Its exact duties, of course, will be determined by its membership and city guidelines, but its mission is to make Pleasanton into the premier City of Peace and Non-Violence in America, a city to which other cities and governments look for advice and guidance on these subjects, a city of which we can all be proud.
The Pleasanton Peace Commission is not meant to be an anti-war commission. I have strong anti-war beliefs, and I detest the illegal and immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have killed so many American military and innocent civilians, and continue to do so, and I detest drones, and I detest our armies fighting in Africa and the Philippines and Colombia, and I cringe when I think of the legacy I'm leaving for my grandchildren, but the Pleasanton Peace Commission is not Fred Norman. Instead, it is Pleasanton. The only criterion for being on the commission is the desire to promote peace and non-violence, and there are many people in Pleasanton who have that desire. Because of my radical views, I may not be asked to serve on such a commission, but I will proudly support those who do.
Imagine what an effective Peace Commission might do. Pleasanton is a city that strongly supports the troops, but I see little sign of Pleasanton opposing the wars. Imagine a city that supports the troops and at the same time, and as loudly, opposes the wars that kill and maim the troops, and the loudness comes about as a result of Peace Commission activities. Imagine schools in which the Peace Commission roams the halls as freely as military recruiters do now, its commissioners offering and explaining options to students who feel the military is their only path to success. Imagine constructive opposition to violent video games. Imagine the elimination of bullying. Imagine a city led by the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ. This is the city that I see in my imagination.
Pleasanton has historically formed and used commissions and committees to make it the wonderful place in which to live that it is today. For instance, think of the Civic Arts Commission when you're enjoying an event at the Firehouse Arts Center. Think of the Library Commission when you visit the library. And now, think of peace and non-violence. What might a Peace Commission do for Pleasanton and for our country? The choice is ours. Please contact the Pleasanton City Council to express your views.
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