Divest Richmond from the War Machine is a coalition of different people and organizations, organized around a single focus of divesting money from militarism and into community-focused programs like education, healthcare, and climate action to the greatest extent possible within Richmond. Our short-term goal is to pass a Move the Money resolution in Richmond to demonstrate our city’s support for redirecting military spending towards human and environmental needs, with a long-term vision of divesting Richmond’s public funds from weapons manufacturers and defense contractors. We also collaborate with organizations across Virginia and the United States interested in furthering our shared goal of combating military interventionism and endless wars.
You can learn more about the campaign and see a list of current coalition members here.
EMAIL/LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN
📧 Email/write your Richmond City Councilmember asking them to pass a Move the Money Resolution that will urge Congress to fund human and environmental needs, not military expansion!
I urge the City of Richmond, Virginia to pass a Move the Money resolution calling on the federal government to move significant funds away from the military budget to fund human and environmental needs.
According to the National Priorities Project, the average Virginia taxpayer paid $4,578 on military spending in 2019 alone. At the same time, Virginia currently ranks 41st in the nation in per-pupil spending on education, and studies show that just a $1,000 increase in this area is enough to raise test scores, graduation rates, and college enrollment. In fact, studies show that investments in education, healthcare, and clean energy would create more jobs - and in many cases, better-paying jobs, than military sector spending.
Likewise, the Pittsburgh bridge collapse that happened earlier this year is a stark reminder of the risk of neglecting domestic needs, and one that hits close to home, since hundreds of bridges in Virginia are also structurally deficient and in need of repair. At the same time, President Biden recently proposed ratcheting up the Pentagon budget to $770 billion. Our infrastructure is literally crumbling at the same time that our nation’s military budget gets higher and higher every year, further fueling a wasteful and ineffective system that wages endless wars abroad while doing nothing to improve the lives of American citizens.
Move the Money is a national movement that calls on the government to redirect military spending towards vital human and environmental needs. The Move the Money movement starts in our cities, where dozens of municipalities across the country — including Charlottesville right here in Virginia — have already successfully passed resolutions calling for cuts to the Pentagon budget.
Americans are supposed to be directly represented in Congress. Our local and state governments are also supposed to represent us to Congress. Most city council members in the United States take an oath of office promising to support the U.S. Constitution. Representing your constituents to higher levels of government, through municipal resolutions like the Move the Money campaign, is part of how you can do that.
Additionally, the Move the Money movement builds on our country’s rich tradition of municipal action on national and international issues. For example, as early as 1798, the Virginia State Legislature passed a resolution using the words of Thomas Jefferson, which condemned federal policies penalizing France. A more recent example, the anti-apartheid movement, illustrated the power that cities and states can hold over national and international policy. Therefore, I urge the City of Richmond, Virginia to pass a Move the Money resolution calling on the United States Congress to move our tax dollars from militarism to human and environmental needs.
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