NJ Peace Action member and Montclair resident Ethel Owens asked the township council Tuesday night to consider a resolution reading:
"We call upon Congress to reduce military spending: Transfer funds to convert to civilian production; Create jobs to rebuild our infrastructure; Meeting pressing human needs."
Owens urged the council to inform the community of this effort and urge Washington to reduce military spending by being the first town in New Jersey to pass such a resolution.
"Here's an opportunity [for Montclair] to be a real leader," she said.
Alfred Marder, Chairman of the City of New Haven Peace Commission, traveled from Connecticut to address the council on the topic.
Marder said 23,000 residents of New Haven, one of the poorest towns in the United States, voted "yes" in November 2012 on a non-binding resolution asking for a reduction in military spending to create jobs, improve infrastructure and address community needs.
New Haveners give more than $242 million in taxes to support the military budget, he said, "Could you imagine what the city of New Haven could do ... with $242 million?"
Montclair Deputy Mayor Bob Russo said he was in favor of such a resolution and suggested adding wording about "adequately funding public schools."
The council may consider putting the question to the public as a referendum in an upcoming election.
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