An open letter from Tom Ewell regarding SB 8014
For many decades Friends have challenged the military budget and the related military-industrial-complex. We have made this challenge because the cost of arms development and preparation for war – often without equal emphasis on diplomacy, support for development in poor and unstable countries, and increasingly without regard for international cooperation and support for peaceful prevention of deadly conflict in the first place – leads us ever further to becoming a nation of perpetual, expensive, wasteful and immoral war. More recently we have emphasized that while the Pentagon budget has increased substantially, domestic spending at the federal level – and thus to the states – has also decreased significantly as various crucial social services have been cut and infrastructural needs are neglected.
The Senate Joint Memorial Bill 8014 being heard this coming week in our Washington state Senate is our opportunity to speak up at the state level and to call for the state of Washington to raise its voice to demand a shift from our military budget to the crucial needs here at home.
The Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy (FCWPP) urges you to make a call, write a statement, attend the hearing, or in some way let your voice be heard on this important measure. Please contact the state senators listed below by Wednesday, February 1, (even if they are not your senators), urge them to pass Senate Joint Memorial Bill 8014 and encourage them to assertively call for an end to the war in Afghanistan, reduce military spending, and invest the savings in our domestic needs.
Senate Joint Memorial 8014 will be heard in the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections on Thursday, February 2, at 10:00 AM. This measure sends an urgent message from the entire Legislature and our State that Congress and the President should end the war in Afghanistan and shift our national priorities toward rebuilding the economy, creating living wage jobs, restoring social programs, and protecting the environment. If you cannot attend the hearing, you can express your support for this resolution by contacting Senator Craig Pridemore, (49th leg District), the chair, and Senator Margarita Prentice (11th), the co-chair, with other members of the committee listed below. Letters of support for the full committee can also be sent to Sharon Swanson, Committee Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org . Put “In support of Senate Joint Memorial 8014, End the Afghanistan War” in the subject line. Please thank the Senate sponsor Sen. Maralyn Chase (32nd) and co-sponsor Sen. Rodney Tom (48th). The complete resolution is available at:
[Senate] Government Operations, Tribal Relations, & Elections
Pridemore, Chair (D) 49th District; Vancouver – (360) 786-7696 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting
Margarita Prentice, Vice Chair (D) 11th District; Renton – (360) 786-7616 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting
Dan Swecker (R) ranking Minority Member; 20th District, Rochester – (360) 786-7638 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Don Benton (R) 17th District Vancouver – (360) 786-7632 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting
Maralyn Chase (D) Sponsor of SJM 8083; 32nd District; Shoreline – (360) 786-7662 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting
Sharon Nelson (D; 34th District; West Seattle, Vashon, Burien) – (360) 786-7667 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Pam Roach (R; 31st District; Auburn) – (360) 786-7660 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
AFSC and FOR ask for support for Senate Joint Memorial Bill 8014. This bill sends an urgent message from the entire Legislature representing us, and our State that:
“…Congress and the President change course by ending the war in Afghanistan:
Dramatically shifting our national priorities to create stable jobs at living wages
for all who seek employment;
restoring vital social programs and public services;
rebuilding our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure;
and putting our nation on an environmentally sustainable, ecologically responsible path
that addresses the challenge of climate change and environmental degradation
while reinvigorating jobs and our economy.”
The original House Joint Memorial 4013 (resolution) is now in the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee. If passed in the Senate it will more than likely be passed in the House as well, where there are 15 legislative co-sponsors, led by Rep. Bob Hasegawa.
Please thank Representative Bob Hasegawa (11th), who led the way and obtained as co-sponsers: Representatives Santos (37th), Kenney (46th), Goodman (45th), Ryu (32nd), Appleton (23rd) committee vice chair, Dunshee 44th), Pollet (46th), Ormsby (3rd), Pettigrew (37th), Stanford (1st), Takko (19th), Dickerson (36th), Reykdal (22nd), Hunt (22nd) committee chair, and Moscoso (1st). You can identify your legislators at: Find Your Legislators.
Members of House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee who are co-sponsors are underlined above. Others on the committee include
Taylor (15th) (360) 786-7874 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting,,, – , ranking member
Overstreet (42nd) (360) 786-7980 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting, assistant ranking member
Alexander (20th) LEG 426B (360) 786-7990
Condotta (12th) LEG 122B (360) 786-7954
Darneille (27th) JLOB 314 (360) 786-7974
Hurst (31st) JLOB 335 (360) 786-7866
McCoy (38th) LEG 132A (360) 786-7864
The Pentagon is eating 60 cents on every tax dollar in the federal discretionary budget. It’s time military spending took a serious hit. A far smaller military would make us far safer by not deploying forces around the world and getting us into wars we don’t need.
The 1994 U.N. Human Development Report on “Human Security” documented that the higher the ratio of military to non-military government spending was in a country, the more unstable and the more vulnerable its people were to lack of health and education.
WA taxpayers have, so far, given over $10 billion in taxes just for the war in Afghanistan, alone.
Tom Ewell, Clerk, Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy
and the FCWPP Legislative Committee