St. Paul council supports redirecting some military funding to local needs
St. Paul became the first city in Minnesota to formally resolve that federal military spending needs to be trimmed.
A resolution sponsored by St. Paul City Council member Amy Brendmoen unanimously passed the seven-member board Wednesday, Oct. 10. It asks the state's congressional delegation to support shifting funding priorities from military operations to the needs of local communities.
"The bottom line for me is that federal spending impacts the money that goes to local initiatives," Brendmoen said.
Wednesday's council meeting was attended by members of various anti-war and social justice groups, as well as state Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, and anti-war activist Coleen Rowley.
Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, a professor of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas, said that if every American taxpayer received a bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, St. Paul taxpayers' share would total an estimated $1.7 billion over the past decade.
Other major cities to pass resolutions in favor of trimming military spending are Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Hartford, Conn. Rowley said peace activists have approached the city councils in Eagan and Lakeville but have yet to receive responses. They also plan to approach Apple Valley, Inver Grove Heights, Shoreview and Mounds View officials in coming days.
Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172. Follow him at twitter.com/FrederickMelo.