Calling on the Minnesota Congressional Delegation to support shifting federal funding priorities from military operations to meeting the essential needs of our local communities.
Whereas in 2011 Minnesota government was shut down over disputes as to how to address a $5 billion two-year budget shortfall; and
Whereas many small towns, cities and rural communities in Minnesota are managing austerity budgets, laying off police, firefighters, and teachers, and cutting essential services in response to cuts in state aid and/or federal cuts to Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) ; and,
Whereas the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program will likely see significant reductions in
2012 relative to previous years due to federal spending reductions. These changes come after a mid year 2011 reduction in CDBG funding, and reflect reduced funding expectations for 2012. CDBG spending on capital projects, public service programs, property maintenance and program administration are reduced accordingly; and,
Whereas Minnesota taxpayer spending for war far exceeds the state's budget deficits with Minnesotans having spent nearly $5 billion to fund the Iraq and Afghan wars in 2011 alone, bringing total Minnesota taxpayer spending for these wars to more than $38.5 billion; and,
Whereas in addition to these costly wars Minnesota tax payers are spending more than $16 billion in 2012 for our share of the base Pentagon budget, a budget that increased from $290.5 billion to $526 billion between 2000 and 2011; and,
Whereas, tax payers in St. Paul have contributed over $1.7 billion dollars to the cost of war, between 2001 and the present day; and,
Whereas in 2012, 59 cents of every dollar of federal discretionary spending is funding military purposes; and,
Whereas the budget for veterans is separate from the military budget we seek to cut, and our nation has a responsibility to provide veterans with quality medical care and other support, including opportunities for meaningful jobs; and,
Whereas military spending impacts the nation's economic recovery and national debt issues; and
Whereas our nation desperately needs to better balance its approach to national security to include the economic, social, and environmental needs of our communities, state, and nation;
Therefore be it resolved that the Saint Paul City Council calls on the Minnesota Congressional Delegation to support shifting federal funding priorities from military operations to meeting the essential needs of our local communities.