Targeting: The President of the United States, The U.S. Senate and The U.S. House
Started by: The Peace Alliance
To sign the petition, click on the TAKE ACTION button below, fill in your details and then click SIGN.
Early advocates of celebrating Mother’s Day in the United States envisioned it as a day of peace, to honor and support mothers who had lost sons and husbands to the carnage of the Civil War. In 1870 – nearly 40 years before it became an official U.S. holiday in 1914 – social justice pioneer Julia Ward Howe issued her famous Mother’s Day Proclamation, which called upon mothers of all nationalities to band together to promote the “amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”
This May, at a time when our country is fighting two costly wars abroad and our own communities are torn apart by violence and over-incarceration, it’s time for Mother’s Day to return to its roots.
We must let our leaders know that “Peace Wants a Piece of the Pie!“
In honor of Mother’s Day, citizens all across the country will be delivering pies (along with a federal budget pie chart showing the miniscule current investment in peacebuilding) to the offices of Congressional Representatives and Senators to push for a greater federal investment in peacebuilding.
In particular, we are asking our elected officials to co-sponsor and actively push for two landmark pieces of peacebuilding legislation currently before Congress:
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.
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.
Whether you plan to visit your elected officials or not, you can make a difference — and support those who are making office visits — by signing the petition below!
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).
Dear President Obama and Members of Congress,
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.
[your name here]
Mother’s Day Proclamation
by Julia Ward Howe
From Wikipedia: The “Mother’s Day Proclamation” by Julia Ward Howe was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. Written in 1870, Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe’s feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.