Tuesday, 02 February 2016 00:00

What Is The People's Budget - Why The People's Budget Campaign?

Written by The People's Budget Campaign Team

The Peoples Budget is a comprehensive alternative Federal Budget which reflects the values of our different social movement groups across the country. It is filed each year by the members of Congress most supportive of our efforts who make up the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) (http://cpc-grijalva.house.gov/the-peoples-budget-prosperity-not-austerity-invest-in-america/)

Since all of our efforts for social and racial justice, climate justice, prison reform, and peace are impacted in one way or another by federal budget priorities, the Peoples Budget offers us a vehicle for the kind of cross-issue collaboration that many of us know is critical to all of our work.

This year a group of national organizations have joined together to build a grassroots campaign to promote both the Peoples Budget and individual bills that are part of its broad agenda. (link to member groups). They call for an ongoing, permanent national campaign around the Peoples Budget with the following goals:

  • To make the Peoples Budget a serious “player” each year in the debates surrounding the adoption of a federal budget.
  • To link the Peoples Budget to campaigns over component issues (for example, debt-free college; a renewable energy infrastructure; restoring cuts to critical public programs; green jobs creation; ending tax breaks for giant corporations; support and expansion of mass transit; moving money from the Pentagon budget to needed social programs, etc.) thereby bringing wider attention to the Peoples Budget while supporting these individual efforts.
  • To serve as an umbrella for strategic mobilizations around particular bills and issues covered in the Peoples Budget
  • To organize a movement powerful enough to eventually get its main features passed as the budget of the United States.


Campaign Components

Options include:

  1. local groups or local chapters of national organizations;
  2. existing local coalitions of labor and/or advocacy groups that take on the Peoples Budget as one of their work areas;
  3. focused coalitions or campaigns like the Massachusetts Budget for All Campaign and the Bay Area New Priorities Campaign)
  • Ongoing collaboration among the national, state and local organizations that are part of the campaign through a coordinating committee open to all endorsing organizations
  • Strategic collaboration of the campaign with members and staff of the CPC and the Economic Policy Institute

The state based groups would carry out Internet/social media campaigns, public forums, rallies, town hall meetings, congressional delegations, media outreach, etc. – as appropriate – to implement the following strategies.

  • To increase the visibility of the People's Budget among candidates, the public, on the internet, and in the commercial, alternative and social media in the upcoming presidential election year.
  • To mobilize constituencies to oppose or support bills on specific issues (free college tuition, food stamps, Pentagon spending, creating green jobs, renewable energy, Head Start, Social Security, Medicare, etc) in an attempt to win particular battles related to the People's Budget priorities. The People's Budget would be used as a frame for this mobilization around key budget battles. And advocacy around specific issues would in turn be used to bring new constituencies into the campaign in support of the whole People's Budget. To the greatest extent possible, cross-issue and cross-movement participation will be encouraged.
  • To mobilize constituencies around specific budget crises that emerge (e.g. threats of defaults, shutdowns, gridlock) and offer solutions consistent with the People's Budget.
  • To offer moral support to members of Congress who voted for the People's Budget the previous year, to make that support public, and to collaborate with such members in building support for the next year’s People's Budget
  • To establish campaigns in strategic congressional districts of members of Congress who did not vote for the previous year's People's Budget. The goal would be to turn around their votes and each year to increase the number of votes in favor of the People's Budget.    
  • Build a process to give activists and the public a way to provide input and feedback regarding the content of each year’s People's Budget
  • Popularize and broaden public and organizational support for a just transition to a new economy that is equitable, sustainable and demilitarized, that will create millions of stable living wage full time jobs and that will raise the living standard of the majority who have been denied a path to prosperity.
Success in December!
For its first coordinated action, in November and December 2015 the Peoples Budget Campaign generated 32,000 emails to Congress demanding a “clean” appropriations bill free of destructive riders that would harm women, the environment, Syrian refugees and labor. Our effort was part of a largescale effort around the country that was very successful. The result is that we will have appropriations bills that restore some of the funding lost through sequestration without imposing harmful conditions. Unfortunately sequestrations cuts to the Pentagon budget have also been restored and restrictions on selling the U.S. oil reserve have been lifted. And the money restored to programs that benefit people are still far short of what they were in 2010. But overall, this effort was a step in the right direction.

We say “No” to austerity and “YES” to the Peoples Budget! Please Join us!  Endorse the People's Budget Campaign.the People's Budget Campaign.

American Friends Service Committee
Campaign for America's Future
Coalition on Human Needs
Friends of the Earth
National Alliance of HUD Tenants
National Priorities Project
Peace Action
People Demanding Action
Progressive Congress
Progressive Democrats of America
Social Security Works
Social Solutions
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ)
US Action
US Labor Against the War
Veterans for Peace - NYC  

FY2017The People's Budget

Understanding The People's Budget Powerpoint

Read the complete FY2017 Budget

FY2017 People's Budget Summary



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