Last week, the House of Representatives’ State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee approved a $46.15 million funding increase for the Peace Corps in 2011. In this time of fiscal austerity, it was a big win. Read about it here.
Now, the key vote will be in the Senate.
Within the next 2 weeks, the 15 Members of the Senate State and Foreign Operations subcommittee, led by Chairman Patrick Leahy (VT) and Ranking Member Judd Gregg (NH), will likely decide whether or not to support the $46 million increase, which has been endorsed by over 30 Senators thanks to the efforts of Senators Chris Dodd (CT) and Bob Corker (TN).
If you are a constituent of one of the 15 subcommittee members, please contact your Senator now (sample text below, please personalize). You can also help by forwarding this newsletter on to friends and family urging them to take action. Key phone numbers and website links are listed below.
One very positive factor is that the $46.15 million increase (already passed by the House subcommittee) is supported by the Administration, and the Senate subcommittee supported the President’s request last year. But this is no guarantee that it will do so again.
If you are a constituent of one of the 15 Subcommittee Members, call now and say (please personalize and adapt this text):
I am calling from ____ to encourage Senator ____ to support $46.15 million in additional funding for the Peace Corps in 2011. This is the amount requested by the administration’s budget to strengthen and expand the agency. Since 1961, Peace Corps volunteers have served the needs of people in developing countries while shaping how those people view America. Today, new countries are appealing for Peace Corps programs. Please take this momentous opportunity and support the $46.15 million increase recently approved by the House subcommittee. I appreciate your support.
- Senator Patrick Leahy (Chairman) (VT) (202) 224-4242
- Senator Daniel Inouye (HI) 202-224-3934
- Senator Tom Harkin (IA) 202-224-3254
- Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD) (202) 224-4654
- Senator Richard Durbin (IL) (202) 224-2152
- Senator Tim Johnson (SD) (202) 224-5842
- Senator Mary Landrieu (LA) (202) 224-5824
- Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ) (202) 224-3224
- Senator Arlen Specter (PA) 202-224-4254
Urgent Request: Keep Calling and Emailing President Obama (202-456-1111)
If you take action, let us know: email@example.com
“President Obama, during your campaign, you promised to build a Peace Corps of 16,000 volunteers by 2011 but failed to provide the budget in your 2010 budget increase. Through an outpouring of thousands of emails, phone calls, and face-to-face visits, former volunteer activists were able to get $27 million above your $33 million request, a historic $60 million increase to expand the Peace Corps. But as you forge your fiscal year 2011 request to the Congress for Peace Corps, we ask you to bear in mind your promise of 16,000 volunteers. We urge you to consider that since 1966, the cost of gasoline has gone up nine times, but the Peace Corps budget has only tripled. We ask you to remember that Peace Corps is half the size it was in 1966 despite demand from over 20 countries for volunteers and 15,386 applicants. We ask you to take note that there are 149 Champions in Congress who support your goal of doubling Peace Corps – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike. Please keep your important promise and give the Peace Corps the major new funding it deserves in 2011, which marks Peace Corps for its 50th anniversary.”
-Name, Titles, Address, Peace Corps Country/Years (if volunteer)
Peace Corps is one percent of the foreign aid budget which one percent of the overall US budget. Isn’t Peace Corps worth more than one percent of one percent? New countries want volunteers and thousands are interested in service but there isn’t enough funding. It costs about a dollar per American to keep the Corps going. Let’s double the budget and pitch in one more dollar to change the world and change America. President Obama promised to do this.
Massachusetts Senator, Paul Kirk Jr., who was President Kennedy’s Chief of Staff, is the 13th co-sponsor on Senator Dodd’s Bill, the Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act 2009. The bill authorizes major new resources to the Peace Corps (including $450 million in FY 2010) and calls on the Peace Corps director to carry out a strategic assessment of programming.
Representatives Farr, Petri, Driehaus, and Honda have a new ally in their effort to expand and revlitalize the Peace Corps with new resources. On Thursday, November 5, Congressman John Garamendi (Ethiopia 66-68) became the 5th RPCV in the House of Representatives, winning in a special election in the 10th district of California. The movement has a bold, new champion who will fight for Peace Corps growth.
Welcome to the campaign that’s going to build up the Peace Corps. Learn more about the campaign right here and also don’t forget to sign up to receive email updates. We have many fresh ideas, events, and initiatives coming your way!
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
The January 12th earthquake in Port-au-Prince affected over 3 million people across Haiti. On the community level, there exists a vast need for capable outreach volunteers and social organizers working to re-build communities. Recognizing that this kind of capacity building and extension of support at the local level is the perfect role for Peace Corps volunteers, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) is asking that at least $7.5 million be included in the Haiti Supplemental budget. Contact your Senator before this week’s deadline (Thursday, April 22nd) to sign Senator Gillibrand’s appeal letter and to support the inclusion of funds in the supplemental.
FY11 Farr-Petri Letter Co-Signers (124): Honda, Petri, Driehaus, Farr, Garamendi, Gwen Moore, Pascrell, Jr, DeGette, Bordallo, Clarke, David Price, Towns, Hirono, Frank, Sarbanes, McGovern, Gutiérrez, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Dennis Moore, Ellison, Edward Markey, Waxman, Payne, Donna Edwards, Conyers, Hank Johnson, Schakowsky, Nadler, Betsy Markey, Hinchey, Baldwin, Jim Moran, Connolly, Ross, McNerney, Kilroy, Van Hollen, Shea-Porter, Pingree, Eshoo, Tonko, Stark, John Hall, Andrews, Capuano, Braley, Holt, Cleaver, Woolsey, Carnahan, Sablan, Bobby Scott, Susan Davis, Snyder, Meeks, Holmes Norton, McDermott, Faleomavaega, Klein, Welch, Sutton, Alcee L. Hastings, Maloney, Cummings, Levin, DeLauro, Mollohan, Engel, Wu, Tierney, Bishop, Lofgren, Courtney, Grijalva, Berman, Delahunt, Kagen, Grayson, Charles A. Gonzalez, Speier, John Lewis, Neal, Loebsack, Michaud, Foster, Carson, Peters, Langevin, Loretta Sanchez, Filner, Carolyn McCarthy, Costa, Capps, Gerlach, Waters, Boswell, Tsongas, Crowley, Mike Thompson, Schwartz, Robert Brady, Titus, Blumenauer, Maffei, Richardson, Christopher Murphy, Fattah, Danny K. Davis, Lynch, Walz, Kildee, Yarmuth, Himes, Al Green, Reyes, Brad Miller, Pallone Jr., Chu, Herseth Sandlin, Larson, Michael Doyle, Wm. Lacy Clay, McIntyre