At noon this past Armistice Day, the Granny Peace Brigade, joined by the Veterans for Peace, held its third Penny Poll of 2021. 82 members of the public gave us their opinion about where they want the Federal Government to spend taxes it collects each year. Over $29 billion of the taxes collected from New York City taxpayers in 2020 were directed, by our representatives in Congress and the President, to warfare and related activities.
But the public has different ideas about the use of their money. The most important categories selected by those who “spent” their 20 pennies were Health Care, Education and Environment and Clean Energy.
The Penny Poll provides the public with an opportunity to give their opinion. We provide each “voter” with 20 pennies and the voter deposits the pennies into one or more tubes labelled with the following categories: Arts and Culture, Education, Environment and Clean Energy, Health Care, Housing, Jobs, Military and Transportation.
Penny Polls were conducted by the Granny Peace Brigade at various locations throughout the city during 2010, 2011, and 2012. We held polls in subway stations, Grand Central Station, in Brooklyn, the Upper West Side, and outside of City Hall Park. Next Tuesday, November 23rd, weather permitting, we will again hold a Penny Poll outside City Hall Park, on Broadway, near the entrance gate to City Hall at noon.
The results have varied from time to time, and place to place, being affected by current events, such as periods of job loss, or the recent occurrence of a severe climate event. However, the consensus over time shows that the public in New York City would like to see less money going to the Military and more money to other things, especially Education and Health Care and also to Clean Energy, Jobs and Housing. The poll is educational in itself because some of those voting with their pennies have told us that, because of their participation the poll, they planned to begin paying more attention to the decisions being made by Congress and the President.
- Edith Cresmer, for the Granny Peace Brigade
- Photos: Eva-Lee Baird, Linda Novenski, Hideko Otake, Alice Sturm Sutter