Peace is on the march in Washington, D.C.! Thanks to the dedicated efforts of pioneering peace advocates over many years, support for the work of peacebuilding has soared in our nation's capital recently. Now victory is within reach on landmark federal legislation that would make unprecedented investments in peacebuilding.
A majority of the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have already signed on as co-sponsors domestic legislation, the Youth PROMISE Act, and the legislation is rapidly gaining momentum in the U.S. Senate.
Now we need you to help us harness this momentum and "turn up the peace" this summer to pass the Youth PROMISE Act and build support for stronger federal peacebuilding infrastructure like a U.S. Department of Peace.
You can make a difference by sending a personalized letter below to your Members of Congress and the President - asking them to support and actively push for these two vital peacebuilding measures currently before Congress:
The Youth PROMISE Act (H.R. 1064 & S. 435): A bipartisan bill that funds and implements the best policy recommendations to reduce youth crime and violence through proven prevention and intervention practices, such as mentoring and after-school programs. The bill targets communities with the highest rates of youth crime and gang activity and empowers local communities with control over the use and oversight of resources, while holding communities accountable for their funding through measurement of cost, savings and effectiveness.
The Department of Peace (H.R. 808): The most comprehensive bill in Congress to date that creates a Cabinet-level department to prioritize violence prevention and peacebuilding efforts in the Executive branch of our government.
Remember to personalize your message by using your own words.
(Your message will automatically be sent to your two Senators and your member of the House, as well as President Obama).
With our country still engaged in two costly wars and many of our most vulnerable communities ravaged by violence and over-incarceration, I am writing to urge you to invest in critically-needed, cost-effective, proven practices in the field of peacebuilding. In particular, I urge you to support two pieces of legislation currently before Congress: The Youth PROMISE Act (HR 1064 and S 435) and The Department of Peace (HR 808).
Conflict, both at home and abroad, may be inevitable, but violence is not, and we can significantly reduce, resolve and prevent violent conflict by funding and implementing a comprehensive, coordinated approach that makes more effective use of the established tools of peacebuilding.
The Youth PROMISE Act (HR 1064 and S 435) funds and implements the best policy recommendations from across the political spectrum to reduce youth crime and violence through proven prevention and intervention practices, such as mentoring and after-school programs. All credible research indicates that evidence-based prevention and intervention programs for at-risk youth both reduce crime and save far more than they cost, by cutting down on expensive incarceration and criminal justice enforcement costs. We must engage youth in positive ways to keep them from joining gangs or engaging in other violent activities.
The Department of Peace legislation (HR 808) creates a Cabinet-level department to prioritize violence prevention and peacebuilding efforts in the Executive branch of our government. Domestically, the Department would develop policies and allocate resources to reduce the levels of domestic and gang violence, child abuse, and other forms of societal discord. Internationally, the Department would advise the President and Congress on the most sophisticated ideas and techniques to resolve international conflict and promote sustainable peace.
The challenges of violence demand our full resources and attention. I ask you to support and co-sponsor this legislation as a big step toward creating a lasting peace in our nation and world.
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