In a five-to-two vote Monday evening, the City Council of Des Moines, Iowa joined several other cities that passed resolutions recently calling on the president and Congress to direct federal budget priorities to build our cities and meet human needs instead of the war in Afghanistan.
Mayor Frank Cownie, a member of Mayors for Peace, commented that it’s time to move from a war to a civilian economy and "improve the lives of all Americans."
The petition, advanced by the Catholic Peace Ministry, represented a coalition of faith, labor and community groups. Supporters included local Catholic, Methodist, and Episcopal bishops and Des Moines Catholic Sister organizations.
The council passed the resolution that called on Congress to “fund the safe and orderly withdrawal of US soldiers from Afghanistan, cut non-essential Pentagon budget appropriations, and redirect savings towards domestic priorities.”
“It’s time to weigh in,” stated Jeffery Weiss, Executive Director of Catholic Peace Ministry, “time to build American cities instead of a war that has lasted longer than both World Wars combined.”
Carmen Lampe-Zeitler, Executive Director of Children and Family Urban Ministries cited increasing human needs in Des Moines and the lack of resources available to meet them.
“It’s time to stop the destruction of warring,” she said, “and invest in the resurrection of our city.”
The council asked Mayor Cownie, who brought a similar resolution before the US Conference of Mayors in 2011, to speak first towards the resolution. Weiss and Lampe-Zeitler presented the resolution as citizens.
In presenting the resolution, Weiss asked the Council to join the National Conference of Mayors and cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee who passed similar resolutions.
The resolution also urged federal lawmakers to respond to the physical and psychological needs of returning soldiers and their families from the battle fields.
The conversation comes at an important time in our country as the discussion in Washington heats up over the federal budget.