Thursday, March 5, 2009

Miramar, Florida, Supports a Department of Peace

The Miramar, FL, (pop. 108,240) city commision unanimously approved a resolution in support of H.R. 808 - the Department of Peace act - at their Feb. 18th meeting. Several DOP activists and supporters spoke passionately in favor of the resolution, including Maggie Macaulay and Ana Campos. The mayor of Miramar specifically pointed out:

"...the passion of Ms. Macaulay and her fellow advocates was what swayed my opinion in favor of the cause, ... [I] love when people participate and work together."

Commissioner Winston Barnes noted one of the things he found gratifying was the bill had been around for so long, the fact that the idea was not a brand new one. Both Mayor Lori Moseley and Vice Mayor Yvonne Garth expressed their thanks to the speakers for pointing out that the DOP legislation is not specifically about U.S. war policy, but that it icludes provisions for dealing with issues of violence within the U.S. as well as abroad.

The topic of funding the new Department of Peace was also discussed at some length. Initially, the concern was raised that, especially under the current economic climate, the cost of funding a new department would be low on the priority list. However, after discussing the ecomonic benefits of addressing the root causes of violence so that we don't have to pay for the aftermath of violence, the council agreed that:

"The longer the wait, the bigger the problem will become"

The commission concluded by unanimously passing the resolution to send a letter in support of H.R. 808 to Congress. With this resolution, Miramar joins 38 other governing bodies across the U.S. - including Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles - that have formally supported of the Department of Peace legislation. These 39 entities represent over 13 million people!

This story is a great example of engaged civic activism! Congratulations to activists Maggie McCauley, Ana Campos and the rest of the South Florida DOP team for making this happen!

For more on the Department of Peace legislation visit The Peace Alliance web site. The Peace Alliance also has tips and tools for working with your own city government on a resolution in support of H.R. 808. Get active! Make Peace! Make History!

7 comments:

  1. Indeed, our real wealth is in partnerships, not in "economics" of the marketplace.

    Welcome aboard, Miramar!

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  2. It is so cool to see what participatory democracy can create. I imagine many people would never think of going to their city council, or what it would matter if they did. But when all of us do a little something in our corner of the world, it ultimately adds up to making a big difference. Thanks for sharing this info!

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  3. Part of our jobs as citizen partners with our elected representatives is to educate them on solutions to pervasive and systemic problems. They have so much going on, it is impossible to know about everything. Great job in empowering our democratic process!!

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  4. Thank you Miramar, FL for your support of a U.S. Cabinet level Dept. of Peace. Peace and peace building are fuzzy goals. We all have our subjective opinions of how to achieve peace. Thank you for supporting a U.S. Dept. of Peace that would quantify what is peace; how is it achieved, when is it not present, what peacebuilding efforts work, what doesn't work, etc. Oterwise, how will we ever get there?

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