July 18 - Sample of comments from RPCVs on Coverdell Bill

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Director Paul Coverdell (1989 - 1991): Paul Coverdell: June 16 - House Vote Tuesday, July 17, on Giving Coverdell's Name to Peace Corps Headquarters: July 18 - Sample of comments from RPCVs on Coverdell Bill
Following is a sample of messages from RPCVs regarding the bill

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 8:47 am: Edit Post

Could you elaborate on why the Peace Corps community should oppose this bill? I had great respect for Coverdell; it seems like a good idea to me.

A volunteer

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 8:47 am: Edit Post

No one disputes that Coverdell did a good job as Director.
That fact is not in controversy.

However, the proposal to name Peace Corps HQ is
controversial because it is a matter of record
that many rpcv's oppose it.

Pls take a look at the web site: Both points
of view are presented.

Therefor the purpose of the email is to alert
rpcv's that they should have the opportunity to
express their point of view on the renaming
before it is snuck through congress as a
"non-controversial" bill.

Best Regards,


By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 1:14 pm: Edit Post

Message from a volunteer:

I called Hastert's office yesterday. The man who answered was pretty dismissive. "Responsibility for the Peace Corps", he said, "rests solely with the US Congress."

In other words, buzz off RPCVs.

One can imagine how this arrogant stance might be affecting other grassroots constituencies.

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 1:15 pm: Edit Post

Message from a Volunteer:

i agree with the bill

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 1:15 pm: Edit Post

Message from a Volunteer:

I called the speaker's office this morning...and his office just "blew
me off". I did call my congressman and his office at least listened to
me and took down my name and address. I hope they don't rename the

Thanks for letting me know about the problem.

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 1:16 pm: Edit Post

Message from a volunteer:

Dear All: as a returned volunteer I totally agree that no individual name should be on the building. The Peace Corps was and is about people not one person, but a group as a whole.

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 1:17 pm: Edit Post

Message from a volunteer:

I faxed the following letter to Speaker Hastert after receiving your email message on Monday Eve. (7/15/01) thanks for letting me know about this legislative alert.

Dr. Honorable Speaker Dennis Hastert

I am a returned Peace Corps Volunteer. I am writing to request that you withdraw the bill S-360 from the House Schedule for Tuesday, July 17, 2001.

This is a controversial bill. Naming the Peace Corps Headquarters isn't something that should be done without the input of returned and current Peace Corps Volunteer and Staff! Honoring Senator Paul Coverdale is a noble idea. I met Mr. Coverdale while I was in training in Ecuador in 1989. However, I am in agreement with many RPCV's who do not believe that the Peace Corps Headquarters should be named after any one Director. Mr. Coverdale's two years of work with the Peace Corps are nothing when compared to the compounded years of service of volunteers around the globe since its foundation by John F. Kennedy.

Please let the Peace Corps Volunteers and Staff makes decisions about renaming our headquarters, not U.S. Congressional Staff.

Thanks you for your time.

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 1:18 pm: Edit Post


The following is an example of the type of action I'm asked to take daily
regarding the actions of Congress and Pres. Bush. As you can see it has far
reaching consequences for all Americans. If you have such issues in the
future that you would like to call my attention to, please do so.

But PLEASE no more alerts about the names of buildings.

(This comes from Defenders of Wildlife and is aimed at people in the
United States. ACM)

The Bush administration has refused to guarantee the preservation of
almost sixty million acres of unspoiled national forest from logging,
mining, drilling and road-building. Polls show that by a two-to-one
margin, Americans of every political persuasion supported new federal
rules establishing the protections, which were approved by the
Clinton administration. Twenty House Republicans have also joined
congressional Democrats in a letter urging President Bush to uphold
the rules.

Instead, the administration has announced that roadless area
protections will likely be reconsidered during the forest planning
processes the government will conduct for each national forest. "The
Bush administration is pretending to run a straight game by belatedly
supporting protections for 58.5 million acres of wild Forest Service
lands, but in reality they are stacking the deck against roadless
areas," said Rodger Schlickeisen of Defenders of Wildlife. That's
even though the rules were adopted after more than 600 public
hearings and a record-breaking 1.6 million public comments, 95% of
which supported preservation of the forests.

The forests are home to more than 220 threatened or endangered
species, as well as 1,930 species whose numbers are diminishing.
Brown bears, wolves, moose, bald eagles, otters, salmon and migratory
song birds all need wild, pristine land to flourish.


Voice your outrage over the Bush administration's refusal to preserve
these prized national forests. Send a free e-mail TODAY to the White
House demanding that the Bush administration honor the will of the
American people and protect these remaining untouched forests as
critical habitat for threatened wildlife and as an important natural
legacy for future generations.

Send an e-mail to President Bush by visiting:


(Please also send an e-mail to Interior Secretary Gale Norton in
support of the Bitterroot grizzly bear reintroduction program which,
even though it's exactly the kind of balanced, grass-roots solution
that Norton touts for endangered-species problems, she is refusing to
consider. You can send this e-mail through the DENaction Web site

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 1:22 pm: Edit Post

That's really a shame but, I guess he's one of their own so they vote him in. Well, he's dead so I guess it doesn't matter to him. His main claim to fame was the use of PC money and time to fly home to Georgia to campaign for the Senate.

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 5:48 pm: Edit Post

Message from a volunteer:

There is almost no issue more trivial than naming a building.

RPCVs and others with a mindset towards improving conditions for the world's
people can select causes far more worthy than this. Let's choose our
battles a little more carefully.

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 10:48 am: Edit Post

Message from a returned volunteer:

Yes, of course, there are many issues of greater importance than naming a building. However, it is foolish to underestimate the importance of words and symbols. abcNews.com carries a July 26 AP wire report that states "(George W. Bush) counted as significant progress two bills he signed Thursday that renamed an education program and the Peace Corps headquarters for the late Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga." Apparently the president, as well as whoever hatched and promoted this idea, believes that there is some value in making sure that the name of a Republican senator will now be permanently associated with Peace Corps and what it represents.

Although Sen. Coverdell, after a somewhat rocky start, ended up doing a fine job as PC director and remained one of its champions after leaving the position, I am unaware of anything he did that was so outstanding that his name will now and indefinitely into the future appear on any document that carries PC's address. Although several PC directors accomplished next to nothing (primarily due to the shortness of their tenure, perhaps)others contributed as much or more as did the late senator and yet they will now remain unrecognized.

And, of course, as NPCA president Dane Smith and others have pointed out, the volunteers are the heart of Peace Corps. Sorry, but I believe that naming the building for Paul Coverdell was inappropriate and a blatantly political gesture. That someone holds this point of view and takes time to protest does not in any way mean that that person does not contribute far greater amounts of his or her time to "improving conditions for the world's people".

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