Resources and Action Center

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Peace and Economic Justice Resource and Action Center

(Updated 9/22/10)

Cities for Peace is acting as a central organizing and information hub for the many Peace-Economic Rights Campaigns taking place in 2010 and 2011. Below we offer resources, tools, and information to help strengthen grassroots campaigns across the nation.

Table of Contents

Organizing Tools

A. Campaigns

Bring Our War $$ Home
Concerned organizations and individuals around the state have created the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home as a way to promote the idea that the state’s fiscal crisis is in large part due to the current spending on war.

Brown Bag Lunch Vigils
The Progressive Democrats of America originally began holding Brown Bag Lunch Vigils to spread a simple message: “Healthcare NOT Warfare.” As the attacks on progressive values and the principles of democracy, equality, and fairness have escalated over the past nine months, the focus has broadened.

Our Nations Checkbook
Organizers from the Friends Committee on National Legislation Our Nations Checkbook campaign are working across the country to build support for budget committee hearings on how the federal budget could shift money from the Pentagon to diplomacy, green jobs, and human needs. 

The 25% Solution
The 25% campaign supports a 25% reduction in military spending, with the savings put toward meeting urgent needs, including the funding of jobs in housing, health care, education, clean energy and infrastructure repairs—and preventing the layoff of State and local public workings in the Commonwealth.

B. Organizing Tools

1. Alerts

Barney Frank Dear Colleague Letter

2. Workshops and Presentations

National Priorities Project Webinar Series:
The Data for Democracy Webinar Series seeks to clarify the federal budget process and help people use NPP’s data and tools more effectively. With each webinar, NPP provides a powerpoint presentation, talking points and data sheets.

Out of Balance
Out of Balance will build participants’ capacity to analyze the forthcoming FY2011 President’s budget, released February 1, offering a solid and accessible critique of national spending priorities, with a focus on military spending.

Federal Budget 101
Federal Budget 101 provides a true introduction to the federal budget process, teaching participants valuable information on how to become more involved in the budget process.

3. Public Displays

 Cost of War Counters from National Priorities Project
These LED counters can be placed in store windows, in outsides displays, or on the side of buildings. They tally the ongoing expenses of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mimicking the rolling counter at They can be programmed to count local tax dollars spent by one particular town, county, congressional district, or state or costs on the national level. Additionally, three individualized messages can be included to give context to the figures. (See Trade-Offs) For more information, email

C. Resources

1. Military Budget Analysis, Think Tanks, etc.

American Friends Service Committee
The American Friends Service Committee is devoted to humanitarian service, development, social justice, and peace programs throughout the world.

Cato Institute
The Cato Institute is a think tank working to promote individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.

Center for American Progress
Center for American Progress is a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action, and addressing 21st-century challenges such as energy, national security, economic development, immigration, education, and health care.

Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation
The Center for Arms Control and Non- Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security in the 21st century.

Center for Defense Information
The Center for Defense Information provides analysis on U.S. national security, international security and defense policy and through research and publications, promotes discussion on security issues such as nuclear weapons, space security, missile defense, and military transformation.

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments is an independent, non-partisan policy research institute established to promote innovative thinking and debate about national security strategy and investment options.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Center of Budget and Policy Priorities is a policy organization working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy, conducting research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals in these debates.

Coalition on Human Needs
The Coalition on Human Needs is an alliance of national organizations working together to promotes adequate funding for human needs programs, progressive tax policies and other federal measures to address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable people.

Foreign Policy In Focus
Foreign Policy In Focus connects the research and action of more than 600 scholars, advocates, and activists seeking to make the United States a more responsible global partner, and promotes diplomatic solutions, global cooperation, and grassroots participation as a guide to foreign policy. It is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Friends Committee on National Legislation
The Friends Committee on National Legislation fields the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who for 65 years have advocated social and economic justice, peace, and good government.

Institute for Policy Studies
The Institute for Policy Studies strengthens social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars, and elected officials. IPS empowers people to build healthy and democratic societies in communities, the U.S., and the world.

National Security Network
The National Security Network seeks to revitalize America’s national security policy, bringing cohesion and strategic focus to the progressive national security community, and working to develop innovative national security solutions that are both pragmatic and principled.

New America Foundation
The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.

