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Rep. Barbara Lee Introduces Bill to Create Department of Peacebuilding

Does the U.S. need a new Cabinet-level department to focus on peace? Discuss Barbara Lee's idea in the comments section below.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee on Friday introduced a new bill in the House of Representatives that would create a Cabinet-level "Department of Peacebuilding." 

In a press release, Lee said "peacebuilding” encompasses both activities that target the root causes of violence and broad measures used to prevent violent conflict and create sustainable peace. 

Lee represents California's 13th Congressional District, which includes Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Alameda and San Leandro.

Here is the complete press release from Lee's office:

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced H.R. 808, the “Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2013” to create a cabinet-level Secretary and Department of Peacebuilding. The term “peacebuilding” refers both to activities that target the root causes of violence as well as the broad measures used to prevent violent conflict and create sustainable peace. 

“This culture of violence that we live in is unacceptable. On our streets and across the globe, the pervasive presence of violence has infected the lives of millions, and it is far past time we address it as a nation. We invest hundreds of billions each year in the Pentagon, in war colleges, military academies, and our national defense universities all to develop war tactics and strategies.  Now we need that kind of investment in peace and nonviolence here at home,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each life cut short by a homicide costs the U.S. economy $1.65 million.  Worldwide, the Institute for Economics and Peace estimates that violence and conflict cost the global economy $9 trillion in 2011.

Congresswoman Lee continued, “The Department of Peacebuilding advances the good work of my friend and former colleague Congressman Kucinich and has the potential to reduce suffering on a national and global scale while saving billions of dollars through violence reduction and increased economic productivity.” 

This proposed department would be charged with developing national strategies and programs for violence reduction both domestically and internationally.  Working across agencies, the Secretary of Peacebuilding would sponsor conflict prevention and dispute resolution initiatives, facilitate peace summits between conflicting parties, encourage community policing, and support efforts by local community and religious groups to reduce gun violence, racial and ethnic violence, and prevent violence against women and LGBT Americans.

Original cosponsors include Representatives Robert Andrews, Yvette Clarke, John Conyers, Jr., Janice Hahn, James McGovern, Chellie Pingree, and Jared Polis.

What do you think of Congresswoman Lee's idea for a Department of Peacekeeping? Share you thoughts in the comments section below.

Alameda Native February 20, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Really Claudia? What money? We're broke. Seems Democrats really can't see the forest for the trees. Hey Barbara, how about coming up with AND passing a budget? Then in your spare time you can spend time on these trivial pursuits.
Tatter Salad February 20, 2013 at 10:38 PM
You may be correct. It's time to throw 'economy stimulus money' at the 'Sociology and Psych'-Majors rather than Engineering firms like Boeing, etc. and the former high-school jocks from the South. But I suspect the economy and U.S. technology will move forward better with the latter. No one has ever said there was such a thing as a 'humane' and 'just' war. Just say'n.
Chris84 February 20, 2013 at 10:39 PM
This congressperson is A typical uber-liberal. Lets spend more money, create more beaurocracy and use it all to cloak " gun control. How about creating a department of personal responsibility. What do you think of that?
Thomas Sneid February 21, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Honestly Chris, Love the idea, as long as vague, nonproductive but feel good plans are considered acceptable by the radical Bay Area left, I think it might actually be something that makes a but of sense to create a department to promote personal responsibility, something our society desperately needs. But of course, with the victim mentality that the "Uber Left" so loves to embrace, basically the foundation and basis of their very existence, I wouldn't expect to see such a program anytime soon out of the peoples republic of California. Still, terrific comment nonetheless.
Renate Jakupca February 27, 2013 at 01:12 PM
ARK in Berea: The International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) is now accepting requests for the 2013 Children Peace Stone Sculpture donation program. Peace Stones from the Worlds Children Peace Monument (WCPM) will be donated to municipal parks nationwide to assist in promoting the iceality of a sustainable global Culture of Peace and Goodwill for all Living Things!! There is no cost to the city except to find a suitable public location for the Peace Stone Sculpture. According to David Jakupca, the Spiritual Father of the Environmental Arts Movement, The Stones are each handcrafted and are approximately 3 to 4 ft square and weight about 300 lbs are indestructible (vandal proof) and erects in a few hours.....(NOTE: specific Peace Stones will be designated as part of the National Coast-to-Coast Great American Peace Trail) Rep Lee, Governors, mayors, council members, civic leaders, business exec, teachers, parents, kids…. today, if we live up to our responsibilities and recommit to our tradition of civic participation, there is nothing our country can’t achieve. Please contact me directly at the ARK in Berea to expedite delivery of peace-carved-in-stone to your city park. Full Story: http://bereabuzz.blogspot.com/2013/02/building-national-coast-to-coast-great.html

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