Citizen Diplomacy

(Suggested by one of our FPA board members)

If you want to see the US drop its interventionist, policeman-of-the-world foreign policy you can become a “citizen diplomat”. One way you can get involved is to have your city become a “sister” to a city in a country having a troublesome relationship with the US Administration. Working with Sister Cities International you can have a role in building people-to-people understanding across a broad range of issues and concerns.

Local voters can sign a petition asking their city council to join SCI. There are 19,000 cities in the US. Over 5,000 are “home rule cities” with charters that can be amended by citizen action.

One can turn to Ballotpedia.org to learn the rules for citizen initiatives in the cities of each state. Ballotpedia also posts a 30 page booklet on the tactic, titled Local Ballot Initiatives, to guide activists. Citizen diplomacy opens that door. Additionally, you can call on your mayor to join Mayors for Peace.

In cities that are not home rule a petition drive to put a resolution on the ballot in support of the FPA resolution, or joining Sister Cities, or Mayors for Peace, or all three.

Local ballot initiatives regarding foreign policy reform can be a path to a public debate on foreign policy issues at the grass roots level.

During this process your support group can tap the FPA website for information and authoritative sources that mainstream media ignore, and should continue in that role after city voters approve your proposition.

Citizen Diplomats using people-to-people initiatives such as Sister Cities can facilitate forums, educational exchanges, and cultural events, to educate and update local electorates, helping to keep foreign policy in voters’ thoughts.

The critical part of this strategy is the public education that accompanies the initial organizing process, the petition drive and election, and citizen-to-citizen contact that comes through the work of Citizen Diplomats.

See Our Growing List of Endorsements

We keep getting a steady stream of endorsements for our resolution.

In addition to every day individuals, we also have a considerable number of endorsements from prominent political figures and candidates.

To see our current (and growing) list of them, go to foreignpolicyalliance.org/a-call-to-reform-u-s-foreign-policy-2/endorsements/

To read our resolution and/or to sign on to it yourself, go to foreignpolicyalliance.org/a-call-to-reform-u-s-foreign-policy-2/resolution/

FPA Sep. 2 Jazz Concert Fund Raiser

Please mark your calendar and plan to attend Foreign Policy Alliance’s fundraising jazz concert. We’ll have two fine jazz groups performing in the Houston Mennonite Church’s gorgeous new building at 1231 Wirt Road and look forward to a fun evening for an eminently worthy cause, a non-interventionist U.S. foreign policy.

Featuring:
Bob Henschen Quartet
featuring Warren Sneed, saxophone
Erin Wright, bass, and Joe Ferreira, drums
and
The Free Radicals

When:  Sunday, September 2, 7 PM

Where:  Houston Mennonite Church, 1231 Wirt Rd.

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/PZSiWyZttrQ2

A donation of $10 or more per person is requested but no one will be turned away.

For more information: 713-661-9889

We hope to see you there!

Bob Henschen, Board Member

Foreign Policy Alliance

 

 

The Foreign Policy Alliance is a multi-partisan 501c3 organization that works to build support across the political spectrum for a U.S. foreign policy that emphasizes diplomacy, law, and cooperation, rather than costly and counterproductive  intervention. We believe that a new coalition on a more realistic and effective foreign policy approach is both possible and urgently needed.  

 

FPA Activity: Women’s Institute Open Forum, May 16

The Foreign Policy Alliance in partnership with a distinguished panel of foreign policy experts Joe Barnes, Senior Fellow at the Baker Institute, and Richard Sindelar Associate Professor of International Studies at The University of St. Thomas, held at foreign policy open forum with students from the Women’s Institute of Houston on May 16. FPA Board member and Women’s Institute Instructor Eric Botts coordinated the event. Participants engaged in an open exchange of views concerning the current state of U.S. foreign policy and challenges we face moving forward. FPA Board President Bob Henschen made a presentation outlining the FPA mission statement and resolution “A Call to Reform U.S. Foreign Policy”.

Thank You to Our Supporters!

Dear Supporters,

The FPA’s first GoFundMe campaign turned out to be a great success.  We raised $325 for our outreach supplies.  This summer we will have the custom tablecloth made by a local company here in the Houston area.  Everyone working with the FPA would like to thank those who contributed because we exceeded our goal (of $300).

Sincerely,

John A. Duerk, Volunteer

Please Donate to FPA’s GoFundMe Campaign for Outreach Supplies

Dear Supporters,

The FPA has set a modest fundraising goal of $300 for outreach supplies, including a professional custom tablecloth that features our logo, additional signage, and copies of our brochure that we need when hosting or attending public events.  Please click here to visit the GoFundMe page and donate $10 (or more) to help us achieve this.  Yes, your contribution is tax deductible.  Also, please endorse our resolution and feel free join us at our next meeting to find out how you can help.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

John A. Duerk, Volunteer

FPA Response to U.S. Attack on Syria

The recent missile attack against Syria ordered by the President was clearly outside the scope of any congressional mandate and was reckless, irresponsible, and illegal.

The Foreign Policy Alliance calls on the U.S. Congress to begin an immediate investigation into the facts surrounding the recent U.S. missile attack against Syria in response to allegations of the use of chemical weapons.  Further, we call on Congress to issue a joint resolution directing the President to suspend all military action in Syria until such actions are authorized after an open and thorough debate concludes that such actions are justified as being in the national interests of the United States.  Additionally, we call for the U.S. representative to the United Nations to give full support to an impartial investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and call for a disengagement of forces from all parties to permit the OPCW to complete an unimpeded investigation to ascertain the relevant facts and present those findings to the UN Security Council for action.

President Donald Trump ordered a military attack against Syria without a resolution from the UN Security Council or authorization from the U.S. Congress for the use of military force.  This order was in violation of the War Powers Act and the UN Charter.

The Constitution of the United States clearly establishes that the power to make war rests exclusively with Congress (Article 1, Section 8).  Congress granted former President George W Bush authorization to use military force as a response to the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This congressional authorization was limited to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States and not intended to permit the involvement of U.S. forces in a civil war.

-FPA Board

Video: FPA Town Hall Panel Discussion at the University of St. Thomas, April 4, 2018

This Foreign Policy Town Hall Meeting was co-sponsored by the Foreign Policy Alliance and the Distinguished Diplomat Program of the Center for International Studies at the University of St. Thomas.

Speakers: Amb. Christopher Ashby (ret.), Professor Richard Sindelar (UST), Mr. Joe Marcinkowski (FPA Board Member), and Mr. Allan Vogel, (FPA Board Member)

Moderator: Ms. Patricia Gras, Journalist

Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2018, University of St. Thomas, Jones Hall, Houston Texas

FPA Co-sponsors Foreign Policy Town Hall Meeting at University of St. Thomas

Panelists and more than 50 audience members, including students, had an incredible opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics at the Foreign Policy Town Hall Meeting on April 4, which was co-sponsored by the Foreign Policy Alliance and the Center for International Studies’ Distinguished Diplomat Program at the University of St. Thomas. Ably moderated by journalist Patricia Gras, the knowledgeable panel included Ambassador Christopher Ashby (ret.) and Professor Richard Sindelar (UST) along with FPA Board members Joe Marcinkowski and Allan Vogel. UST’s intimate Jones Hall  turned out to be an ideal venue for such a community discussion and we plan to have a video posted on our website soon. Thanks to everyone who made this event possible. We look forward to continued collaboration with the University of St. Thomas on similar events in the months to come.