January 29, 2002 - NPCA: NPCA offers congratulations to Gaddi Vasquez upon his confirmation

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Reunions: RPCV Groups: January 29, 2002 - NPCA: NPCA offers congratulations to Gaddi Vasquez upon his confirmation

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 12:34 pm: Edit Post

NPCA offers congratulations to Gaddi Vasquez upon his confirmation


This is an email from Dane Smith, President of the National Peace Corps Association, on the confirmation of Gaddi Vasquez as Peace Corps Director offering his congratulations to Mr. Vasquez and acknowledging the success the Committee for the Future of the Peace Corps' four-month-long grassroots effort to advocate their views.

For another view on the confirmation, read Peace Corps Online's commentary on the long term impact on the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer community of the debate over Mr. Vasquez's nomination at:

Returned Volunteers should be Proud

Read and comment on Mr. Smith's message at:

Dear Friends,*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Dear Friends,

As you know, on Friday, January 25, Gaddi Vasquez and Jody Olsen were confirmed by the Senate as Director and Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, respectively. I have extended congratulations to both on behalf of the National Peace Corps Association and its Board of Directors. It has been a year since the Peace Corps has had Congressionally-approved leadership, and it is time to engage with the new leadership in an effort to strengthen the agency and its programs.

Few issues have brought out such strong feelings among the greater Peace Corps community as the Vasquez nomination - feelings on all sides of the issue. While the NPCA undertakes and usually leads many significant efforts in the name of the RPCV community, we could not presume to speak for all RPCVs in the matter of the nomination of Gaddi Vasquez. In the spirit of advocacy, the Committee for the Future of the Peace Corps formed for the purpose of opposing the Vasquez nomination. It was an independent effort of individuals dedicated to that purpose and for what they felt was the good of the Peace Corps. We respect the success of this coordinated, four-month-long grassroots effort to give RPCVs an opportunity to advocate their views.

We applaud the efforts of all who expressed their opinions for and against the nomination:

* numerous emails, phone calls, letters and faxes from individuals to their elected representatives

* meetings set up by NPCA affiliate groups to discuss the issue, meet with elected officials and craft appropriate responses

* letters to the editor, op-eds and other published articles

Leaders of the Committee have been critical of the NPCA during the process to confirm the next Director of the Peace Corps. Yet, a number of our members have expressed dismay over what they view as the Committee's sometimes exaggerated and personal attacks on Mr. Vasquez. With Senate approval of Gaddi Vasquez, the debate of his qualifications as a nominee has drawn to a close. One fact remains true of the RPCV community: we are all, as individuals and as members of this RPCV community, respected for our ability to see issues from different perspectives, a quality that must surely be evident to members of Congress who heard these voices during the confirmation process.

At the NPCA, we responded as our members requested: at the September 21 meeting of the Presidents' Forum, our affiliated group leaders, after extensive debate, voted to have the NPCA inform its members on the progress of the nomination and how individuals and groups can make their voices heard, but NOT take a position on either side of the issue of Mr. Vasquez's nomination. We respect the vote of the Presidents' Forum and heeded their call. For full details on our position through the process and how individuals and groups could respond, please visit the link through The Latest NPCA News page off our home page at http://www.rpcv.org. The NPCA focused on promoting a thorough Senate examination of the qualifications of the candidate. We believe that the Senate hearing on the nomination was a thorough one, and the Senate has now voted.

With the issue of the Director now definitively settled, it is time for all the Peace Corps family to support efforts to develop a constructive relationship with the new Peace Corps leadership. In particular, we want to support efforts to give the Agency the role it deserves in the post-September 11 world. The Peace Corps is America's foremost institution for grassroots development and our most successful in creating friendship for America, including in the Islamic world. It needs to be given the support in Congress, including adequate budget support and quite possibly a new legislative mandate, to play its important role.

Part of our work in this regard is already well underway. Roger Landrum (Nigeria) and David Hibbard (Nigeria) are heading up a "new mandate" group, which will be seeking your input. A major forum on the "Future of the Peace Corps" will be a central feature of our rescheduled National Conference June 20-23, and Advocacy Day, June 20, the opening day of the Conference, will focus sharply on pressing for an appropriate budget and legislative mandate for the Agency. To the extent possible we will work with the new leadership of the Peace Corps on these issues. I invite you to join in these efforts, as well as in our other advocacy projects: to promote global health initiatives, especially HIV/AIDS funding, to combat climate change and to reduce hunger and poverty.

Dane Smith, President

For more information and to get involved in advocacy efforts, visit the Advocacy section of our website at http://www.rpcv.org/pages/sitepage.cfm?id=26 or contact our Advocacy Coordinator, Ed Crane at ecrane@rpcv.org.

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.


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.