February 14, 2002 - Roll Call: Thailand RPCV Tony Hall to become U.S. ambassador to United Nations food and agricultural agencies

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By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 10:17 am: Edit Post

Thailand RPCV Tony Hall to become U.S. ambassador to United Nations food and agricultural agencies

Read and comment on this story from RollCall on Thailand RPCV Tony Hall who is leaving Congress to become U.S. ambassador to United Nations food and agricultural agencies at:

Dedication *

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Feb 14, 2002 - Roll Call

Far more than most citizens realize - or Congressional critics would credit - many Members of Congress have dedicated themselves to causes that transcend career advancement, party advantage and even the welfare of their immediate constituents. Some Members make their mark by strengthening national defense, advancing medical research or reforming the election system.

Few Members, however, can match the example of Rep. Tony Hall's (D- Ohio) dedication to the cause of fighting hunger in America and around the world - a dedication that has led to his decision to leave Congress and become U.S. ambassador to United Nations food and agricultural agencies.

Hall served in the Peace Corps in Thailand in the mid-1960s and returned to his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, to become a real estate broker and small-businessman. He quickly was elected to the Ohio Legislature, where he served for nearly 10 years, sponsoring election reform legislation and urban development bills that would help cities like Dayton. He came to Congress in 1978 and became a born-again Christian in the 1980s, which deepened his dedication to the world's neediest people.

He was a founding member of the House Select Committee on Hunger and became its chairman in 1989 when Rep. Mickey Leland (D-Texas) died in a plane crash while on an anti-hunger mission in Ethiopia. In 1993, when the House voted to eliminate the committee, Hall went on a 22-day hunger strike. He did not succeed in saving the panel, but did win promises from the World Bank and the Agriculture Department to hold conferences on world hunger. In 1993, when Republicans abolished the House Hunger Caucus along with other taxpayer-funded caucuses, Hall went on to form the Congressional Hunger Center, a clearinghouse to advance the cause.

Over the years the indefatigable Hall traveled the impoverished world - Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, North Korea - to inspect famine conditions and promote relief efforts. He has not been deceived by propaganda along the way, however. After a visit to Iraq in 2000, he refused to call for the lifting of economic sanctions against Saddam Hussein's regime, citing human rights violations and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Three times Hall has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

At home he helped foster "gleanings" programs, whereby restaurants and conventions provide leftover food to the homeless. He's also followed his religious principles with consistency and political independence, opposing both abortion and the death penalty and backing President Bush's efforts to assist faith-based institutions. Hall hasn't ignored his district, succeeding in expanding programs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. And he's been a political success, winning re-election in 2000 with 83 percent of the vote. This is a Congressional career that makes us all feel proud to be around here.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; RPCVs in the News; Thailand



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