Issues May 2007 Newsletter
We envision a future in which countries work together to abolish war, protect our rights and freedoms, and solve the problems facing humanity that no country can solve alone. This vision requires effective democratic global institutions that will apply the rule of law while respecting the diversity and autonomy of national and local communities.

We are a membership organization working to build political will in the United States to achieve our vision. We do this by educating Americans about our global interdependence, communicating global concerns to public officials, and developing proposals to create, reform and strengthen international institutions such as the United Nations.

Joe Schwartzberg, President, Minnesota Chapter, CGS

Next month, after having completed five eventful years as President of the Minnesota Chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions (WFA until 2004), I will be turning over the job to the capable hands of Claude Buettner. It is fitting that in this, my last message to you as President, I begin by expressing my gratitude to all those with whom I have been privileged to work over the years and by noting my confidence in the future strength of our Chapter and national movement. While I will certainly remain active in the affairs CGS, both locally and nationally, my plan is to devote more of my time to the completion of a book, Designs for a More Workable World, substantial parts of which have been foreshadowed in published and unpublished essays that I have authored over the past decade and more.

Presently, our country is going through a very difficult time. We are now focused, quite properly, on how to extricate ourselves from our illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq. Our ill-conceived and ineptly executed Iraqi intervention has wreaked a tremendous toll in lives destroyed and treasure squandered, has disastrously lowered our moral standing in the world, and has made our country and our allies far more likely to be subject to acts of terrorism than before 9/11.

But what will we learn from our experience? Will we give up our imperial habits and propensity for unilateralist foreign initiatives? Will we come to recognize that we will gain far more in the way of security from policies of generosity through a global Marshall Plan than through our obscenely bloated military establishment, an inefficient Department of Homeland Security and the erosion of human rights under the draconian Patriot Act? Will we learn that our nation's welfare is inextricably bound to that of the world as a whole and recognize the need for the world rule of law and global solutions for global problems? And will we recognize, finally, the wisdom of working with and through the United Nations and of substantially strengthening that body and its affiliated agencies.

Frankly, I am not optimistic about the prospects for a sea change in time for the 2008 elections, because the Democratic establishment will then still be too busy rationalizing its own shameful complicity in the failed execution of the Neo-con game plan. But I do believe that soon afterward, when enough people have had time to reflect on the enormity of the damage done, and actually weigh the consequences, we will see a period of widespread and thorough soul-searching, first by public intellectuals and spiritual leaders, and then, increasingly, by progressive political activists

Some of this, in fact, is already evident, for example in the activities of such groups as the recently established Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) Please check them out. A very active chapter of NSP functions in the Twin Cities. Their excellent and well-attended program on April 15 was one of many held nation-wide in observance of "Generosity Sunday." NSP seeks to promote a "new bottom line" in which human welfare rather than GDP is the measure of a nation's success. Our Chapter played a modest role as a co-sponsor of that event; and we are delighted that Bharat Parekh and Dennis Dillon, who were among its principle organizers, have agreed to join our Board. (Please read Bharat's essay on page 6.)

The Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (MAP), of which CGS (then WFA) was a founding member back in 1995, is another harbinger of fundamental change. MAP has witnessed remarkable growth over the years and, now has some 69 peace and justice organizations as members. Similar coalitions now exist in a number of states. Properly managed, such networks and alliances can have a tremendous impact in shaping political affairs and countering the role of well-financed lobbies in the formulation of local and national policies. (Our annual dinner speaker, Kathryn Sikkink, is, by the way, a leading expert on the political role of NGOs.)

And where does CGS fit into the picture? Our vision and mission statements, printed just below the masthead of this newsletter, state what we are all about. We believe that good will and generosity, though important, are not in themselves enough to right the world's wrongs. Democratic global institutions are needed to provide a framework for cooperative decision-making and for the lawful facilitation of global progress. So, too, are well-crafted laws. The salvation of our species requires that humankind replace the law of force with the force of law. Ideas for institutional change and other innovations are generated in the recently formed World Federalist Institute, a CGS think tank of which I am a member. You can find them on the CGS website, www.globalsolutions,org. See also our local website,

If you are not already a member of CGS, we invite you to join us. (See [below] for details.)

"I am a citizen, not of Athens, or Greece, but of the World."

Citizens for Global Solutions believes that:
Peace, justice and freedom are not just American values.
Promoting an engaged U.S. foreign policy is not a partisan issue.
A democratically governed world is possible.
Global citizenship is patriotic.

Citizens for Global Solutions believes in:
connecting the global to the local;
building a globalist majority.

Citizens for Global Solutions advocates policies marked by:
transparency, accountability and credibility;
respect for others, integrity and cooperation

ENERGY WORKSHOP. On April 5, the Minnesota Chapter of CGS hosted an Energy Workshop at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University o Minnesota. Led by Becca Brown of the national office of CGS and Minnesota Board Member, Lisa Ledwidge, a staff member of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, the workshop was attended by representatives of sixteen organizations with an interest in energy policy.


