New Mexico Town Lobbies for Federal 'Peace Department'

The Silver City Town Council has adopted a resolution calling for the federal government to form a U.S. Department of Peace.

The council voted 3-1 Tuesday night in favor of the resolution, which asks Congress to establish a Cabinet-level department geared toward peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world.

A supporter of the resolution argued that the council should consider measures that aren't focused strictly on local issues.

"A lot of polls lately show people have lost faith in the upper levels of government," Larry Weiss of Silver City said. "The one government body that's retained trust is the local body."

The resolution encourages Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M. — whose district includes Silver City — to sign on as sponsors of a measure introduced in Congress last year for a Department of Peace.

The resolution says such a department will benefit the community "by holding peace as an organizing principle for the American society, which will change the tone of society" and by development programs that will lead to changes in domestic violence and violence with guns, in schools and against minority groups.