Many in our community are asking about the future of the Peace Corps in the new political landscape. While we remain hopeful that an improved and expanded Peace Corps will be a priority of the new administration and 115th Congress, there are growing indicators of concern.
Among those concerns are indications that our nation’s International Affairs Budget (which includes Peace Corps) will be targeted for significant cuts. That’s why NPCA President & CEO Glenn Blumhorst (pictured here, second from left) and Government Affairs Officer J.M. Ascienzo went to Capitol Hill Wednesday with nearly 90 other leaders in the business and international development community as part of the US Global Leadership Coalition’s advocacy day to make the case for a sustained $60 billion for the International Affairs Budget (otherwise known as the 150 Account).
Another concern? We now enter the beginning of the budget and appropriations season for the first time in two decades without just-retired RPCV Congressman Sam Farr, our lead champion for the Peace Corps on Capitol Hill.
This is why we need a united and energized community to raise our collective voice to support Peace Corps’ $410 million appropriation, ensure the opportunity for all qualified applicants to serve, and continue to advance legislation and other initiatives to improve the Peace Corps.
Uniting and Engaging our Community in March
We have the vehicle to take action, and it is only a few weeks away: NPCA’s 13th annual National Days of Action in Support of the Peace Corps. Following immediately on the heels of our own Capitol Hill Day on March 2nd, NPCA affiliate groups and advocacy coordinators are also mobilizing activities during the first half of March right in your backyard.
Affiliate groups in Maine and Colorado, from Miami to St. Louis to Spokane, are organizing district office meetings with their lawmakers. The Phoenix RPCVs are planning an advocacy training, while the Minnesota RPCVs are combining advocacy with an evening of storytelling. Atlanta RPCVs are designing their own Day of Action postcards to send to Members of Congress, while the Kentucky RPCVs are incorporating letter writing to their lawmakers into their monthly dinner gathering.
Come together March 3 – 15 to make it unequivocally clear that our nation needs the Peace Corps now as much as any time in its 56-year history.