80 people participated in the AFSC penny poll at the Bridging the Gap SummitPhoto: AFSC / Ira Harritt
AFSC staff and volunteers staffed a table at the Bridging the Gap Summit / back to school fair to enable people to speak out about federal budget priorities. The July 30 event sponsored by The Concerned Clergy Coalition of KC, Hickman Mills School District and All Christians Together Serving provided free health screenings, free food and clothing, entertainment, youth games and community vendors.
As a community vendor our goal was to engage event participants in learning about misguided federal budget priorities and excessive military spending and give them an opportunity to express their priorities for federal spending.
Eighty area residents participated in our penny poll in which individuals were given 10 pennies and could place one or more in 10 containers representing spending alternatives.
Unlike the proposed 2012 federal discretionary budget in which 60% of the funds go to the military our participants proposed the following use of their tax dollars:
Education 22.5% Jobs 22.3% Health 18.4% Housing 10.5%
Environment/ Green Energy 6.3% Veterans 5% Military 4.3%
Homeland Security 4% Diplomacy 3.5% Mass Transit Roads 3.4%
We also collected 47 letters to congresspersons calling for an increase in funding for: Jobs; Education; Healthcare; and Housing & Neighborhoods. And cuts in money for: War And The Military; Corporate Welfare; And Tax Cuts For The Super Rich. (Click this link for a copy of the letter.)
We invite Kansas City area residents who are concerned with federal budget priorities to get involved in our work to “Move the Money” and cut military spending and increase funds for education, jobs and other community needs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816 931-5256.