Monday, Jul. 22, 2019

CDP Endorses Dept. of Peacebuilding 2017 Act & Adopts Resolution to Budget for Peacebuilding

By Nancy Merritt · September 09, 2017

The California Democratic Party (CDP) endorsed the Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2017 (HR 1111) and adopted the CA Department of Peacebuilding’s “Resolution to Budget for Peacebuilding for People and the Environment” as we took our message of peace and compassion to the CDP statewide Executive Board meeting in Anaheim from 8/25 – 8/27/17, where the CDP also celebrated the 97th anniversary of women securing the right to vote.

The CA Peace Alliance/ Campaign for a Department of Peacebuilding, in partnership with Compassionate California, also: 

  • Advocated with members of Congress for additional HR 1111 cosponsors
  • Celebrated Women’s Equality Day – the 97th Anniversary of women securing the right to vote – with a CDP panel discussion which included Jerilyn Stapleton, Peace Alliance Legislation Lead and President of CA NOW
  • Advocated/ petitioned for federal and state legislation to reform or replace the current bail system which punishes people for poverty by imposing prohibitive bail, both of which were endorsed by the CDP -- the federal Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act (S. 1593 introduced by Senator Kamala Harris (CA) and Senator Rand Paul (KY)) and the state Bail: Pretrial Release Bill (SB 10)
  • Recognized that Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) has repeatedly sought an amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (HR 1229) and to compel Congress to resume its Constitutional duty to debate matters of war and peace, ending the blank check for perpetual war, which was also supported by the CDP
  • Promoted the UN “Global Resolution for the Establishment of Infrastructures to Support the Culture of Peace,” which individuals and groups can support at
  • Built awareness about Compassionate California’s vision for a state that is unified in its commitment to effectively preserve healthy, equitable and resilient communities through methods of cooperation, collaboration and collective impact through compassionate action
  • Connected with others about peace and justice legislation and initiatives

Thank you to the CA Department of Peacebuilding CDP Endorsement committee members (Brian Gibbs, Maggi Koren, Lily Marie, Nancy Merritt, Josh Roebuck, Jerilyn Stapleton), other CA Peace Alliance donors, supporters and volunteers (Jo Ann Gaines, Terry Mason, Doug Merritt), and Compassionate California/ Posts for Peace and Justice volunteers (Fe Love and her dad, Louis Williams).

Our display interwove our “Mainstream Peacebuilding” posters with colorful hand-painted peace poles urging “soar above,” “support and uplift one another,” and questioning “When our children ask ‘Did you help create the Department of Peacebuilding,’ what will you say?”  Compassion mixed with peacebuilding mixed with action …

See also "CA DoP Actions at CA Dem Party Meeting - More Photos" on Movers & Shakers.  (CA DoP Actions at CA Dem Party Meeting - More P...)

I.  CDP Endorses Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2017

After extensive outreach by the CA Department of Peacebuilding Campaign, the CA Democratic Party endorsed the DoP Act of 2013 as one of its limited number of bill endorsements. The CDP reaffirmed its support of DoP 2015 and of DoP 2017.  For all three endorsements, the CA DoP Campaign contacted, and obtained the support of, numerous CDP regions, Democratic county organizations, caucuses, clubs and individual party leaders and grassroots Democrats.  For the DoP 2017 bill, the following supported CDP endorsement of DoP legislation:

  • Democratic county organizations - Los Angeles County DCC, Nevada County DCC, Sonoma County DCC
  • Democratic Party Caucuses - Senior Caucus, Veterans Caucus
  • Democratic Clubs - Nevada County Democratic Women’s Club, Poway Democratic Club (San Diego), Democratic Party/ San Fernando Valley, Sonoma County Latino Democratic Club, Windsor -  North Sonoma County Democratic Club
  • A Sample of Individuals - Karen Bernal (Chair, Progressive Caucus of the CDP), Darren Parker (Chair, CDP African-American Caucus), Susie Shannon (DNC), Shawn Terris (Former Chair, Veterans Caucus of the California Democratic Party), individuals from the CDP Rural Caucus, individuals from the CA Peace Alliance, individuals from various counties throughout the state, and many others

