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Thank You

Staff and interns of GlobalSolutions.org working for you

Being approached by someone who is asking for “just a moment of your time” while you’re walking down the sidewalk is always very off-putting. Most people will just continue walking. This is not because they don’t care, but rather because they are sick of being asked for money.

However, monetary donations, especially recurring ones (monthly, for example), are the only fuel for membership organizations such as GlobalSolutions.org. There are many factors that go into making non-profit organizations successful, and much of it comes from members and donors investing in it. The reason that largely successful membership NGOs got to be as big as they are is due to support of the people.

At GlobalSolutions.org, we greatly appreciate any and all donation amounts we receive, and we use that to further the interests and values of globally minded Americans. Donations allow us to host events, like our 2014 Annual Conference that brings together members to lobby and build our global voices. Contributions support the release of reports, such as Birth of a Big Lie,  which exposed misinformation used to block the Disability Treaty. Further, they help us hold meetings with like-minded political advocates that share our vision, such as meetings of treaty proponents to support our Stop the War on International Law campaign.

60 Years Young and 20 Years of Service

(Photo: GlobalSolutions.org)

Counting his birthdays by the number of friends, not years, friends and colleagues of Global Solutions' "head cook and chief bottle washer" Don Kraus celebrated his 60th birthday and 20 years of service to the organization this past week.

The backyard patio at the national headquarters was filled with friends and supporters whom Don has worked with over the years. The event includes food, wine, music and great company.

Formerly a paper distribution business owner, Don came to Washington in the early 1990s after deciding he much preferred "selling peace to selling paper." Over the last twenty years, his role with the organization changed and he has been quick to evolve right along with the opportunities presented.

He was the Partners Program director for Global Solutions' predecessor organization the World Federalist Association, before moving sideways and up to take on the CEO mantle at its sister organization, the Campaign for UN Reform. He returned "home" in 2004 when the two organizations merged to form Citizens for Global Solutions, becoming the new organization's first Executive Vice President. In the summer of 2008, he stepped up to his current role as President & CEO of Global Solutions.

Don shared his thoughts at being with Global Solutions for so long.

It's Time to Act: Visit our Indiegogo Campaign

People underestimate the negative effects that not ratifying treaties can have on our lives. It can limit the rights of women or people with disabilities. Non-ratification also limits the influence that the US has in international decision-making. By not being part of the Law of the Sea treaty, the US loses opportunities to have a voice in decisions that govern the world’s oceans; this is a major issue for the US as the country with one of the largest coast lines.

Shouldn’t we embrace women’s rights and rights of the disabled? How can we end conflicts like the Syrian war without an arms trade agreement? The opposition wholeheartedly contests all treaties, while most proponents will advocate only for one. That needs to end. We CAN fight back, but we need to do it together, through broad support for treaty ratification.

The War on International Law is gaining traction, and we need to work harder to stop it. GlobalSolutions.org recently launched a project on Indiegogo, a crowd funding site, to raise money for our campaign. We need to bring attention to the Arms Trade Treaty, the Women’s Equality Treaty (CEDAW), the Disability Treaty, the Law of the Sea Treaty, and many others. The US has not ratified any of these crucial agreements, which has significant negative consequences for the US role in the world and for US citizens.

Our goals are simple: expose the opposition, identify the costs of this negative policy, and build a robust network of support that crosses traditional issue silos inside and outside the Beltway to reengage the US in adopting international law. We need your support in order to make this campaign a success.

A Taxing Solution to the Greatest Challenge of Our Time

Could a Tax on Carbon Pollution Maintain the Health of our Country?

Ben Franklin said it best—nothing is certain, “except death and taxes.”

Like most Americans, we submit our 1040s to maintain the health of our nation. However, we’d personally rather decrease our income tax and instead pay a fee that reduces carbon pollution and could preserve the planet.

The carbon-intensive oil, gas, and coal industries are stoking climate change. According to a new UN report, the threats to our civilization are enormous. Crop failures, the top concern in the UN’s report, will cause widespread starvation in all parts of the world. Countries will face a cascade of destabilizing events: severe water shortages, heat waves, floods, droughts, wildfires, intense storms, rising sea levels and other catastrophes on an unprecedented scale. Civil wars and conflicts between nations will increase as people compete for scarce natural resources.

The good news is that while it is too late to avoid climate change — it’s already happening — humanity can still temper its force. One of the simplest ways to slow the pace of climate change is by levying a fee on greenhouse gas emissions.

Putting a price on burning oil, gas, and coal that reflects the damage inflicted on the environment will make renewable energy alternatives (like solar, geothermal, and wind) and energy-reducing investments more competitive.

Our friend Alan Rushforth lives near Philadelphia and started a small solar-powered water-heating business a few years ago. Even with state and federal subsidies, it took Rushforth Solar’s customers five to seven years to break even compared with the cost of installing natural gas heaters, so it was a tough sell.

2014 Congressional Report Card Released

The 2014 Congressional Report Card on U.S. Foreign Policy

For Global Solutions Action Network members, how Congress deals with international concerns is of critical importance. Where do you want your elected leaders to stand on climate security and energy policy? Nuclear weapons proliferation and funding peacekeeping efforts?

