Nevada City Council Passes Peace Budget Resolution

By Paula Orloff
The Nevada City City Council unanimously approved a Local Peace Budget Resolution (see below) on April 25, 2018 after about 20 people spoke in favor of it and after much preparation as you can see from the introduction below that we sent to the city council. We were encouraged by the participation of the community and the vote.  We intend to go to the Grass Valley City council (the twin city) and the Nevada County Board of Supervisors with a request also, especially noting that Nevada City approved the resolution.
Also, I’m sending the info below to Sacramento regional organizations with the info about Nevada City in case others would be able to put in the effort to get a similar resolution passed.
 Request for Approval of the Local of the Local Peace Budget  Resolution

We represent local citizens and organizations requesting approval of the Local Peace Budget Resolution.  It asks our representatives–you–to send a message to Congress in DC to move some of our federal taxes from the military to local needs There is a disturbing disproportionate use of our tax dollars for war often in questionable ways. Consider the graph of our military funds compared to human and environmental needs.

This request is not about doing away with our military.  Indeed, we recognize the need to fully provide for our soldiers and veterans. However in  significant ways by numerous reports, our military is bloated, wasteful and unaccountable in the use of our tax dollars.  This misuse of our military tax dollars has occurred across both democratic and republican Presidents.

The following Nevada County organizations have endorsed this resolution:  Peace Center of Nevada County,  Nevada County Health Care for All,  Co-Creation Community/CoPassion Project,  Nevada County Greens,  Palestine Israel Working Group of Nevada County, Earth Justice Ministries, the Church and Society Committee of the Nevada City Methodist Church, Nevada County Indivisible Democrats for Progress, and the Subcommittee for Fair Elections.

We have almost 400 local citizen signatures in this county  gathered at various events in support of the Resolution. At your request we will submit the petitions.

Several cities have passed similar non-partisan  resolutions in the past year to move our tax dollars from the military to local needs.  They include  *New Haven, Connecticut,  *Charlottesville, Virginia,  *Montgomery County, Maryland,  *Evanston, Illinois, *New London, New Hampshire,  *Ithaca, New York,  *West Hollywood, California,  *Wilmington, Deleware.  The California Democratic Party also passed a similar resolution in 2017.

Last year the 253 US Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a similar resolution. The Conference of Mayors is the non-partisan organization of cities with populations of more than 30,000.  The mayors also called for “hearings on real city budgets versus the taxes our cities send to the federal military budget.”

The Peace Budget Resolution is not a formal legislative action.  It is a request to Congress to consider priorities for pressing human and environmental needs. It is a way to bring pressure on our representatives to change our priorities in a safe and humane way.  We could benefit by using some of our warfare billions for constructive solutions and healthy communities.

Inline image
Local Peace Budget Resolution  / from David Swanson of World Beyond

 Whereas President Trump has proposed to move billions from individual and community needs to military spending,

 Whereas the military budget already comprises almost half of discretionary spending,

 Whereas part of helping alleviate the refugee crisis should be ending, not escalating, wars that create refugees,

 Whereas President Trump himself admitted (during the campaign)  that the enormous military spending of the past 16 years has been disastrous and made us less safe, not safer,

 Whereas fractions of the proposed military budget could provide low-cost housing, free quality education from pre-school through college, end hunger and starvation worldwide, convert the U.S. to clean energy, provide clean drinking water everywhere it’s needed on the planet, build fast trains between all major U.S. cities, and double non-military U.S. foreign aid rather than cutting it,

Whereas even 121 retired U.S. generals have written a letter opposing cutting foreign aid,

 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,

 Whereas if the United States provided clean drinking water, schools, medicine, and solar panels to others it 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,

 Whereas economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs program,

 Be it therefore resolved that Nevada City, California, urge the United States Congress to move our tax dollars in exactly the opposite direction, from militarism to human and environmental needs.

If you approve, please send this resolution to our California Senators, Representative Doug La Malfa, the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Whip, the President of the Senate, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Senate Minority Leader.

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