Hooray for our family of Peace!
We are Top Ten now.
Keep IMAGINE PEACE in your heart.
We are together.
Announcing the Top 10 Ideas for Change in America
by Ben Rattray, Change. org
After the submission of 2505 ideas and 209,950 votes, we’re happy to announce the 10 winners of the Ideas for Change in America competition.
The winning ideas illustrate that the issues important to people across the country are much broader than those few that consistently dominate debate in Washington. Because they challenge the status quo, these ideas will face resistance from many in power. This is why citizen-driven initiatives like Ideas for Change are so important: by connecting more than one hundred thousand people from all 50 states around ideas that do not always gain national attention, we’re taking an important step toward building a powerful movement for change on these issues. And we’ve only just begun.
Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Ideas for Change in America:
Establish a U.S. Department of Peace-building
by Ted Nunn, a peace activist from Columbia, Maryland, in partnership with the Peace Alliance, a nonprofit organization that advocates for a culture of peace through civic engagement. Through their idea, Ted and the Peace Alliance seek to raise overall awareness around non-violent solutions to international and domestic conflicts in order to bring about a more stable and peaceful world and reaffirm our right to independence from violence.
Legalize the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana
by Spencer Pearson and Larry Talley. Spencer is a sophomore at the University of Missouri where he’s focusing his studies on the impact of drugs and drug policies on society, having been inspired by the positive impact of medical marijuana on the health a family member. Larry, a retired member of the US Navy from Flower Mound, TX with over 20 years of service, spent much of his military career working to eradicate drugs both domestically and in South America. But, after observing the futility of his efforts and the violence endemic to the black market drug trade, he became an active member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Move to Amend: Constitutional Rights for People, Not for Corporations – Abolish Corporate Personhood
by Move to Amend, a grassroots coalition in Madison, WI fighting to end the legal doctrines that advantage corporations over the American people in the electoral process, including most recently the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. “Every day America knows that a deep injury has been done to our democracy, and that only constitutional reform can repair the damage,” said Ben Manski, executive director of the Liberty Tree Foundation, and a spokesperson for Move to Amend.
Increase Federal Good Time Allowances
by FedCURE of Plantation, FL, who are working to pass legislation that would return the US Federal prison system to an earlier system of good time allowances that would not only create more humane conditions for those who are incarcerated, but also relieve American taxpayers of the tax burden of unnecessarily long prison sentences. A mere 10 percent reduction of prison populations through good time allowances would save the US taxpayers a minimum of $1.2 billion.
Send the Tobacco Treaty to the Senate for Ratification
by LIVESTRONG, an Austin, TX based organization founded by Lance Armstrong, whose idea aims to reduce the millions of deaths each year around the world resulting from tobacco. “Cancer became the leading cause of death worldwide this year; at LIVESTRONG we are calling for transformational results rather than simply incremental ones,” said Doug Ulman, President and CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Create 1.5 Million American Jobs
by Fixing Our Crumbling Schools by USAction of Washington, DC, whose idea hopes to solve the dual problems of unemployment in the construction industry and poor conditions in our schools. According to USAction, if we invest $180 billion in our schools over the next few years – a fraction of the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – we can put 1.5 million Americans back to work and improve education for every public school student in America.
No Farm No Food: Save the Land that Sustains Us
by American Farmland Trust from Washington, DC, whose idea focuses on America’s quickly disappearing farmland. Every minute of every day, we lose two acres of agricultural land to development. AFT’s idea seeks to protect farmland in order to strengthen the national economy and world food security, protect the environment, bring fiscal stability to local governments and provide fresh, healthy food for all Americans.
Good Food For All Kids: A Garden at Every School
by Ethan Genauer who worked with sustainable community farms and led activities to increase youth engagement with sustainable food systems in New Mexico before moving to DC in 2009. Today, he is a volunteer with Washington Youth Garden, helping to bring garden science into DC classrooms. His work with third grade students in DC is what first inspired his national call for Universal School Gardens.
End Chimpanzee Experiments, Pass the Great Ape Protection Act
by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington, DC based organization that aims to phase out the use of chimpanzees in research. “People may be shocked to learn that laboratories in the United States are permitted to keep chimpanzees in cages about the size of a kitchen table, sometimes for decades,” says PCRM primatologist Debra Durham, Ph.D. “It’s time for us to join the growing list of countries that ban invasive experiments on these amazing animals.”
