WASHINGTON - August 30 - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and 55 co-sponsors will re-introduce legislation to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace during the first week the House is back in session, September 12, 2005.
“Every day in our country, millions of people are touched by various aspects of violence. And yet, every day people are still reaching for hope, looking for some opportunity to be delivered from this violence,” says Rep. Kucinich. “The Department of Peace would create a cabinet-level position that would promote peace and address violence both nationally and globally. In addition to initiatives that would help avoid war and conflicts internationally, the Department would also deal with domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, violence in the schools, racial violence, violence against gays, police-community relations challenges, and other forms of conflict.”
The legislation will be re-introduced on the heels of the annual Department of Peace Conference being held in Washington, D.C. from September 10th – 12th. Organized by The Peace Alliance, hundreds of people will be in the nation’s capital to meet with members of Congress to encourage their support of this legislation. Speakers during the various scheduled events will include such prominent public figures as the legendary broadcast anchor Walter Cronkite, author Marianne Williamson, Patch Adams, Jonathan Schell, and others.
In addition to the legislation being re-introduced, on Tuesday, September 13th, from 10-7 on the US Capitol lawn, the Children's Cloth of Many Colors, a peace quilt now 1/3 mile long will be shown, with a program at noon. This historic quilt was started by an 8-year old child in a formal peace ceremony at the Pentagon on September 22, 2000. Children from across the country are making sections to add to the quilt, which currently has sections from thousands of children in 21 countries and 23 states.
The legislation proposed by Rep. Kucinich is designed to: develop field-tested educational programs promoting conflict-resolution and peer mediation among school-age children; provide violence-prevention programs addressing domestic violence, gang violence, drug and alcohol-related violence; effectively treat and dismantle gang psychology; provide assistance for city, county, and state governments in coordinating existing programs and reduce domestic and international violence.
The purpose of the Department would be to research, facilitate and implement on a broad scale new and currently existing nonviolent solutions to domestic and international conflicts. The Department would provide the American president with a much-needed complement to a problem-solving approach dealing primarily with symptomatic rather than causal, underlying issues.