The War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation and University of Oregon Law School’s Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center co-sponsored an exploratory brainstorming session to discuss a possible campaign in Oregon inspired by the Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project (MNASAP).
Participants in the meeting came from the War Prevention Initiative, the University of Oregon, Portland State University, Oregon PeaceWorks, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Oregon, and Beyond War. Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer (Founder MNASAP) and Nathan Ness (Director MNASAP) joined the meeting via teleconferencing.
Overall the campaign was identified as a grassroots social movement making demands on elected officials to shift spending priorities. Main elements are the passing of resolutions as well as public education. The later was identified as highly relevant, especially in terms of the national ripeness of changing the conversations regarding military expenditures. The educational aspect helps the broader public to understand the impact of military spending on their communities, with the ultimate hope to shift the military budget to meet basic needs on the community level. It was agreed upon that public education on military spending has national importance regardless of city council endorsements and actions.
Collaboration with existing efforts in Oregon and beyond was determined to be a key element if a campaign should move forward. The actual content and goals of ORASAP were discussed, specifically with regard to the efficacy of the resolution process. Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and Nathan Ness were able to provide very specific information with regard to the campaign format and challenges, funding difficulties, achieved momentum, and increasingly successful coalition building with other organizations. The group decided it was worth a continued effort to reconvene and continue targeted discussions. The main aspects on the table were campaign initiation, campaign content, campaign scope, campaign timing, campaign messaging, campaign logistics and campaign funding.