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Letter: Questions for candidates

I am thankful that qualified candidates are running for Congress. I call on our candidates to respond to the following:

In addition to your positions on international relations regarding support for the U.S. military, seriously consider including a statement such as:

I support a U.S. foreign policy grounded in human dignity, justice, compassion and peacemaking. I will work to achieve a world free of war and the threat of war.

In addition to ending the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. is taking steps to help prevent genocide in world hotspots. The international community, including the U.S. is working in advance of tense elections in Kenya to help prevent violence before it has begun.

I call on you to support the continuation of funding for the fledgling structures for peace; such as, the establishment of a high-level Atrocities Prevention Board. Congress needs to budget for active peace structures in our government, including the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.

This spring a House subcommittee voted to slash funding for the new State Department bureau focused on violence prevention; to drastically cut dues to the United Nations; and to eliminate the Complex Crises Fund, which gives USAID flexible funding to address emerging conflicts. The Senate voted to fully fund these initiatives, but to keep these funding levels in the budget is not a certainty.

I call on you to speak to the fact that military tools cannot continue to be favored over peaceful strategies. Because of the lack of media coverage, U.S. voters do not know of these strategic successes. We can build on those successes.

Make a stand and work to provide continuing support for the structures that empower peaceful resolutions in our international relations. CAROL LETSON


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