by Bob Geary
[Update, Tuesday: The measure passed by a 5-3 vote, albeit with a friendly amendment to remove the words " ... troops and ..." from the text — as shown below. Voting yes: Mayor Nancy McFarlane, Councilors Russ Stephenson, Eugene Weeks, Thomas Crowder and Mary-Ann Baldwin. Voting no: Councilors Randy Stagner, John Odom and Bonner Gaylord. The amendment, offered by Crowder, was addressed to Stagner's distaste for any implication that the troops were the problem for our wasteful wars (Stagner is a retired Army colonel). Stagner wasn't won over. Odom objected on grounds that there are no "war dollars" to be used at home, "it's all borrowed." Gaylord said he objects to voting on issues over which Council has no control.
[Some of the ROWD contingent were in the room for the vote, including Joe Burton, who coordinated the campaign. Betsy Crites, director of N.C. Peace Action, said she was unsure how the resolution would fare and "delighted" that it was approved.]
The original post from Monday —
Return Our War Dollars (ROWD), a coalition of Triangle area social justice and peace activists led by the leaders of N.C. Peace Action, presented a resolution to the Raleigh City Council two weeks ago and asked for its support. The resolution is on the Council agenda at tomorrow's 1 p.m. session.
After a number of whereas clauses, here's the punchline:
“BE IT RESOLVED that the Raleigh City Council call upon the U.S. Congress and President Obama to end our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring our
troops andwar dollars home, and use those and other savings in military spending to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy.”
According to the group, the U.S. Council of Mayors passed a similar resolution, as have several dozen city councils from L.A. to Cleveland to, in North Carolina, the Durham City Council.
There are eight Council members in Raleigh, including Mayor Nancy McFarlane. For the resolution to pass, it needs at least five affirmative votes.
Bring our troops home, cut military spending and use the savings to rebuild our domestic economy— with a focus on renewable energy?
Seems uncontroversial to me.