International Cities of Peace  

 

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One of our three goals is to help Long Island Cities be recognized as International Cities of Peace.  You can learn more about this group of Cities at www.InternationalCitiesofPeace.org.  Here is what they propose:

IMAGINE a world of cities dedicated to expanding their local peace economy and encouraging a global culture of peace. Safety, prosperity, and quality of life are universal values that bring peace to our lives.

First and foremost in this global adventure is to reject violence and define ourselves as people of peace. International Cities of Peace is a formal Association of communities that by history, resolution, or proclamation are doing just this — self-defining their community as an official City of Peace. This redefinition requires building a consensus network of business, government and community leaders who value safety, prosperity and quality of life. Then the work begins with a vision, a mission, and the goals and objectives that deliver the promise.

Patchogue is planning to apply to be the first Long Island City to be Recognized as an International City of Peace (see article below). Here are some reasons we think we should be so recognized:

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Marcelo Lucero, and Nina Uchida Friedberg were honored on International Peace Day

Two peace poles and memorials, Patchogue Hopes to be Honored as an International City of Peace

Linda Leuzzi, Long Island Advance, Oct. 1`,2020

The arc of Marcello Lucero’s tragic death from a hate crime in 2008 that rocked Patchogue evolved into a memorial and the unveiling of a Peace Poll on Monday at the Carnegie Library with his brother Joselo Lucero and several officials, friends, and others from peace organizations, honoring the meaning of his life and its aftermath.

Nina Uchida Friedberg, a stalwart supporter of Joselo during his grief and member of the South Country Peace Group, was also honored posthumously that day later at the Patchogue-Medford Library with a Peace Pole of her own.

And Patchogue got its own recognition as the first City of Peace on Long Island.

Forty people attended the event on the International Day of Peace sponsored by the Patchogue-Medford Library that included a Peace Walk down Main Street.

“It’s absolutely essential that young people do everything they can to insure society’s inclusion,” said Joselo Lucero at the ceremony. “My brother’s death created a new meaning in my life and while I was going to schools to talk to students, I felt I was doing good.”

Joselo Lucero spoke of Friedberg’s support and commitment against racism as did NYS Senator Monica Martinez (D-3rd Senate District), a Salvador-American, who was an immigrant herself.

The idea for the event began a year ago, said Patchogue-Medford Library director Danielle Paisley. “John Baum reached out to me and was looking for a partner to start planting Peace Poles,” she said. “He wants to plant 100 on Long Island, but wanted to start right here at home where he lived.”

Baum approached Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) about his idea for a Peace Pole honoring Marcello Lucero. When discussing the location, the Carnegie was chosen.

“On the flip side, Marian Russo’s mom passed away and she set up a memorial fund for her mother, her mom volunteered at the library,” Paisley explained. When Baum spoke to Paisley, Nina Friedberg’s name came up as a natural for a second Peace Pole; she was a committed Women in Black in Sayville and Bellport among other activities.

Paisley’s staff also had a lead up of events at the library including a discussion of New York Times 1619 Project.

She credited Baum for his commitment to the idea.

Baum, a Patchogue resident since 1965, is a member of Pax Christi Long Island (Pax Christi is a Catholic membership organization that rejects war, its preparation, every form of violence and domination and racism); the group is trying to get young people involved, he said.

“I decided the Peace Pole activity would draw them.” He traveled to The Peace Sanctuary in Wassiac, New York, affiliated with the United Nations. “They have a Peace Poll for everyone in the United Nations,” he said. They also build them.

At around the same time, Baum learned of a Rotary Club in Portland, Oregon with the goal of planting 100 Peace Poles. That interaction led to Baum’s learning about Rotary Clubs locally committing, via Rotary Club International and their peace initiative, to plant poles on Long Island. “The Rotary Club keeps track of the poles and created a map,” he said, of the Pax Christi & Long Island and Long Island Rotary Clubs Peace Pole Project.

So, “a youth group in Patchogue may get poles planted,” Baum said.

He’s formed a Patchogue Peace Committee and hopes that youth groups will get involved to have Long Island Cities recognized as Cities of Peace. Patchogue is the first one to be cited. James Skidmore, who was at the ceremony, is the chairperson for Patchogue: City of Peace Committee.

Baum cited the Patchogue Rotary’s involvement; Patchogue Rotary president Brian McAuliff spoke at the ceremony; at Nina Friedberg’s memorial, Kevin Mann with Long Island Rotary Groups for Peace spoke.

Another organization involved with the movement representing Patchogue’s honor is the International Cities of Peace; its mission is to evolve peace building at the local level.

“We have a list of ten reasons why Patchogue should be recognized as a city of peace, and to be recognized is an honor,” Baum said.

 

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Last update: 03/23/2021