National Day of Action 2011 Video!
By Guest Contributor on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Thank you, again, to more than 50 volunteers who were in Washington, D.C. this past March to advocate for Peace Corps funding and Peace Corps Commemorative legislation on Capitol Hill! In over 100 congressional meetings, volunteers urged legislators to support a stronger Peace Corps as both an integral part of America’s international diplomacy and a meaningful component of our national security.
As volunteer advocates express, the power of Peace Corps advocacy comes from RPCVs sharing their stories with legislators. As Sean McLernon (Niger, 09-11) says, “They are interested in hearing about our experiences. The actual impact of the Peace Corps… We were there. We were on the ground. We know what kind of impact that we can have. The biggest thing that we can offer them is…our own personal stories. And I think that’s one of the most powerful things about today.”
Not only do we have an obligation as RPCVs to bring our understanding back home as part of the Peace Corps mission, but we also have a duty as American citizens. “We are citizen diplomats and citizen lobbyists,” says Jeane Whitney Smith (Macedonia 97-99). “This is really where the rubber meets the road, when the citizen goes to talk to his (or her) representatives.”
Realizing that everyone can’t make it to Washington, NPCA is organizing August District Meeting Days during which RPCV advocates lobby their Members of Congress in meetings at their hometown district offices. The power of American democracy lies in this communication between constituent and legislator, bringing the voices of America and the passions of the public back to the nation’s capital.
As we plan for these meetings in August, we’re looking for coordinators to organize meetings in their district. Please email us at email@example.com today. As Amy Weir (Honduras, Current Volunteer) explains, “I really believe in the work that we’re doing… so I want everybody else to too!”
(Thanks to NPCA advocacy interns Jocelyn Fong for posting this update and Liana Bennett for producing the Day of Action video)