DoPeace

Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.

After almost 11 months of dialogue among board, staff, grassroots leaders, donors and other supporters of the Peace Alliance and Student Peace Alliance, we are very excited to share with you this draft two-and-a-half-year Strategic Plan. Our bold request is that over the course of the next two weeks you will join us in a process of dialogue and engagement to help inform the final version of the plan, and to help us align as an organization and team around our overarching goals moving forward.

This plan as written thus far, is a distillation of our network discussion and best thinking. The goal with the document is to end up with something that is both bold and focused enough for you to do your own local yearly planning, and coordinate nationally so that our actions can have the biggest impact possible.

We on staff believe that the finalized plan WILL LAUNCH an unstoppable movement in both the public and private sectors -- building more sustainable peace among people, communities, and ultimately in the federal government. The finalized plan will reduce violence now and build the necessary systems and infrastructure for a more peaceful world for decades to come. We hope this plan expands positively on the successful work we've already done, and brings us to another level of effectiveness -- exciting each other and hopefully many new people to get involved in our work.

Much of this draft strategic plan has already been seen or heard by many of you, starting at our March conference in Washington D.C., followed by conversations on conference calls and in one-on-one dialogues. Some of the content in this current version has simply been refined since, some of it updated more significantly -- like the legislative strategy section that suggests a more multi-faceted strategic approach to the Department of Peace itself. There is also a new "Community Peacebuilding" section.

This dialogue around the plan is one of the most important conversations that we as an organization will have. It is our first ever collaboratively designed long-term plan. Please take the time to read it, discuss it with your friends and local partners and engage in a dialogue with us about it (details are below on specifically how we are asking you to engage in the discussion).

We want to know specifically:

What excites you about it?
What concerns do you have?
What could be made better?
What are ways you want to implement it personally and with your local teams?

We'll do our very best to generate a plan that fits the values and vision that our network holds, and make it a plan to which you feel connection, pride and inspiration. We will remain open to the process and what emerges from the dialogue, allowing that to deeply inform the final plan. We will report back the key themes that emerged from the dialogue process, both in terms of the plan itself, as well as what worked and what could be improved about the process of engagement in the future. We will schedule a conference call in September to discuss what we learned.

Thank you for being a partner in this great work to move our country toward a culture of peace and nonviolence. Ultimately we hold a vision of a structural change in our federal government, one that will champion peace initiatives above all else and bend the course of history of the United States toward a more sustainable, nonviolent society. We deeply appreciate your partnership.

Additional Comments on the Plan:

We feel like each component of the plan has the ability to move the whole forward in a powerful way. We will support all of our grassroots organizers work for that which inspires; that which is the best, most effective strategy for your community and to engage your Congressional Representatives and Senators. What will have the biggest impact? As always, your local team will decide for itself what to focus on, whether directly in the plan or not.

Please keep in mind as you read it, that parts of the plan will roll out only as far as we have the financial resources to boost our staff. For half a million dollars a year we could do the basics, but for one million per year we could do all of it well. That is really not so much money when we think of what this could mean.

We look forward to the conversation.

In Gratitude,

The Peace Alliance Staff

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I think it is great that a lot of thought has gone into this strategic plan. It makes sense that we should think out the big picture. I have two major points that bring out weaknesses - big weaknesses in the plan as I see it, but please believe me that I am for what you are planning. Even if my comments have no effect, please go forward!

So, the plan is laid out in terms of a national based effort instead of a global effort. Our strength is at the local and global levels. Nationally the U.S. is a decaying but still incredibly powerful military dominator. Succussful imperialist nations don't generally give up their desire for power. After all, from the point of view of the United States of America, what can be gained by giving up power? Isn't it much smarter to use our power for all the good projects we see need to be done? While efforts at the national level are still very much needed, they need to be imbedded in a global view. Our national efforts should be part of a strategy that seeks to leverage our local and global strength to somehow turn the nation around so we reduce our military expenditures. Article VI of the NPT says we (the US) should be negotiating in good faith for a "complete and general disarmament". Any strategy must emphasize the importance of using our local and global strenth. The best local / global efforts that I have seen so far, and maybe I have missed some, are the World March for Peace and Nonviolence and the Mayor's for Peace with their 2020 Vision. I would myself say it is strategic to link up with those two networks as a central focus, not just something in the footnotes.

