Veterans For Peace: Linus Pauling members partnered with Corvallis Divest from War to pass a resolution through the Corvallis City Council to prevent future investments in war profiteering. An editorial in the Gazette Times seemed to dismiss the action as virtue signaling, prompting this Letter to the Editor response:
Your December 9 editorial, ‘Corvallis leaders shouldn’t waste widespread support,’ missed an important point about city-sponsored resolutions on issues of statewide and national concern.
The City Council makes governmental policies and oversees city administration, but it also has the authority, even a responsibility, to express our community’s values.
The editorial noted actions of the Corvallis council may serve to inspire other local governments. Yes, a major reason for passing resolutions about statewide and national issues is to encourage other local governments to also consider those issues.
Our individual letters to the editor are valuable, but they are drowned out by special interests who pay to speak more loudly to government. When resolutions of a community are passed and reported in the media, the community’s voice is amplified.
Among our biggest problems today are militarism, climate and environmental crises, racism, and homelessness. The resources our country devotes to weapons production could better be applied to those issues. Yet manufacturers of weapons are one of the most strident lobbies in Washington DC.
If we want our government to represent the interests of ordinary Americans, we need to let legislators know what we want. The more communities demand to redirect money from weapons production to our real problems, the more likely higher-level governments will hear our voices.
We appreciate our Corvallis City Council for their willingness to adopt proactive, local policies that also speak to our country’s difficulties.
Corvallis Divest from War
Brian C. Lee
Linda M. Richards