Statement of Purpose
Fund Our Communities is a coalition of community groups in Northeast Ohio and part of a growing nationwide movement to reduce military spending and fund domestic needs. We believe that the burden of our national economic problems has fallen disproportionately on local communities and poor and middle class individuals and families. We believe homeland security begins with thriving communities.
Reduce Military Spending and Pentagon Waste by at least 25%
Fund Our Communities critical needs
Provide Transition Assistance for communities, industries and workers dependent on defense contracts
Make individual and corporate Taxation More Fair (return to 1950s level)
“Fund Our Communities Coalition” was initiated by Cleveland Peace Action, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee and Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice. Community groups and individuals are invited to join. You may just lend your organization name to be used in public statements. You may also choose to be an active member, participating in planning and actions. For more information about the Fund Our Communities Coalition, contact Nina McLellan or Lynne Rustad. More at Cleveland Peace Action’s Move the Money Action Group
American Friends Service Committee, Northeast Ohio
Black On Black Crime, Inc.
The Carl Stokes Brigade
Cleveland Code Pink
Cleveland Jobs With Justice
Cleveland Peace Action
Environmental Health Watch
Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network
Imagine Peace of West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church
IRTF: InterReligious Task Force on Central America
The Just Reach Ministry of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve (PCUSA)
Labor Fightback Network/Cleveland Chapter
NEOCH – Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless
Patriots for Change
Peace In The Hood
Peace Seekers Action Group of East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church
STOP Stop Targeting Ohio’s Poor
United Pastors in Mission
Veterans For Peace – Chapter 39-NEOH
Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice
Things are getting worse for most Americans. Over the last decade, middle class household income has declined by 7%. The poverty rate has not been as high since the 1960’s. The economy is stagnant, good jobs are scarce, roads are falling apart, and safety net programs for poor people are thinner than ever. Labor rights are under attack. Wealth is concentrated in the 1 percent at the expense of the rest of us. Thanks to budget deficits, wars, and record low taxes for corporations and the wealthy, most local communities are in crisis. We can no longer afford the status quo.
President Eisenhower, in his 1961 farewell speech, cautioned:
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”
The U.S. fights and occupies abroad when we should be fighting for real “homeland security” – thriving local communities. About 50% of the discretionary Federal budget supports the most powerful military in history. The U.S. accounts for over 40% of the world’s total military spending. State and local budgets favor policing and incarceration while schools are underfunded. Young adults face steep college tuition and fewer career choices that don’t begin with military service. Basic social services are rationed, while military spending has suffered only modest cuts. This kind of government spending is killing us. It’s time to Fund Our Communities.
Fund Our Communities: Goals and Objectives
1. Reduce Military Spending and Pentagon Waste at least 25%
We will advocate to:
• Reduce military spending by at least $1 trillion over ten years through sensible, targeted cuts and move the money to meet domestic needs.
• Audit the Pentagon and eliminate the current egregious level of waste.
• Rebalance the federal budget to divest from weapons production we don’t need and invest in the low carbon economy we do need.
2. Fund Our Communities critical needs
• Work with other local advocates to educate the public, demonstrate and advocate for preserving essential programs and services.
• Help gather local information and data about needs and effect of cuts.
3. Provide Transition Assistance for communities, industries and workers dependent on defense contracts
• Support legislation for an Ohio economic futures commission to develop diversification strategies based on the Connecticut model;
• Support legislation for federal Defense Transition Assistance planning and funding including diversification planning, job-retraining, technical assistance, technology transfer and finance.
• Inform public officials of available Pentagon funding through the Office of Economic Adjustment.
• Develop regional support for DTA by affected businesses, business organizations and public officials.
4. Make Individual and Corporate Taxation More Fair (return to 1950s levels)
• Advocate to close tax loopholes and end or reduce deductions for wealthy individuals and corporations.