Back to main resolution page: https://worldbeyondwar.org/resolution
Mary Anne Grady Flores, who is working on passing a resolution in Ithaca, NY, shares the following sample materials:
Here are 2 Ithaca, NY letters as examples or models for your community to pass the resolution to Stop Trump’s $54 Billion in Increased Military Spending. One is to council members and the other to community organizations. Both letters should be changed to focus on details for your city or town. You can model your 1st letter inviting a group to take the lead in organizing this by using the other letters. We’ve included the Resolution to Stop Trump’s $54 Billion Increase in Military Spending and the link to the National Priorities Project where you can get specifics of tradeoffs for your community.
Proposed timeline & suggestions for getting started:
1- Look at your city council schedule for their general meetings and committee meetings in relation to the dates of the 85th National Convention of Mayors in Miami, on June 19-22, 2017.
2- Find a lead organization or group that will be willing to pitch this to other groups and to your city council and mayor. Email the whole group your proposed letter inviting them to take the lead. Then go to the community group meeting to get approval by most or all members. Its preferable to choose a progressive group that you are a part of that meets in the next couple of days. Then you do the leg work with their signature and approval.
3- Timing is everything. Find out 1 or 2 persons on your city council who might sponsor the resolution. They may need to get this approved by a committee. Look on your city’s website for counsel member names, phone numbers, emails, and committee meeting times and general city counsel meeting times.
4- Email your invitation letter with lead group’s signature to all the council members inviting them to pass the resolution.
5- CALL YOUR 2 FRIENDLY COUNCIL MEMBERS ASAP. Pitch the idea to them by phone or in person stressing that this is a time sensitive issue because of the 85th National Convention of Mayors in Miami happening on June 19-22. Email them your letter asking them to pass this local resolution in time for your mayor to take it to Miami.
5- Go to the committee meeting (open to the public for comment at the beginning of every mtg) or to the general meeting, at the very beginning of the meeting and sign up to speak during the public comment time. Usually only 2-3 minutes is given per person. Time yourself before hand. Look for the specific timing on the city website. Read your proposal letter for the council members to pass this resolution.
6- Email your lead group’s letter to community groups inviting them to join you at the next general city council meeting to speak to the council with specifics of what funding can be brought back to meet the needs of your community and supporting the resolution. Be specific with Date, Time, Address of the meeting and instructions about speaking 2-3 minutes time limit.
7- Follow up with council members to make sure the work is getting done so the resolution will be ready for a vote by the weeks before June 19.
8-Follow up with phone calls to make sure the community groups invited to speak at the general council meeting can get to the meeting, and that they know the time and what issue they are choosing to speak on. Encourage them to use the national priorities project website specific to your city and the issue they will speak on. Comments need to be short. Ask them to time themselves before hand (2-3 min?).
9- Organize ahead of time the list of speakers that are willing to speak at the general meeting. At the meeting, help facilitate the sign-in before hand and line up of speakers for efficiency sake. Please let Code Pink and World Beyond War https://worldbeyondwar.org/who/ know how you did. Please reach out if you need help with your endeavors.
We look forward to hearing from you all.
Mary Anne Grady Flores
Dear Ithaca City Council Members,
We request that the Ithaca City Common Council and Mayor Svante Myrick join a national campaign of US cities passing resolutions to oppose the $54 billion increase Trump has proposed in military spending. We, of the Ithaca Catholic Workers, are reaching out to many Ithaca communities of faith and organizations so that our Mayor and the Common Council can pass a City of Ithaca resolution with a broad base of support.
We are asking that 2 city council members and their committees sponsor this resolution (see below) which needs passing by early June, before the 85th National Conference of Mayors meeting in Miami, on June 19-22.
The additional 10% increase in military spending would mean 60% of our taxes would go to weapons and war. As you well know, it would come at the expense of massive cuts to the EPA, education, humanitarian aid, and human services, cuts in programs such as meals-on-wheels and after school programs. It would mean the production of more drones, more Cruise missiles, more military hardware, and more death. We want Ithacans to join others speaking out against this injustice.
