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."
Councilmember Maria Quiñones-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.
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.
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.
I facilitate Main Line Peace Action. I'm an active member of Central Baptist Church in Wayne, PA. I'm a retired public school teacher and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Chile 64-'66).