August 24, 2011: Call Your Rep to Vote Against FTAs, Penny Polls & The Mayor’s City of Peace

Action Alert: Call Congress:
Vote Against Free Trade Agrements
Included in this message:
**Call Congress: Vote Against Free Trade Agreements
**How Do Brooklynites Think Our Tax Dollars Should Be Spent??
See results of our “Penny Polls”
**Make NYC a Mayor’s City of Peace! Sign on-line petition!
Visit our website www.brooklynpeace.org for details on upcoming events, including:

Support Brooklyn For Peace! Become a member! Make a financial donation to support our work!
Action Alert: Call Congress:
Vote AGAINST Free Trade Agreements
The package of three free trade deals – Korea FTA, Panama FTA and the Colombia FTA– is moving forward on the “fast track” in Congress. Despite the widespread opposition of labor and human rights supporters to the Colombia FTA in particular, the Obama administration is pushing to pass all three.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program which is part of these agreements acknowledges the loss of jobs a a consequence of Free Trade Agreements. As a result of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement, involving United States, Canada, and Mexico) 2 million jobs in the U.S. were lost in ten years. However, Republicans are objecting even to the inclusion of the TAA programs in these agreements.
We must act NOW to stop these agreements!
Call your Congressional Representative TODAY at 202-224-3121.
Tell her/him that you oppose the Colmbia Free Trade Agreement, as well as the Panama and Korea FTA’s.
Click here for local contact information and to learn who represents you.
Read the letter which BFP has sent to Congressional Representatives Clarke and Towns, who thus far are on record as supporting these FTA’s.
To learn more about Free Trade Agreements, visit Public Citizen (Global Trade Watch). For infomation on the U.S.-Colombia FTA, visit  Washington Office on Latin America and The Mingas Network.
E-mail latinam@brooklynpeace.org to let us know that you called and to work with us on further on this issue.

How Do Brooklynites Think Our Tax Dollars Should Be Spent? See results of “Penny Polls”

Brooklyn For Peace and sister organizations, Fort Greene Peace and Flatbush for Peace, are bringing the issues of the current economic crisis and how tax dollars are spent to Brooklynites by hosting Penny Polls at local farmers’ markerts around Brooklyn.
In the 2011 discretionary budget, Congress allocated an incredible 58% for wars and Pentagon spending, leaving just “pennies” for schools, jobs, housing and other important programs. We asked community members how they would prioritize how tax dollars are distributed. Using a bag of 20 pennies, people illustrated what their priorities were by allocating the coins into tubes marked with the spending categories military, housing, jobs, education, transportation, veterans’ benefits, health care and the environment.
We found that the government’s priorities did not match those of our community members. Overwhelmingly, participants put their pennies into tubes labeled “education,” “jobs,” “housing,” and “health care.” At the bottom of the list was war and military spending—the exact opposite of the skewed priorities of Congress. People who participated were surprised to see a visualization on how tax dollars are currently distributed. Check out photos of the Penny Poll in action.
We will be tabling at additional locations throughout the summer and fall, including several street fairs in September and October. Check out the sign up page to see where we will be and to help out.
The next meeting of the Peace and Economic Justice Committee is Tuesday, August 30 at 7 pm. Please join us.
For more information, e-mail pej@brooklynpeace.org or call 718-624-5921 to work with our Peace & Economic Justice Committee on this issue!

Make NYC A Mayor’s City of Peace!

Sign the on-line petition to ask Mayor Bloomberg to Make NYC a Mayor’s City of Peace!
Ask Mayor Bloomberg to join the international effort to protect future generations. The rapidly growing number of Mayors for Peace is a powerful force generating real momentum toward peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons. To bequeath to our children a cleaner, safer, more peaceful and sustainable world, please join this effort toward genuine and lasting world peace. Please sign the petition today.
To learn more, check out our Nuclear Zero Committee. The next meeting: Thursday Sept 22, 7 pm. E-mail nuclearzero@brooklynpeace.org for the location or if you have any questions.
Support Brooklyn For Peace! Become a member!
**10 billion dollars have been taken from Brooklyn taxpayers and wasted on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. A total of more than a trillion dollars overall has been spent on the wars. U.S.foreign policy and tax dollars are supporting the wrong policies in Israel, Latin America, Africa and the Mid East. In addition to countless lives here and abroad both lost and permanently maimed, we are also seeing this misallocation of resources result in drastic cutbacks of public services.
**Brooklyn For Peace provides a voice for resistance! We participate in demonstrations, vigils, letter-writing, phone-call and petition campaigns. We work with a wide variety of other groups. We’re out on the street with flyers and at neighborhood festivals. We provide visibility to the need for peaceful alternatives.
The following are a few of our activities thus far in 2011:
  • Peace Fair at Brooklyn College, with Juan Gonzalez as the keynote speaker, emphasizing “Cut the Military Budget! We Need New Priorities!”
  • Participation in April 9 National Anti-War demonstration
  • Nuclear Zero Town Hall Meeting, launching petition campaign to have NYC declared as a Mayor’s City of Peace
  • Distributing flyers emphasizing cost of war to Brooklyn, on Tax Day in Brooklyn (Flatbush-Midwood) and on May 12 at the city-wide demonstration against cutbacks
  • Community Meeting on Libya, resulting in a statement and petition calling for alternatives to military action
  • Ongoing vigils for Darfur, keeping this issue in public view
  • CineForos (films with discussion) on Latin America
  • Joining with community members to support the building of a mosque in Sheepshead Bay, and sponsoring a workshop on Islamophobia at the Peace Fair
Most of our work is done by volunteers. However, even this e-mail message which you are now reading costs money to send!
We are only able to maintain our multi-faceted program by employing a full-time Program Coordinator. Funds are also needed to rent space in which to hold events, to print flyers and publicity materials, and to video our events to make them accessible to those not able to attend in person.
If you aren’t already a member, please take the opportunity now to join as well as to make a financial contribution.
Your financial support is an important way of participating.
Click here to become a member. Annual membership is a suggested donation of $30 ($10 for students and those on a limited income.)
You can also mail your check to BFP, PMB 106, 41 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Click here to make a donationAll contributions are fully tax-deductible, and will be acknowledged with our thanks!
Visit our website www.brooklynpeace.org for current and upcoming opportunities for participation. Questions? Call 718-624-5921 or e-mail bfp@brooklynpeace.org