|By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, March 31, 2002 - 7:37 pm: Edit Post|
RPCV Congressmen support Peace Corps Autonomy
There are 165,000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps. Out of an adult population of 234 million, that means that 1 American out of every 1400 adults is a returned volunteer. Statistically speaking, the House of Representatives should have much less than a single Congressman who has served in the Peace Corps. Yet there are actually six RPCVs who are members of Congress.
Volunteers should not be surprised that RPCVs are over-represented in Congress by more than an order of magnitude because the qualities and traits that influence citizens to join the Peace Corps are the same ones that lead returned volunteers to continue lives dedicated to public service and make them successful at it.
PCOL recently had the opportunity to speak to three members of Congress who have served in the Peace Corps and to ask their opinions about the USA Freedom Corps, the autonomy of the Peace Corps, and the Peace Corps' relation to the intelligence community.
The three Congressman we spoke to are Representative Sam Farr (Democrat - California) who served as a volunteer in Colombia from 1964- 66, Representative James Walsh (Republican - New York) who served in Nepal from 1970 - 72, and Representative Christopher Shays (Republican - Connecticut) who served in Fiji from 1968 - 70.
These are the men (along with Chris Dodd and Jay Rockefeller in the Senate) who because of their knowledge and interest in the Peace Corps, control the legislation and appropriations that govern how the Peace Corps is run. Below we share a short biography of each Congressman, his connection with the Peace Corps, and his views on Peace Corps autonomy.
|By Ann Thompson Hannibal on Tuesday, April 02, 2002 - 2:23 pm: Edit Post|
Please Please do NOT allow the PC to become a part of the Freedom Corps, let's leave it just as Pres. Kennedy started it. My daughter was in the PC and the CC and loved it.Constantina Paxenos PC..97-99 &6 mons in the CC. She was in the PC for 21/2 yrs., didn't want to come home. The PC needs to remain autonomous. The cliche is appropriate here: "If it isn't broken , don't fix it " , and the PC is far from broken. I visited her in Senegal and saw the great work these devoted young men and women were doing. Bravura! Thank you, Ann Hannibal
|By Beverly A. Frogge on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 12:58 am: Edit Post|
As a RPCV who served my country from 1965-1967 in Ethiopia, I strongly oppose the Peace Corps being "made a part of" the Freedom Corps. We, served our country after the call of President Kennedy to "ask what you can do for your country". That is what I did, I am proud of it and under any other name I would not consider the Peace Corps as a valid entity dedicated to Peace around the World. I live every day of my life with the knowledge of what I received during those years. The emotion is still with me that I was allowed to become a part of the lives of others, still dear to me in my heart in a valley of Ethiopia. I still consider the "job" that I did as a PCV in Ethiopia was the most important job that I have ever done in my life.
|By rherg on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 7:15 pm: Edit Post|
In is my belief, the Peace Corps is a national policy of the United States of America, in and of itself, based on the stated objectives of the Corps, and should remain independent of any and all other governmental and non-governmental agencies. The Peace Corps is an overt manifes-
tation, not perfect by any means, of the basic
values of the people of the United States. The Peace Corps was never intended to effect US for-
eign relations with any country that asked for,and
used, Peace Corps aid. Ron Herrgesell Ecuador64-66
|By Jim on Friday, April 26, 2002 - 3:18 pm: Edit Post|
Regarding the "independent Peace Corps" issue: The Peace Corps was never intended to be buffeted about by the partisan policies of the day. Not even the Nixon administration succeeded in doing this although it curtailed the organization in other ways. I learned about, and doubtless transmitted, my own variety of American values during my service, but all of us felt strongly negative about becoming a voice of official policy. Being a Peace Corps volunteer is as close as it gets to being a citizen of the world, and must always remain so.
