Kate Gould, Middle East Specialist, Friends Committee on National Legislation:
“Wish I could be there to raise my glass to you all. MPP is the definition of outside the beltway peace advocacy at its finest....I know I say it all the time but I'll say it again – it's a model that should be emulated in every state!”
Rep. Nolan staffer:
“Our staff refers to the Minnesota Peace Project as our Foreign Policy Committee.”
Rep. Nolan staffer:
“We depend on the Minnesota Peace Project to let us know when there's a bill we should be aware of.”
Lara Friedman, Americans for Peace Now, in an Email to leaders of national peace Groups:
“Has anyone reached out to Roxanne Abbas et al in the Minnesota Peace Project to contact Franken? They are extraordinarily effective grassroots activists...”
Sammy Clark, Senator Klobuchar’s State Director:
“Minnesota Peace Project is one of our top priority constituent groups. Often the groups we see represent a cacophony of sides; often even opposing sides. You’re well organized, and we appreciate hearing one clear voice on this issue.”
Rep. Paulsen’s Director of Constituent Services, John-Paul Yates, praised MPP and its approach:
“I cited MPP yesterday to a demanding constituent group as an example of how effective a constituent group could be. Your group listens, speaks respectfully, and brings something of value to meetings.”
Robert Naiman, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy,
responding to report on meeting with Rep. Ellison:
“Thanks for this fascinating report. You guys (MPP) are doing a fantastic job of engagement, as I'm sure you know.”
About Minnesota Peace Project
MPP’s commitment to build a more peaceful world leads us to frequent actions and communication with our members of Congress.
The 10 MPP teams strive to interact with their member of Congress or their staff at least monthly. Sometimes that consists of a scheduled conference call with the D.C. Foreign Policy Aide, sometimes a visit to the local office delivering an article or sometimes a letter addressing a specific piece of legislation. Sometimes it’s a birthday cake with a timely, concise political message. We believe that by regular, ongoing interaction we’ll get to know and understand our Representatives’ or Senators’ positions on foreign policy issues.
With regular contact and by consistent respectful dialogue we hope to build an understanding of each member of Congress and develop an individualized approach and advocacy that builds on that familiarity and understanding. Sometimes that’s a long, slow journey marked by small steps, but almost invariably results in mutual respect and credibility.
By supplying timely, accurate information and analysis from trusted sources, MPP has become a respected source of information. We are careful to differentiate information from opinion, employ a strictly non-partisan approach, and verify our information with other peace advocacy organizations.
MPP advocates exclusively on foreign policy issues and believes that true national security results not from reliance on militarism and armed intervention but from policies utilizing negotiation, diplomacy and developmental aid.
MPP's Guiding Principles
- Use dialog to build mutual understanding
- Build long-term relationships with Congress members & staffs
- Become a trusted source of valid information
- Differentiate information from opinion
- Strictly non-partisan
- Collaborate with other peace groups
- Seven MPP members from across the state went to Washington DC to meet with 9 out of 10 Minnesota members of Congress or their foreign policy aides. We explored our differences on key foreign policy issues such as military budget, nuclear disarmament, and support for ongoing negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. The team had lengthy second meetings with both Senators’ staff.
- In response to a question from an MPPer, Senator Franken told constituents during an open Q & A session that “he supported continuing negotiations with Iran on their nuclear program”. This was the first time Senator Franken had made a publIc statement supporting ongoing negotiations.
- Due to MPP’s perseverance in presenting documentation from recognized authorities, Senator Klobuchar’s foreign policy aide announced that Senator Klobuchar’s constituent letter on diplomacy with Iran would change; no longer stating that tough sanctions had brought Iran to the negotiation table.
- MPP held its first annual planning retreat bringing together 17 people who focused on organizational development, techniques for influencing members of Congress as well as the key foreign policy issues.
- Issues that MPP will continue to study and push for: Iran, Israel/Palestine, Torture, Horn of Africa, Nuclear Weapons, Syria, Ukraine, Military Budget, and repeal of the 2001 AUMF.
- The CD8 Team met with Rep. Nolan in his Duluth office asking him to make a public statement supporting negotiations with Iran & calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.
- When Senator Klobuchar learned that four MPP leaders were in D.C. for a conference, she instructed an aide to try to schedule a meeting with them.