The cities of New Haven, CT, Charlottesville, VA, and Montgomery County, MD, have already passed city resolutions opposing the Trump budget’s moving of money from everything else to the military, urging that money be moved back to the needs of our communities.
With your help, Ithaca can do the same.
We thank you in advance for your speedy response in support of this national resolution. See below the national joint organizational statement opposing the $54 billion.
The Ithaca Catholic Worker
Using Ithaca, NY’s letter as an Example, Template Letter & Resolution for Community Groups
April 21, 2017
Yesterday, we Ithaca Catholic Workers requested that the Ithaca City Common Council and Mayor Svante Myrick join a national campaign of US cities passing resolutions to oppose Trump’s proposed $54 billion increase (10% more) in military spending.
Now we are reaching out to you and your organization, other local groups and Ithaca communities of faith to urge Mayor Myrick and the Common Council to pass this City of Ithaca resolution with a broad base of support.
We’ve approached two city council members, Seph Murtagh and Ducson Nguyen, who’ve agreed to sponsor this resolution (see below), which needs to be passed by early June, before the 85th National Conference of Mayors meeting in Miami, on June 19-22.
We are hoping that you and/or a representative of your group will join us on May 3rd, the first Wednesday of next month at 6:00 p.m. in the Common Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, City Hall, 108 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850, to sign up to speak for 3 minutes, to name our community’s specific needs and voiceour collective support for this resolution. We are hopeful as our council has already passed the Sanctuary City resolution.
We ask that you look at the National Priorities Project that lays out the tradeoffs of military spending versus funding for each city, town, county, and state in the country. We have Ithaca’s possibilities listed below.
The additional 10% increase in military spending would mean 60% of our taxes would go to weapons and war. As you well know, it would come at the expense of massive cuts to the EPA, education, humanitarian aid, and human services, including cuts in programs such as meals-on-wheels and after-school programs. It would mean the production of more drones, more cruise missiles, more military hardware, more war and death. We want Ithacans to join others speaking out against this injustice.
Dr. Martin Luther King stated, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
The cities of New Haven, CT, Charlottesville, VA, and Montgomery County, MD have already passed city resolutions opposing the Trump budget plan to move money from everything else to the military, and we are urging that, instead, money be marked to serve the needs of our communities. With thousands of municipalities and their mayors across the country speaking with one voice, we maximize our chances of being heard by the Trump administration.
With your help, Ithaca can be part of the one national voice saying NO to war and yes to the needs of the people in our communities. We thank you in advance for your speedy response in support of this national resolution.
The Ithaca Catholic Worker
Search for your city, town or state on the National Priorities Project website. https://www.nationalpriorities.org/interactive-data/trade-offs/
For Department of Defense, taxpayers in Ithaca, New York are paying $39.29 million, not including the cost of war. Here’s what those tax dollars could have paid for instead:
- Combine Trade-Offs
- + edit ➜ 384 Elementary School Teachers for 1 Year, or
- + edit ➜ 530 Clean Energy Jobs Created for 1 Year, or
- + edit ➜ 707 Infrastructure Jobs Created for 1 Year, or
- + edit ➜ 392 Jobs with Supports Created in High Poverty Communities for 1 Year, or
- + edit ➜ 3,741 Head Start Slots for Children for 1 Year, or
- + edit ➜ 3,044 Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care for 1 Year, or
- + edit ➜ 1,456 Scholarships for University Students for 4 Years, or
- + edit ➜ 1,689 Students Receiving Pell Grants of $5,815 for 4 Years, or
- + edit ➜ 13,025 Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for 1 Year, or
- + edit ➜ 66,824 Households with Wind Power for 1 Year, or
- + edit ➜ 7,136 Adults Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for 1 Year, or
- + edit ➜ 41,277 Households with Solar Electricity for 1 Year
Resolution Proposed for Ithaca, NY (or any other city).
