Dear CAPA/NSPI friends,
As the end of 2011 draws near, we reflect upon the remarkable events of the past 12 months. Beginning with our transition from the venerable North Suburban Peace Initiative to the larger and more nationally connected Chicago Area Peace Action, this past year has been filled with energy, activity and vision for the future. And that vision can and will be advanced with your support.
Our new mission has increased our visibility throughout Chicagoland at a time of many groundbreaking events. The war in Iraq is finally coming to a close of sorts, and can serve as a fulcrum to pressure Washington to set specific timetables for doing the same in Afghanistan. We continue to press for major reductions in the overall Pentagon budget, especially unnecessary nuclear weapons “modernization.” The failure of the supercommittee automatically triggers cuts that will result in roughly $500 billion in cuts to the Pentagon—while protecting Social Security benefits and not raising the Medicare retirement age. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has galvanized the moderate left, even triggering calls for a constitutional amendment. The ever-growing alarm of the scientific community and the realization that climate change represents an existential threat on par with nuclear weapons has lent new urgencyto the movement to prevent climatic catastrophe.
And finally, on September 17, a small band of outraged, fed-up, intrepid citizens finally said, “Enough is enough,“ and pitched their tents in a little known park in New York to demand a more just civil society. That demand and that call to arms for the 99% ignited a flame that swept across the country and several continents. Winds of change blew through the Middle East as brave citizens stood up to tyrants demanding democracy and more open societies.
We at CAPA believe that Occupy is easily the most important social movement in over half a century. And as it faces tremendous opposition from wealthy and powerful interests, it is extraordinarily important that organizations like CAPA redouble our efforts to support the cause.
In May of 2012, we will be presented with an historic opportunity to build upon the domestic message of economic and social justice by engaging in the same debate on an international basis. When the NATO nations convene here in Chicago simultaneously with the delegates from the G8 – the first time in history they have met in the same city at the same time – CAPA will integrate its organizing efforts. With over 20 local organizations and over 50 from across the country and around the globe we will continue to educate on issues of misplaced priorities and social justice.
All of this work, however, requires resources, both human and monetary. We ask you, at this year end, to please consider how you might support us in 2012 in a variety of ways: with your presence at one or more of our forums, with your opinions and thoughts on the Idea Exchange on our new website, with communications to elected officials, and of course, with your generous monetary contributions. We exist to serve you, our loyal members, and can continue this important work only as far as your generous support allows. We look forward to an active and engaged 2012, and with your help, we know we will make a difference.
David Borris – President of the CAPA Board