Passed by the Milwaukee City Council on September 25th, 2012 by a vote of 13-0:
Substitute resolution relating to redirecting federal spending priorities from foreign military interventions to investing in programs to address critical domestic and urban needs.
Analysis: This resolution urges federal authorities to redirect spending priorities and resources from military operations in foreign countries to programs and initiatives that address critical urban needs including housing, health care, education and programs that support military families and returning veterans.
Whereas, The deep economic recession which began in 2007 has resulted in broad negative impacts on cities and urban communities across the nation including the City of Milwaukee; and
Whereas, These adverse economic conditions include devastated housing markets, high unemployment, increased poverty - especially among children, substantial challenges to educational and civic institutions, degradation of public infrastructure and lost opportunities for large numbers of Americans; and
Whereas, Federal programs such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, committing $861 billion to economic recovery over a 10-year period, have contributed to public and private economic stimulus across many sectors of American business and civic life; and
Whereas, Federal investment in programs and infrastructure to meet the significant economic and social challenges faced by cities and urban communities during the current recession have been limited due to fiscal priorities that include expenditures for military operations in countries that include Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan; and
Whereas, The U.S. Congress has appropriated more than $1.2 trillion for prosecution of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002; and
Whereas, The United States spends 41% of total global military spending, 5 times more than the next highest military spender, and the U.S. now annually spends twice the amount that it spent in 1998 in constant dollars; and
Whereas, The United States is the wealthiest nation on earth but trails many other nations in life expectancy, infant mortality, education level, housing, and environmental sustainability; and
Whereas, The Common Council of the City of Milwaukee and the residents represented by each of its members supports the men and women who bravely serve in the nation's military and their families, support policies to bring them home safely from foreign conflict, and support programs for successful reintegration of the military and their families in the life of the nation through health care, employment, housing and other initiatives; and
Whereas, Domestic needs, including the need to strengthen programs that support returning members of the military and their families, are especially critical in urban centers like the city of Milwaukee which have experienced disproportionately severe consequences as a result of the economic downturn; and
Whereas, Taxpayers of the city of Milwaukee will contribute $695 million of the amount budgeted for the U.S. Department of Defense in 2012, an amount equivalent to the salaries of 10,700 elementary school teachers for one year, or the salaries of 10,500 police or sheriff's patrol officers for one year, or the cost of medical care by the Veterans Administration for 95,400 military veterans for one year; and
Whereas, Dollars spent on education, health care, housing and clean energy will produce more jobs than dollars spent on military operations overseas; and
Whereas, The U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution (June 2011) calling on the President and U.S. Congress to bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, By the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee, that the City of Milwaukee calls on federal authorities to continue to pursue strategies to reduce military operations in conflicts overseas; and be it
Further Resolved, That the U.S. Congress is urged to redirect military spending to fund education, housing, public and private sector family-sustaining job creation, programs and protections that support military sector workers, veterans and their families, initiatives for environmental protection and infrastructure restoration and other human services that our cities so desperately need; and, be it
Further Resolved, That cities and other municipal governments across the nation are urged to adopt comparable resolutions seeking redirection of military spending to meet
urgent domestic needs; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the City Clerk and the Intergovernmental Relations Division-Department of Administration are directed to provide copies of this resolution to all members of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation, and to forward a copy of this resolution to the National League of Cities requesting dissemination to its members.
For more info: Peace Action Wisconsin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 414-964-5158