Use 'peace dividend' to fight poverty, meeting urges

April 14, 1991

Pleas to spend the so-called "peace dividend" from reduce military spending to cure America's domestic ills such as poverty, homelessness and illiteracy rang through St. Francis of Assisi Church Roman Catholic Church on Harford Road

About 400 people attended the Baltimore Development Commission's fourth annual conference.

In a vote using pennies as "tax dollars" and ballots, education and housing needs received overwhelming support.

Military spending, meanwhile, was held to a minimum despite the success in the Persian Gulf war, said Sister Katherine Corr, director of Jobs With Peace, which organized the meeting.

The first 300 people who arrived were given $1 rolls of pennies to deposit in a series of jars according to their governmental spending priorities. "Military spending only got about 3 per cent; education and housing were overflowing," Sister Katherine reported. Other jars represented jobs, health care, social services and the savings and loan bailout.

Twenty-four speakers addressed the meeting.

Citing the "power of the people to make change," former Congressman Parren J. Mitchell called for a "march on Washington" to demand that the federal government distribute funds around the nation to enable local authorities to deal with problems.

The march will be scheduled in the autumn, Sister Katherine said.

Meanwhile at Western High School, a group of high school students from across Maryland gathered yesterday for the sixth annual "Youth Awareness Day" of the American Friends Service Committee.

The featured speaker was former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who was a proponent of a diplomatic, rather than military, solution to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

The group offered workshops on social and political issues.

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