“I personally commit and ask all leaders—elected officials, business executives, media personalities, and civic and faith leaders, and others—to promote peace and patience as election tensions grow. We call upon you to speak out explicitly against violence and threats of violence that undermine our American ideals and aspirations. America is bigger than any single election.”
-Condemn Election Violence Petition
My friend, Joan Blades, cofounder of MoveOn.org and Living Room Conversations alerted me to another organization that is working to promote positive conflict resolution and more peaceful communities—The Peace Alliance. In addition to their Blueprint for Peace petition to our political leaders, they also have a Condemn Election Violence petition to work with a coalition of leaders, organizations and individuals to stem the potential of violence this year in the United States.
The Peace Alliance notes the positive impact of current peacebuilding solutions:
- LifeSkills Training programs have been shown to produce a $50 benefit for every $1 invested in terms of corrections costs, welfare and social services, drug and mental health treatment; and increased employment and tax revenue.
- Physical violence has shown a decrease of 43% in high schools with life skills and conflict resolution programs and curriculum.
- Re-offense rates have shown to drop from the current national average of around 65%, down to as low as 7% when Restorative Justice oriented programs are employed.
- We see a 62% success rate of international peace agreements when negotiated through mediation. Only 27% un-mediated cases are successful.
- $3.6 billion down to $5 million: reduction of violence costs in Kenya elections (2008 to 2010) after comprehensive peacebuilding efforts.
I invite you to add your name to these petitions.