II.  CDP Adopts CA DoP Campaign’s “Resolution to Budget for Peacebuilding for People
       and the Environment

The CDP adopted, among other resolutions, the CA Peace Alliance’s “Resolution to Budget for Peacebuilding for People and the Environment,” which provides:

WHEREAS the Administration’s budget has proposed moving $54 billion from human and environmental spending at home and abroad to military spending, bringing military spending to well over 60% of federal discretionary spending, and part of helping alleviate the refugee crisis should be providing greater economic assistance which may prevent wars that create refugees and the President himself admits that some of the military spending of the past 16 years has made us less safe, not safer, and fractions of the proposed military budget could help pay for much top quality education from pre-school through college, help alleviate hunger and starvation on earth, move along the US conversion to clean energy as well as improve the US infrastructure and increase US foreign aid rather than cutting it; and

WHEREAS even 121 retired US generals have written a letter opposing cutting foreign aid and a United States helping to provide clean drinking water, schools, medicine and solar panels to others would be more secure and face far less hostility in the world; and

WHEREAS our environmental and human needs are desperate and urgent, it should be noted that many economists have said that domestic spending has a more powerful positive impact on the economy than military spending which would generate more jobs and tax revenue; now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party urges the United States Congress to move our tax dollars in exactly the opposite direction proposed by the President, to ensure we do our best to meet human and environmental needs; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party send this resolution to all Democratic California members of the House of Representatives and Senate for guidance when deliberating policy decisions.

Authors: Jerilyn Stapleton (AD46), Nancy Merritt (AD15), Lily Marie-Mora (AD1), Sponsored by California Peace Alliance

III.  Advocating with Members of Congress for Additional HR 1111 Cosponsors

We asked individual members of Congress to support HR 111, including conversations with Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA-44), Karen Bass (CA-37), and Ro Khanna (CA-17).  Constituents and organizations from various Congressional Districts agreed to urge their members of Congress to cosponsor HR 1111.  Attendees also signed petitions urging Congressional support of DoP.

IV.  Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

Jerilyn Stapleton, Peace Alliance Legislation Lead and President of CA NOW (National Organization for Women), was one of the panelists at a CDP luncheon celebrating the 97th Anniversary of women securing the right to vote when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920.  After seeing footage and learning more about the sacrifices made by the suffragettes, Jerilyn said she pledged she would always vote.  Too many went through too much to throw away that right and that responsibility.  Other panelists included Congresswoman Nanette Barragan and CA SEIU (Service Employees International Union) President Laphonza Butler. 

V.  Federal and State Legislation to Reform or Replace the Current Bail System

The CA DoP Campaign petitioned for – and the CDP endorsed – federal and state legislation to reform or replace the current bail system which punishes people for poverty by imposing prohibitive bail.  The federal bill is the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act (S. 1593 introduced by Senator Kamala Harris (CA) and Senator Rand Paul (KY)) and the state bill is the Bail: Pretrial Release Bill (SB 10). Brian Gibbs, San Diego DoP, will get the petitions to federal and state senators.  Our petition urged support of these two bills intended to reform the money bail system by ensuring that people are not kept in jail simply because they cannot afford bail to buy their freedom.

  • S. 1593 - To provide grants to States and Indian tribes to reform their criminal justice system to encourage the replacement of the use of payment of secured money bail as a condition of pretrial release in criminal cases, and for other purposes.
  • SB 10 - Safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial, while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system, and to ensure that people are not held in pretrial detention simply because of their inability to afford money bail

The CDP also endorsed the No Money Bail Act (HR 1437). 

VI.  Amendment to Repeal 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (HR 1229)
       And Other Legislation and Resolutions 

We advocated for Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s (CA-13) Repeal 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (HR 1229), which the CDP endorsed.  The CDP also supported such other legislation as Healthy CA Act (SB 562), Keep Kids in School (SB 607), Medicare for All Act (HR 676) and Repeal Immigration Ban (S. 274).

