Last week, Progressive Dane members unanimously voted to oppose the siting of the F-35 fighter jets at the Truax Air National Guard Base in Madison. While many elected officials have signed on in support of the exorbitant military boondoggle (weapons makers have deep pockets stuffed with campaign donations), Progressive Dane electeds are applying serious scrutiny and listening to local concerns about environmental impacts, noise, and excessive military spending.
Madison Common Council President Marsha Rummel convened a listening session on February 28, 2018, for Madison Alders and County Supervisors to take public comment on the F-35 siting. Dozens of people attended the session at the East Madison Community Center. Many of them expressed their opposition to the program and raised serious questions about the purported economic benefit of the F-35 program as proclaimed by the Madison Chamber of Commerce. In reality, siting this program in Madison creates no new jobs here and raises serious environmental justice concerns. There are several low income housing neighborhoods which would be most impacted by the F-35 flights, including, but not limited to CDA public housing at Truax, Packers and Northport Apartments, Dryden Terrace, and Oak Park Terrace.
Progressive Dane Member Harry Richardson has lived on the Northeast Side of Madison for 40 years and in the flight path of the F-16s (the current fighter jets flying out of Truax) for 16 years. Harry is part of the No F-35 Fighter Jets in Madison activist group and attended the listening session, where he explained that more jobs are created by investing in infrastructure, health care, clean energy, and education than the military. “The total lifetime cost of the weapons program will exceed 1 TRILLION DOLLARS. The purpose of the F-35 is to kill people. It doesn’t work, it’s behind schedule, and it’s over budget, according to Bloomberg Business Week.”
Progressive Dane seeks answers to community concerns with the level of noise and the environmental impacts of the F-35s, with particular focus on Starkweather Creek, and asks our elected officials to obtain necessary information, evaluate and mitigate adverse impacts on Dane County, and resist future spending on the F-35s. We encourage the public to attend the March 8, 2018 meeting of Air Force Officials at Crowne Plaza Hotel from 5-8 PM at 4402 E. Washington Ave to get more information and submit written comments there or online.