- Social justice organization that promotes anti-war and environmental agendas
Founded in June 2002 by Ben Cohen (who also co-founded Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, the parent company of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation), TrueMajority identifies itself as “a grassroots education and advocacy project of Priorities, Inc.” True Majority’s primary concerns include pursuing “social justice,” “giving children a decent start in life,” protecting the environment, and persuading the American government to work “in cooperation with the world community.”
TrueMajority summarizes its underlying philosophy in its Ten Principles, which it characterizes as “a positive blueprint for moving forward in the post 9/11 world. The principles are founded on the premise that the United States is a nation characterized by excessive militarism; insufficient generosity to poor people at home and abroad; inadequate concern for environmental protection; a lack of respect for the governments and peoples of other nations; widespread discrimination against minorities; and extreme economic injustice reflected in the disparity between its rich and poor.
1. Attack World Hunger and Poverty as if Our Life Depends on It: “Anchor our foreign policy in the compassion for the poor that unites all the world’s religions. Reduce the debts of impoverished countries. Shift foreign aid from buying weapons to feeding people.”
2. Champion the Rights of Every Child, Woman and Man: “Stop turning a blind eye to governments that abuse their own people. … If punishing a foreign tyrant means, in actual practice, punishing the women and children who are his victims, desist, and find another path.
“3. End our Obstructionism to the World’s Treaties: “Throw America’s full weight behind the United Nations, the only political body that holds all the world’s nations in the age of globalization. … Withdraw our lonely opposition to the landmine ban, Kyoto Protocol to halt global warming, and International Criminal Court.”
4. Reduce our Dependence on Oil: “America is 5% of the world’s people but we generate 25% of the pollution that causes global warming. … Make a … commitment to develop solar and wind power technologies. Set and meet a goal of generating 20% of our energy from renewable sources by 2010.”
5. Close the Book on the Cold War and Ease the Nuclear Nightmare: “Cancel obsolete Cold War weapons. … We squander $35 billion a year on this obsolete arsenal. Save half of that money, take our missiles off ‘launch on warning’ and invite all nuclear nations to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban.”
6. Renounce Star Wars and the Militarization of Space: “After spending $134 billion, … our military has nothing to show for its obsession with a dubious Missile Defense but the deep suspicions of our new allies.”
7. Make Globalization Work for, not against, Working People: “Let sunshine into the councils of the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Affirm that the welfare of the planet’s people supersedes corporate patents and profits.”
8. Ensure Equal Treatment Under Law for All: Revise a system that dispenses justice “in a way that disadvantages minorities.”
9. Get Money out of Politics: “Enact public campaign financing — we can fund it entirely by closing a single offshore corporate tax loophole!”
10. Close the Gap between Rich and Poor Kids at Home: “We will fully fund Head Start and health insurance for the millions of American children who can’t get either.”
TrueMajority’s principles have been formally endorsed by Global Exchange, Greenpeace, The Interfaith Alliance, The Nation magazine, the National Council of La Raza, the National Head Start Association, Peace Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Rainforest Action Network, Rock the Vote, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Sojourners, and Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND).
TrueMajority has identified a number of specific areas where it believes the American government should trim a total of $60 billion from its annual budget. Says the organization, the U.S. would save $20 billion by immediately bringing home 100,000 troops and “moderniz[ing] Cold War strategies that are outdated”; $15 billion by reducing its nuclear arsenal to 1,000 warheads; $12 billion by cutting additional categories of “Cold War weapons”; $8 billion by eliminating the so-called “Star Wars” missile defense system; $4 billion by curbing international weapons sales; and $1 billion by eliminating an offshore corporate tax loophole. These savings, TrueMajority says, could then be invested “in programs that enhance security by attacking poverty at home and abroad, restore the environment, and celebrate the dignity of all the people of the world.”
As of July 2006, TrueMajority claimed a membership of 150,000 individuals who shared its goals.
TrueMajority is a member organization of the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition.
In September 2007, TrueMajority and its related organization TrueMajorityACTION merged with USAction.