Department of Peace?!
Joe Courter
April 2000

There's an interesting plan afoot, launched by Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich, to create a Department of Peace, which would act as a facilitator for peace both domestically and internationally. The Gainesville Citizen Circle of the Global Renaissance Alliance is planning to take up the cause locally. This same group succeeded in having Gainesville proclaimed a City of Peace last year.

Using the concept of 1% of the military budget going to peace, the Department would function, not only in defusing conflicts, but also enhancing and developing tendencies for a more peaceful and just society. As Kucinich puts in it his proposal: "Title 1: Department of Peace. There shall be established a Cabinet-level Department of Peace, which shall be of the executive branch of the Government. The Department of Peace shall hold peace as an organziing principle, coordinating service to every level of American society. It shall be oriented toward the development of human potential. It shall be enabled to strengthen non-military means of peacemaking. It shall endeavor to promote justice and democratic principles and expand human rights. It shall seek to create peace, to prevent violence, to divert from armed conflict, to use field-tested programs and to develop new structures in non-violent dispute resolution. . . ."

The Local Citizen Circle of the GRA has had one meeting already in mid-March at the Civic Media Center, and has copies available of the full Kucinich proposal. It is working to strategize methods for building support for the plan. To reach them, call 352-339-8373.

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