National Priorities Project
National Priorities Project analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent.

Peace Action
Peace Action is the nation’s largest grassroots peace network, with chapters and affiliates in 30 states, working to organize its grassroots network to place pressure on Congress and the Administration through write-in campaigns, internet actions, citizen lobbying and direct action.

Political Economy Research Institute
PERI is a policy-oriented research institute in areas of international macroeconomics, development, peace-building and the environment, and providing workable policy proposals that are capable of improving life today and in the future.

Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Democrats of America is a PAC that operates within the Democratic Party,  working to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites, with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests.

Project on Defense Alternatives
The Project on Defense Alternatives seeks to adapt security policy to the challenges and opportunities of the post-Cold War era, promoting significant reductions in the level of armed forces and military spending, and facilitating an increasing reliance on collective and global peacekeeping agencies and nonmilitary means of conflict prevention, containment, and resolution.

Project on Government Oversight
The Project on Government Oversight is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and ethical federal government.

Rebuild and Renew America
Rebuild and Renew America advocates that tax policy decisions should be guided by the principles of adequacy, fairness, and responsibility, and works toward funding investments for the common good.

Taxpayers for Common Sense
Taxpayers for Common Sense is an independent and non-partisan voice for taxpayers working to increase transparency and expose and eliminate wasteful and corrupt subsidies, earmarks, and corporate welfare.

True Majority
True Majority’s central objective is to increase America’s investment in programs that benefit our children, such as schools or health care, by cutting Cold War weapons systems and shifting the savings.  It is a project of USAction.

USAction builds power by uniting people locally and nationally, on-the-ground and online, to win a more just and progressive America. It creates the nation’s leading progressive coalitions, making democracy work by organizing issue and election campaigns to improve people’s lives.

Women’s Action for New Directions
Women’s Action for New Directions empowers women to take political action, to change our culture and our national priorities toward peace and real security, and away from militarism and violence.

3. Web Resources

Annual analysis of the President’s budget

NPP’s analysis of the FY2011 federal budget spans FY2008 to projected FY2012. The publication offers state-level data for health, education and energy and cross budget category comparisons.  

Tax Day 2010
NPP issued a breakout of the allocation of individual tax-payer dollars, in spending categories which correspond to our President’s budget analysis. View the report, as well as our individual tax chart.

NPP’s Database
NPP’s one-of-a-kind database contains state and local level data on federal spending and correlated social well-being indicators. In 2009, NPP broke ground on the Data 2.0 Project to overhaul the database and its contents in partnership with Sunlight Labs. Due for completion at the end of this month, this work will greatly expand the usability of NPP’s information.

Jobs and State Budget Crises: State by State Fact Sheets
To help our constituents in their local, state and national efforts, NPP created two-page, state-specific fact sheets using the latest information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Data on unemployment, state budget deficits, estimated recovery times for major metropolitan areas, and jobs created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are provided, along with relevant and timely NPP federal budget analysis.

4. Articles

Gates’s Bottom Line: Weapons Contractors Will Be Just Fine  
Huffington Post, September 16, 2010
William Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation
Despite Defense Secretary Robert Gate’s initiative to reign in defense spending, Gate has continued to increase the military budget, giving defense contractors no real incentive to cut costs.

Mullen: Debt Is Top National Security Threat
CNN, August 27, 2010
Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says, “the most significant threat to our national security is our debt.”

Mr. Gates Makes a Start
New York Times Editorial, August 14, 2010
The Times Editorial argues that while Defense Secretary Robert Gates has taken some good first steps in pledging to restrain military spending, much more needs to be done.

Move the Money, Starve the Empire
Foreign Policy In Focus, July 1, 2010
Christine Ahn, a policy and research analyst with the Global Fund for Women, discusses the antiwar movement and the need to counter the military industrial complex of the United States.

5. Analysis

From a Slogan to a Movement: Bring the War Money Home
War Times, Mike Prokosch offers analysis for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of our post-9/11 world and a clear sense of how our imperial globe actually works. The site is a project of the Nation Institute, created and edited by Nation fellow Tom Engelhardt, and features Engelhardt’s regular commentaries and as well as original work by a wide range of authors.

If you’d like to add a link or resources to our site, please e-mail