Department of Peace
Today the City Council passed a resolution supporting federal legislation that would create a United States Department of Peace and Nonviolence. This effort is being led by the Peace Alliance and the legislation is sponsored by both Martin Sabo and Mark Dayton. Several other cities have passed similar resolutions, but this makes Minneapolis the first in Minnesota. I hope that others will follow.
Clearly, this is only a very small step in the effort to make this a more peaceful and nonviolent City and world. Still, in light of the recent wars throughout the world but especially Iraq and Lebanon and the recent 61st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki it is nice to think that I was able to be of use to do something to further the cause of peace and nonviolence.
One of the things that made this resolution appealing to many of us on the Council is the proposed Department's direct link to promoting nonviolence domestically, through an Office of Domestic Peace Activities and an Office of Peace Education and Training, and its potential to bring much needed information and resources to cities like Minneapolis to end and prevent violence in our city.
If we spent even one percent of the money we spend studying and engaging in war to study and engage in peace, imagine the impact that could have.
I am grateful that the adovcates of this program brought it to my attention, that fellow Council members were supportive (especially CM Schiff, who helped lead this effort, and CMs Remington and Hofstede, who joined us in authoring it) and proud that my City has signed on to support this potentially far-reaching and powerful proposal.