2009.07.08: July 8, 2009: Headlines: Congress: Expansion: Appropriations: Budget: Burlington Free Press: Scott Skinner writes: This is a critical time for the Peace Corps. Either it will grow and rejuvenate itself or it will wither away. The direction of the Peace Corps is almost entirely in Sen. Leahy's hands.

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: President Obama: 2009.12.03: Rajeev Goyal writes: What Happened to Obama's Promise of 16,000 Peace Corps Volunteers by 2011? : 2009.06.13: June 13, 2009: Headlines: : Huffington Post: Laurence Leamer writes: "Join Us, Mr. President!!!" : 2009.07.10: July 10, 2009: Headlines: Congress: Budget: Appropriations: Expansion: Bennington Banner: Senate Appropriations Committee's Peace Corps funding falls short of goal : 2009.07.08: July 8, 2009: Headlines: Congress: Expansion: Appropriations: Budget: Burlington Free Press: Scott Skinner writes: This is a critical time for the Peace Corps. Either it will grow and rejuvenate itself or it will wither away. The direction of the Peace Corps is almost entirely in Sen. Leahy's hands.

By Admin1 (admin) (141.157.66.229) on Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - 5:26 am: Edit Post

Scott Skinner writes: This is a critical time for the Peace Corps. Either it will grow and rejuvenate itself or it will wither away. The direction of the Peace Corps is almost entirely in Sen. Leahy's hands.

Scott Skinner writes: This is a critical time for the Peace Corps. Either it will grow and rejuvenate itself or it will wither away. The direction of the Peace Corps is almost entirely in Sen. Leahy's hands.

Peace Corps volunteers have lifted American prestige around the world as millions of people in Third World countries have formed their opinion of America from their contact with the Americans who lived in their villages and learned to speak their language. And all of this came at a low financial cost to the American taxpayer -- one-tenth of 1 percent of the military budget. It is in our national interest to have a larger, more vigorous Peace Corps. And the need is there. Nearly 20 countries have asked the Peace Corps for volunteers. And the volunteer spirit is not lacking; last year 13,000 Americans applied for the 4,000 positions available. Vermont has a remarkable Peace Corps legacy, boasting the nation's highest percentage of former Peace Corps volunteers per capita. Vermont has contributed over 1,300 volunteers, with 61 Vermonters currently serving. The University of Vermont is ranked 11th in the nation (for schools of its size) for the number of its alumni who have served. This is a critical time for the Peace Corps. Either it will grow and rejuvenate itself or it will wither away. The direction of the Peace Corps is almost entirely in Sen. Leahy's hands. I am hoping the senator will become a champion of a renewed and revitalized Peace Corps. If he can accept this challenge, he will have once again earned the gratitude of all Vermonters.

Scott Skinner writes: This is a critical time for the Peace Corps. Either it will grow and rejuvenate itself or it will wither away. The direction of the Peace Corps is almost entirely in Sen. Leahy's hands.

My Turn: Leahy at Peace Corps crossroad

By Scott Skinner

July 8, 2009

Sen. Patrick Leahy has frequently provided courageous leadership in the Senate. But he is now faced with a major challenge, and it is not clear that he is going to step up to meet it.

Sen. Leahy is the chairman of a key Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee that funds the Peace Corps. On Thursday, this subcommittee is scheduled to meet to allocate approximately $49 billion for a large variety of foreign projects. Funding for the Peace Corps is a tiny part of this sum. As chairman, Sen. Leahy can basically decide himself how much funding goes to the Peace Corps.

The Obama administration had proposed a Peace Corps budget of $373 million, an amount that would effectively reduce the number of the Peace Corps volunteers despite the president's campaign pledge to double it by 2011. A key subcommittee in the House, with bipartisan support, has already unanimously rejected that budget and has set aside $450 million, which would permit the Peace Corps to expand into countries like Indonesia and Vietnam.

Sen. Leahy is no big fan of the Peace Corps. While chairman, his subcommittee has doled out paltry increases that have led to fewer volunteers being sent abroad. Most people do not realize that the number of Peace Corps volunteers serving abroad today is only half the total of 40 years ago. Interestingly, 36 senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., have written to Leahy urging increased Peace Corps funding.

Sen. Leahy has major complaints about the administration of the Peace Corps, and many of his concerns are valid. Peace Corps officials have irritated him by failing to answer his legitimate questions; too many volunteers are stationed on remote islands; an entrenched bureaucracy in Washington is top-heavy with political appointees.

Leahy is correct that the Peace Corps needs major reform. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., has introduced legislation that would help to reform and revitalize the Peace Corps. President Obama is expected to soon name a new director who can be expected to shake up the agency, as well.

