Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2001-03) is the Coordinator of the MorePeaceCorps Campaign. Actually he is the only person working full time on this project. He works out of New York City, and is being funding by an RPCV, but the NPCA takes credit for his work. Don’t believe those folks in D.C. Rajeev is beating the bushes for RPCVs to rally around an increase in funding for the Peace Corps.
The President has a bill now to provide $450 million to the Peace Corps in 2010 in his early April budget from OMB. The $450 million mark is what is laid out in the recently introduced “Peace Corps Expansion Act 2009” (HR 1066)
The reason for the necessary increase in funding is because if there is no new funding the Peace Corps will shrink. It has already been downsized by 500 volunteers in 2009, dipping below 3,500 Volunteers, this is at a time when the White House pledged 16,000 Volunteers by 2011. But that was Bush’s pledge.
Some background information. RPCV Congressman Sam Farr (Colombia 1964-66) on February 13, 2009 and three other RPCVs in the House, introduced the Peace Corps Expansion Act 2009, HR 1066, which calls for $450 million, $600 million, and $750 million to the Peace Corps in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
The bill started out with 40 original co-sponsors and perhaps with RPCVs writing letters from across the country that number of co-sponsors was double. Of the 90 who have signed on now, 86 are Democrats. (What else is new when it comes to Republican support?)
What happens now is to get 218 out of 435 members in the House or Representatives to CO-SPONSOR it and get it passed.
In my next email, I’ll send a letter written by an RPCV that explains in part why we need a Peace Corps. The letter was written to President Obama by Concetta Bencivenga (Thailand 1992-94) and her letter gives us a great reason why we need a Peace Corps.