Who We Are. We are a group of grassroots activists who live in the California Bay Area and in Portland Oregon, and our aim is to advance the cause of peace in our schools, our communities, and beyond. Some of us are high school students. Others among us have decades of experience in the peace movement. The challenge before us all is to shape a world in which violence is not considered — by nations, communities, or solitary individuals — as a way to solve human problems.
We are focusing in this campaign on gathering peace pledges from two groups specifically: legislators and young people. Legislators are in a position to enact policy to move the world in a peaceful direction. And the energy and creativity of youth are also essential to this cause.
Of course, we welcome the participation of everyone in this peace pledge campaign. Visit the Join Us page of this website for recommendations about how you can participate.
Nuclear War. In January of this year, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which tracks the threat posed by nuclear weapons, moved the second hand on their Doomsday Clock forward to two minutes to midnight, signifying the greatest danger of nuclear apocalypse since the height of the Cold War. This danger is one that ordinary citizens, joined by our political representatives at every level — local, state, and national — can and ought to address.
the war today threatens the very survival of the human species. As well, the paths of war are enormously expensive, aggrandizing resources that are urgently needed to solve the problems besetting communities across the nation. Militarism also worsens, through its use of vast energy and other natural resources, the environmental crisis that is negatively impacting human communities worldwide.
These matters are vitally important to every American, and therefore also to every public official who aims to represent their interest. In our connected world, local interests are bound up with national, and global ones, which means that public officials have to take a much wider range of considerations into account if they are to represent their constituents well. In brief, the prospect of a nuclear war is today so terrible that the decision to go to war simply cannot be left up to political leaders in Washington.
The “peace dividend” that could have been produced at the end of the Cold War in the 1990s was never realized. The Pentagon’s budget is larger today than at any time over the past half century, although militarism and war have not increased the security of citizens in this country or abroad.
This pledge project intends to draw attention to our nation’s mistaken priorities, which not only render the world more violent and unstable but also steal resources and funding that could be used to meet real human needs.
The short-term aim of this pledge campaign is to foment a groundswell of opposition to the military-industrial complex and to the government military policy that it supports. The long-term aim is to contribute to the formation of a peace coalition that unites legislators at all levels and locations across the nation.
Domestic Violence. Violent policy abroad is mirrored in civilian life – in the brutal exercise of authority in the nation’s policing and prison systems for instance, and in the prevalence of gun violence in the United States. The first aim listed in the Legislators Peace Pledge is effective regulation of the manufacture, sale, transfer, and use of firearms, and adequate funding for community-based violence prevention programs. These programs should prioritize education and rehabilitation.