On Monday evening, October 15, the San Pablo, CA City Council voted unanimously to adopt a New Priorities resolution submitted by the Bay Area New Priorities Campaign.
All of the community speakers who requested time to comment spoke strongly in favor.
NPC activist Betty Brown illustrates her point, assisted by Pennie Opal-Plant and Michael Horse
Dr. Henry Clark testifies
Retired San Pablo School Principal Grace Morizawa
The City Clerk objects Retired letter carrier Earl Craven speaks for the resolution
At the end public testimony, however, the City Clerk asked for an opportunity to speak. He railed against what he described as an insult and disrespect to veterans. Then each council member and the mayor, Cecilia Valdez, in turn then spoke strongly in favor of the resolution, including the council’s most conservative member, Paul Morris.
Among the resolution’s supporters who spoke were New Priorities Campaign activists Betty Brown (Peace-Action West), Dr. Henry Clark (West County Toxics Coalition), Grace Morizawa (retired San Pablo public school principal), and Michael Eisenscher (U.S. Labor Against the War). A retired letter carrier and San Pablo resident, Earl Craven, also testified.
The resolution commended Congressman George Miller for his long standing opposition to the war and bloated Pentagon budget. It called upon him and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to oppose further funding of the war in Afghanistan and to take leadership in Congress to bring the troops home, substantially reduce military spending, and redirect federal tax dollars to meet the pressing needs for education, health, housing, nutrition, infrastructure, energy and environmental protection. It also called for fully funding care and services to two million Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans.
Citing data provided by the National Priorities Project, Michael Eisenscher noted that taxpayers of San Pablo had paid more than $107 million over the course of the last eleven years to pay for the wars, and would contribute $43.2 million more this year alone to the Pentagon budget at a time when the cities has faced a fiscal crisis that compelled the City Council to reduce services, and jobs, payroll and benefits.San Pablo becomes the four municipality in the Bay Area to adopt a resolution submitted by the New Priorities Campaign. Richmond, San Francisco and El Cerrito were the others. San Pablo becomes the 24th city to adopt a resolution – an effort promoted and coordinated by the New Priorities Network, with which the Bay Area campaign is affiliated.