Peoples’ Budget Forum

Different church organizations across the country are finding creative ways to solve our federal budget and deficit puzzles as well as tell the stories of how the budget impacts everyday people. Here are some resources from The Church Council of Greater Seattle. They encourage others to replicate or adapt their story collecting model and use it in other contexts. Email me at if you wish to collect budget stories, too. ~Shantha


The Church Council of Greater Seattle recently co-sponsored an event called “Invest in People, Not the Pentagon” in Seattle. Members of the Seattle community shared short, compelling stories about the impacts of the economic crash in their own communities. The wide range of issues and concerns included education, Head Start, homelessness, health care, Social Security & Medicare, mental health, poverty, prisons, veterans’ issues, Pentagon cuts, food banks/hunger. We hope others may be able to build off of this idea in their own communities, share these stories, or otherwise utilize this information.

This event is part of an ongoing conversation that a broad coalition of faith, veterans, and peace groups have been having with our representatives in Congress. A delegation met with Senator Patty Murray in December 2012 and we shared personal stories about how individuals are, and will be, affected by the federal budget cuts. Later that month we held a prayer vigil at the Federal Building in Seattle and sent delegations to meet with aides in Senator Murray’s and Cantwell’s offices. We continue to hear that stories are the best way to reach our representatives and make an impact.

We were joined by staff from Congressmen Jim McDermott and Adam Smith’s offices, who were visibly moved by and shared their reactions to the stories they heard. People were encouraged to join in future actions to Protect Human Needs & Cut Pentagon Spending.









A food bank staff member puts a face on hunger; its not who you think. At minute 1:45, the director of another food bank testifies how much longer the food bank lines have gotten in recent years. Her hardest day at work was helping a little boy and his mother at 10:30am and the boy said “Mommy, are we going to get cereal today? If we get cereal, can we go home and have breakfast?”


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