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Nevada City approves ‘Peace Budget’ resolution

Nevada City became the first local governing board to approve a Local Peace Budget Resolution at its city council meeting Wednesday.

Local peace activists have — so far unsuccessfully — brought the resolution to Grass Valley City Council and the Nevada County Board of Supervisors as well.

“Even though Congress is not likely to be moved by approval of this resolution, we view the request as a way to bring dialogue and awareness of the hardships caused by our massive funding of warfare operations,” Paula Orloff said in an email to The Union. “Since this is an election year, we believe it is especially important to raise questions about our warfare taxes and how they might otherwise be used.”

According to Orloff, nearly 400 local citizen signatures have been gathered at various events in support of the resolution. Organizations that have endorsed the resolution include the Peace Center of Nevada County, Nevada County Health Care for All, Nevada County Greens, Palestine Israel Working Group of Nevada County, Earth Justice Ministries, the Church and Society Committee of the Nevada City Methodist Church, the Nevada County Indivisible Democrats for Progress and the Fair Elections Subcommittee.

A number of supporters spoke during the hearing for the resolution on topics that included the need to divert funding to address issues like food insecurity.

Nevada City Mayor Duane Strawser noted several constituents questioned the proposal because most of its proponents are not from Nevada City. He added that some felt it misstated facts and showed a lack of support for those serving in the military.

Council member Reinette Senum retorted that opponents of the resolution should have showed up at the council meeting.

Citing the lack of government funding to help the homeless, Senum said, “I’m tired of this. This (resolution) is as local as it gets. We need to speak up.”

Strawser suggested two changes to the wording of the resolution, which had Nevada City urging “the United States Congress to move our tax dollars in exactly the opposite direction proposed by the President, from militarism to human and environmental needs.”

The revised version has Nevada City urging Congress to “consider moving our tax dollars,” with Strawser saying he preferred it make a “request rather than a command.”

Strawser also suggested removing the word “President” and substituting “state and federal representatives .. so it applies to all our electeds.”

“This looks like an attack on the president,” he said, noting that a lot of people in the county voted for Trump.

The amended resolution passed by unanimous vote.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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