Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

COUNTING THE VOTES


  • Good news came to us today from Jackie Cabasso (Mayors for Peace) who reports the following:  Yesterday the US Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted the Mayors for Peace resolution Calling for US Leadership in Global Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and Redirection of Military Spending to Domestic Needs at their annual meeting in Las Vegas! Don't let what happened in Vegas stay in Vegas!! Read the final resolution with the list of 30 sponsors here
  • It's refreshing to see that big city mayors understand the current massive imbalance in our federal spending.  They feel the pain as social programs are cut and all the nation's problems are dumped in their laps.   Hopefully their resolution will begin to have some impact on the way Congress looks at the federal budget priorities. Up to this point it is clear that Congress has become virtual captives of the military industrial complex.
  • One example is the June 14 vote in the House of Representatives on the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act which approved $638 billion for the Pentagon. The vote was 315-108 in favor of passage.  Democrats voted 103-90 for the huge military spending bill with about half of the members of the "Progressive Caucus" voting yes.  These same "progressive" Dems complain about cuts in social spending, they grumble about war spending but when it comes time to stand with the forces for peace they run into the arms of the weapons corporations who give generously to their campaigns. 
  • All of this massive military spending should be put in the context of new reports indicating that nearly 16 million children in the United States – 22% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $23,021 a year for a family of four. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. Using this standard, 45% of children live in low-income families. Most of these children have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment leave their families struggling to make ends meet. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty also can contribute to poor health and mental health. Risks are greatest for children who experience poverty when they are young and/or experience deep and persistent poverty.

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