Campaign for New Priorities Update

by Betty Brown

A big thank you to the ECDC members who signed the Jobs-Not-Wars online petition along with more than 35,000 other individuals as of Feb. 13. There were also 175 organizational endorsements, including ECDC’s. On Feb. 18, the petition was presented in Washington D.C., to representatives of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

An “Abraham Lincoln” read from the Emancipation Proclamation from the Ravages of Militarism and War. The above and other activities all relate to the continuing debate on the federal budget. The Progressive Caucus introduced HR 505, The Balancing Act, their alternative to the austerity and sequestration. It makes no cuts in social programs but raises taxes on the wealthy and makes significant cuts to military spending. With the sequestration cuts commencing on March 1, the Progressive Caucus plans to introduce an alternative, “Anti Austerity” budget the week of March 11. Once introduced, please consider lobbying Senators Boxer and Feinstein urging them to support it.

For the third year, the Campaign for New Priorities is responding to the call for a global day of action on military spending set for April 15 or Tax Day. We will be doing a flier distribution at BART stations, like we did before, when close to 10,000 pieces were handed out around the Bay. In 2012, over 140 actions took place around the world. If you can volunteer to help leaflet at an El Cerrito BART station, please let Yvonne Steffen know at (510) 237-0350. If you would like to volunteer to leaflet at any other BART stations, please contact Stephen McNeil, American Friends Service Committee at (415) 565-0201.