U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence 

I recently read David Hoppe's column regarding crime in an election year (Hoppe, “Crime in an Election Year,” May 30-June 6), and have heard the mayor's election campaign ads touting efforts to fight the "war on crime," and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to let folks in Indianapolis know about steps being taken at the national level to help fund local programs that will address our rapidly growing crime rate.

But we need your help!

HR 808, legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that will create a Cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence, will use less than 1 percent of the federal discretionary budget to establish an agency that will deal proactively with the conditions leading to violence, both domestically and internationally. By giving the interests of peace a full Cabinet position, we make it a national priority.

Domestically, the Department of Peace will research, propose and facilitate practical, field-tested solutions to reduce conflict, providing financial and institutional heft to strengthen and complement our current efforts to deal with all forms of domestic discord and violence. It will provide funding to create and expand proven domestic peace-building programs in our communities, such as mediation training for police, firefighters and other emergency services personnel. It will promote and facilitate the education of students in grades K-12 on how to resolve conflict nonviolently through peer mediation, and provide for training in alternative dispute resolution techniques and nonviolent communication skills.

HR 808 currently has 66 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, including state Rep. Julia Carson, but needs your help to get sponsorship in the Senate. Contact Sens. Lugar and Bayh NOW and demand their support for legislation to support peace-building programs. For more information, visit The Peace Alliance Web site at www.thepeacealliance.org.

Monica Cannaley
Campaign For A U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence

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