The Afghanistan war grinds on, the Pentagon budget keeps growing, corporations and the 1%'ers are paying lower taxes than their secretaries, Social Security and other benefits are under attack, and next to nothing is being done to create jobs. Instead of addressing these problems, the House of Representatives showed that it is still gripped by deficit fever when it passed the draconian Ryan budget, and gave only 78 votes to the alternative presented by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
A coalition of community, labor, and peace groups across Massachusetts organized to put a public policy question on the ballot in November 2012.
The wording of the Budget for All Referendum read:
Shall the state Representative (or Senator) from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon the Congress and the President to:
- Prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits, or to housing, food and unemployment assistance;
- Create and protect jobs by investing in manufacturing, schools, housing, renewable energy, transportation and other public services;
- Provide new revenues for these purposes and to reduce the long-term federal deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes, ending offshore tax havens, and raising taxes on incomes over $250,000; and
- Redirect military spending to these domestic needs by reducing the military budget, ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home safely now
The Budget for All resolution passed in all 91 Massachusetts cities and towns where it was on the ballot November 6, 2012. The statewide vote was 623,128 yes to 209,725 no. The average margin was 3 to 1. The number of blank ballots was in the 20-25% range for those cities and towns where we have that information available. View and download the list of cities and towns and the vote here.
Sponsors (4/27/12): Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, American Friends Service Committee, AFGE/Local 3258/AFL-CIO, Right to the City Civic Action Alliance, Massachusetts Peace Action, United National Antiwar Coalition - Boston, New England United for Justice, Majority Agenda Project, United for Justice with Peace, Mass Global Action, 25% Coalition, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Boston Workers Alliance, Action for Peace Working Group/Occupy Boston, Dorchester People for Peace, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE), Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment, ARISE for Social Justice (Springfield), Fund Our Communities, Not War/Massachusetts, Chinese Progressive Association, MetroWest Peace Action, Occupy Newton, Mary Ellen McCormack Tenant Task Force.
To add your organization's name to the list of endorsers, fill in this form.