Skip to main content
Resolutions & Amendments

37th International Convention - Chicago, IL (2006)

Funding Public Services and Infrastructure

Resolution No. 33
37th International Convention
August 7-11, 2006
Chicago, IL

State and local governments across the country face an increasing responsibility with the continuing devolution of federal and state government programs to lower levels of delivery in the name of local control but with less financial resources available; and

Communities are faced with crumbling infrastructure as evidenced by deteriorating bridges, streets, highways, and reduced funding for social services that are important to healthy communities; and

Many public services go unrecognized as essential to the lives of working families due to the constant drum beat for lower taxes, less government, and the insistence that safety services are the only necessary government service; and

State legislatures and local governments are increasingly considering tax expenditure limitation (TEL) legislation that will affect future ability to fund state and local programs; and

AFSCME members, through public funds, provide working families sanitary neighborhoods, clean water to drink, transportation to work by bus, employment services when laid off or knocked out of the economy, health care in clinics and hospitals, safe transportation of children to school, financial oversight of public spending, protection of children and the elderly from abuse, warm clean schools, safe and healthy restaurants, safe buildings and housing, fire protection, rehabilitation from injury and illness, to name but a few; and

Congress has pursued a policy of dismantling government services, access to education,  job and workforce development, health care planning and delivery, by privatizing, spending without accountability, and de-funding public services through tax rollbacks for business and individuals who profit the most from public infrastructure, planning, investment, and services, while offering workers the price of one month's rent at most; and

The public financing measures most often proposed such as the sales tax, value added tax, or flat tax are structures designed to shift the tax burden to consumers and working families, many of whom are struggling to lift themselves out of poverty or maintain a moderate standard of living, and away from the structures that more fairly distribute our shared obligations according to our ability to pay.

That AFSCME support funding mechanisms for public services and infrastructure that distribute the payment load based on the ability to pay. Corporations and businesses that benefit from consideration as entities and gain profit and wealth from the use of our shared resources ought to bear the same financial responsibility as working families in developing and maintaining those resources; and

That AFSCME engage in the formation of and cooperation with progressive coalitions and groups to address full and fair funding of state and local government programs, services and infrastructure in the most progressive manner possible.
SUBMITTED BY: Ronald C. Alexander, President and Delegate
Kathy Stewart, Secretary/Treasurer and Delegate