(APN) ATLANTA The City Council of Atlanta has voted 12-2 to support a resolution calling for a US Department of Peace, The Georgia Alliance for a US Department of Peace announced at a press conference today on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol.
The US Department of Peace, championed by US Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) during his 2004 US Presidential Campaign, would be at the Cabinet level complete with a US Secretary of Peace.
The resolution was introduced April 17, 2006, by Councilwoman Felicia Moore and passed the City Council on May 1, by a landslide 12-2 vote.
The US Congressional bills to create a US Department of Peace and Nonviolence are S 1756 in the US Senate and HR 3760 in the US House.
S 1756 was introduced by US Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) and is co-sponsored by US Senator James Jeffords (I-VT). Unfortunately, both of these US Senators are retiring and not running for reelection this year.
Georgias US Congressional delegation includes only two co-sponsors of the bill, the usual suspects, US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Cynthia McKinney (D-GA).
The event today honors the tradition of Mothers Day for Peace, which was envisioned by Julia Ward Howe. Mrs. Howe nursed soldiers during the American Civil War and then after the war saw the effects on widows and children. This inspired her to call for a Mothers Day of Peace, which evolved into our modern holiday.
Speakers at the press conference represented groups that deal with violence on every level of society: mothers, faith-based organizations, veterans, youth, advocates for the homeless, domestic violence awareness advocates, and representatives of the health care industry.
Besides Dr. Tarr, the State Coordinator for the Georgia Alliance for a Department of Peace, the speakers included Lisa McLeod, nationally syndicated humor writer and her daughter Elizabeth McLeod, 13.
Elizabeth read from an essay she had written in which she totaled the cost in actual parent-hours it takes to raise a child to the age of 18. All that work, she pointed out, becomes wasted when a child is killed in war. Ms. McLeods father, Jay Earle, a 69 year-old navy veteran, also gave his support.
The speakers were warmly received by a small but very enthusiastic crowd. Common among the religious representatives was the belief that in all faiths, Peacemakers are the children of God.
Dr. Tarr is delighted the City Council has passed the resolution so easily, she told Atlanta Progressive News in an interview. She expects the Mayor will also announce her support of the measure soon.