May 17, 2007, 7:00-9:00 P.M.

Part of CGS-MN's Third Thursday Global Issues Forum
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis (at Lyndale and Hennepin, directions)
Free and open to the public.

Although much has changed in the "Horn of Africa" since the end of the Cold War, active American strategic involvement in the politics of the region continues (but with little coverage in the mass media). In this presentation our speaker will focus on the prospects for democracy, human rights, and the regional impact of the US war on terrorism.

Presenter: LENCHO BATI. Lencho came to the United States in 1991 as a refugee from Ethiopia, where he was an activist in support of self-determination for the Oromo people. He has testified before the U.S. State Department, Congress and various Washington-based NGOs on political, social and economic challenges in the Horn of Africa. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Minnesota, while teaching part time at Gustavus Adolphus College.


    Bruce Fisher, Minnesota founder, Tikkun Community and Network of Spiritual Progressives
    Mary Jane LaVigne, co-Coordinator, Do Peace, Minnesota
    Bob Milner, founder of several public service businesses
    Karen Rusthoven, founder and Principal, Community of Peace Academy (charter school)
    Phil Steger, Director, Friends for a Non-violent World

    Mehr "Jay" Shahidi
, founder of Iranian-American Society of Minnesota; Board Member, UNAM

    Professor William Flanagan
, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota

    J. Drake Hamilton
, Science Policy Director, Fresh Energy

    Professor Colin Kahl, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota
    Joseph Schwartzberg, President, Minnesota Chapter, Citizens for Global Solutions

    Dr. Bharat Parekh
, physicist, economic consultant and Board Member, UNAM

    Sami Rasouli
, founder, Muslim Peacemaker Teams and Karbala Human Rights Organization

Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than power derived from fear of punishment.
-- Mohandas Gandhi

Bharat Parekh, Incoming Board Member

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of eight clearly defined, time-bound and achievable goals for concerted action to alleviate poverty, hunger, infectious disease, child and maternal mortality, gender inequality and environmental degradation. The twenty-two wealthy nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have renewed old pledges to contribute 0.7% of their gross national income (GNI) to help achieve these goals. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands have already reached that goal and some others are close. The contribution of the United States, however, 0.22%, has been woefully low.

The total 0.7% OECD contribution would total an estimated $195 billion, roughly the amount the US spends annually in Iraq. Our administration justifies its war in Iraq in the name of national security and fighting terrorism. But, as we see it, military domination, abject poverty and hunger are fertile breeding grounds for breeding terrorism. War is not the cure. If our country were to pay its fair share of the OECD total, that would come to roughly $85 billion; but the amount we have actually given is only about $25 billion.

Minnesotans cannot make national policy, but they can act on their own. In keeping with our state's tradition of generosity, the Minnesota Millennium Initiative (MMI) offers Minnesotans a clear channel to realize the MDG promise. Until our nation contributes its fair share, Minnesotans can work in partnership with local branches of global organizations, faith-based institutions, schools and corporations. Our goal is to make up Minnesota's share, roughly $1 billion, of the national MDG deficit.

At the heart of this effort will be the creation of a Minnesota Millennium website (, still under construction). It will have three platforms: education, advocacy and global projects. The education link will contain MDG tutorials, links to ongoing global efforts and information about local organizations committed to building a better world. The advocacy platform would include appeals to our leaders to honor our nation's commitments by the year 2015. The global projects platform will enable Minnesotans to learn about selected initiatives contributing to the achievement of the MDGs. News feeds, blogs and email queries will allow visitors to participate, listen and bridge the distance separating them from the rest of the world. A donation link will facilitate investment in the projects of our choice.

Come with us; join the MMI!

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
-- Tom Paine

Tuesday evening, June 12, 2006, 6:00 - 9;00 p.m.
Bistro Dining Room, basement of Humphrey Institute
West Bank, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

PARKING in 19th Avenue Parking Ramp just to west of Carlson School, at hourly rate,

SCHEDULE: 6:00 Social Hour; 6:30 Dinner (vegetarian options available); 7:15 Program; 9:00 Adjournment.

COST: $25 per person; $12 for students and those with limited income.

Reservations should be made by June 7. QUESTIONS? Call Mary Rose Goetz at 612-374-5321.



In addition to being a Regents Professor (the highest academic honor the University of Minnesota can bestow), Kathryn Sikkink is the Arleen C. Carlson Professor of Political Science and a McKnight Distinguished Professor. A winner of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for "Ideas for Improving World Order," she is world-renowned for her work on human rights, non-governmental organizations and comparative politics. She has done extensive fieldwork in Latin America and East Africa and has authored numerous highly acclaimed articles and books, including "Activists Beyond Borders," which has been translated into Spanish, Chinese and Arabic. She is a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the American Association for Arts and Sciences.

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RESERVATION: Please reserve __________ places for (indicates names of those who will attend):


My check for $____________ is enclosed.

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION: Please enroll me/us as (a) member(s). My check for $30 for an individual membership / $35 for a joint membership is enclosed.

