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Montclair to Congress: 'Move the Money'

Township passes resolution asking federal government to divert funds from military to communities.

Montclair Deputy Mayor Robert Russo introduces a resolution in support of 'Move the Money'.
Montclair Deputy Mayor Robert Russo introduces a resolution in support of 'Move the Money'.
Nonagenarian Ethel Owens proved it's never too late to achieve one's goals Tuesday night when the Montclair Council became the first in the state to pass a resolution asking U.S. Congress to "Move the Money."

Due to the urging of Owens and fellow members of locally based NJ Peace Action, Montclair joins municipalities in Massachusetts and Connecticut in urging the federal government to divert military and other "wasteful spending" to human needs, education and jobs. 

Deputy Mayor Robert Russo read the resolution (watch video), which was approved with a 6-0 vote and one abstention. Councilman-at-Large Rich McMahon abstained saying while he agreed with the sentiment, he did not think it was within the purview of the governing body.

Owens, a 91-year-old with a never-quit attitude, came before the council multiple times this year to urge the passing of such a resolution and present petitions with hundreds of signatures. 

"Peace is the most important issue in the world," Owens said before the meeting. "It's time people focus on this right now." 

Greg Pason, father of a Montclair High School graduate and member of NJ Peace Action, came to Tuesday's meeting to show his support for "Move the Money."

The federal government spends 57% of it's budget on defense, he said.

"We just want to reinvest the money we are already spending."

James Harris, of Montclair, a retired 26-year member of the National Guard, also supported the resolution.

Harris said he recently visited Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark and was saddened by the condition of the first school named after an African American in the state. 

"We've actually lost perspective on how much money we spend on the military every day," Harris said.

Do you support "Move the Money"? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments.

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