Save the United States Institute of Peace - House Voted to Cut All Funding!
  • Petitioned President of the United States

This petition was delivered to:

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U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Save the United States Institute of Peace - House Voted to Cut All Funding!

    1. Petition by

      The Peace Alliance

  1.  
  2.   
April 2011

Victory

The Peace Alliance worked tirelessly on a campaign to save the United States Institute of Peace, which was facing elimination in some of the budget proposals for 2011. After weeks of campaigning, they managed to bring it to a victorious finish despite harsh budget cuts across thought the 2011 budget. In a statement, The Peace Alliance said:

“The House and Senate voted to fund the United States Institute of Peace throughout the rest of this fiscal year and the president is expected to sign soon. Despite a February House vote to zero out funding for the USIP, the Institute’s work will carry on.”

“Thank you for being a part of this campaign to save the Institute’s valuable work and mission!”

“Because of our shared work the new USIP headquarters will continue to stand as a beacon of hope from across the Lincoln Memorial. The Institute will continue to provide the analysis, training and tools that prevent and end conflicts.“

Read the rest of the statement from The Peace Alliance.

Please Sign, and Share this Petition via Facebook or Email 

Call your Senators at 202-224-3121 and Urge them to Save the USIP

This is an Urgent Action - The Senate will vote this week or next!

Recently, the US House voted to cut all of the United States Institute of Peace’s funding. All of it! 

This is a stunning development that could prove to be a serious setback for the work of peacebuilding around the world and a blow to the growing movement we've been seeing for peacebuilding investment in our government.  

The United States Institute of Peace Act, passed by the Congress and signed into law in 1984, established the Institute as a publicly funded national institution. Congressional leaders spearheading the charge to eliminate USIP wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that USIP is a “waste of taxpayer money.” 

The funding in question, $42 million, is change by Federal Government standards. $42 million Is one tenth of one percent of the State Department budget, not even enough funds to support 40 troops in Afghanistan for a year, nor to pay for three hours of the Afghanistan War. Yet this small investment in USIP is one of the smartest investments the US government can make. As one of the only institutions in Federal government working to support peacebuilding, the Institute desperately needs our support.

Iraq would have further spiraled out of control had USIP not existed.

When the situation on the ground in Iraq seemed it could not get any worse, our country turned to USIP for answers.  USIP President Richard Solomon writes:  “When Congress needed a forward-looking bipartisan commission to evaluate U.S. options in Iraq, they turned to USIP. Under the co-chairmanship of former Secretary of State James A. Baker and Rep. Lee Hamilton, we gathered input from many organizations to produce what became a widely recognized guide to dealing with Iraq: The Iraq Study Group.”

USIP has also played a critical role in Afghanistan.  According to General David Petraeus:  “USIP’s work on the informal justice system has been invaluable as we work toward improving rule of law at the provincial level.  Their plans for reconciliation efforts at the community level on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border are likewise a potential key to success in the enormous challenges we face.”

USIP has a proven track-record as the pioneering US institute advancing peacebuilding on our behalf, a bright light emanating from our nation throughout some of the darkest corners on the planet.  USIP’s budget ought not to be cut.  It ought to increased!

Prevention and nonviolent intervention pay off. There is a temptation, and it far too often turns out to be the reality, that we cut prevention and intervention programs first when budgets get tight. That's true from the community level all the way up to national - and it's exactly the opposite of what we should do, both from a fiscal and moral perspective.  This is an issue we must stand behind.  We cannot allow the USIP to slip away.  Please work with us.  Take action today!

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. VICTORY: Congress votes to fund USIP in FY 2011!

      The House and Senate voted to fund the United States Institute of Peace throughout the rest of this fiscal year and the president is expected to sign soon. Despite a February House vote to zero out funding for the USIP, the Institute’s work will carry on.

      Thank you for being a part of this campaign to save the Institute’s valuable work and mission!

      Because of our shared work the new USIP headquarters will continue to stand as a beacon of hope from across the Lincoln Memorial. The Institute will continue to provide the analysis, training and tools that prevent and end conflicts. And events will carry forward like yesterday’s on “Political Transitions in Afghanistan,” and last week’s with former Israeli President Shimon Peres. The hundreds of Institute peacebuilding experts will continue to lead our nation to be even better at making peace than at making war.

      Together, we generated over 38,000 messages to Congress and the President from the 9,400 plus people who signed our petition, and made countless phone calls to Congress. With your support, we delivered petition signatures to over 40 key Senate offices. Together, our message got through: Saving USIP is essential for our national security and our commitment to global peacebuilding.

      Through this shared challenge, our community grew stronger. We were part of a strong group of organizations who rallied together: from the Alliance for Peacebuilding, National Peace Academy, the Friends Committee on National Legislation and many others. From General Zinni, to Senator Leahy, and Secretary Clinton many leaders stood with us. And our friends at Ben & Jerry’s and Yoko Ono helped immensely with their tweets and posts. Today we celebrate this victory!

      And as we celebrate we know that soon the FY 2012 budget negotiations will again likely call into question both investing in the work of peacebuilding, and investing in USIP. It is sobering to consider the extent of cuts made to several programs that support domestic and international peacebuilding, just in this budget deal. Indeed we must remain vigilant and double-down in our advocacy for continued and growing investments in this field.

