By Liz Moore

“Save Lives, Save Jobs, Raise Revenue” is the rallying cry of Our Economic Future, a coalition of over 150 groups pushing the Washington state legislature to close wasteful corporate special interest tax loopholes. As you’ll see in these posts, PJALS members like you have been very busy raising our voices together to stop the devastating cuts to education and lifeline programs for struggling families. We co-sponsored the Spokane release of the important report “Facing Race: How Budget Cuts Are Increasing Racial Disparities” and a caravan of PJALS and WA CAN! activists traveled to Olympia to “Occupy the Capitol”, culminating in marches in Spokane and Olympia. Our joint march here (with Occupy Spokane, unions, and other groups) included the delightful experience of 300 of us caroling in the atrium of Riverpark Square with re-written tunes including “I’m Dreaming of a Fair Budget” and “It’s the Most Critical Time of the Year.” More to come on this urgent campaign! In the meantime, check out for “the best deals on closing tax loopholes to fund essential state services, guaranteed.”

This last month saw the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay, making it the longest-standing war prison in U.S. history, in spite of President Obama’s pledge to close it within his first year in office. December also saw the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act, which not only authorizes $662 billion in funding, among other things “for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad,” and “contains a sweeping provision that applies worldwide the Guantánamo principle of indefinite military detention without charge or trial, and makes indefinite military detention a permanent part of American law for the first time in this country’s history,” says the ACLU.

In times such as these, I am so deeply grateful and proud to be among a community of people like you, PJALS members, who are unafraid to act upon our principles and who are willing to put our time and efforts together toward building a broad-based social justice movement with the power to hold corporate elites and imperialist warmakers accountable to our communities and our values. The only thing that can counter the power of organized money is organized people, and every time you give a donation, volunteer, or bring a friend to an event, you are helping to build it.

“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”

—African proverb