On the local level, we need to link up with parallel efforts in other departments, such as global warming, economic and social justice, and democracy and human rights. The one change that would bring lasting peace to our cities would be to make incomes more equal. To talk about bringing peace to communities without mentioning the most powerful remedy is inadequate.

Roger Eaton
globalassembly.net
The following is from Tory Haslinger, State Coordinator in Los Angeles, posted by Terry Mason on her behalf.

There are some wonderful ideas that have been set as goals. I am excited to hear how some of the ideas will be manifested.
Honestly, Terry, many of the items in the Stategy have been goals we have tried to tackle for the past 5 years, such as engaging congress, community peacebuilding, generating media and fundraising goals.
Supporting, introducing and endorsing peacebuilding legislation has been a sticky subject in the past.
A bipartisian bill, such as the Promise Act, is something that can be endorsed - while legislation that calls for removing troops from Iraq or Afghanistan has been taboo for us to associate ourselves with in the past. Personally, I have witnessed activists veer away from lending support to the DOPN because we did not support the end of the war.

If we did support ending the war, we might have generated lasting support from more people associated with Iraq Vets Against the War, Vets for Peace, Code Pink, ANSWER Coalition, Not In My Name...etc. and so many other "non violence" communities.

It has been so frustrating to explain to these hard core "peace" activists a centerist view to prevent violence.
Maybe when we do finally leave Iraq and Afghanistan, whenever that will be, all these folks will find a place under our umbrella and support lobbying for the legislation.

How will the Advisory Councils be established? Will they too be volunteers?

The experts who participate in the Roundtable Disscussions...will these folks get paid?

It would be great to see every line item on the Strategy manifested, I'm just not clear how that logistically will happen.
I do not disagree with any action items in the plan. I don't entirely agree with the framing and justification for the plan. The feedback from a couple co-sponsors as to why they are not stepping up from advocates to champions among their peers is that they are waiting to see more support from citizens. In view of this, I think it's great that we have maintained a level of co-sponsors through the last couple re-introductions/sessions of Congress. It is not a lack of interest to move forward, but a "wait and see" from our representatives. If we framed this as a necessary step in our evolution--to invite a more in-depth conversation about immediate steps that can be taken and alternative ideas for implementing aspects of the legisation, while continuing to value the original legislation and the way it provides for us to address of all aspects of local, national and international peacebuilding, it would seem more consistent with where we started. The current draft ignites concern that people in the field may lose sight of continuing to advocate for H.R. 808 while they focus on other aspects; also, it may cause confusion in those who feel strongly about continuing to advocate for a U.S. DOP. I believe a reframing will make it much more clear that continue to both advocate for the passage of H.R. 808 while we step up the dialogue on what other form what it seeks may take AND seek interim steps (now spelled out very well in the plan for the immediate future) toward fulfillment of our mission (empowering civic activism for a culture of peace) and that each volunteer's individual focus within all of the strands of the whole continue to be valued. We might also offer individual coaching sessions or CDTL and SC discussion calls on the plan itself. I note that on 8/15 we were given two weeks to give feedback. I don't know how much time we should devote to this--and certainly some can start implementing it today (or continue where they've already been implementing it) while we're allowing time for it--but it just seems like there should be more time for feedback from the field and then when there's a final draft, that it is an interim working draft with a 3 month or 6 month check-in point from the field.
I appreciate that there is a plan and am really grateful for all the thought and care that went into creating it. I have so much more hope for our movement if we are planning well. That alone is a huge celbration! That it is an integrated plan that encompasses the essential areas in a thoughtful way, excites me.

Specifically, I'm thrilled that peacebuilding is now a core part of the strategy. I personally feel much more fully aligned and re-dedicated to the purpose, goals and activities of the Peace Alliance, and more confident of long-term success.

I also deeply appreciate the collaborative process. How much input you've requested, the opportunities provided for so many to share their thoughts. That's really exciting.

And with a plan that I feel aligned with, and activities that will come from the plan, I feel there is more room to breath and choose where to put my time and energy.

Overall, I'm very excited by the plan. I think getting the DOP passed is going to take a while, so I need to stay focused on "small" wins in the meanwhile. This plan allows for that, and with each "small" win, we'll have one more building block towards a DOP. So in my mind, its a really great plan.

THANK YOU!!

Q: What could make it better?
A: Living it!

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