      Consider a donation today to help us sustain our advocacy initiatives into the future:

      in gratitude,

      -Aaron

      “For everything that matters, Carry on!” -Peter, Paul, and Mary

    2. Reached 9 signatures
    3. Awesome! Great progress being made. More support is still needed. Another article emphasizing USIP's importance;

    4. New goal of 10,000 signatures! Thanks for all your help. Keep up the momentum!

    5. VIDEO: Peace Alliance drops petition at over 40 key senate offices;

    6. Secretary of State Clinton Expressed her support;

    7. Christian Science Monitor: "Why Did Congress Cut Funds In a Time of War?"

    8. Reached 8 signatures
    9. NY Times Op-ed penned by General Zinni, "Peace-building that Pays Off":

    10. Milburn Line, executive director of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice at the University of San Diego, labels cuts to the Institue of Peace as downsizing democracy

    11. Reached 7 signatures
    12. Victory: Senate extends funding for two weeks, cuts $4 billion, but USIP not included.
      Within the next two weeks the Senate will consider USIP funding for throughout the year. So our work continues. We are 70 signers away from 7,500! - Aaron Voldman, Student Peace Alliance

    13. Washington Post: Notre Dame President Emeritus and USIP Board Chair Op-ed for USIP:
      "The U.S. can't turn its back on peace"

    14. Reached 7 signatures
    15. Update from our friends at "Alliance for Peacebuilding"
      Thanks to our friends on Capitol Hill, we now know that a group of six senators (3 Democrats and 3 Republicans) are trying to craft a bill that will reduce the deficit while preserving those programs and services that must be saved. They need to know that USIP and other peacebuilding programs must be saved and even expanded. However, since peace parts aren’t manufactured in every congressional district and state - the way tanks and fighter jets are - they may find USIP to be an easy target.

      These six senators could well determine the future of peacebuilding in America: Mark Warner (D-VA), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Dennis Durbin (D-IL), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Mike Crapo (R-ID). Please reach out to each one of these senators and let them know that building peace is a national priority, that it helps make the dreadful costs of war less likely, and that the American public cares. Just dial 1-202-224-3121 and ask for their office.

      You don’t have to live in their state to call. At this stage, they are making crucial decisions that impact everyone everywhere, and you have a right to be heard. Do it today. Tomorrow may be to late. A quick, short call and email message is all it takes to make a difference. They just need to know there IS a constituency that cares and that America’s global reputation - as well as its security – is at stake.

    16. Reached 6 signatures
    17. Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA) writes for the Hill Blog about the importance of the US Institute of Peace

    18. Congressman Denis Kucinich speaks out aginst de-funding the US Institute of Peace

    19. Reached 5 signatures
    20. @YokoOno has retweeted the petition

    21. Passed 4,600 signatures - 400 left to reaching our first goal of 5,000 signatures. Help us reach 5,000 signers by signing and sharing this petition with your friends!

    22. Reached 4 signatures
    23. Senate Vote Update: We expect the Senate to vote on USIP funding next Monday or Tuesday (February 28 and March 1). So please keep sharing this petition, and call Congress!

      Please call your Senator TODAY (202-224-3121) and urge them to make the sane, rational, fiscally-responsible choice in the name of our national security (and international peacebuilding) by funding USIP!

      -Matthew Albracht, The Peace Alliance

    24. We are quickly approaching 5,000 signatures! How quickly can we hit our goal? -Aaron Voldman, Student Peace Alliance

    25. The organizational alliances are building in support of USIP! Woohoo!!!

      Yesterday Ben & Jerry's (via @CherryGarcia) sent out the following tweet to their supporters, encouraging them to sign this Save USIP petition!
      "Don't let Congress cut the US Institute for Peace! It could be serious setback for global peacebuilding. Speak up @ @USIP"

      Thank you Ben & Jerry's, our favorite corporate peace champion, for joining us!

      Much appreciation as well for the work of The Alliance for Peacebuilding and the National Peace Academy to generate support for USIP! -Aaron Voldman, Student Peace Alliance

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Sidney Peck SEDGWICK, ME
      • over 3 years ago

      I am honored to sign the petition and to publicly show my support for it.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nancy Clipper NEW YORK, NY
      • over 3 years ago

      Please do the right and moral thing.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Anne Schneller EAST LANSING, MI
      • over 3 years ago

      If we are continuing to spend billions on military actions around the world, let's also spend some money on institutes that promote PEACE!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • nancy albert SAN JUAN
      • over 3 years ago

      Stop spending so much on war, and start spending more on creating peace. Why are we spending money on destruction? No one wants that. No one benefits. Well, i guess the arms dealers benefit and the businesses that make money on blood. But peace is a much better investment for everyone else.

      Well, i certainly don't trust the US Senate to do this. America seems addicted to war, hate, and ignorance now. America doesn't look brave anymore. it just looks like a belligerent bully. I doubt it can ever regain its reputation and stature. Its become the world's meathead.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Denise Haynes LAWRENCEVILLE, GA
      • over 3 years ago

      Please continue to fund the U.S. Institute of Peace and allow our nation to continue to be a beacon for peace and non-violent communications between people and governments.

      As necessary as it is to defend our country and its principles, it is necessary to exemplify them as well.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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