But the Peace Corps needs both reform and increased funding if it is to regain its vibrancy. Energetic leaders are not going to want to preside over a shrinking agency.

Peace Corps volunteers have lifted American prestige around the world as millions of people in Third World countries have formed their opinion of America from their contact with the Americans who lived in their villages and learned to speak their language. And all of this came at a low financial cost to the American taxpayer -- one-tenth of 1 percent of the military budget.

It is in our national interest to have a larger, more vigorous Peace Corps. And the need is there. Nearly 20 countries have asked the Peace Corps for volunteers. And the volunteer spirit is not lacking; last year 13,000 Americans applied for the 4,000 positions available.

Vermont has a remarkable Peace Corps legacy, boasting the nation's highest percentage of former Peace Corps volunteers per capita.

Vermont has contributed over 1,300 volunteers, with 61 Vermonters currently serving. The University of Vermont is ranked 11th in the nation (for schools of its size) for the number of its alumni who have served.

This is a critical time for the Peace Corps. Either it will grow and rejuvenate itself or it will wither away. The direction of the Peace Corps is almost entirely in Sen. Leahy's hands. I am hoping the senator will become a champion of a renewed and revitalized Peace Corps. If he can accept this challenge, he will have once again earned the gratitude of all Vermonters.

Scott Skinner, a lawyer in Montpelier, was a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in Nepal from 1964 to 1966.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: July, 2009; Congress; Expansion; Appropriations; Budget





When this story was posted in July 2009, this was on the front page of PCOL:




Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed

 Site Index Search PCOL with Google Contact PCOL Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register

Join Us Mr. President! Date: June 16 2009 No: 1377 Join Us Mr. President!
"We will double the size of the Peace Corps by its 50th anniversary in 2011. And we'll reach out to other nations to engage their young people in similar programs, so that we work side by side to take on the common challenges that confront all humanity," said Barack Obama during his campaign.

Read how RPCV's rallied and and marched to the White House to support a bold new Peace Corps for a new age.

May 30, 2009: Peace Corps' Roadmap Date: May 29 2009 No: 1369 May 30, 2009: Peace Corps' Roadmap
Peace Corps' Roadmap for the Future 26 May
Who are the Candidates for Peace Corps Director? 24 May
Have French Atomic Tests put PCVs at Risk? 1 May
Obama asks Congress for 10% increase in PC Budget 7 May
Guy Consolmagno debunks "Angels & Demons" 22 May
Obama praises Dodd at credit card signing 22 May
John Garamendi front runner in California primary 22 May
Al Kamen writes: New management structure at PC HQ? 22 May
Damian Wampler's play Twin Towers opens in NYC 21 May
Michael Volpe learns that DC is networking capital 21 May
Dr. Mike Metke returns to Costa Rica 10 May
Jesse Fleisher Lives well on less 14 May
Al Kamen writes: PCVs peak at 11,000 under Obama Budget 11 May
James W. Kostenblatt is making a difference in Mozambique 10 May
Karen and Warren Master host Kyrgyzstan teen 9 May
Alberto Ibargüen writes: The Future of Newspapers 9 May
PC Monitor 2009 H1N1 Flu Virus in Mexico 1 May
Paul Theroux writes: Obama and the Peace Corps 1 May
Johnnie Carson to head State Department African Affairs 29 Apr
Michael O'Hanlon writes: Grading Obama's First 100 Days 29 Apr
Amy Potthast writes: The Peace Corps Lottery 23 Apr
Read more stories from April and May 2009.

PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director Date: December 2 2008 No: 1288 PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director
Honduras RPCV Jon Carson, 33, presided over thousands of workers as national field director for the Obama campaign and said the biggest challenge -- and surprise -- was the volume of volunteer help, including more than 15,000 "super volunteers," who were a big part of what made Obama's campaign so successful. PCOL endorses Jon Carson as the man who can revitalize the Peace Corps, bring it into the internet age, and meet Obama's goal of doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011.

Director Ron Tschetter:  The PCOL Interview Date: December 9 2008 No: 1296 Director Ron Tschetter: The PCOL Interview
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter sat down for an in-depth interview to discuss the evacuation from Bolivia, political appointees at Peace Corps headquarters, the five year rule, the Peace Corps Foundation, the internet and the Peace Corps, how the transition is going, and what the prospects are for doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011. Read the interview and you are sure to learn something new about the Peace Corps. PCOL previously did an interview with Director Gaddi Vasquez.



Read the stories and leave your comments.








Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Burlington Free Press

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Congress; Expansion; Appropriations; Budget

PCOL44236
95


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: