On September 22nd, 2005, the 44th anniversary of President Kennedy's signing of the legislation creating the Peace Corps, Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) introduced the Department of Peace legislation into the U.S. Senate, calling for an elevation of the Reagan-established "Institute of Peace" to a Cabinet-level position. Dayton's Senate bill elevates the U.S. Institute of Peace to a cabinet level department and expands its responsibilities to cover domestic issues as well as international. See Dayton's press release at http://dayton.senate.gov/news/press.cfm.
Many thanks to the Department of Peace activists from Minnesota who met with Senator Dayton this past week after the National Peace Alliance Conference in WA D.C. They encouraged Dayton in taking this bold step for peace legislation. In particular thank the three Minnesota youth leaders, Chelsea Skog (13 yrs), Eric Skog (6 yrs) and Raven Kinnell(12 yrs), who also met with the Senator. Senator Dayton said he was doing it for them, and for all our youth.
This is a huge moment for our campaign, and for the future of the Department of Peace! Senator Dayton's leadership and enthusiastic support takes us to the next level as peace activist continue to advocate for this historic legislation. The Legislation is similar to companion legislation introduced last week in the House of Representatives by Congressman Dennis Kucinich and 60 co-sponsors (H.R. 3760).
Please help continue this momentum by calling your own Senators today and urging them to support this bill. Contact your (U.S. capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121) Tell the staffer who answers your call that you want your Senator to sign on as a co-sponsor ofthe Department of Peace legislation. Request a written response explaining your Senator's position and the reasoning behind it.