Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tell Congress to support violence prevention policies

Support Smart Peacebuilding & Violence Prevention Policies
Dear Supporter,

We are having a lot of fun, and hopefully making a difference in our nation's capital.  Our teams have been working it hard these last couple of days, meeting with Members of Congress, pushing for critical peacebuilding legislation and funding.  Please help us make an even more profound impact by adding your voice of support.
We hope you were able to make a call yesterday to your Members of Congress.  Either way, please also write your members of the House and Senate today using our easy online action tool. Let your elected officials know you stand for peacebuilding, violence prevention and conflict resolution as top policy priorities.

Write your Members of the House and Senate TODAY!
Show your Support for Peacebuilding & Violence Prevention
2-minute action! Click the links to use our easy and quick online action tool:

CA Team met with Sen. Barbara Boxer's office.
1. Youth PROMISE Act: H.R. 2721
2. Funding for International Peacebuilding:
State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations:
  • US Institute of Peace: $39 million
  • Conflict Stabilization Operations: $56.5 million
  • Complex Crises Fund: $50 million
It's not too late to call your members as well.  Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can find your elected officials here.
Sample Script:
"Hi, My name is ___, I'm a constituent of the Congressman/Senator.  I live in _____ (your city).  I'm calling to urge you to fully support two key issue areas.  First is the Youth PROMISE Act, which is bill number HR 2721 in the House, and is pending introduction in the Senate.  Second is State Department and Foreign Appropriations funding, as part of the State and Foreign Operations sub-committees, for: The US Institute of Peace for $39 million; Conflict Stabilization Operations for $56.5 million; Complex Crises Fund for $50 million. We need to make the work a violence prevention a priority in our policies and I urge you to get behind these important initiatives that could save billions of dollars and thousands of lives."
It's as simple as that. If you don't get a live person or call-in after hours, just leave them a message.
Your voice is your power as a citizen, use it!

Background Information on the Issues:
1. Sustain Funding for International Peacebuilding & Smart Human Security:
State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations
US Institute of Peace: $39 million
USIP is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. USIP works to save lives, increase the government's ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance our national security.  The Administration has proposed $37 million for the US Institute of Peace, a 6 percent reduction in funding.  The Peace Alliance is calling for $39 million for the US Institute of Peace.

Conflict Stabilization Operations: $56.5 million
This account funds the Civilian Response Corps and the new Conflict Stabilization Operations bureau. This year's budget request is $56.5 million, which is an increase from last year's enacted amount. This bureau focuses on preventing deadly conflict by assessing and planning an effective response to countries struggling with or at risk from conflict or civil strife. The Civilian Response Corps will be reduced from 144 members to 68 members as a cost cutting measure.  The Peace Alliance is calling for $56.5 million for Conflict Stabilization Operations.

Complex Crises Fund: $50 million
This account provides much-needed, unprogrammed money for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to prevent and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises. $50 million is this year's budget request for the CCF, a $10 million increase from last year's enacted amount. In addition to the traditional use of CCF (used in countries/regions that demonstrate a high or escalating risk of conflict or instability), the Administration adds an emphasis on opportunities for "progress in a newly emerging or fragile democracy". This is a clear response to the Arab Spring. The Peace Alliance is calling for $50 million for the Complex Crises Fund.
2. Investing in Youth Violence Prevention and Intervention Programs
Youth PROMISE Act  - H.R. 2721
The Youth PROMISE Act is groundbreaking, bipartisan legislation that will provide our communities with transformative support to prevent youth violence. In our nation’s most violence-torn communities, the legislation will provide a lifeline for our nation’s greatest asset:  our young people. 

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency found on average $1 invested in prevention returned $5 in cost-savings.  The Youth PROMISE Act is a smart investment.  That’s why last session 235 bi-partisan Representatives co-sponsored the legislation. 

The Youth PROMISE Act will:
  • Fund, implement and evaluate an array of evidence-based, locally controlled youth and gang violence prevention and intervention practices.
  • Hold communities accountable by linking funding to measurable success and requiring that at least 85% of funds be spent directly on programs.
  • Create a PROMISE Advisory Panel of state representatives to aid in assessing community needs and resources, developing and enforcing program evaluation standards and overseeing implementation.

Twitter The Peace Alliance
P.O. Box 27601, Washington, DC 20038 | Phone: 202-684-2553

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