The following letter was sent to Congressmembers Garamendi & Thompson asking them to co sponsor Congressmember Barbara Lee’s HR 808, Department of Peacebuilding Act.
RE: Cosponsor HR 808–The US Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013
We are approaching the holiday season — a time when it is common to wish each other “Peace on Earth.” I am writing on behalf of the Lake County Democratic Central Committee to wish you exactly that and to ask you to move our government in the direction of making peacebuilding a national priority. Become a cosponsor for The US Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013.
This legislation, introduced by California Congresswoman Barbara Lee in February 2013, calls for collaboration in the public and private sectors to research and address the root causes of violence and to promote and sustain cost effective field tested peacebuilding programs and policies.
To create a “culture of peace,” we must institute comprehensive violence prevention and peacebuilding strategies at all levels of civil interaction—individual, family, schools, local communities, national and global. The U.S. Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013:
• Provides for public education programs that promote tolerance and diversity by implementing curricula in the history of non-violence and civil rights movements, nonviolent conflict resolution training and anti-bully programs.
• Assists in creating healthy families and communities, including support for parenting skills, mental health services, substance abuse prevention, domestic violence prevention and gang prevention programs.
• Establishes restorative justice programs in the criminal justice system to bring together offenders, victims, and community members to provide healing for the victim(s), and accountability and rehabilitation for the offender(s).
• Assists in re-entry of incarcerated individuals by including training in anger management, peacebuilding directives and life/job skills
• Engages all stakeholders involved in situations of international conflict to utilize nonviolent problem solving and conflict resolution to mediate issues and find mutually beneficial solutions.
• Promotes a “peace time economy” that encourages the conservation and sustainability of natural resources to prevent future conflicts regarding scarce resources, while creating job and business opportunities.
In 2012, the California Democratic Party (CDP) infused the Party Platform with peacebuilding measures. In July 2013, the CDP passed a “Resolution in Support of Peacebuilding” and endorsed the U.S.
Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013, which would establish a cabinet-level department with a Secretary of Peacebuilding. These are important steps, but we need to make peacebuilding a bipartisan priority.
We ask you to co-sponsor H.R. 808 and to work toward making “Peace on Earth” a reality.
Thank you for making this a better world. Have a joyful holiday season.