [xiv],
Whereas economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs program [xv],
Be it therefore resolved that the City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, urges the United States Congress to move our tax dollars in exactly the opposite direction proposed by the President, from militarism to human and environmental needs.
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