July Featured Advocate Gearing Up for District Meetings
By Guest Contributor on Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
When the call went out asking members of the Peace Corps community to advocate with their lawmakers in their hometowns this August, Dan Luckey was one of the first and most impassioned people to accept the challenge. Our advocate for the month of July, he quickly got to work on scheduling three meetings in the Reading, Pennsylvania area.
As Executive Director of the Reading Housing Authority, Dan is responsible for over 2,600 housing units, which serve more than 7,000 people. Through his work, Dan has had experience in both working closely with congressional representatives and advocating on legislation, which will help him advocate on Peace Corps issues.
As a Peace Corps volunteer between 1979 and 1982, Dan served in the Fiji Islands, working at the University of the South Pacific. He eventually extended his stay to help at the University’s Extension Office in the Cook Islands to ease the transition for a new Center Director. Through his experience, Dan came to believe that the importance of the Peace Corps lies in the experience it lends to nationals, and how this postive attitude is extended towards the United States as a whole.
Dan has come to understand through advocating for his own agency’s budget that if the Peace Corps is to continue making a difference across the globe, there is a need to advocate for funding, and to keep at it. He explains that if you don’t advocate, the budget “will be cut even more,” until someone stands up and advocates.
Dan’s Advice for Advocates:
- Keep calling and writing until you get a response.
- If you can’t meet with the Congressman or Senator, ask to meet with a staffer who is responsible for the area of interest you are inquiring about.
- In most cases, stick with the local office—only schedule a visit in the Washington office if you are in the area.
- The best way to advocate is to get to know your representative or the staffers who are influential in the decision making process.
We are now a month away from NPCA’s first-ever August District Advocacy Days. Follow this link for more details and to see if congressional meetings are currently being planned in your area.
Thanks to NPCA Advocacy Intern Ty Diringer for submitting this post.