Tag Archives: AWSC

DC9-16

The American World Service Corps National Service  (AWSCNS) Congressional Proposal  opens up filled jobs, provides new jobs, trains and educates for the environmentally beneficial jobs and needs of the future, makes stronger friends and neighbors with enhanced civic IQs.

Over ten years ago, People’s Lobby started working on the AWSCNS Congressional Proposal with a unanimous endorsement from the 2006 California State Democratic Convention.

This Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) did not think that a decade later I’d still be pushing to enact this needed, overwhelmingly good, and cost effective piece of legislation.

The AWSCNS would ramp up over seven years by adding about 150,000 paid volunteers per year.  In the seventh year, one million volunteers would serve annually through already effective do-good organizations, such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Americans Friends Service Committee, TechnoServe, Heifer, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, State Conservation Corps, In-Need Schools, Hospitals Therapy Wards, Homes for the Elderly, etc.  After 20 years of one million serving annually, directly addressing needs, and building sustainability, Congress would consider the AWSCNS for sun-setting after its 27th year.

In 2009 Congress implemented the Ted Kennedy Serve America Act.  Nonetheless, even at its proposed unmet largest, the Kennedy Serve America Act is 1/4th the size of what is called for in the AWSCNS Proposal,  and, as we warned, its budget was whittled on soon after memories of Senator Ted Kennedy faded.

Could you set up a time to meet with the Senato/Congressman, Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, or appropriate senior staffer during the week of September 18th-24th in hopes of building additional support for the AWSCNS Proposal?

The AWSC National Service Proposal would stimulate and strengthen America’s ability to peacefully and economically solve problems.  With its proposed coming-of-age non-traditional funding mechanisms moved further along by Gates and Buffet pushing their Giving Pledge, enacting teh proposed AWSCNS  could cost effectively involve the richest .1% in voluntarily building worldwide sustainability.  A summary of some of these benefits is here.

For a PowerPoint overview of the essence of the AWSCNS Proposal, view the first 12 slides at this link.

When I discuss the details of the AWSCNS Proposal to large audiences, they overwhelmingly support it.  It would do the same among the constituent audiences of those visionary congresspersons who push, introduce, and support it.

Included in the AWSCNS Proposal is a call for other nations to deploy their own similar armies peacefully on the battlefields of need.  In 1989 People’s Lobby was instrumental in moving visionary Congresswoman Boxer to introduce HR 1807, calling for the creation of a US-USSR Peace Corps.  Recently, we have asked her to do it again before she retires, but her ride into the sunset may be too close.

Therefore, we’d like to see whether you would be interested in resurrecting this visionary piece of HR1807 legislation.  Imagine how much more beneficial Bear and Eagle relations would be today if 20,000+ Americans, Soviet Unioners, and Russians had served together by 2016. View 8 slides on the US-Russian Peace Corps here.

It is never too late to start something that could do a lot of good. Investing in volunteers in do-good groups in turbulent political and climate challenged environments often returns the most good, especially in communities with needs.

We look forward to meeting with you or appropriate DC staff in September.  Thanks.

Dwayne Hunn Ph.D.

People’s Lobby Executive Director

415-383-7880

Represented by Congressman Huffman, California’s 2nd

An army of volunteers for peace

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Marin Independent Journal – Marin Voice

Dwayne Hunn

Dwayne Hunn, IJ

Osama, Saddam and their followers are bad actors and will get what they deserve, probably mostly from our superb military.

In the meantime, it would be healthy to hear politicians, opinion leaders and parties lay out a  long-term solution to the terror these actors breed, before we get too deeply entwined in war’s bloody human and financial costs.  The solution lies in a Sargent’s quote:

If the Pentagon’s map is more urgent, the Peace Corp’s is, perhaps, in the long run the most important… What happens in India, Africa, and South America — whether the nations where the Peace Corps works succeed or not — may well determine the balance of peace.

In the 60’s and 70’s then New York Senator Jacob Javits proposed a peace army of a million young men. Labor leaders advocated an overseas service corps of 100,000. The Peace Corps’ first Deputy Director, Warren Wiggins, said a Peace Corps of 30,000 — 100,000 was needed.

The Peace Corps mean budget from 1965-69 was $108,000,000, with its mean number of Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) in the field numbering 13,947 with a mean cost per volunteer of $7,743.

On the other hand, for that same period the Vietnam War Budget was $16,260,000,000. The mean number of soldiers we kept in Viet Nam was 413,300. The MEAN cost per soldier was $39,370.

If just ten percent of the Vietnam War budget, $1,626,000,000, had been put into the Peace Corps budget to get Americans to work “the toughest job you’ll ever love that REALLY does good,” then an additional 209,996 mean Peace Corps volunteers could have served during that period.

Imagine if we had continued inspiring 55,000 American volunteers each year to serve in countries where clean water doesn’t run easily, chalk boards are luxuries, people house themselves in mud, clay and cow dung padded walls, education is treasured, health and food is too often wanting.

Instead, since its 1961 inception only slightly over 150,000 PCVs have served in over 130 nations.

Had our Army of over two million PCVs already served in the field, do you think international newspapers would be lambasting America on its pages?  Would readers buy it? Would Osama bin Laden and his cells have risen in such a world?

Maybe.  But having been a Peace Corps volunteer as well as a Global Village Habitat for Humanity homebuilder working near the struggling masses, I think not. Even most ivory towered policy wonks would probably agree.

Yet, where on the political hustings, on the forums provided for perceived leaders, do you hear even some of them planting visions of common sense, of marshalling good-doers to address the sufferings of the world.

The lines drawn between long suffering masses and terrorists and comfortable, arrogant Americans are short, and getting shorter.

The line eraser is not a stealth bomber or more technically armed Special Forces.  The eraser cleans when you build what an American Peace Army does – builds relationships, schools, sanitation systems, small farms and businesses.

Sarge Shriver was right, in the long run the Peace Corps map of the world is more important.  Today’s world reminds us how much more his words needed heeding.

Edwin Markham was one of John Kennedy’s favorite poets.  One of Kennedy’s favorite Markham poems was:

Why build these cities beautiful,

If man unbuilded goes.

In vain we build the world,

Unless the builder also grows.

Some brother-in-laws think alike.  Their vision of a vastly expanded Peace Corps is what today’s unbuilded global village needs.  Building a life for one’s loved ones forges a sense of pride, and that builds villages and cities beautiful.

It’s what two visionary leaders preached.  It’s what isn’t pushed enough today.

 

Mill Valley resident, Dwayne Hunn, is field director for the National Initiative for Democracy Campaign, a proposed process to empower all Americans with law making capabilities. Hunn served in the Peace Corps Mumbai, India.