My NPCA colleague, Advocacy Coordinator Jonathan Pearson, sent out this e-mail message to our advocacy network this morning:
"Our thanks to those of you who contacted your Congressman/woman yesterday to oppose an amendment filed by Representative Hensarling (R-TX) to reduce funding for the Peace Corps.
As House action moved forward yesterday on the Foreign Operations spending bill, Rep. Hensarling decided in the end not to offer his amendment for consideration!
Among amendments that were offered and defeated were several calling for across-the-board reductions in the Foreign Operations spending package. These defeats were important for maintaining proposed funding levels for Peace Corps and other key development and humanitarian assistance proposals.
Attention on Peace Corps funding now turns to the Senate, where in recent years, spending levels approved for Peace Corps have been less than the House request. You should expect similar action alerts to the Senate on the FY 2008 $333.5 Million Peace Corps funding request in the coming weeks and months.
For me, work like this underscores the vitally important role played by the National Peace Corps Association. In short, someone has to be "minding the store" and have the big picture in mind. Effective advocacy rests in part on building relationships with Congressman, Senators and their staffs over time.
And speaking of which, here's a link to the online video page for Congressman Sam Farr of California, who began his career in public service in 1964 serving in the Peace Corps in Colombia. Click on "Farr Passionately Defends International Programs" to see what he had to say yesterday's debate.