Whereas President Trump has proposed to move $54 billion from human and environmental spending at home and abroad to military spending[i], bringing military spending to well over 60% of federal discretionary spending[ii],
Whereas polling has found the U.S. public to favor a $41 billion reduction in military spending, a $94 billion gap away from President Trump’s proposal,
Whereas part of helping alleviate the refugee crisis should be ending, not escalating, wars that create refugees[iii],
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[iv],
Whereas fractions of the proposed military budget could provide free, top-quality education from pre-school through college[v], end hunger and starvation on earth[vi], convert the U.S. to clean energy[vii], provide clean drinking water everywhere it’s needed on the planet[viii], build fast trains between all major U.S. cities[ix], and double non-military U.S. foreign aid rather than cutting it[x],
Whereas even 121 retired U.S. generals have written a letter opposing cutting foreign aid[xi],
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[xii],
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[xiii],
Whereas economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs program[xiv],
Be it therefore resolved that the ____________ of ___________, ________, 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.
[i] “Trump to Seek $54 Billion Increase in Military Spending,” The New York Times, February 27, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/27/us/politics/trump-budget-military.html?_r=0
[ii] This does not include another 6% for the discretionary portion of veterans’ care. For a breakdown of discretionary spending in the 2015 budget from the National Priorities Project, see https://www.nationalpriorities.org/campaigns/military-spending-united-states
[iii] “43 Million People Kicked Out of Their Homes,” World Beyond War, https://worldbeyondwar.org/43-million-people-kicked-homes / “Europe’s Refugee Crisis Was Made in America,” The Nation, https://www.thenation.com/article/europes-refugee-crisis-was-made-in-america
[iv] On February 27, 2017, Trump said, “Almost 17 years of fighting in the Middle East . . . $6 trillion we’ve spent in the Middle East . . . and we’re nowhere, actually if you think about it we’re less than nowhere, the Middle East is far worse than it was 16, 17 years ago, there’s not even a contest . . . we have a hornet’s nest . . . .” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/02/27/trump_we_spent_6_trillion_in_middle_east_and_we_are_less_than_nowhere_far_worse_than_16_years_ago.html
[v] “Free College: We Can Afford It,” The Washington Post, May 1, 2012, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/free-college-we-can-afford-it/2012/05/01/gIQAeFeltT_story.html?utm_term=.9cc6fea3d693
[vi] “The World Only Needs 30 Billion Dollars a Year to Eradicate the Scourge of Hunger,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000853/index.html
[vii] “Clean Energy Transition Is A $25 Trillion Free Lunch,” Clean Technica, https://cleantechnica.com/2015/11/03/clean-energy-transition-is-a-25-trillion-free-lunch / See also: http://www.solutionaryrail.org
[viii] “Clean Water for a Healthy World,” UN Environment Program, http://www.unwater.org/wwd10/downloads/WWD2010_LOWRES_BROCHURE_EN.pdf
[ix] “Cost of High Speed Rail in China One Third Lower than in Other Countries,” The World Bank, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2014/07/10/cost-of-high-speed-rail-in-china-one-third-lower-than-in-other-countries
[x] Non-military U.S. foreign aid is approximately $25 billion, meaning that President Trump would need to cut it by over 200% to find the $54 billion he proposes to add to military spending
[xi] Letter to Congressional leaders, February 27, 2017, http://www.usglc.org/downloads/2017/02/FY18_International_Affairs_Budget_House_Senate.pdf
[xiii] “Fight Climate Change, Not Wars,” Naomi Klein, http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2009/12/fight-climate-change-not-wars
[xiv] “The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: 2011 Update,” Political Economy Research Institute, https://www.peri.umass.edu/publication/item/449-the-u-s-employment-effects-of-military-and-domestic-spending-priorities-2011-update