Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Poverty and the Pentagon-Call to Action

Coalition on Human Needs
Organizations:  Add Your Name to SAVE Vital Services and Prevent Rising Poverty

Please sign a letter to Congress - Deadline: Monday, September 10
Read the letter.  Sign the letter.

There are millions of reasons to sign this letter.  Here are just some:

  • 1.5 million fewer low-income people provided anti-poverty help by community action agencies.
  • 750,000 fewer infants, toddlers, and moms receiving WIC.
  • More than 460,000 adults and youth will lose employment/training services, including 51,000 veterans.
  • 734,000 fewer households with home heating/cooling assistance.
  • 1.8 million fewer low-income schoolchildren with reading and math help.
  • 185,000 fewer low-income households will receive rental vouchers.

All these and more vulnerable people will lose vital services if Congress allows automatic cuts to kick in starting in January.  At the same time, Pentagon cutbacks are scheduled.  And Congress has to decide whether to let all the Bush-era tax cuts expire, let just the extra breaks for the top 2 percent expire, or extend all of them. 

The letter calls upon Congress to set the right priorities - budget plans should protect low-income people and invest in job creation, with national priorities paid for through increased fair revenues and responsible savings from reducing waste in the Pentagon or other areas.

These principles were developed over a year ago in a statement signed by more than 1,600 organizations under the name Strengthening America's Values and Economy (SAVE) for All.  We welcome returning and new signers.

Why is this letter so important?  There are Members of Congress* who are determined to protect needed services by insisting on ending some of the upper-income tax breaks.  They oppose protecting the Pentagon by cutting human needs programs.  Of course, military contractors, financial interests, and right wing ideologues are pushing in the other direction.  Large numbers of organizations on this letter will show that groups representing millions nationwide want the right priorities - and are paying attention.  That's the kind of support our allies need to point to.

We can use your help:  please forward this email to your networks, lists, affiliates, friends...
Signing this letter does not commit your organization to anything except agreement with the letter. 

If you've already signed this letter, thank you so much!

Speak for Yourself!  If you're not authorized to sign for an organization, you can still speak out!  Click here to send an email to your Representative and Senators. 
(And remember: 
please don't sign the organizational letter if you're not authorized to do so - it just slows us down.)

* Senator Patty Murray is one such determined Member of Congress.  If you didn't hear her in last week's webinar, you can listen to the recording (her statement is in the first 10 or 15 minutes):  click here to listen. 

And here is a collection of useful background information.

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