Malawi I Project (1962 -64)
|By John Coyne on Tuesday, July 02, 2002 - 2:40 pm: Edit Post|
During this Independence Day Week, we need to be overly concerned about the future independence of the Peace Corps. While we strongly support President Bush’s intention to enlarge the Peace Corps, we are concerned that at the same time, there is a strong movement within the administration to move the agency under the supervision of the USA Freedom Corps.
The independence of the Peace Corps must be maintained.
We need to make sure that the work of Peace Corps Volunteers overseas is not compromised or diluted by placing it into an umbrella organization which includes programs such as the Citizen Corps’ Operation TIPS—The Terrorism Information and Prevention System. TIPS will be a nationwide program, beginning in August 2002 that gives millions of Americans the opportunity to report suspicious terrorist activity within the United States.
It has always been crucial that the work of Peace Corps Volunteers is people-to-people, and does not involve policy or intelligence actions of any kind. A box for the Peace Corps near the TIPS box in the organization chart of the Freedom Corps threatens the fundamental tenet of independence that has served to provide credibility among foreign countries for the Peace Corps for over four decades. Whatever the value of the work of the Terrorism Information and Prevention System, its shoulders should not rub against those of the Peace Corps.
The brilliance of the new Senate Bill: S.2667 “Peace Corps Charter for the 21st Century Act” is that this new mandate promotes the total independence of the Peace Corps. The bill includes the sentence, “As an independent agency, all recruiting of volunteers shall be undertaken solely by the Peace Corps.” It clearly affirms “Peace Corps volunteers as being independent from foreign policy-making and intelligence collections.” This new language in the Bill is important to keep the Peace Corps free and independent.
Make your opinion count. We have over 165,000 RPCVs who know the consequences for the Peace Corps if there is any inkling that Volunteers are, to use the words of the Bill, involved in collecting intelligence on their host countries.
Now is the moment when all 165,000 of us must email, call or write members of the Committee on Foreign Relations. Have your friends, family, and everyone who cares about the Peace Corps call these Senators and tell them to vote YES for Senate Bill S.2667.
To read the entire Bill visit http://thomas.loc.gov and type the Bill number (S.2667) into the search box. After you have read the Bill, we encourage you to further explore that site and visit the majority and minority pages of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. Then contact all of the senators on that committee at that home page by using their email address. Tell them to vote for S.2667.
You can also go to this website: http://yahoo.capwiz.com/y/dbq/officials/ and type in your zip code and get the phone numbers and email addresses of your Senators and Congressman. Since Congress is out this week, send your emails this week, and call their offices starting on Monday. For additional information, keep checking: http://www.peacecorpsonline.org/.
Keep the Peace Corps free of political maneuvering. Email, call, and forward this message. Do it today. Do it for the Peace Corps and to honor your own service to America.
|By Concerned Vol (ca1462-ch01-bl05.ma-cambridg0.sa.earthlink.net - 126.96.36.199) on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 8:50 pm: Edit Post|
The Patriot act in recent days has been under fire because of the New York Times article on investigating americans without their knowledge. It is disturbing to know that some Peace Corps volunteers and former volunteers have been singled out because they have spoken out about Peace Corps policy toward safety and security.
It is flat wrong that these individuals freedoms have been violated and that their civil rights and privacy has been invaded because they differ on issues related to the handling of safety and security.
How does one gain know if you have been looked into? If so, how do you protect yourself when Peace Corps and the White House engage in covering up these facts?
There is no lawyer that can fight these kinds of invasions.
Take for example how they handled the Dayton Daily News FYOI requests and the FYOI requests they are holding back on against volunteers and former volunteers.
It is censorship, political retribution, and against our civil liberties.
We need transparency at Peace Corps and within our government and stop the Nixon type plumbing activities going on right now in this administration.
|By Former Vol (ca1462-ch01-bl08.ma-cambridg0.sa.earthlink.net - 188.8.131.52) on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 7:53 pm: Edit Post|
Where the stories related to these activities? They are headline news. You should report these issues. Former Volunteer