Please keep calling (9 AM - 5 PM) President Obama (202.456.1111) and say:

“President Obama, please urge Congress to provide $450 million to the Peace Corps in fiscal year 2010.

You promised during your campaign to double the Peace Corps to 16,000 Volunteers by 2011. But the budget you proposed to Congress for Fiscal Year 2010 requested only $374 million, an increase over FY09 of only $34 million – not enough after inflation and security costs to more than expand slightly its size now.

However, the House of Representatives voted an increase of $110 million, a historic increase that would bring the budget to $450 million; this would enable the new Peace Corps Director to improve operations, add many more Volunteers (from the 15,386 now applying to serve – an 18% increase over 2008) and open new programs (in many of the 20 countries now requesting Volunteers).

BUT because the Senate included your proposed increase of only $34 million, the difference between House and Senate versions must now be resolved in Conference.

So, I ask you to call Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Nita Lowey, Chairs of the Senate and House State/Foreign Operations Subcommittees, and urge them, when they meet in Conference within a few days, to agree to the House total – $450 million.

To continue under-funding the Peace Corps would not only block needed reforms, but also signal tepid support for international service programs.”

– your name, country, and years of service

Please forward this newsletter to at least 10 former volunteers.

NOTE: you can also send your comments on-line via www.whitehouse.gov/contact. (The length of the message above totals under1,650 characters, well within the White House form’s limit of 2,500 characters.)

Press on,
Rajeev