As the National Park Service prepares for the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, the hallways of Capitol Hill are cluttered with furniture. Congressional offices are re-arranging in anticipation of more than 60 new members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Sadly, the new 115th Congress will only have two Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Among those departing is retiring California Congressman Sam Farr (Colombia 1962-64), known to his colleagues as Mr. Peace Corps.
In this time of change, National Peace Corps Association is preparing for these major transitions to our national leadership with outreach and mobilization that is positive and pro-active. And, more than ever before, we are counting on the individual testimonies and tenacious advocacy of our community to ensure the future of a growing, vibrant and improved Peace Corps.
Here are five key ways we are preparing for 2017:
- Policy Agenda: First, our core Capitol Hill advocacy agenda will continue to make a strong, positive case to ensure the Peace Corps is the best it can be. In fact, as one of our nation’s most cost-effective and valued foreign policy exports, the need for Peace Corps programs during this period of global uncertainty is as great as any time in its history.
- Transition Outreach: NPCA has reached out to the Trump Transition Team to make our case for a Peace Corps program that meets global demand, and looks forward to meeting with representatives of the president-elect (once they are appointed) who will be responsible for Peace Corps. Additionally, we are conferring with community leaders to discuss key Peace Corps messaging and strategies as we chart the path forward.
- Congress: The retirement of RPCV Congressman Sam Farr means the loss of our strongest Peace Corps champion in Congress. Thankfully, many good supporters – both Republicans and Democrats – remain on Capitol Hill. Our advocacy team is currently at work meeting with past supporters and cultivating new friends. As the new 115th Congress undertakes the process of determining members’ committee assignments and leadership roles, we will be monitoring these developments and reaching out to targeted constituents whose mobilization and involvement will be critical to our success.
- Peace Corps Director: It may be several months before President Trump nominates a Peace Corps Director. During this period we will engage the new administration and Congress in sharing our thoughts on key qualities and characteristics necessary to identify a high profile and highly qualified individual to lead the agency.
- Updating and Engaging YOU! Each and every member of our community has a role to play to advance our advocacy agenda. With your support, we will be successful.
Your Support Starts Right Now!
- DONATE: When you donate to our advocacy program, you provide the resources that allow us to organize Capitol Hill Lobby Days, promote targeted state and district office meetings with lawmakers, and create up-to-date resource materials that allow you to be an effective advocate. Please be as generous as you can with an end-of-year donation to help fuel our advocacy program in 2017! Thank you!
- WRITE: Our thanks to many who already have participated in our earlier action alert to the Trump Transition Team to support the Peace Corps. If you have not yet written to the Trump Transition Team, follow this link and add your voice!
- ORGANIZE: Our first big event in 2017 comes in early March - our 13th annual National Days of Action in Support of the Peace Corps! Our focus this year is to have at least 100 district office meetings and other solidarity events around the country. Contact us today and commit to organizing a March event in your community!