Envision a Department of Peace and Nonviolence
During the initial phase of the DoPN Model Project, we are collecting as many viewpoints as possible that will help us create an effective government agency.
We are asking people to envision a Department of Peace and Nonviolence, and describe specific things their ideal organization would do, or the services it would provide or the problems it would address or people it would serve or how it would operate.
We have setup a page on a Wiki web site site so you can add your comments on-line
We are looking for people who will represent a wide range of perspectives:
a) the views of a Taxpayer who is funding the cost of operating the DoPN - The proposed operating budget for the DOPN is currently set at around $8-10 billion / year - that equates to be around $30/ year per person.
The World Health Organization has funded a study to estimate the cost of interpersonal domestic violence globally. They estimate that the cost of domestic violence in the United States is over $400 billion annually.
As a Taxpayer, the Department of peace would have to reduce levels of domestic violence by 2-3 % to offset the cost of operating the Department.
Do you think this is a realistic goal for the DoPN?
b) the views of an American Voter. The current legislation was probably written by political liberals even though the authors of the legislation intended to create a Department that represent all Americans.
If you are a political conservative or independent, we would especially appreciate your input and perspective, because the goal is to have legislation that is inclusive. This Department will provide value to all Americans, regardless of political philosophy, economic status, age, gender, religious affiliation, or National origin.
But what about the fear that Peace is related to weakness? Wouldn't the Department of Peace and Nonviolence send a signal to our enemies that we are weak - whereas a strong military sends the message of our strength and resolve?
What about the perspective that the Department of Peace and Nonviolence would just be another government bureaucracy that forces our country into more debt?
c) the views of a potential DoPN staff members.
d) the views of a Partner Departments.
We particularly want to hear from people who are employed by Partner Departments (e.g. DoE, DoJ, DoHHS, DoD, DoS, DoL,...)
For example, if you are currently an educator, or an employee of the Department of Education (at the Federal or State level), you would argue that the DoE is already doing this work. Many school districts already have programs in place that address the issue of bullying, or conflict management in the classroom.
How could the DoPN (and its affiliated Peace Academy) possibly support and complement these ongoing programs?
Although the DoPN is being designed to complement the Department of Defense (rather than compete with it) by proving early warning signs of international conflict and provide alternative interventions before military action is required, how would that work? Isn't the Department of State already providing that pre-emptive function? How would a Department of Peace and Nonviolence add any value to existing Departments?
e) the views of a Colleges and Universities. It is estimated that over 300 colleges and universities in the U.S. are now offering courses and/or degrees in conflict management / conflict resolution / mediation / negotiation or related peacemaking topic. Why do we need a Peace Academy? Would the establishment of a Peace Academy just detract from these ongoing efforts? What would a Peace Academy look like? Would it be centralized or have campuses all across the country?
f) the views of a non-profit Practitioners who are already struggling to provide services to their clients in need.
Wouldn't the Department of Peace and Nonviolence be another drain on the limited resources available to keep current programs going for the poor, homeless, disadvantaged, ...? Wouldn't it just disrupt the current programs that are providing valuable services?
g) the views of Service Recipients / End Users who will benefit directly and indirectly from the services provided by the DoPN. This is a critical perspective, because if the DoPN does provide value to the End User, then it should not remain in operation.
If are you able and willing to assume any of these "Stakeholder" perspectives, please join our Model DoPN Team in one of several ways.