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Peace Activists Work to Create New State, Federal Offices

December 12, 2006

Santa Fe, NM - A group of New Mexicans is working to integrate peacemaking into government at both the state and federal levels. Legislation to create a cabinet-level "Department of Peace" has been drafted in Washington, and Governor Richardson has said he will support a bill to create a state Office of Peace for New Mexico.

Richard Mansbach is the state campaign coordinator for the proposed legislation.

"The national legislation will create an Academy of Peace. It will enable young people who wish to serve the country to work in the arena of nonviolent solutions to conflict."

Mansbach is optimistic that a state bill modeled on the national proposal will make it through the legislature this winter and on to Governor Richardson's desk.

"It has a pretty good chance of passing. We could be the first state to actually have an Office of Peace, doing some of the same functions of coordinating and helping getting money channeled to some of these programs."

Mansbach explains the state Peace Office would support programs that use restorative justice and nonviolent conflict resolution techniques. The Governor has said he supports the idea, which would make New Mexico the first state in the nation with a Peace Office.

More information can be found online, at www.thepeacealliance.org and www.thedepartmentofpeacenm.org.


Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM