The 45th Legislative District Democrats, Washington State Progressive Caucus, and The Washington State Democrats have voted unanimously to endorse the adoption of this Joint Memorial and ask our Washington State Senators and Legislators to pass the resolution with the same unanimity.
Click here to sign a petition in support of this Joint Memorial.
TO THE HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
Whereas, our State, as most others, faces the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression; and
Whereas, the unemployment rate in the State of Washington as of August 2011 reached 9.3%; and the poverty rate 11.7%; and
Whereas, eleven counties in the State of Washington are experiencing unemployment rates between 9.9% and 13.5%; and
Whereas, since FY2001 taxpayers in the State of Washington have paid $26 billion toward the total spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and
Whereas, taxpayers in the State of Washington will pay an additional $3.5 billion toward total Iraq and Afghanistan war spending for FY2011; bringing the total war spending bill for Washington State taxpayers to $29.5 billion; and
Whereas, one year of taxpayer war spending dollars could have alternately built our state infrastructure by creating 48,461 school teacher jobs, or hiring 45,205 firefighters, or creating enough jobs to convert 1.3 million households to solar energy, or creating 42,585 new police or sheriff’s patrol officer positions, or providing 113,000 four year university scholarships; and
Whereas, 11.7% of soldiers that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan are unemployed, with many having inadequate support to adjust to civilian life; and
Whereas, counties with military facilities are experiencing the highest foreclosure rates in Washington State, and the already high number of homeless veterans is increasing; and
Whereas, in February of 2011 the State Legislature passed House Bill 1432 relating to veterans’ relief by permitting private employers to exercise a voluntary veterans’ preference in employment; and
Whereas, for every $1 billion spent on the military 11,600 jobs are created, yet for the same billion dollars 17,100 jobs are created by investments in clean energy; or 19,600 jobs are created by funding health care; or 29,100 jobs are created from spending on education; and
Whereas, the Pentagon budget was $297 billion when President Clinton left office, and the proposed 2012 fiscal year Pentagon budget is more than double that amount at $703 billion, with military spending by other agencies raising that total to more than $1 trillion; and
Whereas, adjusting for inflation, the level of funding proposed for the base defense budget in the FY12 request comprises over 60% of the national discretionary budget, the highest level since World War II; and
Whereas, the United States military budget presently represents 43% of worldwide military spending; distantly followed by China (7.3% of world share), UK (3.7%), France (3.6%), and Russia (3.6%); and
Whereas, the Washington State Governor and Legislature have had to cut nearly $10.5 billion from current and projected spending with another $1.4 billion in reductions looming, resulting in significant job losses and cuts to vital programs;
Whereas, projected revenues for Washington State continue to plummet, wiping out our state reserves; and
Whereas, this drain on the public treasury is bleeding our state and forcing increasingly severe cuts in vital social programs and public services, resulting in the inability of state government to support job creation and meet the most basic needs of our people, while producing ever greater debt that will be borne by future generations;
THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully call upon:
Congress and the President to change course by ending the wars in Iraq and 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.
BE IT RESOLVED, that copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of each state’s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.