About MN ASAP
MN ASAP is a non-partisan, citizen-based initiative that utilizes a resolution process to build political support for shifting federal spending priorities from war to meet essential needs. We build political support by asking churches, organizations, city councils, and state legislators to endorse our resolution demanding cuts to Pentagon spending and investment in our communities.
Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, assistant professor of justice and peace studies at the University of St. Thomas and the members of the Community of St. Martin started MN ASAP in 2011. The Community of St. Martin formed in 1984 as an ecumenical Christian worship community committed to peace with justice. Starting this project was a natural progression for the Community of St. Martin, as one of their goals has always been nonviolent peacemaking. Our organization consists of an active, supportive board, a small paid staff, interns, and a cadre of dedicated volunteers.
MN ASAP believes that many problems face America today, but there is only one solution – cutting Pentagon spending. Many of our board members and volunteers share an abhorrence of war, and believe if we cut military spending, corporations will lose the ability to encourage unnecessary war by fuelling a need for those wars to utilize the materials forced upon the government by lobbyists. Several of our supporters are concerned about the economic ramifications of wasteful Pentagon spending, which robs our nation of resources that are painfully needed elsewhere. MN ASAP wants the money saved to be redirected back into our education system, medical system, Veterans Affairs, environmental projects, and local communities. We are trying to be a voice for all the people that need help but do not have the lobbyists in Washington vaunting their cause.
Having local groups throughout the state of Minnesota endorse our resolution is still our paramount goa, as it will show politicians that this is a topic they cannot ignore. That being said, we also find educating the public about military spending – making it an issue in people's mind has also become important. In addition, we host debates, concerts, and community events to help raise awareness.
Our group is gaining momentum thanks to several recent successes. The Mounds View City Council unanimously passed our resolution. While this was an important moment for MN ASAP, it was one step forward among many, including receiving the endorsements of the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Duluth city councils and more than 120 organizations and church councils. U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Rick Nolan have also publically endorsed the resolution. Over 80 Minnesota state representatives and senators signed MN ASAP's Tax Day Letter.
Jimmy Carter mentions the military budget during a talk at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum sponsored by Augsburg College in Minneapolis, March 6, 2015, saying that the country is preparing, with President Obama's approval, to spend a trillion dollars on defense. And, during the Question and Answer period afterward, he noted that the reason we weren't focusing on solving social problems is we give so much money to the military ...
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