BUDGET FOR LIFE
OR BUDGET FOR DEATH?
EYE ALERTS! Read two early analyses of the 2008 budget presented to the House on February 5. . The Friends Committee on National Legislation summary says $666 billion is proposed for current military spending. Adding costs of interest on debt and veterans benefits they estimate $968 billion, or almost a trillion dollars! FCNL also shows cuts in some key domestic programs.
The Center for Arms Control gives a useful breakdown for the military budget including Pentagon contributions to Homeland Defense, but without the nuclear weapons budget, current war costs or debt and veteran's benefits.
SUPPORT A COMMON SENSE BUDGET IN CONGRESS! In the 109th Congress Barbara Lee and a group of our progressive House members introduced H.R. 4898 which would transfer 17% of the military budget to programs that enhance human life rather than destroy it. Let's join the campaign for its reintroduction now! Read Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey's endorsement of the bill here, including high points of the positive spending program. WILPF's Women's Budget begins to come to life!
JOIN WILPF VISITS TO CONGRESS IN MARCH! Contact DISARM if you can come or for more information. Or send letters and Make Peace a Reality Post Cards to Kate Zaiden in the national office on DISARM or anti-war issues for hand delivery to D.C. offices of your Congress persons. The post cards feature HR 508 and the comprehensive plan for ending the occupation of Iraq proposed by Woolsey, Lee and Watson with Kucinich among the co-sponsors. Carol Urner, DISARM co-chair, will be emphasizing compliance with the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty and the thirteen steps to nuclear weapons abolition as the sane alternative to Complex 2030 and rebuilding/upgrading the entire nuclear weapons stock pile. Odile, WCUSP co-chair, will emphasize challenging US foreign policy in the Middle East. We will also deliver your letters and seek answers to your concerns.
WILPF is committed to building peace economies in our own nations and throughout the world with human rights and democratic institutions for all. Such economies are envisaged in the United Nations Charter and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In DISARM we work specifically on dismantling the war economy and bringing U.S. law into compliance with UN treaties our leaders have ratified and/or signed. However, many of the resources accessed from this page can be useful to all of us in our multi-faceted work to make help peace, freedom and the beloved community a reality for everyone in our own nation and the world.
Prepare for Budget Issues in Congress: Read Janet Midgley's Women and the U.S. Budget now. Study it individually and integrate it into your Branch meetings and program. Try an online book group if you cannot find time to gather together for group discussions. Order copies from WILPF at a reduced price of $9 .00. The entire amount goes directly into the U.S. WILPF budget! (There may be an additional charge for postage.)
Follow the budget process in the 110th Congress, now in session. Funding is the key to many (or most) of the issues which concern us. (Every cent spent on the military robs from human welfare, peace and freedom). Get your legislative phone and email trees in order so that you and your Branch are ready for action! Subscribe to Val Mullen's DISARM EYE on Congress alerts to follow DISARM issues and budget on which we can act throughout the year. (We hope that in 2007 other committees and campaigns will develop similar congressional alerts. The building of peace and freedom requires work on many fronts.)
Build strong relationships with your Representative and Senators now and throughout the next two years. Use the WILPF legislative tool kit to help you keep letters, emails and phone calls flowing to their offices. Legislative information in the Toolkit gives you access to the essential U.S. Library of Congress Thomas site for all details on your legislators and specific bills, as well as to the House and Senate. At Get Started you'll find links to Vote Smart, Friends Committee on National Legislation and other NGOs important to those of us tracking DISARM and related issues. And make periodic appointments with you Senators and Representatives and/or their staffs to raise DISARM and related issues of concern to your Branch. Keep Branch and individual letters going to the local offices, and emails and phone calls to Washington. Download and help us update directories on progressives in the House and Senate: men and women who most often vote positively on WILPF issues, and with whom we should build supportive relationships. But keep working with your Congressional delegation regardless of their current positions. Change for the better is always possible!
Dismantling the war economy is still an important part of our DISARM work, essential to building an economy of peace. Use the Mil Corp manual as a resource to supplement your other work, or as a study guide to equip you and your Branch for concrete action in challenging war profiteers and leading your community toward an economy of peace. The 2005 Mil-Corp ConneXion Manual is still available online on the WILPF web site. The 2006 photo copied version can be ordered from DISARM now for $15.00 including postage. We hope to have a constantly updating 2007 version on the DISARM UPDATE web pages by February. We are also working with Reaching Critical Will on updating The Dirty Dozen: Partners in Mass Destruction which forms the core of our Mil-Corp ConneXion Manual.
Make Peace A Reality Post Card Actions: Participate actively in these actions as individuals and as a Branch. Many of our inter-related issues, including DISARM, are addressed during the year. Any of us can suggest topics to the national office. Make Peace a Reality Post Cards can be an integral part of every WILPF meeting and tabling action. It's a great habit to cultivate!
Come to Washington D.C. to lobby on budget issues. Alliance for Nuclear Accountability lobby days on nuclear issues and the budget are in late March or early April every year, and are great action and learning experiences. FCNL sponsors a lobby day early in November, and WAND will also offer good opportunities. Carol Urner and Ellen Barfield, WILPF DISARM co-chairs, go to Washington D.C. periodically and invite you to join them for lobby days. Carol Urner expects to go into D.C. for legislative action on DISARM issues March 5-9, November 5-9 and the weeks before or after June 15-17 and September 7-9 . She welcomes other WILPFers to join her. She is also happy to carry your letters on disarmament issues for personal delivery to Congressional offices in Washington D.C.