Friday, July 20, 2012

An open letter from the new prez of the Peace Alliance

A letter from our new President
Hi Everyone.  My name is Bob Baskin and I am the now leading our staff as President of The Peace Alliance. I want to personally introduce myself to you whose support and commitment have allowed The Peace Alliance to influence policy and educate policy makers and the public about the need to think differently regarding conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
Advocacy & Education for Peacebuilding
2012 Goals
This year our advocacy remains strongly in support of the following peacebuilding areas:
1. Budget funding for international peacebuilding in State Dept. & Foreign Operations;
2. Youth PROMISE Act - Investing in youth violence prevention and intervention programs;
3. Re-organizing the government to more effectively advance peacebuilding, including a U.S. Department of Peace.
We will be joined in Washington D.C. this next week by activists from around the country to lobby congress on these issues.  We will also host a screening and dialogue on July 23rd with Phil Donahue
D.C. Area friends join us!
I want to tell you a little about myself, my initial impressions about the organization, and some thoughts about where I believe TPA can and should go. Since some material on my background has already gone out (see bio below), I’ll just say that I’ve had broad experience in the public, non-profit, educational, and private sectors.  I’ve been fortunate to have been given opportunities to work for improvement in the lives of those needing help and to gain an understanding about how Americans’ core values influence the way they behave.  I believe some of these lessons can help TPA strengthen its standing and move aggressively to the forefront of organizations working to change the culture of how to deal with conflicts.
As I’ve gone around in these first couple of weeks meeting people and organizations with whom we have partnered, and explored ways to strengthen these relationships, I have been struck by not only the graciousness of these folks, but their uniform recognition of TPA’s ability to call upon and mobilize great numbers of committed individuals willing to put themselves out for our common goals.  We communicate regularly with 12,000 people through social networking, Facebook and Twitter, and a total of about 60,000 via email.  This gives TPA a tremendous advantage upon which we can build to be even more successful.
It’s also true that some of our resources, both financially and in personnel, have been stretched over the last couple of years.  Though TPA is in a transition mode, the Board, staff, and I are determined to work hard, communicate more, and develop the resources that will provide meaningful evidence to demonstrate TPA’s capabilities and effectiveness.
I look upon this as a new day for the organization, one that acknowledges the many accomplishments that have been achieved, and the many people who have been a part of making this organization what it is.  It also offers the ability to do even more to advance policies needed to reach our broadest goal of changing the way we as individuals or as a nation and world think before we take physical or violent actions, an attitude that promotes peace through prevention. I firmly believe that TPA has the means to actually effect the policies we all espouse.
In closing, I ask for your continued support, by joining us when we need help with advocacy, lobbying, collaborating, and educating.  The past couple of years have made it difficult to obtain the necessary financial wherewithal to complete the many tasks necessary to meet our goals. Nevertheless, I’m confident that with your continued support, TPA will be able to carry out fully all that needs to be done.

I thank you in advance and hope to hear from you about how TPA can help as you work for peace within your own communities.
With gratitude,

Bob Baskin

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