Missoula, MT Referendum Sent to Voters on War in Iraq
Status: Adopted on 6/25/07
Notation: The referendum passed with almost 65% voting in favor of it. A similar resolution was passed by the voters in Helena by almost 62%.
RESOLUTION NUMBER 7239
A RESOLUTION PROPOSED BY THE MISSOULA CITY COUNCIL TO PLACE A REFERENDUM ON THE NOVEMBER 6, 2007 BALLOT FOR APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL BY THE VOTERS OF THE CITY OF MISSOULA. THIS REFERENDUM IS A NON-BINDING STATEMENT OF POLICY BY THE CITIZENS OF MISSOULA ON THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ BY THE MILITARY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THE INTENT OF THE REFERENDUM IS TO INFLUENCE THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS.
WHEREAS, the people of Missoula support the more than one million brave men and women, of whom over 1500 are Montana residents, deployed to Iraq since 2003, honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the war, and support the families whose loved ones have served and are serving; and
WHEREAS, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, now in its fifth year has caused the deaths of 17 Montanans, four of whom are from the Missoula Area , and the physical and psychological wounding and disabling of more than 23,000 American service people, 175 of whom are from Montana; and
WHEREAS, local Guards units are slated to return to Iraq within the next couple deployment cycles, further straining the State's abilities to deal with natural disasters such as fires, floods, and public disorder; and
WHEREAS, Missoula taxpayers have contributed more than $41 million to date to the funding of the war, while Community Development Block Grants (federal money which provides infrastructure and affordable housing units locally) have declined by $122,962 since Fiscal Year 2003, from $769,000 to $646,038, causing a strain on already limited monetary resources within Missoula; and
WHEREAS, $64 million has been cut from the Department of the Interior Budget (which oversees the Forest Service) specifically to continue to be able to fund the war, while three Missoula county rural firefighters have been deployed to Iraq, straining the area's ability to effectively fight forest fires and protect property in the surrounding hills; and
WHEREAS, six members of the Missoula Police Department and one member of the Missoula Fire department have been called up over the course of the war, straining Missoula's already limited public safety resources; and
WHEREAS, numerous others from various other sectors have been called to service, forty percent of whom earn less in the service of their country than they would in their civilian jobs, which puts additional strain on both the local economy and the limited public resources which are many times called upon to help these families make up the difference; and
WHEREAS, many Missoula citizens have petitioned local government officials for their consideration to place the referendum on the 2007 ballot; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Missoula City Council places the following referendum language on the November 6, 2007, general election ballot for the approval or disapproval of the voters of the City of Missoula:
The citizens of Missoula, Montana, hereby urge the Congress of the United States of America to authorize and fund an immediate and orderly withdrawal of the United States military from Iraq in a manner that is fully protective of U.S. soldiers.
FOR Congress authorizing and funding an immediate orderly withdrawal of United States military from Iraq in a manner fully protective of U. S. soldiers.
AGAINST Congress authorizing and funding an immediate orderly withdrawal of United States military from Iraq in a manner fully protective of U.S. soldiers.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, should it pass by a majority vote on November 6, 2007, a copy of this Referendum of non-binding statement on behalf of Citizens of Missoula be forwarded immediately to United States President George W. Bush, Senator Max Baucus, Senator Jon Tester, Representative Dennis Rehberg, and members of the Montana State House and Senate representing the City of Missoula.