Global Weekly Update October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011

Foreign Assistance Is Under Threat in the Senate. Make Calls This Week and Next!

Next week, the full Senate expects to vote on the foreign aid appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012. This bill funds critical, life-saving, poverty-focused foreign assistance. But the funding is in danger. Your voice right now could help save it.

When this bill goes to the floor for a vote, many senators will offer dangerous amendments to slash funding. The House version of the foreign aid bill is already a dramatic $5 billion lower than the Senate version and 20 percent below the FY 2010 level. If the Senate and House come together to reconcile the two versions of the bill, and the Senate bill has been slashed, negotiations will start at a much lower funding level. The outcome for foreign aid and human lives could be grim.

We know that foreign aid cuts won’t help the deficit because foreign assistance is less than 1 percent of our nation’s budget. Consider what as a Washington Post op-ed writer and speech writer for President Bush wrote earlier this year:

“Not all sacrifices are shared equally. Some get a pay freeze. Some get a benefit adjustment. Others get a fever and a small coffin. This is not fiscal prudence. It is the prioritization of the most problematic spending cuts — a disproportionate emphasis on the least justifiable reductions. One can be a budget cutter and still take exception to cuts at the expense of the most vulnerable people on earth.”

Defending smart foreign assistance investment is what we do best. Take a look at our newest action alert and plan to mobilize your local RESULTS allies to make calls to your senators. Speak out in defense of foreign assistance. We are poised to make a difference.

Is It Possible to See the End of AIDS? Be Inspired into Action at the November Global Conference Call

Chris Collins, vice president and director of public policy at amFAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) will be our special guest on the national grassroots conference call on Saturday, November 12. Gather your RESULTS group for an update on inspiring developments in the fight against AIDS that, if matched with political will, could lead us to an end of the AIDS epidemic. Isn’t it remarkable that we could be part of such a watershed moment in history? Make your plans for our 2 pm ET call, and dial in to (888) 409-6709 a few minutes before the call.

Check out Chris’ biography on the amfAR website and invite others to the call using this handy flyer.

How Will You Let People Know That We Can End AIDS?

In July of this year, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, made a profound statement about the AIDS pandemic in the publication Science:

For the first time in the history of HIV/AIDS, controlling and ending the pandemic are feasible; however, a truly global commitment, including investments by those rich and middle-income countries whose contributions have thus far been limited, is essential. Major investments in implementation now will save even greater expenditures in the future; and in the meantime, countless lives can be saved.

We are living on the edge of new possibility in the battle against AIDS. This month, through World AIDS Day on December 1, we urge you to speak out on behalf of this possibility and the need to continue investing in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. You can do this by engaging your community and the media using these tools:

  • Our new November Action Sheet provides great guidance on writing a letter to the editor of your local media outlet about the end of AIDS. Rally your RESULTS allies and write to your paper for World AIDS Day.
  • We have also created an action alert so that you can use our template to submit the letter on line to multiple papers. Remember to personalize your letter. to help you make a bold statement to your community about the possibility of ending AIDS if we continue to support organizations like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
  • There are also many ways to engage your community including organizging an event with your local AIDS organization, or having a group discussion about a story like those found in the book, 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa. See our mini-grant application for more ideas.

YOU DID IT AGAIN! 69 Signers on a Letter Calling for Support for the Global Partnership for Education!

In less than 3 weeks, you rallied the House to urge Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to pledge $375 million over 3 years to the Global Partnership for Education at next week’s GPE replenishment meeting. There are also some representatives who did not sign the letter, but will send letters of their own. NO OTHER ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION WAS WORKING ON THIS LETTER. This success is a testament to your diligence and passion. You also generate at least 42 pieces of media on Education for All since mid-August.

The full list of signers is below and online, and as soon as we get a copy of the final letter, we’ll post it.

Here are some suggestions for follow-up on your success:

  1. If your representative signed, thank them. Hearing a positive message from a constituent, especially about foreign aid, is critically important.
  2. If your representative wouldn’t sign the letter but is supportive, send them a copy of the letter and ask them to send their own letter or make a call to Secretary of State Clinton. We still need as many voices as possible on this issue. If a piece of media on Education for All has been published in your area recently, consider including it in your message.
  3. If your representative wouldn’t sign, thank them for considering the request, and tell them that you hope to meet soon to talk more about smart investments in development assistance.

For everyone who tried so hard to get their representative to sign without success, take heart. Your work is still amazing. Many of you have an uphill battle, and it’s very difficult to continue to try to positively educate and influence members of Congress when you get a lot of ‘no’ responses or your member seems entrenched in an anti-foreign aid stance. Your persistence inspires and motivates RESULTS staff and volunteers around the country, and you are still providing key information to a member about effective development assistance that they probably wouldn’t otherwise hear. You are modeling positive relationship-building and showing yourself to be a consistent, trusted source of support and information which is a critical foundation for a future breakthrough.

Final list of signers: Andrews, Baldwin, Bass, Berkley, Blumenauer, Bordallo, Capps, Carson, Castor, Christensen, Clarke, Conyers, Davis (IL), Davis (CA), DeGette, DeLauro, Ellison, Eshoo, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Frank, Garamendi, Gonzalez, Green (G., TX), Grijalva, Hastings, Heinrich, Himes, Hinchey, Holt, Honda, Jackson, Jackson-Lee, Kildee, Lee, Levin, Lewis, Lofgren, Lujan, Maloney, McDermott, McGovern, McNerney, Miller (NC), Miller (CA), Moore, Moran, Napolitano, Norton, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Peters, Polis, Price, Richardson, Rothman, Rush, Ryan (OH), Schakowsky, Sires, Speier, Towns, Van Hollen, Waxman, Welch, Woolsey.

Foreign aid is important if it’s done right, it spreads America’s influence around the world in a positive way. These are our allies that in the future can help us, not just in political struggles, but, who can be our partners in economic trade. A world where people are prosperous and free to grow their economies and pursue their own dreams and ambitions is a better world for all of us.”

— Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), “Education For All Leads to a Better World,” September 29, 2011

November 2 and November 16: Two-session RESULTS New Activist Orientation, 9 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262 (corrected)

November 4: RESULTS Santa Fe Fundraiser. Contact Lydia Pendley for details.

November 7: RESULTS Introductory Call. Register today!

November 12: Global Conference Call. 2:00 pm ET. (888) 409-6709. Theme: The End of AIDS!

November 30: RESULTS Introductory Call. Register today!

December 4: Bremerton, WA, Fundraiser. Contact Beth Wilson for details.

July 21–24, 2012: RESULTS International Conference in Washington, DC

RESULTS has moved! Our new address is:
RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund, 1730 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington DC 20036

No change to phone numbers; new fax number to be updated soon. Thanks for your patience as we complete our transition.

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