Cathedral City joins hundreds of cities across the world to become s City of Peace

CATHEDRAL CITY — This community, the second largest in the Coachella Valley, is the first of the nine cities to be designated a City of Peace. This working-class city joins Ojai, San Bernardino, and others in California.

Cathedral City is reportedly the 350th International City of Peace.

A City of Peace, as officially defined by International Cities of Peace, is a community that endeavors to make progress against violence and foster a culture of peace. A Culture of Peace is determined by the citizens of each community.

International Cities of Peace is an association of citizens, governments, and organizations who have by proclamation, resolution, or by citizen advocacy established their communities as official Cities of Peace. Every community has a legacy of peace, whether it is by a historical event or by local peace heroes or groups who have contributed to their citizen’s safety, prosperity, and quality of life.

Cities of Peace recognize and acknowledge that culture must change. When it comes to conflict between and within nation states, the outcome looks something like this:

  • Outlaw war
  • Outlaw profiting from war
  • Respect other nations
  • Establish and maintain human rights for all people

Wednesday, Sept. 21 is International Peace Day, and a reception will be held at the Cathedral City Senior Center from 4 p.m. to 6p.m. Mayor Ernesto Gutierrez will present a proclamation to the Cathedral City Peace Initiative and SCRAP gallery is exhibiting artwork from children and adults from around the world.

“Our work with the International Cities of Peace sets Cathedral City to help citizens live more peaceful lives, enhance peace on our city streets, and join others in bringing world peace,” Bob McKechnie, founder and chair of the Cathedral City Peace Initiative, told Uken Report. “We call for a change in mind. Peace, we say, is possible, necessary for success and happiness, and an absolute “must” is we expect to survive as a species.”

When we are designated as an International City of Peace, we are expected to conduct activities focused on peace building, McKechnie said.  There is already a weekly peace meditation program at the Cathedral City Senior Center, 37-171 West Buddy Rogers Ave. at 4 p.m. every Wednesday.

“We offer speakers for community groups throughout the Coachella Valley,” McKechnie said. “We expect to represent our ideas at community events. We expect that new ideas for activities will lead to an expanded program in future months and years.”

We are especially enthused about a billboard we’re sponsoring.  It will say “NO WAR.”

Westbound drivers on Dinah Shore between Cathedral City and Palm Springs will see this message in January and February 2023.

“This was inspired by the Russian woman who stood behind a Moscow newscaster holding a No War sign for all the world to see,” McKechnie said.  “Her brave gesture landed her in a Russian jail.”

As a group we follow four guidelines, McKechnie said.

  • We are not religious.
  • We are not political.
  • We don’t fight with anyone.
  • We think the military should change its mission by declaring its intent to bring about permanent and “real” peace.

Hundreds of cities around the world are now designated cities of peace.  They conduct peace-building programs in their areas of influence as they build cultures of peace. Coordinators meet monthly on Zoom to generate and discuss possibilities.  All this is based on the assertion that peace is possible.

“If we can end smallpox, we can bring peace to the world,” McKechnie said. “If we can offer voting rights to women, we can bring peace. IF we can end slavery, we can bring peace. If we can build the Golden Gate Bridge, we can bring peace. It’s time. Our feature peace will be based on a firm foundation of the rule of law between extended into all phases of the human experience. This is key.

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Image Sources

  • Dove of Peace: Shutterstock