Divest San Jose
CODEPINK SF Bay Area invites everyone to join CODEPINK’s campaign to tell their elected representative to divest from a war economy and to invest in a peace economy. Above is a photo of our CodePink / SJPJC delegation that met with Zoe Lofgren on Monday 6/18. We asked her to commit to NOT accepting donations from weapons companies and the NRA. We expressed the hope that she would support the moves to peace on the Korean peninsula and continue working to end U.S. support for the Saudi coalition that is bombing Yemen. Thanks to the work of our local CODEPINK communities we getting a growing number of elected officials to refuse contributions from the NRA and the top five weapons manufacturers: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing and General Dynamics. Since these officials are constantly voting on issues related to military spending, these decisions must not be tainted by the corrupting influence of weapons lobbyists. Who are spending millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign funding to ensure that members of Congress pay more attention to them than to the general public. With the upcoming midterm elections, we are seeing the full force of this tsunami of cash washing over our electoral system.
The gun lobby has already spent over $12 million on lobbying and given at least $1.1 million to members of Congress in this election cycle, 98% of it to Republicans. The gun lobby also wields power over Democrats through lobbying and public relations, and the threat of targeting individual Democrats who take a public stand for gun control.
But what about the even greater violence of America’s wars and the record military budget that makes them possible? U.S. weapons makers spend far more money on lobbying and campaign contributions than the domestic gun lobby: $162 million on lobbying and tens of millions in direct funding for members of Congress so far in the 2017-18 election cycle.
U.S. weapons companies have traditionally treated the Republican Party as their base in Congress, and they still contribute more to Republicans than Democrats. But as we can see hawkish Senate Democrats play a critical role as swing votes to keep the country at war and to ensure that the lion’s share of tax revenues keep flowing to the military-industrial complex. As they joined Republicans and voted to increase the FY2018 military budget to $700 billion.
The current United States policy of tough militarism for the last three administrations has got the US directly involved in 7 countries wars/civil wars, which has created nearly 800 military bases around the world, while spending of trillions of dollars is failing to make us safe or bring peace. The cost of war is preventing the US of reaching it’s development goals: health care, education, infrastructure, retirement, improved wages, recreation and responsibility for the environment. The committed divest elected officials understand how pouring the wealth of our great country into building the war machine while allowing our country to deteriorate does not make us more secure.
Towards a peaceful and sustainable planet,
CODEPINK SF Bay Area and CODEPINK Worldwide.
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