The 2014 Congressional Report Card is where Members of Congress are graded on these and other global issues as votes in the immediate past session.

Creating a report card that covers climate security, treaty ratification and human rights is a long and detailed process but was well worth the effort for how it empowers citizens. After scouring the Library of Congress for roll call votes on issues of global importance and surveying our members on which reflected their concerns most, we narrowed our list to 10 votes for each chamber of Congress on which to grade lawmakers.

So what grade did your Senator and Representative receive this term?

Some members of Congress did outright awfully, while others were shining examples of the international leadership which the U.S. Congress should represent. The pictured charts display how many Senators and Representatives got which letter grades.

Chart of 2014 House GradesChart of 2014 Senate Grades

 

On Cooperation Near and Far, Big and Small: One Final Note From Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger was a vocal proponent for UN reform his entire life.

The day he died, my organization got a hand-written letter from Pete Seeger, the 94-year-old iconic folksinger who departed last month after decades of inspiring us onward with his peace and justice ballads.

Now with his loss, we realize it is quite a gap to fill. Indeed, one political cartoon showed a hapless banjo player reading his paper’s page: “JOB OPPORTUNITY: New Pete Seeger needed. Must start immediately.”

What were his final messages to us? In an article last week entitled, “I’m Through With Big Things,” Seeger was quoted as saying, "Be wary of great leaders. Hope that there are many, many small leaders.” We know of his work to clean up the Hudson River, as well as his call for all of us to get involved at the local level. If he was disappointed in greater things, it was perhaps no wonder—for decades he suffered severe disappointments on the larger scene—a country which blacklisted him, record companies and television stations that marginalized him, and a youth culture and civil rights movement that passed him over when they became enamored by cooler music and more strident activism.

Edward Rawson Memorial Arrangements

For those who would like to celebrate the life of Edward Rawson, the detailed arrangements are below. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, a contribution in his memory may be made to GlobalSolutions.org in support of the Edward Rawson Fellowship Program to allow recent college graduates an opportunity to promote active citizen engagement in global institutions and governance while developing leadership skills in government relations, communications, and grassroots outreach. Click here to learn more about Ed's life and to leave a personal comment that will be shared with the family.  

Visitation:

Friday January 10th, 2014
6-8:00pm
Joseph Gawler's Sons
5130 Wisconsin Ave, NW
Washington DC 20016

Memorial Service:

Saturday January 11th, 2014
2:00pm
St Johns Episcopal Church
6715 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101

Reception:

Following funeral service
Kazan Restaurant
6813 Redmond Drive
McLean, VA 22101

Information, death notice and obituary to be posted on Gawlers website under Edward Rawson

An obituary has also been published in the Washington Post.

Edward Rawson: 1914 - 2013

Ed is honored for the 1st "Edward Rawson Global Citizen Award"

With the passing of the old year, we lost a beloved friend, benefactor and leader, Edward Rawson. He passed away quietly at his home in McLean, Virginia surrounded by his family. He would have been 100 this February. We knew him as Ed, Mr. Rawson and Grandpa.  For so many of us he was “my friend” and “my teacher.”

Ed Rawson - Vintage PhotoEd has been part of Global Solutions movement from the beginning. He attended the 1947 founding of the United World Federalists in Asheville, North Carolina. Ed was the World Federalist Association’s (WFA) Treasurer for 20 years, retiring in 1996. He served for several years as Executive Vice President of the Campaign for UN Reform, and served until his passing as a Trustee of the World Federalist Endowment Fund, which he helped to establish. He was a past president of the WFA DC Metro Chapter, past chair of the WFA Executive Committee, and a recipient of the WFA "Presidential Award". Received a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Yale Law School, he served abroad with the State Department and Agency for International Development, and eventually as AID coordinator for relations with other federal agencies.

2014 – The Year of Protecting People

Peace on Earth

To my friends and colleagues in the GlobalSolutions.org community, I wish you a joyful holiday season and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!  May you celebrate and bask in the warmth of your family and friends.

As we approach the time of year for reflection and giving, I am grateful that we can continue our work together to abolish war, protect our environment, and solve problems facing humanity that no nation can solve alone.

UN SG Ban Ki Moon tweet

Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s call to make 2014 “the year of protecting people” speaks to why the work that we are committed to is so important.  We understand that protecting people is about pushing for pragmatic and systemic solutions to pressing global problems.

Here are some of the challenges that we will take on next year.  I hope you can support our efforts to:

Thankful

We give thanks on Thanksgiving, take advantage of deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday—but on #GivingTuesday, we generously give back to the world. We cannot be thankful enough or give enough. So, here's why I am thankful:

I'm thankful to live in a time and place where food is abundant and we can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables year-round.

Let us find a way to wisely share our bounty with the almost billion people worldwide who go to sleep hungry and the 19 million children who suffer from acute malnutrition, which kills 3.5 million a year.

I give thanks for shelter that is warm and accessible.