25 Million+, It is Time to Care About Rare Disease
by Catherine Calhoun from Saint Francisville, Louisiana, who was inspired to start advocating on behalf of those with rare diseases after attending a January 2010 conference at the National Institutes of Health hosted by the Office of Rare Disease Research. She has dedicated herself to fighting on behalf of the almost 30 million people in America who have such diseases, with the aim of encouraging knowledge sharing between doctors in hopes of finding cures.
Now that the voting has concluded, the hard work of real change begins. We will be presenting these ideas to relevant members of the Obama Administration and Congress, and subsequently helping to initiate national campaigns behind each of these ten ideas.
For those of you whose favorite ideas aren’t among the winners, we also want to send a message: we’re here to help. One of the things we’re dedicated to at Change.org is supporting grassroots campaigns for change regardless of their size. To enable this, we recently launched a powerful free petition tool that enables you to easily start online campaigns to pressure Congress, government agencies, local officials, or companies on any issue. You can find out more about how to start a petition on Change.org here: http://www.change.org/petition.
Thanks for being the most important part of Ideas for Change in America 2010. This initiative is successful because of people like you, and we hope to continue to have you as an active member of the Change.org community as we work together to transform these ideas, and others, into real change in the weeks and months ahead.
Hi. This is yoko ono.
I fully support the idea of voting
for a DEPARTMENT OF PEACE.
It’s so exciting to see the family of peace
working to keep ourselves up in the top ten!
Every bit helps to make World Peace a reality.
I didn’t know that we are getting so strong in numbers, as well!
Lots of love, yoko
Establish a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding
“The science of peacebuilding deserves a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions about foreign and domestic policy. The use of violence to resolve personal and international conflicts needs to be a last resort. The Department of Peacebuilding will build the institutional structures needed to help put peaceful means at the forefront.” ~ Idea submitted by Ted Nunn
* The idea for a U.S. Department of Peace is a real bill currently sitting in Congress – HR-808 U.S. Department of Peace Act. You can read the bill here: http://www.thepeacealliance.org/content/view/658/23/
* The bill has been in and out of Congress for 75 years.
* It was first introduced as a Senate Bill in 1935.
* It currently has 72 cosponsors.
* There is a national non-profit and grassroots volunteer movement supporting it’s passage http://www.ThePeaceAlliance.org and http://www.StudentPeaceAlliance.org
* The difference between 1935 and now is improved communication, a growing need to prevent violence, save lives and build peace.
* The President knows about the bill. He has received it from volunteers all across America with The Peace Alliance http://thepeacealliance.org
SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FEDERAL BILL
* * Teach violence prevention in schools, grades K through 12th; as well as develop new educational programs that promote conflict resolution among school children.
* * Focus on reducing the levels of domestic violence, hate crimes, homicides, rape, gang violence, child abuse, elder abuse and drug and alcohol related violence by developing policies and providing funds for anti-violence educational programs.
* * Effectively treat gang violence and work to rehabilitate the prison population.
* * Focus on peace-making efforts among conflicting cultures within America and other countries.
* * Support our military with alternative, approaches to peace-building and cultural understanding.
* * Provide assistance to law officers and city, county, state governments by supporting, existing, community building programs within their own cities and local communities
* * Create a U.S. Peace Studies Academy, on the same level as the U.S. Military Academy.
* * and much more…
Just beyond “Give Peace a Chance” appears “Give Peace a Voice in the Executive Cabinet.” By moving the bill forward, we move peace forward. We can make this happen. Thank you for believing and taking action! ♥
Ana Maria Campos
Board Member, The Peace Alliance
South Florida State Organizer
Phone: (954) 793-3279 | Email: [email protected]
JOIN HERE: http://www.ThePeaceAlliance.org
CONTACT CONGRESS HERE: http://www.thepeacealliance.org/content/view/29/139/
ABOUT THE CONTEST
What is Ideas for Change in America?
This is the second annual ideas competition powered by Change.org. We launched the first competition immediately following the 2008 presidential election, during which time people across the country submitted more than 7,500 ideas and 650,000 votes.
The 10 most popular ideas will be presented to relevant members of the Obama Administration, and Change.org will subsequently mobilize its full community to support a series of grassroots campaigns to turn each idea into reality.”
During the first round of voting, ideas were organized into 20 different issue-based categories. In this final round, all 60 qualifying ideas (top three in each of 20 categories) will be in open competition. The final round of voting concludes at 5pm ET on March 12th, and the 10 most popular ideas at the conclusion of voting will be named winners – the “Top 10 Ideas for Change in America.”