Once again this year, NPCA marked Peace Corps Week by kicking off its 15th Annual National Day of Action, urging our community to reach out to Congress in support of the Peace Corps.
Approximately 125 passionate advocates joined us on Capitol Hill for more than 160 meetings with congressional offices.
Was it the best Day of Action ever?
The answer: Not yet.
NPCA on the Hill
“We had a great day on Capitol Hill,” said NPCA Advocacy Director Jonathan Pearson. “But the work is actually just beginning. We laid a great foundation for our efforts to increase funding for the Peace Corps, raise the disability pay for RPCVs with serious service-related injuries or illness, and honor RPCV service by allowing the Peace Corps logo to be used at gravesites or in death notices. Our efforts in the coming weeks and months will determine how successful we are in addressing these items and helping the Peace Corps be the best it can be.”
“Every year I’ve seen in the Peace Corps news that funding for the organization stays strong. I might have sent a scripted message or two to my elected officials advocating for Peace Corps. But I never realized the efforts that go into securing the budget that the agency needs to thrive, sometimes even in an adverse political climate when other international programs are getting slashed. Taking part in the NPCA Capitol Hill advocacy day gave me just a small glimpse of what it takes … and wow. This was such a well organized event…. the amount of prep work the NPCA advocacy team did to prepare for it must have been extraordinary. As a first timer it gave a bit of a thrill to run all over Capitol Hill and visit the offices of 18 elected officials from Illinois to talk up the NPCA / Peace Corps agenda. We had sit-down meetings with 6 of them. Best part of the day was meeting with an Illinois congressman whose son recently started Peace Corps training. We talked about the Peace Corps budget and all, but at the end of the day, he was a dad, and we chatted about the realities of training, personal safety, how often to send mail, paying customs on care packages, and when to make a family visit. It brought it back to what the Peace Corps is all about, making personal connections. So much fun. Would recommend it to anyone…. see our legislative process at work. Hoping I can make it again next year.”
–Kathryn Hall (Costa Rica 1985-1987)
Take Action Now
Your help is needed! Here is how you get started:
- Contact Congress: In the past several days, more than 750 messages have been sent to Congress on key Peace Corps issues. We need thousands more. Follow this link and send a quick message to your lawmakers now.
- Organize an Activity: Our National Days of Action continue! Help us make this a nationwide effort by organizing an event in your hometown: host a letter writing gathering, request a district office meeting with your lawmaker(s), or hold an advocacy training. Your first step? Register your event here.
Take A Look Back
Our success requires your support! Make a donation to NPCA advocacy efforts here.