The NPCA and its local affiliate groups, such as RPCV-NJ – advocate on behalf of the Peace Corps. Our local members attend trainings, visit members of Congress, and share information. Our local advocacy coordinator is Joanne Brandwood (pictured below on the left) – you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Upcoming National Day of Action!
The big news for this reporting period is the upcoming National Day of Action in support of the Peace Corps. On Thursday, March 5, advocates will gather in Washington from all over the country to meet with legislators and urge their support for a variety of issues, including:
- Peace Corps funding: President Obama has requested $410 million for the Peace Corps in his Fiscal Year 2016 budget, an 8% increase over current funding and the highest dollar figure in Peace Corps history. Advocates will urge their legislators to commit to supporting this level of funding.
- Peace Corps Caucus: Advocates will urge their legislators to join this bi-partisan Caucus. While membership in the Caucus does not commit legislators to support any specific legislation or actions related to the Peace Corps, it demonstrates general support for the half-century vision, mission and effectiveness of deploying U.S. citizens overseas in a spirit of friendship, collaboration and understanding.
- Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act: Advocates will urge their representatives to support this Act, which was introduced by Representative Albio Sires (D-8th District NJ). The proposed Act would permit former Peace Corps Volunteers to use the Peace Corps symbol (to note their service) in death notices or at grave markers.
As of February 24 there were 120 individuals registered for the event, representing 27 states. Sharon Keld will be one of the two representatives from New Jersey, and meetings have already been scheduled with Congressman Lance and the staff of Sen. Booker.
People do not need to go to Washington to be involved. Anyone who wants to learn how they can do their part should visit the Day of Action website: www.PeaceCorpsConnect.org/DayofAction.
In addition, Jonathan Pearson, the Advocacy Director for the National Peace Corps Association, created a “Take Action” document which he customized for New Jersey volunteers. Download a copy of this document here.
In the coming months events include:
- Peace Corps Connect-Berkeley: The National Peace Corps Volunteer Association Annual Gathering will take place June 5 and 6 at the University of California, Berkeley. Early registration is underway.
- Peace Corps Health Justice Awareness Day: scheduled for June 25th, to raise awareness about the challenges and needs of injured/ill volunteers and RPCVs. Planning for this event will begin in April.
- Employers for National Service: launched by President Obama in September of 2014, Employers of National Service builds a talent pipeline which connects AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni with leading employers from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to create recruitment, hiring, and advancement opportunities. Through this initiative, employers will have new access to a dedicated, highly qualified, and mission-oriented pool of potential employees and national service alumni will have additional opportunities to apply their skills in the workplace. In the upcoming months advocates will be working to support and publicize this initiative.
- Local meetings with Legislators: As the summer approaches (yes, the snow will melt at some point!) we will once again try to schedule meetings with Congressional representatives and Senators in their local offices.