VOLUNTARY DONATION: I would (also) like to contribute $__________ to promote the work of the Minnesota Chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions. My check is enclosed.

Please send checks, payable to "CGSMN," to Mary Rose Goetz, 1712 Humboldt Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55403.

BALLOT (for CGS members only): Check the following spaces as you wish. I hereby cast my ballot for:

___ all the candidates listed for the officers' posts and Board of Directors (list [below]):

___ all of the candidates except for the following: __________________________________

___ the following write-in candidates (please state position): __________________________

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N.B. One must be a member to vote, but does not have to attend the dinner to do so. Ballots appear at the bottom of page 3 and should be sent to Mary Rose Goetz at 1712 Humboldt Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55403.

PRESIDENT: CLAUDE BUETTNER. A life member of WFA/CGS since the 1970s, Claude has served numerous terms as Treasurer, Secretary or Board member of the Minnesota Chapter. His international perspective was largely shaped by living in the Middle East and South America for four of his formative years. Working in industrial sales, he continues to travel widely for both business and pleasure and is a firm believer in international education.

VICE PRESIDENT: VERLYN SMITH A former President of the MN Chapter of WFA and the incumbent Vice President of CGS, Verlyn is a retired pastor, college teacher and holder of various positions in campus ministry and is one of the co-founders of the Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and Justice.

SECRETARY: MARY ROSE GOETZ. Mary Rose, the incumbent Secretary of CGS and previously Secretary of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, has served in US foreign aid programs in Korea, Turkey and the Philippines, and as a public health nurse in New York (in Harlem) and Minnesota.

TREASURER: MARY ELLEN FOSTER, A sister in the Order of St. Joseph of Carondelet, an ardent social activist, and the incumbent Treasurer and past Board member of CGS, Mary Ellen has taught economics at Bethlehem University in Palestine and also in the US.


DENNIS DILLON. Retired after 38 years of work on educational testing and survey research and a co-founder of two companies, Dennis is currently active in peace, justice and sustainability pursuits for the Basilica parish, the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, and the Network of Spiritual Progressives. He sings in two choirs.

JOHN GROOS. A retired teacher of handicapped and emotionally disturbed children and a teachers union activist, John has also been a consultant with the Minnesota State Departments of Education and Welfare and implemented innovative educational programs for the Federal government. He is a keen backpacker and fisherman.

GAIL HUGHES. Gail's eclectic background includes a Ph.D. in curriculum systems, teaching high school English and speech, Peace Corps service in Lesotho, social science teaching in Botswana, program evaluation with the Minnesota Community College system and now, interdisciplinary social science instruction at St. Cloud State Univ.

MARIAM MOHAMED. A native of Somalia, Mariam has directed the Mpls. Somali Parent-Teacher Association since 2002 and has worked extensively with municipalities, community organizations and schools to assist Somali immigrants. Trained in math and science, she has taught at the college level in the United Arab Emirates.

BHARAT PAREKH. A native of India, Dr. Parekh is a theoretical physicist, educator and consultant with Indian and American companies and NGOs specializing in technology transfer and trade in the environmental and rural development sectors (particularly for bio-diesel fuels and water resources). He is active in the UN Association.

JUNE PARROT. A professor emeritus at St. Cloud state University, where her courses included women's and ethnic studies, June is a member of Soka Gakkai, an NGO and lay Buddhist organization that promotes peace through individual happiness. She represents Soka Gakkai in the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers.

JOSEPH SCHWARTZBERG. A retired professor of geography and South Asian studies at the University of Minnesota, Joe has served numerous terms (including the past 5 years) as President of CGS's Minnesota Chapter. He was a co-founder of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers and writes and speaks extensively on UN reform.

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Thanks to OUTGOING BOARD MEMBERS: Michael Andregg, Jesse Felix-Ellison, Sam Imbo, Patricia Jurewicz (now in California), William McGaughey, Lisa Ledwidge (maternity leave) and Louise Pardee; and also to CONTINUING BOARD MEMBERS: Alfred Aeppli, Cindy Anderson, Cindy Atchison, Lee Dechert, Mary Endorf, Catherine Guisan, "Sook" Holdridge and Jim Nelson.


If you like what we are doing, and wish to be more than just a passive member of CGS, we would like to hear from you and learn more about your concerns and skills. If you like to write and have something important to say, you might find an outlet in our Newsletter or on our Chapter's website. Or perhaps it would be mutually beneficial for you to serve on our Board. (Our bylaws allow us to add Board members, up to a total membership of twenty-one, by unanimous vote at our annual meeting or in mid-year).

Don't be shy about letting us know of your interest, Why don't you give me a call at 651-429-9562 (H) or 612-625-5578 (O) or send me e-mail at schwa004 [at] We could then have lunch together at St. Martin's Table (our treat) to see how you can best fit in.

Hoping to hear from you.
Joe Schwartzberg

CGS National

Citizens for Global Solutions-Minnesota Chapter
5492 Bald Eagle Blvd. E.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
info at
Posted May 20, 2007