For many years, we have celebrated Mother’s Day, which was originally a day calling for peace, by taking pies to the local offices of our members of Congress and other legislators. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reimagining Mother’s Day and our summer 2020 advocacy for legislators to sign on as cosponsors of the Department of Peacebuilding (DoP/ HR 1111) legislation. Starting now and continuing through August, we ask you to take the actions listed below.
THIS MOTHER’S DAY
What is different about this Mother’s Day is that we currently cannot physically deliver pies or visit either the local or the DC offices of our legislators. We ask YOU to select your favorite pie virtually and to contact Congress online.
What is not different is that we are still calling for prevention of war and other types of violence. We are still saying that peace can and must be a national priority. We are still saying that PEACE WANTS A PIECE OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET PIE to prevent violence. We need a Department of Peacebuilding to promote compassionate and nonviolent policy decisions as an ongoing part of the structure and fabric of this nation, including as we weave our way through all implications and impacts of such crises as COVID-19 and the climate meltdown.
In her Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870, Julia Ward Howe decried the savagery of war, the waste of lives and the toll on humanity. She called for disarming and promoted “the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.” On March 23, 2020, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate global ceasefire. He linked the current coronavirus health crisis and the need for peace. “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives … to silence the guns, we must raise the voices for peace.”
MOTHER’S DAY & SUMMER ACTIONS
The Department of Peacebuilding legislation was introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) and currently has 36 cosponsors. By spending a tiny fraction of our federal budget on a DOP, peacebuilding and violence prevention, we will save lives and money and vastly improve the quality of life for millions. Participate in the Mother’s Day call for peace. Please take any or all of these actions:
- Pick your pie. Since we cannot hand deliver pies this year, please email us your favorite pie flavor, along with your name and state and tell us why peacebuilding is important. What is your favorite pie — apple, cherry, key lime, lemon meringue, pecan, olallieberry, something else? (You can even choose more than one.) Send this information to [email protected]
- Contact your member of Congress. Email your member of Congress / Summer 2020 to ask his/ her favorite pie flavor and to cosponsor Department of Peacebuilding legislation.
- Contact this Summer 2020 DoP Advocacy list.
Click Summer 20 for 2020 for suggestions on what to say and which members of Congress to contact. Feel free to contact as many of these former and potential DoP cosponsors as possible. Please contact them throughout May – August. Email [email protected] and let us know who you contact.
- Pass this information on to others.
MESSAGES FROM DoP ADVOCATES
“The extreme costs of the COVID-19 pandemic all all levels of government and society have yet to be realized … One of your colleagues, Congressman John Lewis, has stated, most poignantly, ‘If we prevent acts of violence on our streets, in our schools, there is no need to incarcerate. If we prevent war, there is no need to cut education and social insurance programs to cover these costs,’” wrote NJ DoP advocate Marjorie Schwartz to her member of Congress urging him to cosponsor DoP/ HR 1111 legislation.
She said, “If we take action to prevent violence we can rebuild our nation at peace with itself, with less unrest and violence at all levels. We have proven methodologies to reduce bullying and gun violence in schools, and promote social justice in our communities. We can build on the worldwide environmental gains made during the pandemic (perhaps the only positive consequence of the economic shutdown), as a means of improving the health of our public as well as the planet.”
“During this time of sheltering-in-place and physical distancing, we are reminded that peacebuilding is needed more now than ever, as domestic violence continues … Just as our healthcare system needs the resources, plans and infrastructure to respond to COVID-19 and other medical issues, we need a peacebuilding structure to address the root causes of violence … What would our world look like if we prioritized peace by creating a cabinet-level Department of Peacebuilding? What if all of us who are facing uncertainty, stress, and loneliness had an overarching peacebuilding structure to help us through the hardest times? Such a structure could help bring hope to people who are currently living in fear,” said GA DoP advocate Debra Poss.
Thank you to those who contacted members of Congress during Season for Nonviolence 2020. For more information and to read HR 1111, see Department of Peacebuilding.
Peace, compassion and pie on.
On Behalf of The Peace Alliance &
the National Department of Peacebuilding Campaign
For more information, see Department of Peacebuilding. Join National Department of Peacebuilding conference calls on the third Wednesday of every month at 5 pm PT/ 8 pm ET, 1-929-436-2866 or 1-669-900-6833, meeting ID 464 735 321 or, to be placed on the call notice list, contact [email protected].
Donate to the Department of Peacebuilding Campaign here.