Huge Turnout for 50th Capitol Hill Advocacy Day
By Jonathan Pearson on Monday, September 26th, 2011
We’re in the process of exhaling, following a powerful and inspiring series of 50th anniversary programs and events over the last several days.
And the week all started with advocacy.
Thursday, September 22, 2011. Fifty years to the day of final passage and signing of the Peace Corps Act, hundreds of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) along with former staff, Peace Corps applicants and other friends (representing almost every state in the nation) went to Capitol Hill to urge their lawmakers to honor the past, present and future of the Peace Corps.
We’re still calculating the exact number of participants and meetings held. What we can say with certainty is that this was the largest gathering of the Peace Corps community on Capitol Hill in the past decade – if not much longer. We’ve heard from RPCV congressional staffers and others who noted that the Peace Corps community was omnipresent on the Hill.
We can also say that the initial impacts from advocacy day are starting to roll in. Twenty additional co-sponsors have supported the Peace Corps Commemorative legislation (In the House, H.R. 854; In the Senate, S. 1421) or the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act (In the House, H.R. 2337; In the Senate, S. 1280).
Furthermore, the Senate is currently in the process of fast-tracking S. 1280 for possible unanimous floor approval in the coming days.
Here at the National Peace Corps Association, the follow up work begins. This week we
will be delivering 75 thank you cards written by advocates to legislative offices where particularly productive meetings were held. We will be sifting through the many meeting report forms to determine key follow up action that needs to be taken related to Peace Corps funding or the legislation referenced above. And we will be reviewing event evaluation forms to help us in our ongoing efforts to make future advocacy days as impactful and effective as possible.
We cannot adequately express our thanks to all the advocates – as well as the critically important behind-the-scenes volunteers – who helped get our 50th celebration off to such an amazing start.
Stay tuned for more updates, details and follow up in the coming days and weeks.