SUMMIT COUNTY - Presidential hopeful Dennis
Kucinich, D-Ohio, will introduce a bill today to establish a Cabinet-level Department of Peace, an agency that would be responsible
for things ranging from social services to a Peace Academy.
Kucinich has the support of 38 other U.S.
representatives, including Mark Udall, D-Colo. Udall represents Summit County in the 2nd Congressional District. A representative
from his office will discuss the proposal from 2-3 p.m. today at the Summit County Community and Senior Center south of Frisco.
The newest Cabinet-level department was created
last year, when President Bush crafted the Department of Homeland Security, designed to protect U.S. citizens from terrorism.
Prior to that, President Jimmy Carter established the Veterans Administration almost 30 years ago. Today, there are 15 departments
with numerous agencies under their collective umbrellas.
If approved, the Department of Peace would
be dedicated to peacemaking and the study of conditions that are conducive to domestic and international peace. The department's
mission would be to promote justice and democratic principles, expand human rights, strengthen nonmilitary means of peacemaking,
promote human potential and work to create peace, prevent violence and develop new ways to resolve disputes.
"We have lived with war, violence and abuse
for far too long," said Kucinich spokeswoman Denise Hughes. "By establishing a Cabinet level Department of Peace, we have
the unique opportunity to confront the root cause of these evils and the ability as a society to build a safer world."
Methods would include mediation, nonviolent
intervention and encouraging communities, religious groups and nongovernmental organizations to develop initiatives.
The department would be responsible for developing
policies that address domestic violence, child abuse and mistreatment of the elderly, create new policies to reduce drug and
alcohol abuse, protect animals from violence, develop new approaches to deal with gun-related violence and develop programs
that address school violence, gangs and racial violence and violence against gays and lesbians.
Additionally, the department would take under
its wing civil rights, labor law, community-based violence prevention and racial tolerance programs.
At the international level, the department
would work with the U.S. Secretary of Defense and U.S. Secretary of State to reduce international conflict, train those who
work to reconstruct war-torn societies, sponsor countrywide and regional conflict prevention and dispute resolution initiatives
and encourage international sister city programs to exchange artistic, cultural, economic, educational and faith-based values.
The department also would submit recommendations
to the president regarding how the sales of arms from the United States affect peace and develop strategies for the sustainability
and distribution of international funds.
The secretary of the Department of Peace
also would develop a peace education curriculum to include the civil rights movement in the United States, how peace agreements
have worked to stop conflict and to work with teachers to help students work on peace through reflection and conflict resolutions.
A highlight of that would be a Peace Academy,
which would provide a four-year course of instruction in peace education, after which graduates would be required to serve
five years in public service in domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution programs.
2003 Summit Daily News