Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quakers go to Washington to call for cuts in our bloated military budget, more funds for social needs

I am going to Washington, DC, this week to  take part in a lobby day being organized by the Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCLN). Over 300 Quakers and their allies will take part in this effort. We will receive training and then go to the offices of our elected officials. I have sent an email to my representative, Adam Schiff, asking for a meeting. I also wrote a letter to Schiff and to Senators Boxer and Feinstein, calling on them to cut a trillion dollars from the Pentagon budget:

"I urge you to support a balanced approach to reining in the federal debt, one that requires the Pentagon to cut at least $1 trillion from its budget over the next 10 years.

"The federal tax dollars invested in our local community are important for the health care, education and social services that I and many others depend on. I am concerned that these positive investments will be cut, while the largest chunk of the money that Congress allocates, Pentagon spending, will be allowed to keep growing.

"Pentagon spending has grown significantly in the last decade, and it can sustain cuts of $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter."

I'm excited by this opportunity to make the progressive Quaker voice heard in the nation's capitol and I encourage you to do your bit. It's very easy. Just go to the and click on "Take action." It takes only a couple of minutes to send an email and make your voice heard. Or better yet, give a call to your elected officials....

All it takes for our elected officials to go along with the military-industrial complex is for citizens like you and me to remain silent.

Fortunately, our Quaker lobbyists will not be silent. As Diane Randall, the executive secretary of FCNL, writes:

"FCNL lobbyists are already analyzing the election results with an eye toward future opportunities with Congress: to promote diplomacy and prevent war with Iran; advance nuclear disarmament; promote the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict; end the war in Afghanistan; take action to contend with climate change; reform our immigration system and change our federal budget priorities.

"As congressional committee assignments and decisions about who will lead the various committees gets clarified, you can be assured that, with your help, and regardless of leadership positions or party affiliation, FCNL's lobbying to bring about a more peaceful and just world will be relentless."

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