Other CDP resolutions included:  “Supporting Efforts to Develop Practices of Racial Justice,” “Resolution Concerning Police Transparency and Accountability,” “For Our Future – Reject Nuclear Energy,” “Resolution Calling on Cities and Counties to Refuse Contracts with ICE,” “Resolution Opposing the Ban on Muslims Entering the United States,” “Support a Requirement that Presidential Candidates Disclose 5 Years of Tax Returns to Appear on CA’s Primary Ballot,” and “Opposing the Trump Administration Ban on Military Personnel.”

VII.  The Global Resolution for the Establishment of Infrastructures
          To Support the Culture of Peace 

We advocated for the United Nations to adopt “The Global Resolution for the Establishment of Infrastructures to Support the Culture of Peace.”  Individuals and organizations can add their support at  The Global Resolution supports:

  • the creation of Departments of Peace within all governments.
  • peace curriculums for peace education within schools and universities.
  • peace economies and businesses that contribute to peace.
  • the Culture of Peace that encourages self-transformational opportunity for individuals to become agents of peace and non-violence, and nurtures the oneness of humanity and our shared vision of peace

Drafting of this resolution was a collaborative effort between United Nations Culture of Peace working groups, the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace, the Global Alliance for Ministries & Infrastructures for Peace and  Organization endorsers include the Peace Alliance, the National Department of Peacebuilding Committee and the CA Peace Alliance/ Department of Peacebuilding Campaign.

VIII.  Compassionate California’s Vision

Compassion is very much a part of peacebuilding.  At the CDP Executive Board meeting, Compassionate California (CC), and featured partner, Posts for Peace and Justice (P4P&J) were tabling guests of the CA Peace Alliance.  The colorful posts, decorated with messages and images of hope and love, amplified our messages of peace and compassion and drew people to the booth.

Compassionate California works to co-create a State of Compassion, community by community, city by city, business by business, heart by heart.  CC collaborates with and offers resources for development and support of the growing network of California Compassionate City campaigns and the network of Community Partners. (See ) Posts for Peace and Justice is a national project using education, research, discussion and art, working in partnership with nonprofits to make a difference.  P4P&J brings communities together to support important contemporary issues in various cities, schools and other organizations through artistic engagement, and then to exhibit with stories and facts both online and at public sites.  (See

CC and P4P&J connected with many individuals and groups who are interested in rolling up their sleeves and helping their city become an International City of Compassion and/or helping identify legislators across the aisle who might join in developing a resolution for the CA State Legislature to consider – declaring (and of course doing the real work of becoming) a “State of Compassion.  CC and P4P&J talked with city officials, including the City of Artesia’s Mayor, Ali Sajjad Taj, who is in the process of finalizing their official Compassionate City status (likely the 12th within CA) with passage of a City Resolution.  West Sacramento is currently in process, as well.  Jo Ann Gaines and Fe Love said many CDP members and policy makers spoke seriously about talking across the aisle and including "Compassion” as an active core principle in their work.  “That boosts our hopes that California will become possibly the first State of Compassion.

IX.  Connecting with Others about Peace & Justice Issues

At our booth, we connected with many long-time CDP supporters and with others who had never heard of the Department of Peacebuilding legislation.  Other booths included candidates for CA governor (Delaine Easton, Gavin Newsom, John Chang), other candidates (Tony Thurman, candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction), Mike Levin (Running for Congress in CD-49) and organizations (NextGen, Planned Parenthood).

We attended general sessions, standing committee meetings (Legislation, Platform, Resolutions), and caucus meetings (African-American, Chicano Latino, Labor, Progressive, Senior, Veterans, and Women’s).

X.  Note about Photos

Photo #1 - CA Peace Alliance/ Department of Peacebuilding & Compassionate California volunteers at CDP meeting booth

Photo #2 - Volunteers with Peace Posts

Photo #3 - Jerilyn Stapleton speaking at Women's Equality Day panel

Photo #4 - Compassionate California/ Posts for Peace volunteers

Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.” -The Charter for Compassion,  The Department of Peacebuilding legislation calls for creating a peace curriculum which includes teaching and fostering compassion

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