Target: Rep. John Boehner, Speaker of the House, U.S. House of Representatives
Goal: Establish a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding
There is a bill before the United States House of Representatives that proposed to establish a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding. The legislation calls for resources to reduce and prevent violence, and 85% of these resources would be allocated to addressing violence within the U.S. It would provide nonviolent solutions for domestic and international conflicts, and would be a critical part of a larger, fundamental response to the problem of violence in America and abroad. Urge Speaker of the House John Boehner to provide strong leadership and help ensure the creation of this badly needed department.
Violence in America comes at great social and financial cost. Thousands of people suffer and die each year from domestic violence and gang violence, among other types of societal discord. Prison building is the nation’s largest urban industry. The U.S. spends roughly $700 billion per year on violence within its borders and military-related expenditures for domestic and international operations.
A Department of Peacebuilding would provide assistance to city, county, and state governments for existing programs and help develop new ones. It would teach violence prevention to school children, address gang violence, rehabilitate the prison population, and much more. Internationally, it would create peacemaking efforts among conflicting cultures, and support our military with complementary approaches to ending violence and with post-conflict reconstruction. It would also create and administer a U.S. Peace Academy.
It is time to focus attention and resources on programs that will work to make positive changes in people’s lives by reducing violence. Widespread public support is needed to ensure that the legislation will pass from bill to law. Urge Speaker Boehner to advocate for the establishment of a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding.
Dear Rep. Boehner,
I urge you to support legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding. The Department will work on problems associated with domestic and international conflict, which is urgently needed. Domestically, it will develop policies and allocate resources to reduce levels of domestic and gang violence, child abuse, and various other causes of social conflict. Internationally, it will advise the President and Congress on how to effectively create peace among and within nations.
National security cannot be ensured by military solutions alone. Terrorism poses new types of challenges and attention must be given to the underlying cause instead of focusing solely on preventing a future attack. Nuclear arsenals are vulnerable and pose a great threat to the entire world.
Violence comes at a great social cost in America, in the form of deaths, abuse, and imprisonment of millions of people. The World Health Organization estimates that the U.S. spends $300 billion annually on violence that occurs within the country. Prison-building is the nation’s largest urban industry, and over $400 billion is spent each year on military-related expenses. It is time to change this destructive cycle.
As Speaker of the House, it is your duty to provide strong leadership. I urge you to use your power to help eradicate violence in America and abroad by supporting the creation of a Department of Peacebuilding.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Richard Reames via Wikipedia