Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (2 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   No comments
General News

The Minnesota Peace Project: A Model For All 50 States

By       Message Joanne Boyer     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 3/10/14

Author 59592
Become a Fan
  (12 fans)
- Advertisement -

 "The Minnesota Peace Project is the definition of outside the beltway peace advocacy at its finest....I know I say it all the time but I'll say it again--it's a model that should be emulated in every state!!"

-- Legislative Associate with National Peace Organization

- Advertisement -

Perseverance. Organization. Passion. Commitment. They are the definitions of grass-roots organizing and the descriptive words that tell the story of the formation and continuing efforts of the Minnesota Peace Project.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar with MPP's Roxanne Abbas by Minnesota Peace Project

Founded in early 2009, the Minnesota Peace Project's (MPP) mission is to build a more peaceful world by influencing U.S. foreign policy through the exchange of perspectives and information with Minnesota members of Congress. With volunteer coordinators in each Congressional District and two Senate teams, MPP seeks to develop long-term, respectful relationships between constituent peace advocates and their Congressional representatives and staff members.

Sound like a daunting task? It's what fuels the day-in and day-out work of both MPP co-founder Roxanne Abbas and Minnesota Third Congressional District Coordinator Linda Thomson, both of whom recently sat down with Wisdom Voices to talk about their work and that of the organization.

- Advertisement -

  "I was not active in the peace movement until President (George W.) Bush announced the invasion of Iraq (2003)," Abbas said. "I tell people it was President Bush who recruited me for this intense involvement. I'd worked with other peace groups in the past, but from my perspective none of them was really working effectively to influence their members of Congress.

"These groups do a wonderful job with demonstrations and protest rallies and public education. But what I felt they weren't doing effectively and what needed to be done was communicating with our members of Congress. So, I talked with co-founder Mary Hinz and others who were interested and agreed with this perspective and we pulled together a core team to get MPP started."

"We developed a strategy to find ways to avoid former techniques where we had failed to influence our members of Congress and looked for ways in which efforts could be productive and where we would have the potential to change their positions," added Thomson. "We recognized the importance of having a strategy."

MPP developed a mission statement, and most importantly a Peace Agenda with the help of peace activist Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and established their agenda into three major topics:

      Resolve conflicts through diplomacy

      Build an infrastructure of peace and prosperity

      Dismantle the infrastructure that encourages militaristic response to conflicts

- Advertisement -

With agenda and mission statements in hand, MPP then organized into establishing local volunteers and members in each of Minnesota's eight congressional districts and two Senatorial teams. "You can only be on a Congressional district team if you're in that district," said Thomson, who has a background in marketing. "We recruit with endless phone calls and networking. It's in talking to people you'll find out that they say, "Oh, I know someone who just moved to Morris (Minnesota) and then we call that person and say, "Do you know anyone in your district who would be interested in helping.' It's constant work. And it helps to be willing to talk to anyone at anytime."

"I've been at conventions where I walk into other people's party rooms and just start talking," Roxanne laughed.

But it's far more than just talking that has been the real nugget of success for MPP. It is in the art of listening and using the tool of dialogue in which the organization has fine-tuned its work with the Minnesota congressional delegation, which ranges from Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison (Minnesota 5th District) to staunch Republican Erik Paulsen (Minnesota 3rd District).

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It
Joanne Boyer is founder and editor of Wisdom Voices Press and Her first book is "Wisdom of Progressive Voices." Joanne has worked in professional communications for more than 30 years. Her career includes being the first (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Can Occupy Wall Street Push Us To Single Payer?

Doing The Work For The Real Health Care Victory: Single Payer

On, Wisconsin: The Legacy of "Fighting Bob" LaFollette

The Breadth and Depth of Voter Suppression Should Scare Us All

The Fraud of 'Voter Fraud'

Too Early To Chill The Champagne? Action Heats Up On Overturning Citizens United