On Tuesday, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question initiated by AFSC in coalition with dozens of other groups: the Budget for All.
The Budget for All calls for the prevention of cuts to social programs; investment in jobs that strengthen the U.S. economy; an end to corporate tax loopholes and the Bush tax cuts for high incomes; and reduction of military spending.
We are encouraged, proud, and re-energized by this show of popular support for a change in federal budget priorities!
The Budget for All appeared on the ballot in 91 towns and cities in Massachusetts, giving approximately one million voters (1/3 of the state) the chance to vote on the question. The question passed by significant margins in all 28 of the 32 districts reporting results mid-day Thursday, winning in most by a 3-to-1 margin. We expect the four remaining districts to demonstrate majority support as well, as towns voted consistently in favor across diverse socio-economic and political spectrums.
Volunteers made the campaign a success—gathering signatures in the summer to place the question on the ballot, contributing to media coverage (with over 50 pieces appearing in online and print newspapers and on the radio and television), and happily standing outside polling places on Election Day.
Fifty elected officials—including ten state senators, 18 state representatives, 15 city councilors, and four members of Congress—expressed their support for the campaign before Election Day. We expect these numbers to grow in response to the clear message sent by voters.
AFSC will continue working with the diverse Budget for All coalition of peace, labor, faith, and community organizations to achieve an economic plan that reflects the values of Americans, and we will soon launch the next phase of our campaign for a just national budget. With the fiscal cliff and sequestration looming, we remain committed to an economic plan that will achieve national security not by maintaining military spending that siphons funds away from human needs and puts lives at risk around the world, but by protecting social services, creating jobs, and making sure the very wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.
The Budget for All campaign brought AFSC together with many others in Massachusetts, and with the larger movement for economic justice in the U.S. and around the world. We hope that other states will follow our lead with similar ballot questions in coming elections.